The Dos and Don’ts of Professional Business Cards Design
Professionals and business owners use business cards as their “store front.” It’s not meant to be a first impression, but a lasting one. For this reason, it’s critical that a professional business card designer is experienced in industry leading tools and software to bring the image to life.
This article is based on my experience with business cards. As marketing professionals, it’s our role to advise clients on their best branding options, which also includes their budget. The best professional business cards design for the lawyer may not
work for the construction foreman. Check out the options for professional business cards designs and the pros and cons for each.
Over-designing Your Professional Business Cards
The saying goes: less is more. For professional business cards, the saying's never been more true. Strategically designing your professional business cards is important to determine what to include on the cards.
1) Keep it simple
The first rule in professional business card design is to keep it simple. No one needs your fax or pager number because no one uses those archaic forms of communication anymore. A first and last name, business name, slogan, business address, direct phone number, and email address is the right amount of information needed.
2) Include a logo
Your logo is very important. It is the symbol of your business brand. Before using your logo, however, it's crucial that you protect it. Registering a trademark for a business logo and name
is the best practice for brand protection. Doing this can help save time, money, and unwanted headaches.
3) White space is king
Having a design and contact information on your professional business cards must be the main focus, which is why it's not always the best to use colorful backgrounds. If a colorful background is wanted, it's critical to keep the back side white. Other than letting the information "breathe," the white space is important for networking on the go.
White space allows for someone to easily write reminders of who the person was, where the meeting took place, and what he or she professionally does.
Online Business Card Providers
There are different online options to order professional business cards. Some offer templates with basic design and text features to create business card designs. This is an inexpensive option and easy to use; however, there are some setbacks when using professional business card design services online. Setbacks include the limited choices of templates and design, the lack of collaborative design with a professional business card designer, and, most importantly, the fact that others will share the same design and template as you.
A law firm client decided to print their own cards using a popular online printing company. This client attended a large conference and planned to hand out the new business cards and other marketing materials. The order was made and the delivery date was set. Unfortunately, on the day of delivery there nothing arrived. The company failed to update our client and when a call was made, it appeared that cards were “lost.” The client made a rush order, but the cards didn’t arrive to the hotel until half way through the conference. It was a disaster. Don't set yourself up for a disappointment by entrusting your rush orders with an online company located on the other side of the country.
Ordering Business Cards from Local Stores
Many times, opportunities and events come up last minute. These times call for a basic card design and fast printing. It's simple to walk into a Staples or Fed-Ex to order your professional business cards. When doing this, however, keep this in mind: the store uses a handful of templates with minimal design options and are not impressive. Those professional business cards are created by employees with little to no creative bone, and are limited to simple computer and cutting knowledge.
A client decided to take his card design last minute to a Fed-Ex for printing. This was his first time doing this, but these business cards were needed within hours. Once the client picked up the cards, the print was smaller than expected and the printing appeared to be done in a rushed manner. Attention and time to detail was clearly looked over and the order was simply rushed. Not the best move, but if all else fails, only print a small amount to save money.
(Do not) Do-It-Yourself Method
Let’s be clear, if you're not an artist and don’t work with digital design, do not attempt to create your own professional business card design. Using Photoshop or other professional design software can help inspire your personal design. These tools are used by professionals to edit and create artistic images, but are also used by someone to create an idea.
It’s highly recommended that when creating a professional business card design yourself, you do so only for ideas. Attempting to create your design on your own without the right tools and experience will only bring mediocre results. Because business cards make lasting impressions, you must pass out a design that is a piece of you and your business.
Another law firm client of ours decided to go the DIY route. They designed marketing materials for a new service with a opt-in texting option. Although the client proofread the materials, the word chosen as the text included a space and resulted in very low traction. The opt-in texting service didn’t allow spaces in the keyword and when people texted the word to the number provided, it came back as an error. Very small mistakes with big consequences are prevented by hiring a professional designer to create materials from the beginning.
Hiring a design company with professional business card design experience is the best way to go. An accessible designer takes ideas and creates an effective image or logo. In addition, designers can customize your business cards and tailor it to your liking for the final card print. The expertise that a client receives from a design professional is more than someone who knows how to upload a design on the computer and press print. It includes a one-on-one understanding of the business brand, client desires, template options, and timely delivery. The price tag for the expertise is well worth it when compared to the money one may pay for initial cards and then pay more for more cards.
Tuispace provides professional business card design and top-notch service for all clients. We can review your current logos and branding strategy to determine the best design for your professional business cards.