Your business card may be your first introduction to a prospective client, since it may be handed off during a word of mouth referral or left on the door of a neighbor. In other cases, the business card is your second contact with the potential client, an extension and reminder of the initial meeting and exchange of information. Your business card needs to serve both purposes equally well.
The purpose of the business card is to promote the business while giving them the means to contact you if they decide to hire you. This is why logos, marketing messages and calls to action fall short if you leave off a phone number or email address. At the same time, business cards that only include name, address, phone number and a website fall short. After all, they’re not likely to remember who you are and what you do when they see the business card two weeks later. This is why business cards need to reference your business’ products or services in a way that is obvious to whoever sees it. The next step up is having a clear call to action, whether it is “let us get rid of your pests” to “lift your child’s grades one letter grade with our tutors”.
And above all, ensure that the critical name, address, phone number and website are prioritized on the business card. This information should be front and center on the business card. It shouldn’t be crowded out by graphics, decorative elements or extras like taglines.
When you design your business card, readability is essential. When the text is too small to read without reading glasses, people are unlikely to keep the card. Furthermore, they’re going to be biased against your services, because you clearly didn’t understand the customer from the get go. Businesses sometimes undermine the readability of the card by trying to fit everything on the business card. For example, a long laundry list of services provided gets in the goal of having a quick, easy to read card. This is why you should promote yourself as a handyman and not a landscaper, pool cleaner and general handyman. Present yourself as a photographer instead of listing off all the types of events you’ll photograph.
Print quality can take several forms. One is choosing images that will print perfectly on any material. For example, you don’t want to print low resolution versions of high quality photographs. It causes people to wonder about the quality of your work. Another is related to the text and graphics. If you use a stylishly minimalist outline of your product or service, it appears to be an aesthetic choice. If you use blocky letters that look like they came off a cheap printer, it hurts your image. And if you use a weird mix of fonts that may not be rendered properly, it undermines you, as well.
Consider how the images and text will look on the printed business card. Some colors won’t look good on a white or off-white business card. For example, light grey text may be hard to read when printed on a business card no matter how lovely it looks on screen. And some decorative elements and color schemes may conflict with the text. Don’t have neon flourishes and watermarks underneath the text, making it harder to read though it draws attention to that information.