Business card design

How a properly designed business card is one of the most important parts of the image you project.

Designing a business card really isn’t like designing anything else in your brand or identity system; which should at minimum have logo, business card, letterhead – or more commonly nowadays, email footer or signature, and can have other things such as sales material, notepads, invoices, vehicle graphics, web site.

Your card is often the first exposure someone will get to your business brand or identity – it will probably be seen more than your letterhead or email signature and by more people. Your cards could be passed around from person to person without your knowing. It needs to clearly and instantly communicate who you are and what you stand for whilst at the same time suggesting quality and reliability.

So don’t just settle for VistaPrint’s thousand cards for £50: They’re badly printed, cheap and generic and will make you and your business look cheap and generic. Someone receiving an unpleasant card will subliminally assume you’re not taking your business seriously, or are running it like a hobby.

And don’t do it yourself! There are rules…

  1. Don’t use Comic Sans (for anything at all); your business is not a joke!
  2. See rule 1.

A designer won’t choose any default Mac or PC font for your business card because it would send a very bad subliminal message: Just as the feel and quality of cheaply printed cards does, it suggests that your business is generic and lacks originality. Your card should differentiate you and help your business stand out from the crowd. Times and Arial (not a real font, in any case) are so familiar that they will fade you into the background of the typographic landscape.

Having said all this, don’t go on to pick a silly font that looks like flames or is very curly or “gothic”…

There are graphics and aesthetic rules about what fonts should and can be used, where and how. A designer will know what kind of font to use near to the font in your logo for example, without weakening it. S/he’ll know how big to make the type, which weights or variations of the font to use and where. A designer will maximise the use of the tiny space available in a business card, s/he will know how to use colour, layout and positioning to convey style and sophistication.

A properly designed and nicely printed card will win you business, get you remembered and get you ahead in the race to be noticed.

Kevin Simpson can design and supply artwork for card that will help you stand out from the crowd. Get in touch to find out how quick and easy it is to up your game by improving your image.

Jan 2011, Kevin