The Business Card

An Ancient tool with Modern Application

The business card is an elegantly simple business tool that has been around for centuries. Most historians trace the modern business card all the way back to the 15th century, when Chinese aristocrats would announce their arrival with calling cards. Their calling cards may not have included mobile numbers and e-mail addresses, but they served a similar purpose to today’s business cards, nonetheless.  

But in today’s increasingly digital environment, the role of the business card is evolving. Paper-based collateral doesn’t place as strong a role as it once did in business interactions. For that reason, the way we design and even make use of business cards in the 21st century has changed. In this post, we’re going to evaluate some of those changes and take a closer look at how a name card can best serve you in today’s business environment.  

What’s the Purpose of Your Business Cards in Perth?

Greenlea Print has been one of the most trusted printing companies in Australia, established in 1984 in Adelaide & relocating to Perth in 2009, We’ve seen the role business cards play in business interactions change during our years of service. Not so long ago, their primary function was to convey contact information so that new clients and colleagues would be able to easily remember your name, telephone number and address and associate it with the company you worked for.

But in today’s interconnected world, the business card doesn’t really serve this purpose anymore. In fact, Forbes even published an op-ed declaring ‘Business Cards Are Dead’. The argument was that in the age of social media and job-hopping Millennials, the card doesn’t serve much of a purpose anymore. You’re better off just connecting with other professionals on LinkedIn.

But this ignores the other major role that business cards play: making a positive first impression. When two people meet in a professional context, one of the first things they do is exchange business cards. Everything about this card – from its appearance to the way it feels in hand – contributes to an overall first impression.

You only get one first impression, and your business card plays a role. If yours is poorly designed or made as cheaply as possible, the other person is going to take notice – at least on a subconscious level. By arming yourself with a business card that has been designed to subtly impress, you’ll be giving yourself a crucial advantage from the initial introduction.

Your Business Card Is One of the Subtlest Marketing Tools in Your Arsenal

Your business card accomplishes more than merely helping you make a positive first impression. It also serves as a marketing tool. A well-designed card will embody the brand, which is why careful attention must be given to the logo, theme and colours used on the card. But that’s only the beginning.

Your card also markets you to its recipients. And the context in which you will be handing out the card should be taken into account when it’s being designed. If – as mentioned above – positive first impressions are your number-one priority, then you’ll want to focus on visual design and tactile quality. You want the card to impress from the moment it enters the hand.

But suppose you spend a lot of time at trade shows where thousands upon thousands of cards change hands each day, you’ll have slightly different goals. Instead of relying solely on first impressions, you’ll also want your card to stand out from those of the competition once recipients are back at the hotel room organising the day’s take. In this case, something flashier (or otherwise memorable) is going to be required.

Above all, take some time to think about the context in which you are most likely to hand out your card. Allow this to dictate the design considerations, and be sure to communicate this with your graphic designer before you arrange business card printing in Perth.

Embrace the Art of Keeping It Simple

There’s limited space on a business card, and this means it may take some textual acrobatics to get everything on the card. In your effort to squeeze in as much relevant information as possible, it is easy to overdo it. Unfortunately, this can detract from the overall effect of the card – or even render it more or less useless.

To begin with, the standard business card sizes that we work with are 86 x 54 mm and 90 x 55 mm – but we can also work with custom sizes. Custom-sized cards may make more of an impact (or at least stand out from the crowd), but they’ll run into other problems as well. Namely, they’re not going to fit in standard business card holders, and that makes it all the more likely that the recipient will misplace or lose track of it.  

The rest is a balancing act. The font size needs to be large enough to read comfortably, but small enough to allow the inclusion of enough relevant information. Finally, think long and hard about the information you are going to include. These following four items are essential:

  • Name
  • Company logo
  • Phone number
  • E-mail address

You may also want to include other forms of contact information, such as a mobile number, fax number or link to your LinkedIn profile. Just make a point of not overdoing it. Too much clutter makes the card unreadable.

Don’t Be Afraid to Innovate with Your Business Card

One of the most difficult aspects of designing a modern business card is determining how far to take innovation. As we mentioned above, making your card stand out is a great way to get yourself noticed within your niche – but this can also backfire. Above all, you need to have a strong grasp of your target recipients’ values.

Regardless, there are plenty of ways to innovate with your business card design. Something as simple as rounded edges can make your card stand out the least bit. Or you could even follow the lead of some more creative professionals who are even emblazoning the back of their card with a QR code. This code would link to a static webpage containing additional information or even a portfolio of past projects. This makes excellent use of the space on the card without adding more clutter.

Greenlea Print has more than three decades of experience offering printing services in Perth. If you’re ready to reinvent your image with a set of cards that are in tune with your industry and brand image, then get in touch with us today. We’ll walk you through the process of designing and creating a set of stunning business cards.