How to Design Business Cards

To design business cards for maximum effect, review the steps below. Business cards are among the most portable, affordable, effective and versatile marketing tools in your arsenal – they’re far more than conveyors of contact information, if designed strategically!

Your business cards should work as hard as you do, so spend time on the design and layout of yours – and no, it’s not necessary to hire to graphic artist to make the most of these ubiquitous little pieces of paper.

Design Business Cards – The Steps Involved

Step 1:
Figure Out How You’ll Use Your Card

This is the most important step!

a) Who will receive your card? Spend a little time determining your target audience and what they would appreciate most in your business card. Someone who has already purchased a product or service from you would probably appreciate more complete contact details for your business, whereas for a new prospect, you would probably have more of a marketing message on your card.

b) What is the goal of your business card? Include only the information that leads to your preferred response. Your goal might be to get people to your website for more information. If so, emphasize the website address.

c) When will your prospect need your product or service? If your ideal prospect has a flooded bathroom and will probably need your card in the middle of the night, your card should be easy to read and easy to spot.

d) What are the industry conventions and prospect expectations? Standing out from the crowd is important, however you don’t want to take it too far. A successful banker should not have festive colors and balloons on their card, but if the standard is black ink on white stock, why not experiment with maroon or navy blue ink?

Step 2:

Determine the Size of Your New Business Card

The size of a standard US business card is 3.5” by 2”.  This business card size fits conveniently into all types of organizing systems and business card holders.

Before deciding on a different size, consider the inconvenience of storing your card versus the impact of making it a different size.

Step 3:
Select Your Business Card Printer and the Method of Printing

This decision should be made early so as to maximize your printer’s experience and take advantage of all they have to offer. The basic determining factors are that that template based printers offer more convenience, while commercial printers tend to offer more customization. This is a solid online business card printer, in my opinion.

Step 4:
Choose the Information to Include on Your Business Card

Most business cards are used as an easy way for a prospect to retrieve important information at a later time.  You don’t need to include every single piece of contact information you have!  (At least, for most cards – see Step 1a.)

You don’t want your card to be so crammed full of information that it’s impossible to read (according to printers, the single biggest design mistake is overcrowding the card.)

Stick to the basics.  Include the information that is most likely to be helpful for the person who wants to contact you.  For example, if people seldom come by your place of business, why waste all the limited space on your business card by including your address?  A customer or prospect can call your or come to your website to get it.

Step 5:
Add Your Logo to Your Business Card – Maybe

A logo can say a lot about your company or your brand without using words.

The flip side is that they take up valuable space on your business card that could be used to convey an important message or detail about your business.

Generic clipart logos should be avoided.

Step 6:

Consider Your Business Card Layout and Design

Don’t waste the space on your card. A carefully designed and well laid out card is the WOW factor that will distinguish you from your competition.

You want to make a memorable and impactful impression on your prospect or client. Your card should be organized, legible, and uncluttered.

If possible, why not capitalize on all of the available space and use both sides of your card?

Step 7:

Select Your Business Card’s Color Scheme

Adding color is a simple way to add impact. With the majority of business cards using black text on white stock, using color for your own business cards is an easy way to quickly distinguish yourself in your market.

Consider the psychology of color, too. Warm colors (red, orange, yellow) evoke passion, strength and power. Cool colors like blues and greens signify money, royalty, new life, growth, richness, power and sensitivity.  More about color business cards.

Step 8:

Proof and Print Your New Business Card

Remember, you are the one responsible for ensuring that your card is error free, not your printer.  Make sure you double and triple-check your work!  Ask several people to proof your card – we often miss details when we’ve been working on a project for a while.

And remember, when you order business cards, it’s more economical to buy in bulk.

Step 9:

If you need creative ways to prospect with business cards, or to use business cards that you’ve collected, browse through more of the business card blog!