First impressions last. You’ve got seconds to ensure that first and lasting impression is positive. A well designed, unique business card is a fantastic way to make a strong impression.
Business cards are they key to presenting yourself in a good light and impressing important people. If you think of designing your first business cards soon, or changing the design of those you already have, here are some tips to keep in mind.
Decide on a concept
Do this by thinking about the customer you’re trying to impress, and deciding what would tell the story of your business for that customer. Your images (if you use any), colors and textures should all be consistent with your existing marketing materials, and all of those should be right in line with the brand values that distinguish your business from everyone else.
Decide on specifications
- Size: The most common business card size is 84 mm by 55 mm, or 3.5 inches by 2 inches. You can go bigger, but if you do your cards are less likely to be kept. In recent years, mini and circular business cards are becoming more popular.
- Landscape format is more traditional and still the most common orientation. It is easy to read, works well in card holders and can be handled by any printer. However, it is very common, and not as unique as other options.
- Portrait is a clean and elegant look that’s become more common in recent years (but still stands out).
Use high quality paper
Nothing says “I don’t care about you, and I don’t deserve your business” like using cheap paper on your business card. At the very minimum use 16pt gloss or 100lb matte — anything lighter will feel flimsy and cheap. Also, never — ever — print them out at home. There are many professional shops (like ours) who offer business cards at a reasonable price.
Put the right information on the card
- Name of organization or business
- Job title
- Your contact information—any that people might want. We suggest e-mail and phone number at a minimum, social media profiles and website unless you really have no presence at all, and a work address if that seems relevant.
- Your logo
- Check your file settings
The file for your cards should be saved correctly—not just for today, but for when you might need reprints later on. Make sure your designer has the file just right:
File size, type and resolution
Any images, like your logo, must be at least 300dpi to have a high enough resolution to look crisp and clean.
For best quality and a crisp look, your design should be saved as a vector-based PDF, not JPEG or PNG. You should also make sure you get an editable file (usually an Illustrator, Photoshop file or editable PDF) so that you can make changes later.
The bleed refers to highlighting an area 3 mm or about 1/10 of an inch thick surrounding the document with the same color as the background to prevent border strips from showing. The background color should go all the way to the edge. All text should stay within the safe area.
Fonts and color settings
All text should be embedded and you should have the correct font licenses. Use CMYK color mode for anything that will be printed, including business cards. Do not use RGB.
Are you ready to show off your brand? Contact Pel Hughes today to get started!