Three Tips for Designing a Business Card
First cut is the deepest
Many non-designers are not aware that when using services like Vistaprint or Moo for bulk printing business cards, they usually trim the business cards in bulk as well. When programs like these cut your cards down to size, there may be minor receding around the edges. Take a look at a pack of old business cards and you will see the edge of your design slowly shift as if it were cut away. This is a common practice that designers take into consideration as opposed to a layperson. You might make the mistake of placing your logo too close to the edge of the card design, risking that by the time the fiftieth card is trimmed, the logo begins to cut-off.
Tip #1: Make sure there is a fair amount of white space (negative space) along the edges of your design. Keep important design elements, such as your text and logo, within the “safe zone guides,” which are usually provided by programs.
It’s not what’s on the outside but what’s on the inside that counts
It is very important to have the right content and the right amount of content on your business card. Before you begin designing, make sure you write out what you absolutely need on your card. Often times, business owners include entirely too much information on such a small space, making it more likely for the receiver to ignore the card in its entirety.
Tip #2: A simple, clean – straight-to-the-point business card dramatically improves readability. However, be sure not to leave out the truly important information. A card with just your name and title may seem like an edgy idea at first but making it too difficult for someone to look you up later is a turn-off.
This may be one of the most important features when it comes to creating a business card. We have seen way too many designs spoiled, not because of the visuals, but because of the font choice. Font type and size is very important when working with a small space. Think about decorating a small room, you want white walls to make it feel bigger. You get appropriately sized furniture and place it a certain way in order to make the space attractive, and most importantly, livable. This applies to business cards as well.
Tip #3: Use a san serif type with a bit of leading for general information such as your address, phone, email and website address so that users can easily find and read it. Keep the sizes reasonable on general information as well (between 8pt – 11pt). If you want to bring attention to important information, weights can be your friend, but don’t overdo it. Save the fancy display type (serif) for one-to-two lines of text only – name and/or title, for example. Most important of all: make sure you only use two fonts maximum!
All in all, you can be very creative when it comes to layout, images, and colors. But, if you take the above three tips into consideration, you will have as a result an amazing set of professional-quality business cards that pack a punch for sales success!
Be kind to one another,
Even in your dreams.
Nelinda Levy, Infinite Owl’s Chief Creative, is a creative lead veteran having worked in a variety of industries and settings, leading design teams. She frequently visits her alma mater, Simmons College in Boston, to speak on behalf of the creative industry and mentoring students in the art of digital and print graphic design and technical careers. She is our lead artist and creative strategist. On weekends, you will find her in a crowd of gaming buddies, family members, and quite possibly engrossed in the most current epic drama on streaming media.