Business Card Brilliance 101

A primer on how to design a business card so it doesn't suck.

Posted on: July 20th, 2011 by Shaun Hensher 6 Comments

Your business card is super important. It is often a prospect’s first impression of your company’s image. You don’t want to mess it up. So to help you avoid that American Psycho moment, I’ve assembled a few helpful tips.

  1. Hire a graphic designer (ahem, nudge nudge)!

  2. Use a highly legible font (and use 2 fonts at most!). Usually a nice simple sans serif or serif typeface is best. Try to stay away from decorative or script fonts unless you know what you’re doing, and please, for Pete’s sake, no Comic Sans!

  3. Keep it simple. Don’t try to put every piece of information on it. Logo, name, position, contact info (phone, fax, email, website, twitter), maybe a slogan, maybe services list, that’s it.

  4. Incorporate lots of white space. Let the bits of information breath.

  5. Hierarchy. The most important components should stand out the most (ie. be the largest/boldest, have the most white space around them, etc.). The typical order of hierarchy is: logo, name, services or slogan, contact info. Naturally, there are exceptions to this.

  6. Hensher Creative business card

  7. Use the back side. Why waste all that real estate?
    Do something creative on the back, make it an expression of your company’s identity.

  8. Spend a little extra on good stock. A nice heavy
    card stock stands out in a stack of typical flimsy
    cards and feels like quality.

  9. Consider using a unique die cut. Rounded corners
    are always nice and prevent your card from getting dog-eared. Maybe cut it in a shape that says something about your product (eg. if you’re a food company, why not have a bite taken out of one side?). But always make sure your card fits in a standard business card holder — you don’t want it to get lost or thrown out. examples

  10. Consider special printing techniques. Spot UV/varnishes, embossing, letterpress, etc. can really add a special touch.

  11. See Tip #1. I’m available anytime.

Of course, these are just guidelines. There are no hard and fast rules in design, and plenty of designers break these “rules” to great effect.

In reality, there’s no substitute for the hand of a professional. If you can fit it in your budget, do it. You won’t regret it. However, if things are tight and you can’t afford to hire a designer, follow these basic guidelines and you’ll be well on your way to a better business card.

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6 Responses

  1. Great article! I LOVE the picture. It is so true. I remember seeing a sign scrawled out in bad handwriting, offering “proffessional services.” That was about 20 years ago and I still remember it.

    Thank you for sharing your wisdom!


  2. Audrey Ross | coconut grove luxury homes says:

    Business cards are the first impressions of a businessman. Its important to design in such a way that it makes a positive impression on the other parties. These days there are many ways to design great business cards.

  3. jeniffer says:

    This is stunning article.I love to read this and picture.
    It is very useful information.
    Thanks for the sharing.

  4. Joan Vonnegut

    That’s a good tip. Well-designed business card can help our company give a good first impression and send the right message.
    Joan Vonnegut recently posted..Three of the Best Family-Friendly Miami Luxury Condos this 2012My Profile

  5. Jess says:

    Loved the American Pscyho link thanks for sharing that. These are some great tips thanks. Your business card says a lot about you and your business so it’s important that you make good quality and unique cards so you can send the right message.

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