After watching cult millennium blockbuster American Psycho and witnessing Patrick Bateman’s infamous envy-induced killing spree, we felt it was our duty to help you get the most out of your business card. Contrary to popular belief, books are judged by their cover and you will be judged by your business card so it’s vital that you project yourself in a way that will give any reader a great reason to get in touch.
Despite being considered a dying art by those tending towards new-fangled technology and the digital age, this pocket-sized piece of information can still pack a knockout punch when it comes to your marketing plan and business promotion. Small in size but paramount in nature, your business card is the taste left in somebody’s mouth long after you’ve wound up the conversation and agreed to ‘catch up via email first thing Monday morning’. Done well and done with the backing of some necessary market research, a business card can provide you with the sweet, sweet taste of success.
As a self-diagnosed sociopath with a violent streak and a serious case of the green-eyed monster, Patrick Bateman winds up murdering a whole string of innocent people in the most gory of ways. His jealousy is sparked by his colleagues’ choice of “tasteful thickness”, “raised lettering” and “subtle off-white colouring” when comparing their respective business cards. Now, Bateman may seem like an acutely irrational psychopath but texture, colour and overall appearance really are that important so whether it’s a potential customer or prospective client, it’s time to impress!
Here are some important things to consider:
Size – Business cards can come in many weird and wonderful designs from matchboxes to coasters – edible, even – but we’ll stick to the regular card design for now. Provided you aren’t going for an engraved bottle opener or text-printed balloon, the standard size for a business card falls at 3.5 x 2 inch. Smaller measurements can work but bigger dimensions may mean your card not fitting into a standard card holder or wallet and subsequently ending up in the nearest waste bin.
Weight – Weight and thickness of the stock used to print your business card on can vary from fairly flimsy to firm and sturdy. We recommend opting for a firm stock with substantial weight to project a professional, polished and confident attitude. Low thickness paper can appear cheap and can be easily water damaged or torn in transportation.
Colour – If you’re going to stray away from the safety net of black and white then look to complimentary shades for a visually appealing and engaging aesthetic. Opt for your company colours to keep in line with business branding and create a truly professional finish. A standard catalogue will provide you with 5-15 colours to choose from but most printers will be more than happy to go over the Pantone Matching book with you to get your design just right.
Finish – From premium gloss card to sustainable recycled paper, the world is your oyster when it comes to the finish of your business card. Bear your target audience and unique branding in mind when making this choice as touch and texture is as key as content in engaging the recipient, who will be developing their crucial first impressions within the first minute of meeting you.
Essential information – We’re going to make this one easy for you with a checklist:
Company (and company logo)
Social media handles, QR codes and straplines are features that are appearing on business cards more and more frequently but as long as the reader can get in touch with you quickly and easily, simplicity and ease is key. Font size should stay between 7-8 point apart from name and business name, which can look great up to font size 14. Make the card multipurpose by using the reverse wisely – maybe use it to display a map to your office as a clever finishing touch.
When it comes to placing your order – the more the merrier, or at least the more the cheaper. Purchasing in bulk means you can justify the extra money you’ve spent on high quality stock and finish, plus you never know who you might bump into. Saving your design in PDF format will also enhance the print quality of the product and avoid any unprofessional fuzziness that can be caused by JPEG and PNG files. Before you do, make sure you double, triple and quadruple proofread to avoid any unnecessary setbacks further down the line.
Now you’re ready to get started on your design! There are plenty of online templates and tailored software available to help you get the ball rolling and ensure you feel confident when it comes down to that all important exchange. But remember, the main thing to keep in mind is that no matter what the shape and size, your business card needs to be informative, memorable and most importantly, true to you and your industry.
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About The Author
We work very closely with our expert accountants to bring you the latest factually correct tax and accounting news. We also enjoy writing about small business news that we hope you find useful!