When it comes to networking, business cards are one of the most effective ways for you to leave a lasting impression on potential new connections. Whether you’re handing your card out at an event, meeting someone for coffee, or sending one in an email as a virtual introduction, your card should clearly and concisely display pertinent information about who you are and what you do.
These little pieces of printed paper can come with a lot of pressure. After all, they’re your first impression as a brand and serve as a bridge between networking partners. That said, coming up with the right design is much easier if you take things one step at a time. Whether you’re looking to redesign your current cards or create them from scratch for the first time, this article will walk you through the principles behind designing the perfect business card for your project.
Determine your brand’s purpose
Before you even think about picking a card type or color palette, it’s important to reflect on why you’re even creating business cards in the first place. Your brand’s purpose can inform every step of the design process, from choosing the right card type to selecting your font and color scheme.
Why do you need business cards in the first place? Is it because you’re looking to scale or grow your project or brand in new ways? Do you want to increase your presence at conferences and events? Or are you simply looking to expand your network? It’s important to consider the long-term goals of your project and how your business cards can help you achieve them.
Pick the right card type
It's crucial to bear in mind the main reason you're making business cards in the first place while deciding on the appropriate card type. For example, if you’re looking for new conference opportunities, you might want to steer clear of the conventional “business card” design and opt for something flashier and more attention-grabbing. On the other hand, if you want to expand your network, you might choose a more traditional approach. In other words, there isn't a single card type that works best for everyone, so you may need to experiment a little to find the ideal option for your project. Below are some of the most popular card types that could work for your project.
As mentioned above, conference cards are great for when you’re looking to increase your conference presence. These tend to be flashier than normal business cards and are often designed with large images or bright colors to draw attention. They can be a great way to put your project on the map and connect with people at conferences.
Postcards are a fantastic option if you’re looking to grow your audience in new ways. They’re a great way to get your project in front of people who don’t know you yet or whose inboxes you don’t have access to. Postcards are a great way to showcase your project in a creative way—and can be printed in a number of sizes and shapes.
Stickers can be a great way to showcase your brand and put your logo on a physical object that people can actually use in their day-to-day lives. They’re great for branding your laptop, journal, or other belongings. Plus, stickers are the perfect way to put your logo on your laptop bag or journal without having to worry about the sticky residue that can sometimes come with adhering a patch or sticker to a piece of fabric.
Physical product sample
If you’re a designer or creator who’s in the process of building a physical product, it’s a great idea to include a sample card with your business cards. This can be a great way to showcase your design and the product’s functionality to new connections and clients.
Understand your audience
Now that you know why you’re designing business cards and what card type you’re interested in, it’s time to take a step back and consider who you’re designing them for. The name of the game when it comes to designing business cards is reflecting your brand and making an impact—but not in a generic way. This means putting some extra thought into understanding who your primary target audience is and what their primary needs are.
Keep it simple
While it’s important to keep in mind the needs of your audience, it’s also important to keep your cards simple. This means keeping your design focused on the most important pieces of information you want your audience to see—and steering clear of extraneous bells and whistles. This can be especially important when you’re creating postcards or stickers.
When creating your card design, ask yourself what the most important information is that your audience needs to know. Is it your name? What does your project do? Where is your business located? Once you’ve identified these key points, keep them front and center on the card—and be sure to keep everything else simple and concise.
Ask yourself the right questions
Once you've determined the purpose for your card, chosen a card style, and kept your design straightforward, it's time to step back and ask yourself a few important questions. These questions will help you determine what your card needs to say—and will make it a lot easier to come up with a card design you love. Some of the questions you may want to consider include:
What is the primary service or product your company offers?
How does your company differ from your competitors?
What does your company do?
What does your company believe in?
What is the target market of your business?
What are your project’s social media handles?
What do you want your business card to say?
What is the name of your project or company?
Find the most important pieces of information
Once you’ve identified the most important pieces of information that your business card needs to convey, it’s time to put them on the card. This means deciding where to place your name, logo, and other pieces of information on the card—and what font, color, and format to use. Even though it could seem like a difficult undertaking, doing this can be a lot of fun.
To get you started, here are a few ideas you can use to put the most important pieces of information on your business card.
Name and logo
The name of your company or project is one of the most important pieces of information on your card. Make sure it’s front and center on your card, ideally in a large font size. The logo of your company or project can be either beside or underneath your name—depending on the size of both.
If your business is a brick-and-mortar location, be sure to include the city and state where your business is located. If your business is online-only, you may want to include your website address or social media handles.
This is an excellent spot to use terms and phrases that describe your business or project in an instant. If you want to expand your social media following, this is also a great spot to use hashtags.
Even with the rise of digital contact information, business cards are a necessary part of networking and advancing your career. Business cards can be an opportunity to stand out, especially if you’re just starting as a freelancer or in a new industry.
Let your personality shine by designing a card that makes an impression. A well-designed business card can give you an edge over competitors and show potential clients that you’re serious about your work. Consider these tips when designing your next business card. Visit SYP.net for more tips and advice to help your business stand out from the crowd.