In this age of social media and instant online communication, you'd be forgiven for thinking the classic printed business card obsolete. But in reality, this classic networking tool is alive and kicking.
For freelancers and contractors, especially, having a supply of well-designed business cards on hand can really help you make contacts and find work.
A good design is a key part of your card's effectiveness, however. While a plain, unattractive, or poorly thought out business card will let you pass on your details, it might not quite have the impact you're hoping for.
Follow these tips and create stunning cards that create a memorable first impression and help you build your network.
Know the dimensions
Business cards have a standard size, which is 3.5 by 2 inches. Although you may be tempted to stray from these dimensions to stand out, there's a reason they came to be standardised. It's a convenient size to carry, and it fits well into wallets. Bigger cards risk causing inconvenience and making a bad impression; smaller ones can look unprofessional and are likely to be lost.
When you're designing your card, it's useful to include a bleed area of an extra 3 millimetres on each side. This ensures the design goes right up to the edges with no unintentional gap.
Keep it simple
There's no need to tell your life story on your business card. Your name, job title or area of expertise, and company name if you have one should all be on there. In addition, your phone number and email address should be sufficient contact details. If you're a creative who has an online portfolio, include the web address for it.
Beyond that, you shouldn't need to add any other details. The small space can quickly become cluttered and difficult to read.
Touches of colour can really personalise your card, helping it to stand out. Borders, coloured logos or blocks of colour work well, but try to keep it looking classy. Make sure the text is easy to read if you want it in a colour other than black.
Use the back
The back of the business card can be used to add extra details, but don't put anything essential there as it might be missed. If you do use the back, keep it very minimal or the card will become confusing. A company slogan or short description of services are good examples of things to include here.
Consider slight variations
Subtle touches like rounded corners, embossed text and textured paper can make your card stand out for the right reasons. But excessive quirkiness like circular cards or strange materials risk pushing things too far and putting people off, so avoid anything too outlandish.
For more information, contact a local printing company.