Business Card Part 1 – Things to Remember while Designing a Business Card

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A business card (also known as Visiting Card) is probably the most important marketing tool that a business person would require. They say in business industry “A business card is an entrepreneur’s best friend”.

These cards are distributed hand to hand, tucked with presentation folders, dropped in letters, published in “business card ads” in newspapers and journals… The list goes on and on.

Such an important thing deserves to be taken very seriously.  If you are able to design a good business card, it is almost certain that you will be doing every other piece of the graphics related work for a particular client.

Tip: before you take a project for a business card, collect a couple of dozens of various business cards and analyze them. This will enhance your creativity and tell you a lot about how other designers are doing their jobs.

Update: we published 100 free business card templates last week. All in PSD format, you’d love them 🙂

Open Your Mouth

Ask Questions

Before you make any business card whatsoever, you have to explore them. Your client will never be able to tell you the details in your technical language. So it is you who must be inquisitive and try to find as much as you can about their expectations from you and your work.

Here’s what you should know before you start the work:

  1. What kind of colors do they like?
  2. How “flashy” they want their card to be?
  3. What is the designing trend for business cards in this particular type of business?

If you think that the client is making a mistake and his/her card should not look the way they want it to be, try to indicate why they might be wrong, but always remember that you are a professional and you should never impose your likes and dislikes upon your clients, your job is to make THEIR decisions look good.

Business Card Designing Steps

Designing Procedure

Here are a few things you should know first.

Size: Usually, a business card is about 3.5 inches wide and 2 inches in height in USA and in UK its almost 3.35 inches in width and 2.16 in height. But it’s not a law to make cards of just these default sizes, many Press Cards are vertical.

In fact, there are business cards of all shapes and sizes, including:

  • pentagonal
  • round
  • triangle
  • oval
  • punched (the one with a hole)
  • … and many others

The bottom line is that you should not be afraid to go against the flow.
Here’s a checklist you should complete before starting a project:

  • Logo (Here’s Great Article for Logo Designing)
  • Company Slogan (if any)
  • Person’s Name (and designation or qualification, if there is any)
  • Picture (images look great on cards, but they don’t have to be a person’s, a writer or publisher may want a picture of his book)
  • Contact Details (Address, Phone, Email, Website etc.)

Make Your Card Stand Out

Business Card Designing

Till now, we’ve been discussing the theoretical part. Here’s the practical one.
Everybody wants their card to stand out from the rest. It is the designer’s job to make it so. Just using the right colors and fonts could make a difference.

Color: Use colors as much as you like, but this does not mean that you should just slam the palette on canvas. Manipulating colors can be the most difficult part.

When you are trying to make your card shine, use Red and Black color. Black Cards are not suitable for everything – but if you can use them, they work like a magic trick.

Using Red color could be a little tricky, for example a media reporter’s card could use a solid Red color at an edge of the card and “PRESS” written over it in plain white would give it an exclamatory feel, while a Ladies Beauty Parlour card could contain a red silk ribbon image at the background, this would give it an attractive look.

Font: Bold and Hard fonts are only used for one or two words, while some mystical fonts look great on slogans. At the same time, hard and edgy fonts are not to be used in business cards which are likely to be circulated around ladies.

Using the right font at the right place is vital, but this is a huge subject and it can’t be described explicitly here. There is an article covering the typography basics here on Designzzz called Typography Basics – Serif vs. Sans-Serif, you may visit it for further reference.

Boost Your Value

Graphic Designer

Read this section carefully.

Making your client sincere with you is an art. All the successful persons have learned it. You should too.

What would make clients that way, well… You know the feeling when you’re on a party and the host comes to personally ask you if you’re enjoying it? Make your clients feel important and take their tasks as your own, don’t just tell them the common talks like “we very much appreciate you doing business with us”…

The best, easy and economical way is to give them ideas. For example, tell them that many cards are just fed to trash cans due to the fact that they became useless.

Why don’t we put a prayer, or a verse on the back of the card, or if the business is related to kitchen, a food recipe could also be a good idea. Tell them that you can print a map to their address.

They might not always love your idea but they will realize that you care for them. That’s all you need.

Most Important: Break The Rules

Wierd Business Card

You definitely don’t have to abide by the default sizes, the image above is a perfect example, the card seems like an ATM Machine.

There’s a book about learning piano.  The biggest lesson of the book lies in its last sentence of the 400 pages:

“Now you have learned all the rules to play Piano, FORGET THEM. You are supposed not to play Piano by the rules, play Piano by your heart”

Thank you for your interest and feel free to leave any feedback in the comments! Also you can subscribe to our Free RSS Feed or Twitter to stay updated for upcoming : Business Card Part 2 – Effective Networking Through Business Card

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Further Related Readings

Comments
  1. Sam December 1, 2010 at 2:37 am

    Creativity is one of the main factor which helps to standout your business card in the crowd. Nice detailed explanation, thank you very much for this beautiful article.

  2. apartamentos madrid por dias December 1, 2010 at 9:28 am

    The most important thing is to be taken very seriously. If you are able to design a good business card is almost certain that you will every other piece of artwork for the particular Clie

  3. Tayyab December 1, 2010 at 11:26 pm

    Thanks a million for the positive feedback friends. The next part will also be published soon and I hope you’ll like that one even more than this part.

  4. Fresh Business Cards December 2, 2010 at 2:29 pm

    Nice article, business cards are very important in future contacts !!

  5. EddFredd December 8, 2010 at 6:07 pm

    Changing sizes is great, but be careful. If your business card doesn’t fit in with the other business cards it might go into the garbage.

  6. Tayyab December 9, 2010 at 11:21 pm

    EddFredd! I completely agree. In fact, let me add another point, usually these cards are carried in wallets, so it should not be so large that it wouldn’t fit in a wallet’s pocket.

  7. Daniel December 21, 2010 at 4:39 am

    Good info. In my opinion designing the business card should be done according to the mood of the business. Sometimes a extremely professional card does not fit the needs of the business and backwards. It is a matter of creativity and at some point psychological analysis on how people will react.

  8. Tayyab December 21, 2010 at 6:39 am

    @Daniel
    Thanks for your comment and agreeing with us. You are absolutely right, a business card should define the prospect of the company/organization. Its designing needs to be similar to other cards of the same industry and market. Being creative within this quantum, that’s the test for anybody’s imagination.

  9. Dana Davis December 29, 2010 at 11:07 pm

    That ATM card looks so three-dimensional that it really stands out. When a card shape is unique and related to the business of the person handing it out it should be vastly more effective.

    1. Tayyab December 31, 2010 at 11:25 pm

      @Dana Davis
      It seems to me that you like uniquely designed business cards, have you checked our recent post: 20+ Extraordinarily Creative Business Card Designs

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