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.

What Information You Should and Shouldn’t Put On Personal Business Cards

What Info You Should and Shouldn’t Put On Personal Business Cards

Personal business cards give you a fantastic opportunity to sell yourself. But what information should you be including on your card, and what information should you leave out? Click here to find out.

Gold Metal CardBlack Metal Card

When you design a business card, you’re striking a delicate balance. You want people to have enough information to find you, but not get overwhelmed. These two by three-inch cards can only hold so much information. You need to focus on displaying the most information without losing aesthetic quality.
To help you navigate this tricky balance, we made a guide to personal business cards. In it, we’ll tell you what does and doesn’t need to be front and center. Put your best foot forward and read the tips below.

Personal Business Cards: Do’s

To give your business the best impression, you want to design the perfect card. Read the things it definitely needs below.

1. Name and Title

First thing’s first, let’s make sure people know who you are. Not only will having the name on your business card help them remember who you are it adds a personal touch to an organization.
List your name, as you usually introduce yourself, and your title. For example Sally Money, Position. Be as clear and specific as possible with your position. It’s better to put “Social Media Marketer” than “Marketing”. It helps people using your card know if you’re the best person to seek out.
It’ll also help people looking back at your card in the future. How many times have you got a business card and you can’t remember why you needed it? Don’t give people an excuse to throw yours out. Nickname wise, go by what you introduce yourself as in most situations. If your name is Samantha but you go by Sam, list yourself as Sam.
It’s a little less formal, but it’s less confusing for someone receiving the card

2. Company, Logo, and Tagline

Once you’ve established who you are, make sure they know what your company is. Don’t be vague, write the name as clearly as you would on your business website.
Whether or not you list your whole business name is up to you. For example, Barley Brother’s Bakery and Coffee Cafe could list its name as Barley Brother’s Cafe, without losing clarity. This is something to think about when you create your business name too. How much competition is there for the business name you want?
If you’re using a common set of words or descriptor that’s popular in your area, list the whole name on your card. Place your logo to the right of your company name. Since people read left to right, they’ll see (read) your logo as part of your identity. This strengthens brand identity and increases your exposure.
Under your logo and your company name, put your tagline. These are the three things you want people to associate with your business. Seeing them all at once will create a cohesive image in their head.
There’s a caveat to displaying your tagline. If it’s long, skip it. You want the tagline to fit under the name and logo, not look like a paragraph.

3. Contact Information

People often wonder how or what kind of contact information to put on a business card. There isn’t one answer.
List whichever type of communication you use most or what you want to be contacted through. For example, someone who works on the computer all day can answer emails quicker than phone calls. They’d list their email address and maybe not their phone number.
There’s nothing wrong with giving both, people do contact in different ways. If you list phone and email, the person will contact you the way they’re most comfortable.

4. Social Media

You should list your social media profiles IF you’re active on them. Don’t direct someone to your twitter if you only post a few times a month.
Only list social media profiles you feel good showing off. Two to three channels will do, any more is overkill.

What Not to List: Business Card Don’ts

Now that you have an idea of what to list, you need to know what to leave off. Avoid incorporating the things below.

1. Outdated Information

Fax machines are in many businesses, but whatever the chances a person you meet off the street will fax you? Is that your best form of contact? Probably not. These extra numbers can confuse people trying to call your main number as well.
People don’t like to be wrong, so if they call a number on your card that doesn’t go through, they’ll likely give up. You want to make it as simple as possible for them to contact you.

2. A Boring Site

Yes, listing your website on your card is a good idea, but why not make it fun? Instead of having your web address, make a fun landing page for people with your card.
www.mybusinessname.com/freebook or /handshake will pique someone’s interest. Feel free to make it more mysterious, but don’t go crazy.
Keep the URL short and easy to type.

3. Too Much Text

There should be a good amount of white space on your card. It looks better and you can use it as a space to jot down notes.
No one wants to squint at your business card to find the information they need. Keep the basics and lose the rest!

Colors and Shapes

There are websites now that have different colors and shapes of cards, with tons of options. In this aspect, you have our permission to go crazy.
Crazy within the expectations of your profession that is. Would you want to get a lawyer’s business card if it was bright pink and zebra striped? Probably not.
In more reserved professions, look for things like premium upgrades that make you stand out. Different materials always make your card stand out from the crowd. How often do you get a metal business card?
Not very often. Jump on the metal personal business cards train while it’s still new and see how easy it is to make some today.