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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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 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.