5 Tips for Effective Business Card Design

A business card is an effective and arguably necessary tool to promote you and your business to key prospects. What will you show to your clients, or people you network with at a business conference?

At its essence, the card you present is the identity of how you represent your company, and it can even show just what kind of company you have. It is therefore necessary to keep in mind these tips that can help you design card that stands out from the rest of the competition.

1. Use the Right Size and Color
A common issue people generally make is when they finish the design of the card, only to find that their printer does not support the file type or the size and color is wrong.

The most used card size is 84 mm x 55 mm, so therefore the best document size to use is 1039 x697 pixels. For a higher quality print, make sure you use a minimum of 300 dpi.

For color, consider using the CYMK colour mode instead of RGB. CYMK is Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black, and is usually used for colour printing and for good reasons. CYMK is a subtractive colour model as opposed to RGB which is an additive colour model. CMYK minimizes amount of light that reflects on paper and overall works generally well on most print.

The majority of the time the RGB is used in displays such as your computer screen, meaning while what you see on screen may look fine it could look muddy in print. If you want to use RGB, always preview on CMYK to make sure it looks the same as in the display.

2. Include Key Information
Working with a limited amount of space is difficult, so you should maximize within the constraints. Include only the necessary information you think your client needs to inquire about your business.

Here are the most common information that you should put:

  • Your name and short background of what you do
  • Contact information such as phone number, emails, address, social media, etc.
  • QR Codes can help you minimize clutter in your card, and you can find generators all over the internet.

3. Apply Good Design Principles
The best approach is the simplistic approach. As stated above, only include the key information of your business. Don’t over-do it with the design of your card. Instead, consider using a more simple lay-out, as we say less is more!

An overlooked element of the design is the size of the text, often unreadable as it may either be small or the kerming is very noticeable. Make the text at least 8pt to make it clear, enlarge or bold the information you want to emphasize.

Lastly, use complementary colors to make your card aesthetically-pleasant to the eyes. Take note that your color scheme should consistent on your other forms of media such as Facebook or email. You can find many tools in the internet that experiment with color palettes to see what looks great.

4. Avoid These Common Errors
You should try and avoid using borders as printers have a set margin of error on them that may cut a few millimeters off your card, making the borders look uneven.

Unless your background is white, another thing you should take care of is the bleed area which involves marking the perimeter of your card, usually 3 mm thick, with the same colour of your background in your card design. This is to prevent any white border strips to show at the edge of your card.

You should also avoid putting temporary messages, such as your slogan, taglines or coupons in your card. Basically, anything that wouldn’t be a permanent message from your company. Therefore, all the information you include in your card should only be timely.

5. Double-check your Design
After all is said and done, it is necessary to check if your card design is all set for printing. Make sure to remove any guidelines, or that the text is outlined and embedded. Check for any grammatical errors in your text as well, as that may imply lazy editing.

Once you are done, you should save the file as PNG and not JPEG, as PNG is much more clearer to print. If you want a higher quality print, consider using a vector-based PDF.

A business card should be clean, effective, and promotes your company in a way that doesn’t over clutter itself with unnecessary information. Following this tips will ensure that your card design will stand out from the rest.

This article is written by gio_s199. You can order an article from him here.

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