10 Things Series – Part three: Business Card Design

Business Card Design – simple and effective but how comes some get it so wrong!

Successful business card design has fundamental rules. No matter how well-designed a card is, it also needs to be functional as a personal marketing tool. Here are ten things you should consider when thinking about designing a business card.

  1. Use good card stock
    There is ample variety in card stock, so don’t just go for the cheapest and easiest option. Being a bit different can have a positive impact on how someone interacts with your business card. Avoid making a blind decision and instead, order paper samples from paper suppliers. These are often free and can give you a good idea of what you can expect.
  2. Be aware of your type size
    The print area is limited, so business cards tend to be smaller in print. But know your limits before using a font that is too small. Test print to ensure you can read it.
  3. Don’t select a font that is too thin
    The hairline font may look great on screen, but how does it look printed on card at 9pt? Check font weight by test printing to ensure it is clear and easy to read.
  4. Design elements and contents
    Restrict your content and design elements to avoid cluttering the space. Your card should communicate its message efficiently, so be succinct.
  5. Content Hierarchy
    Have a list ordering importance of each piece of information going on the card. Having a hierarchy will help distinguish the critical content from the secondary content.
  6. Proof print your cards
    Printing your cards before you send them to print and proofing the content on paper is so important and gives you a chance to check the design and ensure you got things like your margins and type sizes right.
  7. Get someone to proof your work for you
    It is always good to ask someone else to check the content for mistakes if you have typed it yourself, you do not always spot obvious errors which can cost you money.
  8. Stay on brand
    A business card is another marketing tool to engage people. The brand on your business card should be consistent with your company branding, reflecting key elements such colour, imagery and clear contact points.
  9. Cheapest is not best
    Remember that once you hand out your business card, this is the message you have left behind to a new contact. What message do you want to deliver? Cheap card stock and poor-quality ink can be memorable, but almost never positively.
  10. Be creative
    Be creative with your business card designs to make more of an impact. Business cards can have a short lifespan, so make your card stand out with robust design, creative execution and outstanding print finishing which shouldn’t cost the earth.

Not sure where to start? Contact Format Design London for some friendly, creative advice.






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