How to design your own business card

How to design your own business card

Posted: Wed 8th Jul 2020

In the realm of printed business materials, your business card is your most valuable marketing tool. And considering its size and cost, it's likely to be the hardest working member of your team.

So, without further ado, here are the five key components of foolproof business card design...

1. Stand by your brand

When brainstorming the design concept of your business card, you're usually faced with the decision to go bold or keep it simple.

Both these routes, when executed effectively, can give great results. But if you're not sure which approach to take, stand by your brand's identity and the nature of the service you offer.

Certain industries go hand in hand with more creative or gimmicky concepts, while others will benefit from a smart, sleek and understated design. Be sure the design rings true to your business.

2. Bells and whistles

If you're designing your own cards, it's worth keeping the old adage 'less is more' in mind. Use one or two fonts, favouring legibility and timelessness over those that are experimental or eye-catching.

If you go to networking events regularly, consider that people may want to write notes on your card about how they met you, so think about going for uncoated.

If you travel around a lot and business cards are likely to sit in your wallet, laminated paper will make sure it stays in top condition longer. It's important to stand out, but the greatest contenders will do this in an understated way.

3. Size matters

Obviously, when you hand over your business card, you want the recipient to hold on to it! A pretty simple way to make this more likely is to design your card to be a standard, rectangular size. If someone can't fit your card into a wallet or card holder, they might misplace it later.

4. Content: The 85 x 55mm challenge

By nature, business cards don't give you an awful lot of room to represent your business. Obviously, contact details are key, so include your name, company name, title, phone number and email address at the very least.

But don't make people guess what you do. Use at minimum a strap line about what you offer. How you use the rest of the card will depend on your type of business.

If your business is particularly creative, visual or design-led, it may be worth including an image or your logo. If you work in digital, your web address or links to social media accounts may be more relevant. There are two sides to every card though, so use them both!

5. Time to invest

With any start-up or small business, there are certain areas where you can cut corners to save on cost. But business cards are not a corner to be cut.

Every time you hand over your card, it's like handing over a mini-representative of your company, who has the ability to say a great deal about your business ethic. High-quality paper and professional printing are paramount.

If you're not confident in your own design abilities, it's worth investing in a graphic designer to do the job.

Think of first and lasting impressions when it comes to business cards. Everyone has been handed a card that actually lowers their opinion of that business's credibility. It's harsh, but it happens to us all.

The number-one item that any new business contact will take away after your first meeting will be this small bit of card, so make sure yours gives off the impression you want.

Relevant resources

Enterprise Nation has helped thousands of people start and grow their businesses. Led by founder, Emma Jones CBE, Enterprise Nation connects you to the resources and expertise to help you succeed.

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