5 Keys to Creating a Business Card that Stands Out
Maura Reed vividly recalls buying the first business cards of her professional career. While it seemed like a landmark moment, it also required a $250 investment, and the selection of cards was sparse.
Nowadays, “it’s so much more accessible and financially available to get a well designed business card,” says Reed, who notes that a solid card can be purchased for around $30 for 100 cards. “Back in the day, you would go into Staples and they’d have one of those catalogs.
“The public is [no longer] stuck with a catalog that some guy picked out the designs for—there’s a ton more choice.”
And Reed would know. She’s about to embark on her 10th year designing business cards for Zazzle (zazzle.com/businesscards), which lists business card design among its specialties. Reed has thousands of designs under her belt, and has learned how important business cards can be for her customers, which include those in the auto industry.
“The business card is the first impression of your brand,” she says. “A business card is like a mini resume—it needs to be on good, quality paper, and designed well, efficiently communicating your brand.”
Reed says there are a few keys to keep in mind when choosing a business card:
Be Picky about your Paper.
Designing an eye-catching business card starts with choices like which cardstock to opt for; Reed says 16-point and 18-point are popular these days. Other categories of paper stocks that are becoming increasingly common include: luxurious silk, soft touch, metallic, plastic, and recycled.
Additionally, a card with a matte finish typically looks professional, Reed says.
Present Your Info Just So.
A cluttered business card portrays the image of an unorganized company, Reed says. So, it’s important to be precise when laying out basic information. Your name should be in a 9-point font, your company’s name in a 12–15 point font. All wording should be aligned and leave space around the edges of the card.
Reed says it’s worth considering some of the new shapes that cards can come in, too, such as round, or die cut—in which a card can come in virtually any shape, including, yes, a car.
Include Ample Contact Info.
While Reed feels it’s important to keep a business card design “clean” and somewhat minimalist, she also feels it’s important to list elements like your Instagram and Twitter handles (usually on the back of the card). It’s also important to list your company’s website, and all relevant phone numbers.
List Your Awards.
“If you’re gold status, that should be on your card,” Reed says. “People want to know what this dealership is known for. Put that in small, italicized print.”
Another way to inform potential clients of this type of information is by adding a QR code to your card, which can direct a consumer to your company’s website URL, provided they simply point their smartphone at the QR code and open a barcode reader app.
Ask for Referrals.
A rather smooth, unobtrusive way to ask for a referral is to make such a request on the back of a business card, with a simple quote, Reed notes.
She suggests writing something along the lines of, “‘Don’t keep me a secret.’ That will remind that person that you’re asking for a referral when they look at the back of the card.”