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How to design a business card

How to: business card design

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I was designing a replacement set of stationery for a client this morning and the usual questions came up: What should be on a company business card design and what is optional? It’s useful to know that whether you are running and established company or a new business startup the same rules apply.

So where do you start?

Well, the standard size for business card designs which is the same as credit card size is 85mm x 55mm (if you’re working in inches then divide by 25.4) so most business users stick to this. However this maybe the first place to start in making your business cards standout by making them different.

A couple of technical points to watch out for:

  • It is recommended by most printers to keep any important text or graphics away from the cut line by 3mm (5mm maybe more visually pleasing)
  • Don’t make the text size any smaller than 6pt. As a guide 7-8pt is a good start – unless you are dealing with a typical audience who are visually impaired then you should design to suit

What should you include on a business card design?

The following items are recommended for inclusion within your business card design and are roughly in the order of priority but this can vary:

  • Company Name/logo & branding style
  • Contact name
  • Job title
  • Telephone number (+Extension if applicable)
  • Mobile number
  • Website address
  • Email address
  • Postal address
  • Fax (yes really – some people still use these!!)

What you don’t have to include

Business cards are not a legal document so here are some things which are not required that you might see on other items of stationery such as a letter or an invoice:

  • Company registration details
  • VAT number
  • Address (this is optional but useful unless you are purely trading online)

Other options to consider:

  • QR code (Quick response) – These are becoming more and more prominent on business cards and offer a direct access for smart phones with QR readers to access additional information and provide a business with additional tracking for their website visitors
  • Imagery – Although you may have a company house style that should be adhered to, using additional photographic imagery will help your business stand out and look more interesting

Double-sided business card designs:

Well, you may think that’s an awful lot to squeeze into a small space. Well it is, but I prefer to create cards that are double-sided which allow the information to be spread out across both sides. The cost of printing double-sided business cards is hardly any more than single. So why not use that additional space to get across your message in a clearer way?

You could use the reverse of your cards to include information about your service, what makes you different and how your target clients could benefit from coming to you. I like to have a larger and clearer website address on the back of cards because if you can get visitors to go to your website it’s another touch point to cover off and opportunity to engage.

If appointments are important to you then why not include a space for writing a date and time. It’s a good way to make sure they hang onto it. But remember, laminated cards are difficult to write on, so consider the finish of your cards if you don’t want to annoy!

Make an impression!

You may be using your business card as an introduction at a networking meeting or visiting a client or colleague for the first time so make it count. There are plenty of ways to make sure your business card design stands out – Does yours?

Here are some ideas:

  • Colour and imagery
  • Print finish
  • Varnish and foil block
  • Rounded corners
  • Different shapes and sizes

So, if you are looking to freshen up your business card design and want some help, contact us on 01621 842348 to get started.

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