We might be in the age of technology, but the paper business card is still one of the most important and least expensive tools you can have for your business. Since I have been working on Designers Circle, I have collected over 2,000 cards for my files but, unfortunately, a lot of them are very hard to read or don’t have key information. Your card is an extension of your business and yourself. Design it wisely.
Here are some important points to consider when re-designing your card:
Use your logo as the biggest or most noticeable element on the card. Simple dark fonts on a light background are always best. Stay away from those fancy fonts that are hard to read, or color combinations that make it difficult to decipher. People should not have to squint to read your business name or wonder what the name is if the font is too fancy or illegible. Which brings me to size. Yes, size IS important. When I have to use a magnifying glass to read your contact information, there is a problem. Many emails are using a period between your first and last name. Please make the dot larger than a spec or you won’t get your email.
Your card should have your phone number with area code, that you will answer personally. Include your email and your website, if you have one. Don’t keep this contact information a secret. Websites and emails lead to business. If you are concerned about getting spam or too many junk emails, filter and/or your categorize your emails, or just use the delete function. Learn to control your emails or they will control you, but that’s another subject.
Don’t cram your autobiography on your business card. People don’t need to know your company history, awards and mission statement and everything you have to offer. Save it for your website, or better yet, set up a meeting and explain what you do, but don’t clutter your card.
QR codes have become trendy and are starting to be used on business cards. I have noticed about 10% of the cards I get, have them. Don’t know what it is? CLICK HERE
If you use social media regularly, put it on your card. You can use the icons for Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook or any of the other social media platforms, if they are appropriate to your business. If your Facebook pages have all your family and friends photos, leave it off your card. Your clients really don’t need to know where you and your friends hang out, what they eat or what your dog did. Keep it professional.
And for Heaven’s sake, bring your cards to networking events. They only work for you if you hand them out.
I have a Q on my card but it is part of the design. I too need to magnify the contact info. That is the very important part of the card.
Size and font IS important!
Too many people try to be clever, and what’s with that gloss finish on both sides? I make notes on cards to remember to follow up or where I met you, try to write on the gloss finish. I use a card scanner to import cards into our database and many times the scanner can’t read a blue or red font with a dark background. Got to think of these things.
Ok, here it is, I use an APP, yes i said it, I use apps on my iphone. One of them is called “camcard”. wonderful little tool that snaps a photo of the biz card and actually slams all the info into your contacts and I am quite delighted by the fact that it is 99% accurate. Its quick, easy and a no brainer. It even stores the original photo if you want.
Here is the kicker, those wanna be graphic designers who get to cutesy with their information and logo combination can make my app, camcard, says, “what the heck am I reading”
This happens to cards with very weird fonts and color combos, cards designed with angles and triangles. If it takes more than a nanosecond for a human to get it then you failed.
I once was handed a specially cut card( scissors) that was crooked and they even got their web address wrong! My first thought was thet they didnt care enough about their biz so why should I? Did anyone find a weird biz card under their appetizer at one of the Happy Hours? It was me.
So in today’s world like Nancy writes, keep the card simple, memorable and make it app ready. Old school biz card meet new school biz card reader!
Note: i do like the idea of the Q reader–on the back only.