Besides the fact that I come to the realization of just how awesome Instagram is, my creativity lately has come to an all-time high while editing tidbits here and there on my business card at FedEx. Riveting, I know. Either way, I figured it might be nice to shine some light on the topic.
Business cards are somewhat of a hidden treasure (at least in my opinion), but of course (and more often than not) you will turn up with a dud. These “duds” are what I see 99.9% of the time while networking–unoriginal, plain, etc. What’s even more disappointing is when you get a business card from someone at an advertising or public relations agency and it’s dull, old-fashioned and screams “BORING!” (Yes, I have several of those in my b.card collection.)
Unfortunately, I don’t have a large excess of money to devote my own off-the-charts business card creation, so I have to make a whole lot of something with very little.
I think I may have managed to do just that.
For those of you, like me, who love to explore the creative possibilities of what a business card can (and should) do, check out these nifty examples:
- 9 Nifty Business Cards for November 2010
- The Coolest Business Cards
- Creative and Unique Business Cards
That list could go on and on. As I said, I love the possibilities of business cards when you aren’t limited to budget.
But, for those of us who are, here are some quick tips.
First of all, I think the following quote is important to remember when dealing with business cards.
A business card is the most cost effective marketing weapon that a business just starting out has. In addition to giving your prospective clients the information they need to contact you, it is often the first impression they get of your firm. A small investment of time in designing your card can lead to a big payoff down the road. – “How to Design a Good Business Card,” AssociatedContent.com
Secondly, the information your provide on the card is essential. The point is to sell yourself, right? So why not put your best food forward with your business cards?
- Job Title/Professional Title
- Company Name*
- Phone Number
- Professional Website (if you have one)
* Notice on mine, I swapped company name and address with my degree titles and the University I attended.
- Fax Numbers
- Additional Telephone Numbers
- Company Website
As mentioned in the quote, a business card is one of the best things you/a company can do to promote yourself/the company. With that in mind, the best word of advice I can offer you for a great business card is be careful not to overload it. Just like no body will buy a messy house, no one will want you if you have a messy business card. In this instance, less is more.
The article I found on Associated Content also touched on the importance of font, but as a visual person I tend to disagree with the social norm. The article claims that business card font should be a simple font that is either light on dark or dark on light.
Yes, my business card is written in a simple font, but it’s also not your run of the mill font. And, yes, my color scheme is dark on light, but it added a purple theme for an added pop.
When including graphics in on your business card, it is once again important to remember the less is more rule. It is very important that you don’t overload your card with too much information so that it becomes hard to read and cluttered. With my card, even though I managed to include quite a bit of information, I made sure to do it in an aesthetically pleasing way that also pertains to my profession. Had I simply listed all the facts in a bullet list, the card would appear overloaded with information and unappealing.
Once you have a design, I recommend printing a sample batch to test it out. This way you can take some time to think about it before committing to a larger order of 500 cards. For those who have designed it yourself, I have found FedEx office to be somewhat reasonable in price, but very helpful when it comes to their staff.
If you’re ready for the real deal, there are a number of printing companies based online that offer cheaper prices than your local printing stores. The one that I have heard most recommended, but never used myself, is VistaPrint.com. From the sound of things, they do a good print job for a good price and deliver in a good amount of time.
For more information and tips, be sure to check out the Associated Content article, “How to Design a Good Business Card.”