It would not be wrong to deem business cards a multi-faceted tool that effectively fulfils many basic needs for professionals belonging to all sorts of fields, including advertising, PR, contact details, and more. When designed appropriately, these pocket-sized posters can make lifetime customers from passing strangers and create a long-lasting impression.
Business cards are tiny, printed, generally credit-card-sized cards made up of hard paper that entails your business info, such as name, brand logo, and of course, contact details. Not many businesses realise this, but the design of a business card is a critical part of their branding and should be a visual extension of their brand personality and design.
In this ultimate guide on designing a business card, we’ll explore everything you must know about designing a business card so that you know exactly what you are looking for when you meet a designer.
Designing A Business Card In 7 Simple Steps
Before you begin designing, it’s important to finalise two essential design components: your logo and colour scheme. Not only will these elements play a colossal role in designing your business card, but they’ll also influence other facets, such as identity and card layout.
In addition to this, you should also know what you want to communicate through the business card, not just with words but also with the design. Reflecting on your brand will help resolve some design concerns down the line, especially when it comes to exhibiting your or the brand’s personality.
Now, these two things are out of the way, let us begin designing a business card:
Step 1: Choose a card shape
If you prefer conventional rectangular business cards, then please skip ahead to the next step of this guide. However, if you’re into a bit of fun and would like to learn about other unique options, keep reading.
As printing methods have advanced over the years, more affordable and out-of-the-box shapes are available. Due to this, now you can explore alternative shapes that are unique, quirky and fun.
The most popular printing technique of the modern world includes die-cutting, through which you can bulk print business cards in any shape. Therefore, if you really want to stand out, feel free to use virtually any shape: product outlines (ketchup bottle?), animal mascots, or a shape that is fully original. The sky is the limit! An online print shop that deals in business card printing can help you choose a shape best suited to your needs.
Step 2: Choose a size.
While there’s a hard and fast rule pertaining to business card sizes, they are generally printed as 55 mm in height x 90 mm wide in Australia. This size allows key details to be easily viewed by clients and will let cards conveniently fit in business card holders and standard wallets.
Step 3: Add logo and/or graphics
The logo should always be the focal point of a business card, though sometimes other graphics may also be useful. Moreover, remember that a business card has two sides, so be sure to optimally use both.
Here’s one approach: you can devote one side of the card exclusively to the logo, whereas the other side can exhibit your contact details. This is simply one approach, though. Feel free to experiment with designs till you find one that best serves your needs. Additionally, if you do not like empty spaces on the card, you have the option to fill it with secondary graphics.
Step 4: Add essential text
What a business card says depends entirely on you. Thus, the next step in designing a business card is for you to decide what text goes on the card. Below we have shared some common choices. However, you can decide what to include and exclude:
- Company/brand name
- Phone number
- Social media
- Website URL
- QR Code with logo
Step 5: Consider the layout.
Once it is decided what text is going to be added to the card, the next step is to consider how it looks. When it comes to business cards, typography is extremely important as you need to make sure the text is clear and readable, and there is only limited space to work with. Therefore, the golden rule is to always prioritise typography. Here are few layout tips that can help in business card designing:
- To ensure the text is clear and readable, the text should at least be 8 pts.
- Pick text colours that complement the card’s background theme.
- Choose a text font that embodies your or the brand’s personality.
Step 6: Consider special effects.
Now that you are nearing the end, it is time to consider printers – especially regarding what they can offer. Certain printers provide special finishes that can help you make a lasting impression. Some of the popular special finishes seen used in business cards include embossing, foil stamping, letter pressing, spot UV coating, and foil stamping.
Step 7: Finalise design.
With all factors in place and a projection of the business card’s final colour scheme and special effects, you can reassess the design to ensure everything works harmoniously. For this, you should first assess the visual flow: what is the first and last thing you notice? How do your eyes move when seeing the business card?
An ideal visual flow should begin with the logo, followed by the name and other secondary information or images (if any). Remember, you can always optimise and alter the visual flows by changing a component’s location and size.
In addition to this, also make sure the text isn’t cluttered. Think about what information is necessary and what’s not. Lastly, double-check everything to make you do not fall into any silly pitfalls.
Business cards are more than just pieces of paper entailing your name and contact details – it is a representation of you as well as your brand. Remember, business cards are handed every other day, so make sure yours stands out in the crowd and projects your image in a favourable light. Do not rush when it comes to designing business cards. Rather spend sufficient time to create the perfect design.