Personal Business Cards: 8 Critical Design Flaws to Avoid

Having a bad personal business card can make a poor first impression. Here are eight critical design flaws to avoid when designing your next personal business cards.

If you had to guess, how many personal business cards have you received in your lifetime? Now, how many have you thrown away? 

Approximately 10 billion business cards are printed each year. And at least 8 out of every 10 of those make it as far as the nearest trash can.

Somehow, for every 2,000 cards handed out, a company’s sales go up by 2.5%. No one can make the claim that handing out business cards doesn’t work.

What makes them more effective is a topic for another day. Today, the focal point will surround what makes them ineffective.

Business Card Fonts

Some common mistakes made on the design of business cards involves the font. You want your business card to catch the eye, not drag it kicking and screaming from the socket.

Keep these tips in mind when choosing font size and style.

Font Size

If your font is too big, you may have trouble including any information on your card. Furthermore, it can leave a potential customer feeling like a used car salesman is shouting at them. 

Of all the ways to shoot yourself in the foot, giant font ranks pretty high.

A font that requires examination under an electron microscope is no good either. Most people don’t carry magnifying glasses with them.

And if the font is too small to read, the card will be decorating the trash bin.

Font style

A few font choices you want to avoid include anything with handwritten in the name. Also, if it looks like calligraphy or if it came from the 1500s, avoid it at all cost.

One exception can be made to this. You can use something fancy and hard to read for just one letter or initials. For example, have your initials in a decorative font with your name somewhere else in plain font. 

Other than this, keep with easy-to-read fonts. You can thank us later.

Picture This

Pictures as part of the background can make an average card memorable. But bad pictures will leave a person puzzled about your card. And if the picture is all they remember, your card is wasted.

For example, if you have an animal in your business name, don’t have a different animal on your card.

You may love the look of that ocelot catching a bird in flight, but if your business has nothing to do with ocelots, don’t put them in a potential customer’s hand.

Also, avoid pop culture references even when common. But especially avoid something obscure. Yes, all the fans of Dr. Who will love it, but not everyone will understand it. 

Personal Business Cards

Ok, so the font is neither too big nor too small and is normal looking. The picture applies to the business in a direct way. What else needs to be avoided?

Clutter

Very few people look at clutter and think of anything positive. This remains true with business cards. Clutter confuses potential customers and makes important information hard to find. 

Organize information in a way that pleases the eye. Ask 20 of your closest friends if they like looking at your card. If they only provide non-committal answers, they don’t like it. 

If they don’t like it, the public won’t either.

Too many slogans or repeated slogans start to feel like a political commercial. And no one needs 25 different ways to contact you. It’s fine to use both sides of a business card, but don’t try to fit a dissertation on that tiny card.

Sizes

On that note, be careful not to make your business card too large. It may stick out from the crowd, but it may not fit in a wallet.

If it isn’t in a wallet, it goes in the pants, then the pants go in the wash and the mangled bits left after will go in the trash.

Try to keep your business card close to the size of a credit card. If you want to make the edges more dynamic, do so with trimming, not by adding size. 

Contact Info

With the rise of the digital age, leaving off your website or email address is a terrible idea. Even worse might be having no contact information at all. 

Imagine you meet a potential customer, it goes extremely well and they want your services soon. A month down the road they go to contact you, but your card has no contact information. They will hire someone else before they google search you.

As stated above, they don’t need tons of options. But if you include nothing else, have an email address and a web page.

Today, you can even include a small QR code. This can make saving your information convenient, even if they do toss your card after.

Typos

Typos cost money. Sometimes the loss comes in the form of customers who won’t seek your business. Sometimes they cost millions.

Best to save yourself a lot of trouble and proofread your work. Also, have a second set of eyes proofread your work as well. It may not save you a million dollars, but proofreading can save you a problem or two, and it’s free.

Make Them Unique

Hopefully, you will be able to create your business cards without glaring errors. But, while avoiding errors, also try to make them unique.

Not all business cards are made out of card stock anymore. Businesses have experimented with everything from baked goods to metal. 

Break the mold on some subjects, but do so while avoiding the errors listed here.

If you need some ideas on how to create effective business cards, get in touch with us. We can help you design custom metal business cards that will make you stand out from the crowd.

Effective Business Cards: How to Make the Most of Yours

You want a business card that does the business for you. We take a look at what makes effective business cards and how to make the most of your own.

Face-to-face interaction in the business world is essential to networking. In fact, Virgin reports 72% of professionals are influenced by the first look and handshake during an introduction.

Likewise, your business card says a lot about you. When you’re mingling at a networking event, it’s your introduction and your final words. What does yours say about you? Does it stand out in a stack?

Find out as we take a look at what makes effective business cards, and why they make such a powerful statement.

Why Are Business Cards so Important?

When you consider that 85% of jobs are filled through networking, it only reinforces the importance of business cards. More specifically, good business cards. But what makes them such an effective networking tool?

These lead generating momentos are part of your initial impression. They paint a snapshot of your brand and who you are that people you connect with can keep on hand long after you’re gone.

Plus, they convey your level of professionalism. If you’re handing out business cards you printed at home after designing them in Microsoft Word, people are going to notice. It gives the impression you aren’t well-established and can even deter potential clients.

On the flip side of that point, a great business card can seal the deal. If your card showcases a strong brand and impressive design, you appear more professional. This can instill trust, which in turn gives you an edge over your competition.

An Introduction in Your Pocket

But what if you don’t frequent networking events? Do you really need a business card?

Yes! Every time you step out of your door, there is a chance of running into a potential new customer or client. Having a business card in your wallet or bag at all times ensures you are prepared.

When you strike up a conversation and someone asks, “What do you do?” it opens the door for a networking opportunity. Business cards are a quick introduction you can deliver at a moment’s notice, and people can keep them on hand in case a need for your product or service arises.

This is why they’re so essential to businesses.

How Do You Create Effective Business Cards?

But what exactly makes a good business card design? It’s a combination of design skill, material quality, and the strength of your message. Below we’ll explore each one of these elements and the questions you’ll need to ask as you consider your business card design.

The Elements of a Great Business Card Design

There are several common elements found in great business card designs, including:

  • Your Name
  • Your Job Title
  • Your Company’s Logo
  • Your Contact Information
  • Your Photo
  • Information About Your Business

Some of these elements may seem like common sense. After all, knowing your name, company, job title, and contact information are all important when establishing new professional relationships.

But let’s take a closer look at each of them individually. A personal photo of you isn’t required for a great business card design, but it does make your face easier to remember. Recipients will be more likely to remember you after your first meeting, especially if it was brief.

A good business card includes your company’s logo and colors as part of your branding. However, it’s important to make sure you take it a step further and align it with other marketing collateral as well. A business card that matches brochures and your website design make your business appear more professional.

If you need to, add information about your business and what it offers. Make what you bring to the table clear so recipients of your card know your service and product offerings.

If you aren’t a graphic designer, make sure you employ one to bring your business card design to life. Aim for a design that draws the eye and stands out in a stack on the table.

The Importance of Quality Materials

Business cards aren’t just a visual experience, it’s also tactile. People will notice the texture, the weight, and the sturdiness of your business card when you pass it along.

This can either work for or against you, depending on the materials you choose. A staggering 72% of people make instant judgments about a company or individual based on the quality of their business card design.

If you select cheap stock that feels flimsy in the hand of the person you give it to, it can make you appear second-rate. This can lead to the perception that you are a new or struggling business on a shoestring budget.

In contrast, a well-established business is expected to take pride in its brand. It’s willing to pay for quality, so people take notice when they receive a well-crafted business card.

After all, if you aren’t willing to produce quality products for yourself, why would someone expect you to produce something of quality for them?

Metal business cards are a growing trend. Like a metal credit card, they give off the impression that your business is high-end. It’s a quick way to stand out and people are more likely to hold on to such a unique business card design, even if they don’t have a need for your services at that time.

Why Crafting a Great Message Matters

What does your business card say to those who receive it? Don’t just consider the unwritten message spoken through your color palette and logo design. Add a message or call to action!

Business cards with a blank back are missing an opportunity to communicate with potential customers or clients. Use this space to convey additional information or even a QR or coupon code.

Offering a special discount or call to action with your business card encourages a follow-up action. It’s a great way to hook a lead or get them interested in what your business has to offer.

Make Every Impression a Lasting One

If you’re looking for effective business cards that will impress recipients every time, consider our metal business card designs. With 8 stunningly different styles to choose from, we customize your design for a truly unique look.

Start shopping metal business card options online now. If you have any questions, we are happy to answer them. Drop us a line, and we’ll be happy to help.