Does your card do the business? October 23 2014

Most of us don’t want to go to the trouble of creating a novelty business card. While a business card that folds into a mini toy aeroplane or one made from rubber might get us noticed temporarily – they can be impractical and difficult for people to store.

The vast majority of business people simply want a standard, well-designed business card that introduces us to potential clients and allows customers to keep our key contact information and job description for when they need us. This does not mean they have to be boring either – a good, clean design with the right amount of information will ensure your card does the business.

But exactly what information should you include on your business card? The answer is enough detail so they are useful but not too much information that they become cluttered and difficult to decipher. Here are a few tips on how to produce a winning business card:

Name- Your business card is a form of introduction, so your name should take pride of place on your card. It should be central and easy to read.

Job description- If you meet someone at a networking event or in passing and hand them your card, there is a good chance that when they look at it later they will have forgotten exactly what it is that you do. It is important, then, that you give a brief description of your occupation – one or two words will suffice. Also include your position. If you are freelance or self-employed, terms like owner or founder are appropriate.

Contact info- Today we all have a number of channels through which people can get in touch with us. E-mail and telephone numbers are key forms of contact – so these are a must for your business card. Opinion is divided over whether there is a need to include addresses on business cards these days. If your work is all local or if you receive a lot of deliveries then include your address. Otherwise, think whether the space can be used for something more useful. Likewise, fax numbers are becoming less and less common.
If you have a website then include the address on your card – this is your shop window and a location people can visit anytime for information about you and your business. Some people include social media details – Skype address, linkedin and Twitter details etc. Keep this for your website not your business card.

Font- Italics, handwriting- type fonts and fonts that are overly gimmicky are to be avoided. Everyone has their favourites – but clean and professional fonts are the general rule. Don’t use multiple fonts on your card – keep it down to two at the most.

QR codes- 3D bar codes or QR codes are becoming increasingly popular. They allow people to scan your card with their smartphone and immediately access your website or download key company information. Think whether you need this – is your client base made up of people who will use QR codes?

Logos and design- If you have a logo then use it as a way to add colour and body to your business card. The company colours can also be used in the font or borders to reinforce your company brand. But don’t clutter your card – less is more and space should be left so your key information is easily seen.