Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Design Tips For Business Cards

Design Tips For Business Cards

Any full service professional printer which has been around for a while has probably printed hundreds of thousands of business cards. That means that they have seen all the standard styles as well as many gimmicks and one of a kind designs. From this experience, it shouldn't be too difficult to come up with a little tutorial on what to include - as well as what to avoid - in the design of business cards. Here is a tutorial derived from experience which is worth your time -

First, don't crowd too much onto the plate. Some people put too much on a business card. If your card looks "crowded" it may be something of a turn-off. The trick is to think in priorities: what do people really need to have?

The Basics:

Your name, title, and key address information: street address, phone, email, website, social media.

A logo may be important, particularly if you are part of a well-recognized company. The logo signals that you are part of an established organization.

The Maybes:

A key slogan or promise of performance - assuming that it is an integral part of how you do business. If you really practice

Complete satisfaction or your money back.

Then you may want to include that simply because it is a powerful message.

Pictures or illustrations. There can sometimes be a justification for using illustrations or pictures to show a key product. For example, if you make a one of a kind product or you provide a product or service which is obscure or not well understood, an illustration on the back of the card may be helpful.

Religious symbols and messages: There are some businesses which are owned by people of strong religious beliefs and they want to signal that affiliation to potential customers. If you are marketing to people who you think will be receptive to this approach, you can certainly give it a try. There are, however, a couple of drawbacks:

Most people hire services on the basis of competence only.
Some people will view this negatively due to their own beliefs.

The No-Ways:

Fonts which are bizarre or difficult to read.

Leave off anything that smacks of irrelevance to your core business, including personal philosophies or political statements.

Amateur creative designs. If you want a creative design, you'll need a little talent. Too many people believe that everyone is naturally creative. Too many people believe that any idea that you can think of will work well on a business card. These are somewhat widely-held misconceptions. Most people who are capable of coming up with creative designs have many years and many thousands of hours working in design or graphic arts or the arts themselves. Very few people who do not have this sort of background can come up with a strong visual design for a card - or anything else.

Your best approaches to the issue of creativity are as follows:

Hire an established "creative" type who can show you several options; or,

Work with a professional printer who can advise you on design; or,

Keep it simple: white, ivory, a simple pastel, with no other design elements.

The author, who is associated with Conquest Graphics, is a nationally recognized expert on all aspects of printing, print marketing, the internet and social media. Contact Conquest today for more tips on what makes sense for your business card.

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