Professional printing services are often asked what it is that makes for a winning business card design, having been exposed to literally thousands of different variations each and every year.
Pinpointing an exact blueprint for the ‘ideal’ business card design is tricky for the simple reason that the approach must be tailored in accordance with what it is the business does and how it likes to be represented.
That being said however, there are certain rules that underpin successful business card design and should be followed in at least 99% of instances.
So, before sending your shiny-new business card design off for bulk printing, take heed of the following:
Less Can Be More.
Filling in every last millimetre of white space just for the sake of it is not necessarily the best idea. If, for example, you’re an executive and would prefer to make a good impression, there’s nothing more effective than a card with just your name and contact details. The reason being that these kinds of cards essentially scream “You know who I am, I don’t need to sell myself” or words to that effect. If, however, you’re a newcomer to the world of business and don’t operate at such a high level, you might indeed need to sell yourself a little more.
One Side or Two?
There’s a pretty clear rule of thumb to follow when it comes to choosing whether to use one side of the card or two. If, for example, you’d like the card to advertise you personally as an individual or as a representative for your business, it’s a good idea to use one side only. If you’re looking to transform your business card into something of a mini advertising flyer in its own right, use both sides. Executives and business types hand out one-sided cards – taxi drivers tend to hand out two-sided cards, which illustrates the difference pretty well.
While it can be tempting to choose a business card design that’s larger, smaller or a different shape to the standard variant, don’t do it. The reason being that it will not fit in the recipient’s business card holder or organizer properly, but will instead become that annoying card they can’t do a deal with other than throw it in the bin. Suffice to say, this isn’t the result you’re gunning for.
If you’re going to go against the grain and use a colour other than white, try to keep it as neutral as possible. It’s again an extreme example, but if a high-flying executive was to give you a business card fashioned from metallic silver card or covered in neon pink stripes, would you be able to take it/them seriously? Probably not.
Last but not least, what matters above so many other pointers however is the quality of the paper and indeed the printing service you go for. A business card that’s faded, skewed or splattered all over a piece of barrel-bottom paper of the lowest quality says more about the kind of person/business you are than a million of your own words ever could. So for the sake of your reputation, don’t cut corners.