Do you remember the last time you received a business card? The weight of the paper, the clean, crisp design, and the text helped you understand who that person or business was in an instant?
In an increasingly digital world, being able to share a tangible, well-designed business card is a unique way to stand out from the crowd. Whether you’re a freelancer, marketer, or a small business owner, if you’re looking to grab attention, having your own business card will help you to create that amazing first impression.
While designing a business card may seem complicated, with free and low-cost online do-it-yourself graphic design tools and readily available business card templates, there’s no need to search for the best graphic designer or pay hundreds and wait weeks for a professionally designed card.
Even if you have zero design experience (or can’t draw to save your life!), by keeping these six rules of great business card design in mind, you’ll be able to design an awesome business card for next to nothing in just a couple of hours.
Tip #1: Start with the essential elements
Coming up with a business card design can seem overwhelming, which is why it’s critical to start with the basics. Before considering your imagery, font, or color-scheme, begin with the most essential elements:
- Name or business name
- Job title or business tagline
- Contact information (phone number, email, address, website, social media, etc)
Once these key elements are in place then you can start dreaming up more creative elements.
Tip #2: Use an easy-to-read font
When you put your name on your card, it’s tempting to want to use elegant cursive or ultra-modern fonts. But people will only be able to remember your name if they can read it!
For this reason, it’s essential to use a font that’s clean and legible. Use an easily readable (and ideally large) font that can be read from far away or by those with poor vision. If you have an established brand font, use it. Businesses that don’t have an official font can never go wrong if they use a familiar font such as crisp Helvetica, classic Times New Roman, or bold Rockwell.
Tip #3: Don’t clutter your card
It’s easy to want to add a little bit of everything to your business card. However, simple design is often the best design. Be sure to leave some white space on your card. If you fill the space with too many images or the name of every service your business provides, you are going to confuse your prospects.
One of the best ways to keep your design polished and professional is by using premade, customizable business card templates. Premade templates are an excellent resource if you’re looking for design or style inspiration. Plus, templates can be instantly and easily customized to fit your brand and industry.
Tip #4: Emphasize your logo and brand colors
Do you have your business card to remind people of your competitors? Of course not! That’s why, if you want to be memorable for the right reasons, you need your design to be on-brand.
Your logo symbolizes your business, so make sure it is prominently featured along with your brand colors. That will help people to instantly identify your card with your business.
Unsure what other colors to add? If your brand colors are navy and golden yellow, then a safe bet is to use different shades of these same colors paired with neutrals like black, white, or beige. If you want to learn more, Hubspot has an excellent overview on how to use color theory in your design.
Tip #5: Learn from others in your industry
Instead of designing your business card from scratch, look at what others are doing in your industry.
For instance, real estate companies generally feature images of houses and have refined design elements, while salons use imagery that evokes a feminine, flirty, and glamorous vibe. By using your industry’s typical design conventions as a starting point, you can create something that both resonates with your audience and uniquely represents your brand.
Tip #6: Think about orientation
When designing your business card, carefully consider what sort of layout–horizontal or vertical–will showcase your information best. While a horizontal design is standard, having a vertically-oriented card can be better for listing information and can create a unique visual impression.
Great business card design should be simple and affordable
Well-designed business cards are a critical way to stay top-of-mind with prospective clients, but great design shouldn’t be limited to those who can afford to work with a graphic design team!
By understanding these six rules for designing a great business card, anyone can quickly and easily make professional business cards–without having to master complex design software or hire a graphic designer.