Today, I’m sharing 6 Tips for Designing Business Cards. “Can I have your business card?” This is a question that most people encounter at one point or another in their professional lives. Most companies will provide business cards for you. However, if you’re a freelancer, independent contractor, or even a blogger, you do not have this luxury. If you fall into any of these categories (I’ve been all three!), it’s doubly important to have your own business cards because your name is your business. You are responsible for promoting yourself. Since I just got my new business cards printed, I put together a few (very) general tips for making your own business cards.
6 TIPS FOR DESIGNING YOUR BUSINESS CARDS:
- Less is more.
For the love of everything holy, please resist the urge to print your headshot, clip art*, and 20 photo thumbnails on your business card. All you need is your name, title, business name, logo (if applicable), and contact information. Attempt to add anything else and you risk cluttering your tiny little business card. WHITE SPACE IS YOUR FRIEND.
- Don’t scream.
Let me explain: I have been asked to design or re-design business cards in the past, and I’ve noticed the tendency of large point/font sizes. Anything bigger than 9pts** for your contact info and it looks like your business card is screaming at the reader. A bigger offense is using 10 different decorative typefaces like Papyrus and Curlz* (barf) because then your card looks like a screaming toddler. People don’t like it when you scream at them, so don’t.
- Ask for help.
I admit to being very biased on this point, but I’m going to say it anyways: Consult a designer (if you aren’t a designer yourself). Designers are your friends. They know how to set up design files for a printer and can talk to you about colors and typefaces (or fonts) that will complement your personal brand. If you know a designer, ask them for their opinion over a cup of coffee or a drink at a bar. If you want to ask your designer friend to design the cards for you, ask them for a quote or a fee. A designer’s time and talent should be paid for—even if they’re your friend. If you don’t know a designer, almost every online printing service has a design team that will consult with you for a small fee. At the very least, ask someone you trust if your card design looks okay.
- Align your branding.
Designing your business cards can be very exciting, but don’t let the excitement take over your design. Your business cards should look like an extension of you and your personal brand. If your business card has tiffany blue cursive, but your website is black with bold sans serif (like Helvetica), you start to send mixed messages. Your website, social media accounts, business cards, and any other printed collateral need to have a seamless look and feel.
Don’t buy business cards just because they’re the cheapest. Business cards are the items you leave behind after you’ve met a potential employer, collaborator, or sponsor. If your business card is printed poorly on cheap card stock, it can get lost in the shuffle or even discarded. Opt for cards with a thicker card stock and heavier weight. The weight and sophisticated look leave an impression with people. Heavier card stock business cards also tend to have better printing results. Also, digital printing is not your only option. Don’t be afraid to try something awesome like letterpress or foil stamping. The options are endless.
- Spell check.
If your website or email address are spelled incorrectly—or worse, your name—it makes it hard for people to find you. Use spell check on your computer AND have a friend look at your card before you send your files to the printer. A fresh set of eyes can help you spot errors.*Never ever use clip art, Papyrus, or Curlz.
**There are very few exceptions to this rule. Proceed with caution if you decide to break this rule.
Six general tips for designing/making your own business cards by Butter & Type.
I printed my new business cards through MOO, but there are plenty of other online printers to choose from. Also, don’t be afraid to work with a local printer in your city! Just remember to ask questions when you’re unsure of anything.
Did I miss anything? Do you have any pressing design questions? Post a comment below!
If you’re still in need of a little inspiration, I’ve got you covered. Go out there and channel your inner Queen Bey.
Go be a diva.