We all know how important first impressions are in business, and in the impatient digital age, you need to ensure you aren’t forgotten. One business tradition that shows no signs of stopping is the giving of business cards, and when you visit a networking event or meet a client face to face, an exchange of cards is usually expected and gives the person a lasting reminder of you when you say goodbye. That’s why it’s so important to get the right business card, as you’re a brand ambassador for your organisation, and your card reflects this. But how do you know whether your business card strikes the right tone? What are the rules for creating an effective business card?
Quality is key when it comes to business cards. It’s possible to get cards printed online for a very low price, but they’re often terrible quality, and subconsciously, people you hand them to may suspect your company has low standards. It better to look for a company who make business cards in Perth or your local area and can give you options for paper quality, artwork, and types of print. You can then ensure your card is something that best represents your brand, and is going to make a statement for the right reasons.
When you’re handing out cards somewhere like a conference, the recipient will no doubt receive dozens of other cards that day, which means it’s important to make an impact. Using a template online to create business cards can really limit your options, and means you’re more likely to end up with the same design as everyone else. Going for anything too gimmicky might not give the right impression, especially if you work in a more serious industry, but there are ways to strike a balance between boring and engaging.
Some design options you could consider include:
- Using a thin plastic or high-quality card
- Metallic prints
- Die cut designs – shapes cut out of the card
- Glossy or matte finishes
- ‘Scodix’ – a very popular raised gloss UV print.
Having your card professionally designed and printed means that these features can be added in a way that’s memorable for the right reasons.
What’s your brand?
Knowing your brand is key to finding the right business card. The style and design needs to reflect your company’s brand, which will help you be an effective brand ambassador. When you network, you’ll be presenting your brand, and the card you hand over needs to reflect this. If your brand is concerned with luxury and high-end goods, your card should have a luxe feel, but if you’re focusing on saving money for clients and offering value, then a simple yet quality card is more appropriate. Think about the industry that you’re in too. A business card for someone in a media or advertising agency needs to be eye-catching and a little bit unusual, while those who work in finance or accounting might want to choose a more down to earth design.
Information to include
A business card should be easy to read and uncluttered, but it’s important to get the right information. With only a small square to place the relevant information, there are important decisions to make. You should include:
- Your first and last name
- Your business name and logo
- Job title
You can then decide whether to include:
- Your phone number – Consider whether you conduct much information over the phone. Some people who work in digital industries don’t use their phone anymore
- Website – Your company website is an easy way for them to find out more, just make sure it’s impressive and easy to navigate. A QR code can also bring people to your website
- E-mail address – Use a work e-mail, never a personal address such as Gmail
- Company address – This is only relevant if you have a shop or similar. Most people can visit your website if they need your address
- Social media – Only mention company, not personal accounts, and only include if they’re active and have useful information
- A company slogan or tagline – If it’s not obvious what your company does from the name alone, it’s worth including a few words such as a slogan to clarify
While you may have certain ideas about the look of the card, it’s best to leave the actual design up to professionals. They’ll be able to take your ideas and ensure they look properly balanced, ensuring the card looks business-like. By working with a printing company, rather than using a cheap online service, you can get a proof of your design and ensure everything looks good before it goes to the printer.
Choices such as the font can make a big difference between a business card looking stylish or cheap, which is why it’s important to have a professional create the design. You need lettering that is clean and crisp for readability, and to stick to one font wherever possible. If your company has a preferred font, one that’ll be used in other communications, then it’s important to keep the style consistent in your business card.
Using a company logo is one way to spread brand recognition. As a brand ambassador, it’s important to include a logo, or at least a version of it, and to use your company’s colours on your card. If your logo is too elaborate, see if the designer can simplify it when they create your card.
From the way you present yourself to potential clients, to the documents you hand over, first impressions are so important. That’s why you need a business card that’ll stand out from the crowd, but for the right reasons. While there are plenty of places to get very cheap cards, handing over a bad quality card made on a template gives the wrong impression in many ways. By having a quality, well-designed card made, you can ensure you look professional when handing it over, and be a good ambassador for your brand. From the design to choosing the right paper, getting the experts to create a card makes all the difference.