10 Tips for a Great Business Card

Sometimes it’s easy to overlook the obvious. For instance, that guy has really shifty body language but we’re going to trust him anyway. Nobody wants to do business with someone who has ordered 500 free business cards from a global retailer, when they’re cheap, flimsy and have the printer’s logo on the back.

Hey, we’re just being honest.

Obviously, if you’re a start-up you are just building connections and trying to get your reputation and name off the ground and ‘out and about’. There is nothing that tarnishes your lasting reputation, than a poor first impression.

That, friends, is fact.

With that in mind, here are our top 10 tips for great business cards!

1.    Keep it simple

Business cards are usually fairly small and rectangular (although there are also times that those rules are thrown out of the window), so you don’t have much space to play with. It pays to enhance the white space and keep your design minimalist, although you can also consider resizing logos, text and other elements to ensure this small space gets across your message.

2.    Important information only

As we’ve already said, there really isn’t much wiggle room on space, so which pieces of information matter most? Is a phone number, email address, website URL and physical address all necessary? Keep your text well-spaced and avoid cramming extra things on and destroying the overall feel of your business cards.

3.    Avoid borders and consider bleed

Borders are an option, but they also involve risk – yes, really. When you send your artwork to the printers, if it has a border on, you run the risk of it being printed lopsided – all there needs to be is slight movement on the printer and already your border is out of proportion. Bleed (usually 3mm thick around all sides of the artwork) should always be considered for this very reason, learn more here.

4.    Are you colour shy or a vibrant identity?

What are your brand colours and what do your guidelines suggest that your visual identity is? Think carefully about your use of colour and remember that a business card has to be both eye catching and legible. It’s also important to remember to choose CMYK over RGB mode, so when your business cards are printed the colour quality isn't compromised.

5.    To be social or not to be social?

We live in a world where we should all be social and shouting about our various profiles, however do they really matter in the grand scheme of that tiny business card? Sometimes it’s best to leave things off – if a person is interested, they’ll use your website and find your social buttons there! The question is, who are your audience and how do they find out about you?

6.    Show off your products and services

Why not use the space on your card to highlight your products, services or work? If you’re in the creative industries or have a company of a visual nature, it’s worthwhile considering getting your products printed onto the reverse of your card or underlay of your contact details.

7.    Apply common principles of design

Don’t forget the simple rules of design and if you don’t know anything about design, employ an agency that does.

Remember we can proof all work and make suggestions for a bespoke product!

Some key points:

  • Keep copy 5mm from the trim edge
  • Maintain a minimum typography size to prevent it becoming too difficult to read
  • Design in CMYK colours if possible – ask your printer for their professional opinion on colour usage

8.    Think about the reverse side of your card

People know that contact details belong on a business card, but that only covers one side – what about the other? Most of the time people will lay your card flat in storage and fail to see the reverse side. However, that doesn’t mean it has to be left blank. Use:

  • Mission / tagline
  • Image of product, service, skill
  • Social media information

9.    Density 

Avoid looking like a cheap company who doesn’t consider the impact of their first impression. There are a number of premium stocks and specialist products that can ensure the texture and thickness of your business card leaves a lasting impression, before the copy is even read.

Find out about our premium stock

10.Proof, proof, proof!

ALWAYS check that your copy is error-free! Once you’ve sent your artwork to the printers, there is no going back. Of course, we offer a pre-printing proofing service, but you should always strive to send your artwork error-free. Ultimately, most print companies will leave the costs of that typo to you!

What more do you want? Perhaps you want to see samples of our business cards and how we can give you that lasting first impression that most companies miss out on.

  • Speak to us now by emailing or tweet us at @TradePrintUK