Business cards are self-introduction letters and social networking cards for modern people. Business cards are indispensable tools of communication, especially when you have a big circle of friends and business partners. It is often said that a person who don’t know how to use his or her business cards is a person lacks communication experience. What are the do’s and don’ts in making a business card? How to make the best use of your business cards? To get the answers, first, you should have a basic idea of main contents a business card contains. No matter you are a manager in an international corporation or a small business owner, your business card should contain the following items: names of you and your company, logo of your company, your contact information and the categories of your business.
What To Write
As mentioned above, you should tell people your name, what your business is about, and how to contact with you. Include department you belong to in the business card. Put your titles in it so as to let others know how to call you. If you have got more than two titles, just select one or two. If you are doing business with foreigners, you should put the contents in English or a language they understand in one side of the business cards.
Unimportant occasions, especially international business communications, there are three don’ts. First, don’t scrawl on your business cards. For instance, some people alter their phone numbers directly on their business cards. Giving others business cards with scrawling not only damage your image, but also doesn’t respect to the other side. Secondly, don’t put home phone numbers on business cards for working and business. Lastly, don’t list too many titles on your business cards.
Business Card Design Ideas
After getting a basic idea of do’s and don’ts in making a business card, it comes to the step of designing. The followings are some tips of making good business cards:
- Don’t make it too large or too small.
- Most card holders and card packages have unified specifications. Therefore, it is better to keep your business cards in accordance to them.
- Generally speaking, the number of the colors of a business card should be limited to three. Too many colors will make your business card disorderly and unsystematic.
- Without special reasons, don’t put your photo on business cards.
- Don’t need to put any motto or aphorism on business cards.
Handing Out The Business Card
Know how to exchange business cards with others is equally important as knowing do’s and don’ts in making a business card. There is a basic rule in exchanging business cards:
- People with lower positions should offering hand their business cards to seniors firstly.
- Secondly, friendship cannot stand always on one side. When you get business card from one person, you should give yours to him or her.
- Another thing you should pay attention is that having a look after you receive a business card, or else, the other side will think you don’t respect them enough.
Computers have made business card designing and printing a lot easier than it was a couple of decades ago. There are several business cards printing websites these days which also offer guidance on how to design business cards depending upon the nature of the business. Designing a business card is important, now that there are more effective alternatives to business cards.
Drawbacks of Conventional Business Cards
- People either leave the business cards in different drawers, or keep them all in one place.
- Searching for one business card from many cards is time consuming, especially when faster search options are around.
- The rewards for spending time for searching the business card are inadequate because not much information is available on these cards.
- For more information, the person may have to visit the website of the business, or call up the numbers on the card. Thus, conventional business cards are only as useful as yellow pages.
Alternatives to Conventional Business Cards
The list of effective alternatives to business cards includes brochures, coasters, social networking sites, “iPhone apps”, resource cards, USB drives, and other innovative ideas such as using the business materials for making the cards.
Some of these effective alternatives to business cards may essentially be marketing tools, while others may also have an additional function. Here’s a brief overview on them:
- Brochures: These often include information about discount offers, or other complimentary services, luring the person to visit the shop.
- Social networking sites: These sites, like “Facebook” and “Twitter” are also effective in targeting market options.
- IPhone Apps: For instantaneous access to several people in different locations, “iPhone apps” are ideal marketing tools.
- Company Goods and Services: Some business enterprises, such as plywood merchants use their materials for printing their contact details, effectively giving such business cards a distinct identity amongst the scores of business cards.
- Resource cards: These are quite similar to business cards. However, these are effective alternatives to business cards because important information is available on the reverse of these cards. This forces the receiver to keep these cards carefully, and use them regularly.
- Branding USB drives: These serve as a reminder of the business in a manner similar to coasters.
- Coasters: Those with attractive designs and materials serve a function, so the contact number of the business using them for marketing is not difficult to trace. Moreover, even the visitors may notice the name of the company on the coasters. People use coasters for a long time, so the business enterprise giving coasters with its contact details would remain in mind for a long time.
Drawbacks of Alternatives for Business Cards
Such effective alternatives to business cards also have drawbacks.
- Brochures are voluminous, social networking sites require access to Internet. The same goes for “iPhone apps“.
- USB drives are essential only for transporting information from one system to another.
- These days, people come in contact with others on flights and other premises that ban the usage of cell phones and internet. This is the area still wide open for business cards.
Trends in business cards designs
To compete with effective alternatives to business cards, printers have come up with compelling business card design ideas. The object of using such business card design ideas is to improve the visibility of the business cards, and make a lasting impression. Example of such a card would be dental impressions on the card for a dental care business. Some companies combine gift cards with their business cards. There are confectioners who offer chocolates with wrappers serving as their business cards.
One of the most interesting business cards is that of Airborne Express and Logistics. This card is, in fact, a tiny envelope. The words “No delivery too small” say it all. Some businesses creatively add their location map on their business cards. Others may use a catching phrase, which cannot be forgotten.
Business cards are important as it shows the most important component of your job description and your identity. You can always ask the business card publishers to create the best business card for you but it will take some time to build from scratch. That is why business card templates are important in making a business card. You can design your business card first at home before giving the design to the business card publishers.
The business card templates that you use can come from various sources. You can find online about free business card templates easily. They come in various formats and shapes but the most popular template will be from Microsoft Word. Free business card templates for Word are easy to modify and edit because almost everyone knows how to operate Microsoft Word. There are also other Microsoft business card templates for other programs like the Microsoft Publisher. This program is perfect for creating business cards however it comes with a high learning curve to use the features effectively.
Advantages of Designing your own Business Cards
- First, you will be able to show the business card publisher on how you want the card to look like. It may just be a preliminary design but it is enough for the designer to know your business card’s preferences.
- Second, creating a business card before going to the business card publisher will also save you some consultation fee. There are several designers who charge a lot for designing business cards from scratch. Some of them even charge the customer by hour. If you want to spend less on your business card but get good results, do your business card designs using business card templates beforehand.
- Last, it will give you satisfaction because you are able to create your very own business card. Even though you create it using ready-made business card templates, it is still an achievement to be proud of.
However, if you try using business card templates to create your cards but unable to get the best design that you love, just hire a professional to do your work. It might cost you more but at least you will get the outcome that you wanted. These professionals will be able to give you the best business card design ideas to find your preferences. The advantage of hiring a professional to do your job is to save time. The hours that you spend creating your own business card can be done in just minutes by these professionals. Whether you decide to hire a professional or just do it on your own, make sure you relate your business card designs to what you are trying to promote. Ensure that your business will be the main focus on the template of the business cards you want.
Business cards are cards that bear important information about your business. During the old times, a business card is more formal and does not have beautiful designs like the present ones. This is because the importance of the business card is to make the receiver know about the company. The trend has changed these days where a business card will also be the attraction to make potential customers interested to use your product or service. The business card size is the most important aspect in making an attractive business card.
Important Attributes of a Business Card
- What size is a business card is vital. This is because you must ensure that the receiver will be able to store it somewhere he or she will always look, which is the wallet or a purse. However, you do not want them to mistake the business cards for credit cards.
- The standard business card size is slightly smaller and lighter than credit cards. If you want the estimation on what is the size of a business card, it is exactly 3.5” x 2”.
- Not only the business card size is important, the font size and typography must also be analyzed first before printed. The font size must not be too small because it will be hard to read.
- Make sure that you only put the company logo, company name and your name on the front. The other important details can be put at the back.
However, these suggested attributes are entirely dependent on your taste. Hire a professional to do your business card so that you get some business card design ideas from the designer before deciding on the final look of your business card.
There are also instances where you want your business card size to be different from others. In this case, you may not use the normal business card size. No matter what is the size of a business card that you have in mind, make sure that it does its job, which is giving the important details to the receiver of the card. In terms of design, make sure that it is not too flashy unless it gives the impression that you are working for an art company. Avoid unnecessary decorations and make your business card looks sharp and sleek. Having a smart and educated appearance is not enough, even your business cards need to be ‘handsome’ these days.
When it comes to choosing the best business card design ideas, there are a bunch of options out there. Most people who get a business card want it to stand out among the crowd but at the same time, it still needs to represent the business that you are in.
Below you will see some of the most popular business card design ideas based on different businesses. If once you read this you still aren’t sure about what business card design ideas you really like, then you should look around and figure out how to design a business card properly.
Business Card Designs Based On Profession
Real Estate – The most popular business card design ideas in real estate are houses, for sale signs, happy families in front of houses and all of this is in a formal-looking theme which usually uses dark colors. The reason for the dark colors is because a real estate professional doesn’t want the bright colors to take away from the message of the actual card.
Landscaping – Landscapers have a much different view of design ideas than a real estate agent does and that is because they cater to a different crowd. The most popular business card design ideas for landscapers are lawnmowers, manicured lawns, bright flowers and anything that portrays a manicured landscape. As a landscaper, it is vital that you add bright colors to the pictures on the card, however, you need to keep the text dark enough to stand out but light enough to blend into the overall card.
Accounting – Accountants deal with money and finances, so naturally, putting money related designs on a card is the most popular business card design idea that there is. As an accountant, it is important that people know what you do without actually reading the card, this is why adding a money sign or a dollar bill to the card will help out. One thing that is good to know is that most people look at the right hand corner of cards first, so, make sure you describe what you do in the upper right hand corner.
Childcare – Yes, childcare professionals do have cards. The most popular business card design ideas for a childcare professional are a happy baby or children playing. There are some childcare professionals that would argue that the best design idea is a yard toy, however, some people could construe this as a card for a toy maker or retailer.
Other Business Card Design Ideas and Tips
If you want the best business card design, then take your time and think about what message you are trying to give off and the best way to go about it. Oftentimes, businesses overdo their cards, which they quickly regret because nobody knows what you do based on a quick glance at your card. Just do yourself a favor when you design your own business card and keep things simple and to the point.
Consider is having another professional look at your business card design idea and tell you if they like it. Most of the time there will be things that you won’t see that others can quickly point out. Just have a rough draft of your business card printed out and show that to different people, this will help you come up with the best business card design ideas.
Lastly, don’t limit your business card design ideas on what is visual. You can also add a unique feel to the cards simply be incorporating folds or other materials aside from paper or cardboard. The card doesn’t necessarily need to follow the standard size that naturally fits in most wallets and cardholders. Today’s society largely accepts unique business cards made of clear acrylic, rubber, metal sheets, leather, burlap and so on.
Be it embossed, torn, burned in the edges, look like movie tickets, dog tags and other ideas in between, having a totally unique business card automatically makes it a very remarkable and noticeable. What you just need to ensure is how the information is placed wherein it wouldn’t defeat the purpose of being known to the profession in mind.