Trade Secrets: What Makes An Effective Business Card


An Effective Business Card – two little words that can strike fear into the hearts of those not exactly sure what they’re doing.

Just as the right business card design can win the hearts and minds of new contacts in an instant, get it wrong and you’ll effectively be handing out a huge business turn-off.

And of course, the fact that each and every business in each and every sector demands a slightly different take on things doesn’t make life easier for the first-time business card design protégé.

The good news however is that no matter what area of business you happen to be in, there are certain tips and trade secrets that can help make all the difference in the world.

The following examples of how to make an effective business card are perhaps the most important of all:

Less Can Be More.

There’s something that comes across as supremely confident about a business card with little more than the owner’s name and contact details on it. It’s a bit like saying ‘This is who I am, you should know the rest’ rather than having to sell yourself and communicate your life story. So, rather than trying to fill every square-millimetre with random information, don’t ever forget the power of understatement.

Know Your Intent.

Your business card could do one of many things. It could be designed to expand your base of contacts for pure networking purposes, perhaps you’d like your email database to see a few new names added or maybe you’re trying to market the brand you work for, rather than yourself. These and various other purposes all demand a very different type of business card – you really cannot expect to achieve what you’re aiming for without first establishing and outlining your intent.

Full Contact Information.

As a general rule of thumb, the more contact information you include on your business card, the more professional you come across. The reason being that if you have two office numbers, a mobile number, a business email address and more, it gives the impression that you deal with a huge influx of inbound communications on a regular basis and are therefore in high demand.

Size Matters.

It’s common to come up with a business card design that stands out from the crowd by being a different shape or size than the norm – something which on-paper at least is high-impact. Sadly, stray from the norm and your card might not fit on the wallet, card holder or indexation sleeves of those you’re giving it out to – it will however fit very neatly in the bin.

Back or No Back?

Whether or not you use the back of the card depends very much on your intent. Compare two cards side by side – one printed only on the front and the other on both sides – and chances are you’ll immediately note that the latter of the two looks and feels more like a conventional marketing tool. Double-sided use makes a card look more like a flyer or leaflet, which is of course just the ticket if this is your intent but might not be suitable in other instances.

Paper Quality.

Last but not least, nothing screams professionalism better than a business card printed on the most sublime-quality paper that does not wear, warp and fray in no time at all. By contrast, use poor quality paper and it really won’t matter what’s printed on the card as it won’t be taken seriously anyway.