Personal Business Cards: 8 Critical Design Flaws to Avoid

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.

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.

Top 5 Business Card Design Tips & Ideas To Stand Out

Top 5 Business Card Design Tips & Ideas To Stand Out

A great business card can help you get ahead of your competition, so check out these business card design tips and ideas to help you stand out over the rest!

If you want to stand out in your profession, you’re going to need a business card that stands out as well.

That’s right.

Even in today’s constantly connected world of social media advertising, the traditional ways of spreading your information to potential customers still matters.

So how do you design a card that attracts attention?

It’s really not that hard. If you follow just a few basic business card design tips, then you’ll be sure to see your contacts grow.

What follows are some of the most important things you should think about when you are designing a business card. Keep these in mind and you’re sure to have a card that’s worthy of your profession.

But before you design your card…

Think About Your Specifications

This one pretty easy, so you can start by deciding what general design you would like your business card to be. We offer a variety of cool, creative metal business cards in different shapes and designs.

Do you want to go with a traditional rectangle or a more contemporary shape like a circle or square? Do you want your card to be oriented vertically or horizontally? What about size?

The more you think about your card design, the easier it will be to get started.

Business Card Design Tips

So let’s talk about designing your business card. There are a few rules that you need to follow to make sure creating a card is worth your time and money.

What are they? Let’s take a look.

Keep Design Principles in Mind

Whatever business you are in and whoever your target audience is, the overreaching principles of design should always be foremost on your mind.

You don’t have to be an art student to use the principles of design. Just remember a few key things and your business card will be pleasing to the eye.

Balance. You want the card to feel balanced, so don’t overcrowd one side with fonts and images while ignoring the other.

Alignment. The way each image and text space aligns with each other gives a feeling of unity and purpose. Good alignment creates order and avoids confusion.

Contrast. By utilizing light/dark and verticle/horizontal as well as opposite colors, you can make the important parts of your card stand out.

Space. Negative spaces are places where there are no images are text. Use these to your advantage to make your information shine.

If you familiarize yourself with these principles and others, you’ll be starting out in the right direction for a great business card design.

Understand What You Want to Tell People

What do you want your business card to say about you and your company? This may seem like a silly question, but when you’re staring at a blank card template, you’d be surprised how many people don’t know what they want to say.

Remember: your business card is an extension of yourself as well as your product and services. They can also be the first impression that gains you a new customer.

What do you want to say?

If you’re an artist, you may want to convey creativity and whimsy. If you’re a financial planner, on the other hand, maybe you want to convey strength and stability that will give your clients peace of mind. If you’re a contractor, you may want your card to show trustworthiness and the ability to do good work.

The simple fact is that you can’t create an effective business card unless you know what it is you want to show your customers when you hand them the card.

Avoid Common Mistakes

There are as many different business card designs as there are companies. Even with those examples, you’d be surprised how many make the same mistakes over and over again.

If you want to make your business card great, try to avoid these common mistakes:

Putting too much information on the card. This leads to a cramped style that doesn’t look good at all and may even confuse potential customers. Say what you need to say and nothing more.

Bad coloring. Some colors just don’t go well together and make your message hard to read. Find nice, contrasting colors that are pleasing to the eye. This will make it your message clear.

Not using the back of the card. Cards have two sides: use them! You can use one side for a slogan or an eye-catching design and reserve the other for your contact information.

Before you commit to a design, look around and see what others are doing and what mistakes they may have made. It’ll save you a lot of headache in the future.

Make Your Card Practical

One of the newer trends in business card design is making the card used for other purposes than relaying information. And you can really get creative with this.

If you’re a chef, you can use one side to display baking conversions and tips that people will want to keep in the kitchen. If you work with plants, you can attach seed packets that produce pretty flowers or even herbs. If you own a bar, you can pass out cards that also act as bottle openers.

What customer wouldn’t enjoy any of these ideas?

The possibilities are endless and there’s one for whatever field you work in.

Know When to Break the Rules

In other words, you need to get creative and sometimes the best results are realized by ignoring the rules.

In the end, your card needs to be all about you and your company. If there are things you think you shouldn’t try — things that may scare you a little — then try it out and see.

The more you experiment, the more you may surprise yourself!

Get Started

There’s no better time to start designing a business card than right now. You’ll see an increase in customer interactions, which can lead to more sales and even more customers.

What are you waiting for?

For more information and everything business-card related, check out our blog.