Modern business cards play a new role in the digital world. Information is still key, but engaging and surprising design is more important than ever before.
Your business card tells potential clients and future coworkers what you’re all about in just a single glance. Though smartphones and online social networking can end up dominating many in-person interactions, a memorable business card helps you cut through the digital noise and stand out. With a great design you can use this tiny rectangle to communicate your professionalism, work ethic, and creativity. By adhering to business card best practices, while thinking outside of the box, you’ll have a business card that stands up to modern expectations. Here’s how.
1. Keep Contact Info Light
Contact information is still the driving force behind today’s business cards. However, the level of information has changed. In the past you might have included your phone number (or multiple numbers), office location, email, and more. All of those details are no longer necessary. For most, a name, title, number, and email address is enough. Depending on the type of business you run, you might eliminate the phone number completely, or swap it for your website. You can also include your social media profiles if they’re relevant to your business – many small businesses rely on Facebook as their main online presence.
Think about how clients usually get in touch, and stick to that. If information is not necessary, skip it, as the more white space your card contains the better. Lots of people will look up a business on Google even if they have the information in front of them, so make sure your online presence is easy to access.
2. Mix Fonts to Draw Attention
How you present your information is just as important as what information you present. Your typographical choice is one of the biggest design decisions you’ll make for your card, as it’s essential to communicating your information clearly and with the desired effect. For instance, a simple and more traditional font says you’re serious and conservative, while a trendier font might say you’re creative and approachable.
It might be tempting to choose a flashy font that catches someone’s eye, but remember to always prioritize readability. A hard-to-read name or contact info won’t land you much business. Many modern business cards use just one or two fonts to convey the message. When picking fonts that work together, mix traditional with playful. For instance, stick to class serifs and sans-serifs for pertinent info, complemented by a swirling calligraphy font for you name.
Check out these classic fonts that always look great, and learn how to make the best font choice for your project.
3. Don’t Skimp on the Logo
Your logo is the visual representation of your business and can serve as a statement of your personal style. For this reason, it’s important that you not only choose or create a stunning logo, but also that you present it in a stunning way. For instance, many of today’s more striking business cards feature textured, die-cut logos.
Even if you can’t afford a textured card with an embossed logo, you can still focus on presentation methods. Your logo should be prominent and sized properly. Always use a vector file format when scaling your logo to keep the lines clean and prevent distortion and pixelation. Those two things will immediately make you look unprofessional.
If you haven’t made it as far as logo design, check out these creative ideas for logos.
4. Try Adventurous Shapes
Gone are the days when business cards had to be rectangular. Today’s business cards are fluid in shape and can be micro-sized, oversized, square or oval. They can open up like miniature pamphlets or fold up accordion style. A unique shape or size can help your card stand and speak volumes about your brand.
Always consider the context before you make big design decisions like this. Fun formats can work particularly well in creative industries, but they might have the opposite effect in others.
5. Use Layout to Your Advantage
Once you have your basic information, typography, and logo, and once you’ve selected a shape, it’s time to put it all together. Pay attention to size, color, and negative space.
The text on your card, containing your information, is the most important. Therefore, it should be placed and sized prominently. Play with the justification of the text – many opt for center alignment, but left justification might give your card a more modern flair.
If you’re adding other visual elements, like an image, icons, or illustrations, make sure they hold their own in such a small space. Similar to logos, make sure the images are scaled correctly to prevent distortion and pixelation. Avoid placing text over an image, as this can make it hard to read. Many modern business cards have a visual side and an info side.
Pick easy-to-read colors for text, but feel free to play with the other colors of your card – you might even fill the entire background with a color. Since it’s such a small space, it’s best to stick to a cohesive color scheme. We can help you there! Pick from these 101 color combinations to find the right one for your card.
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Top image via As Goos As Possible