You’d think that getting a business card was easy, which indeed it can be, but at the same time there are so many potholes just waiting to take unsuspecting newcomers entirely by surprise.
Business cards are the perfect tools for totally undoing what may have otherwise been a fantastic first impression.
The moment they lay eyes on the wild and wacky thing you’ve handed over, all that happened prior probably won’t mean jack.
As such, it’s of crucial importance to bear in mind not only the rules of effective business card design, but also what not to do when it comes to making the right impression. This is after all a crucially important marketing tool, so it’s more than in your best interests to take heed of the following warnings:
1. The Slightest Errors
Whether it’s a single word spelled wrongly, a letter in the wrong case, or the annoyingly incorrect use of an apostrophe, these are the tiny little details that are likely to see your business card taken about as seriously as a terrorist running for Defence Secretary. Suffice to say it just isn’t going to happen, so rather than ruining what could easily have been a cracking business card with silly errors, go over it several times over with a fine-tooth comb and have someone proofread it before it’s printed.
Speaking of printing, what’s just as off-putting as the above example is a business card that seems to have been printed either on a low-grade printer or while the ink was running low. Faded, skewed, smeared or generally imperfect business cards never fail to give the entirely wrong impression about who you are and what you do – unless of course you’re trying to come across as second-rate, in which case, job done!
3. Too Much Or Too Little Information
While some fall into the habit of cramming their whole life story onto the back of a business card, others write nothing more than their name and expect that to be enough. In about 99% of instances however, what works better than anything else is a sensible balance between the two – enough information to remind them who you are and what you do, but nothing superfluous or excessive.
4. A Non-Standard Shape
So, you’ve had a great idea of making your business card stand out by designing it to be a different size and shape to the conventional. Bad idea, as while it may indeed look different and perhaps even be eye-catching, there’s a good chance it won’t fit properly in the business card holder, organiser or rolodex of the recipient. Instead, it will annoy them and end up in the bin.
5. The Wrong Angle
Last but not least, be sure to decide prior to going ahead what you want your business card to be and do. If, for example, you plan to hand them out en-masse to thousands of people you’d like to snare with promos and deals, feel free to use both sides to advertise special offers, discounts or anything you’d like. If on the other hand the card is reserved only for select business contacts and networking purposes, steer clear of the promos and stick with your own personal details only.