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Friday, October 13, 2006

Does Your Business Card Get Dumped?

You've carefully worked out what to put onto your business card. Or you've forked out hard cash for a designer to produce a great card for you.

What if your cards are almost always landing in the bin?

They're not much use to you there as a continuing reminder to your prospect of your product and services are they?

I did a review of the business cards I've collected previously and highlighted the errors people can unconsciously design into their business cards.

Since the review I've had more business cards pass through my clutches. And still the same old issues arise.

...only showing mobile phone, not showing what the company does, no address, no offer and on and on. 

My pet irritation is oversize business cards because they just don't fit through my card scanner.

Yet amongst the all the hum-drum cards I finally found a business that another marketing company has shown how to produce a better business card. It's still not perfection but it's way down the road compared to 80% of cards I've collected.

Anyway in this post I thought I'd take a more positive approach and highlight the way design can be used to improve any business card.

I'm going to talk about the following aspects of the design process:

  • Paper quality
  • Card size
  • Font
  • Graphics and Colour
  • Congruent Message design

Paper Quality

 Choose the best quality you can afford. Don't use plastic cards, laminated cards CD cards because:

  1. Cds don't get watched
  2. Plastic is difficult to impossible to write notes on

Card Size

Please make it a standard size. Yes by all means be quirky, be interesting, even be off-the-wall but make it so I can get it through my card scanner. Otherwise it goes in the bin.

Maybe other people think like me too? Because odd sized cards don't easily fit into card cases or other card filing systems that are around either.


Please choose a font we can all read. I use Times Roman but there are plenty of other equally clean fonts.

Don't use quirky or unreadable fonts that look great and match your image but don't help me to read the card or its message.

Font size should be such that even those with a little age-related detoriation can read them, even if only under a bright light with their arm outstretched.

Graphics & Colour

The font colour is personal preference. I prefer black on a white background. I've discovered that some business cards choose font and card colours that almost match each other and the result is an almost uniform colour with unreadable text.

By all means put your logo on your card. But remember that people are more interested in what your business can do for them.

Photographs should be treated with caution. If you're showing a photo of yourself remember that a card can be kept for a long time and you will change.

If you're a photographer a mini photo gallery is good. Similarly a design studio.

Other graphics should be related to the business. If they're not they shouldn't be on the card at all.

Congruent Message design

Your card should reflect your company ethos  to your prospects and clients in the way it's designed and in its content too.


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