Get it right with our free foolproof checklist to business card design!
Everyone in every business has and uses business cards on a regular basis. They are a vital tool in giving you a professional appearance and more important now than ever in getting your name remembered above your competitors, especially at networking events, tradeshows, business meetings and when handing out to clients – I’ve certainly felt the fool on one occasion where I’d forgotten to put more in my wallet and couldn’t hand one over when requested, and let me tell you, after my cheeks turned the colour of something that resembled ‘lobster’, I only made that mistake once (and funnily enough, I didn’t make that sale either)!
The humble business card has made it’s mark as a staple item for today’s professional, it is therefore key to ensure the design is perfect in order to maximise it’s potential and reflect the person, and company, whose name appears across the top of it – a simple spelling error, or forgetting to put your website on, can do real damage to how professional and crucially, TRUSTWORTHY, you are perceived by your potential customer.
With this in mind, it’s my objective to ensure that never again should anyone be embarrassed by their business card, and with this, I present:
The AC Print Ltd Free Foolproof Checklist to Business Card Design!
1. The essentials
What do you need your business card to communicate to your customer / potential customer so that they can contact you when they need you – this is your key content. They should be able to instantly see this information and not have to go looking for it. The obvious things are:
- your name
- company address
- telephone number
- your email address
- company logo
Tip: only put on the telephone number where they can actually reach YOU. If you are never in the office, why waste space on your business card, and your customer’s time, by putting it on – use your mobile number instead.
You may also wish to include your job title here, but consider this: is it necessary? What will adding your job title achieve for you? If it creates a better working relationship with your customers that they know you as ‘Bob, that really great guy who always sorts out my artwork for me, from Bob’s Design Agency’ rather than ‘Bob the Executive Director of Graphic Design at Bob’s Design Agency’, then go with that. Essentially, it’s what works for you and how you are going to use your business card, there is no right or wrong here, but make sure adding a snazzy title won’t alienate your customers, or conversely, demean your perceived role.
2. Additional Information
Don’t forget: there are two sides to every business card. In terms of cost, it’s generally only a few pounds difference in printing double or single sided – so make use of it. Here you can add some really useful extra bits of information, such as:
- website address
- office hours
- price lists or promotional offers
- company slogan
- social media icons
- customer incentives
- fax number
- list of key products or services
The key with adding your additional information, is not to make it too messy, keep the information neat and easy to read by only selecting the information your customers need from you – this will be different to every business sector so really think about what things will work hardest for you here. I would always recommend your website and social media icons if nothing else, we live in a world where most people will Google you before calling you to check out your credibility, so give them the means to by including this information here.
3. Brand Consistency
Your business card needs to look like it belongs to your company, so should have the same branding on you have used for everything from your workwear, to your van, to your posters. If your background is black, don’t make it yellow on your business cards – your customers won’t make the link between your business card and your business, which could potentially mean they don’t connect with you in future, as quite simply, they don’t realise it’s you!
People will recognise imagery before they recognise the name on the card, by keeping your branding consistent, you are re-enforcing your brand in the mind of your potential customer, the more opportunities they have to see your branding, the more they will remember you, and the more likely they are to recall your company when they need you, rather than someone else.
If you are using a designer to create your business card artwork, give them a bit of creative freedom, after all it is their job to create the best design possible for you. Yes give them all the key information you need to communicate, but consider asking them for 3 different designs for you to pick from, I guarantee they will surprise you with something you never would have thought of yourself – just make sure the finished artwork is consistent with your branding.
5. Check, check and check again!
Check your spelling. Check your grammar. Check the telephone number is correct – ring it to make extra sure (yes I have seen it happen before, in fact I have even known someone accidentally put their home phone number on instead of work number!).
Get some-one else to check it too – this is by far my top tip, always get some-one else to check for errors too as two pairs of eyes are always better than one!
Check everything is spot on before you give that seal of approval, as once they are printed, if there are any errors, you will have to pay to put them right, which neither you, your designer, or your printer want, so it pays to spend a little extra time here.
6. Print Options
Your business card reflects you and your business, what do you want it to say about you? Print it on a good quality card, with a good quality finish, you can even go for some extras to make you stand out like rounded corners, lamination or metallic inks – speak to your printer about what options would work for you.
Your business card is something you should invest in, as it is often the first, and lasting impression your potential customer will have of your business, and something they will keep hold of. A tatty, cheap looking business card, will not do you justice, when for minimal expense, you can have something much better representative of your business.