Author: Tanya Gutierrez
While we’re working in paperless offices more and more, the business card remains a mainstay of business. For those who haven’t got a proper business card design, which you could hand out to prospective customers or collaborators, you are passing up an integral marketing opportunity.
Not all business cards are created equal, however. When it comes to creating unique business cards in Melbourne, we have to accept that we are living in a city in which the average small company can print design their own cards and purchase them from renowned online sellers for the purchase price of a dinner. But these cards are normally of a poor weight, and typically use twee clipart to link themselves to the company being promoted. What this signifies is that there are a whole lot of poorly designed business cards on the market. This is both a challenge and an opportunity: to stand out that you will need to create a layout that looks fantastic, and makes it possible to differentiate yourself. If you can make it tactile and texture pleasant in the hand, you will be well on your way. Make a card which has the potential to elevate your company over your competitors before the potential client has seen your site, and consider using business stationary to really stand out from the crowd. So, with that in mind we have brought together some of our best tips for creating effective, innovative business cards.
Remember basic design principles
It might seem obvious but it is worth mentioning that a business card is a piece of printed material just like any other. Because of this, the fundamental principles of paper-based design use to business cards:
- Maintain all your key copy at least 5mm from the trim edge
- Work at 300dpi for best image reproduction
- Make Sure You maintain a minimal size to your typography to keep legibility
- Style in CMYK unless you are working exclusively with spot colours
Many designers also find it helps to use a grid to lay their cards out, as this could enable you to achieve the ideal hierarchy of information in addition to make sure your orientation is sound (if you will need a reminder, have a look at our guide to grid concept).
There are a few ‘standard’ sizes for business cards, depending on where you’re in the world (possibly because pocket sizes also vary slightly from country to country). 1 typical business card size is 55 x 85mm, though you’ll see a number of different sizes quoted on the net. Even though you just have a very small canvas, it’s still possible to get creative with the distance. Begin by thinking about the key information you need to include, which will typically be a name, telephone number and email address, then work your style around presenting this information in a creative manner.
Avoid common pitfalls
There are some common pitfalls to designing business cards, which it helps to be conscious of. The first and most obvious is to make certain you provide a bleed according to your own printer. This is often 3mm, but may be 5mm, so check! An Immediate way to add impact to your business card is to use a particular finish. Special finishes may include a foil blocking or metallic inks, and can add substantial cost to your print. What they provide, however, is the chance to make your card more tactile, visually impressive and memorable. If you’re uncertain how to approach this, have a look at our guide to creating special print finishes in InDesign. Different printers provide various options for endings, so talk to them to learn what they can do for you, and do not be afraid to visit a specialist if your normal printer only offers directly four-colour print.
A great way to make your card unique would be to use a die-cut procedure to remove elements from the card stock, leaving a void. You may either use a die to change the shape of your card (by rounding the corners, by way of instance), or you can cut shapes from the centre. Dies are expensive to create the very first time, although increasingly printers are providing laser-cut choices, which make it economical to make a die-cut appearance on shorter print-runs. In addition, don’t overlook letterpress as an alternative.
Create Your Own
If you are feeling creative, why not create your own business cards? You can discover letterpress kits on eBay at affordable prices, letting you convert any card stock into your own business card effortlessly. Or you may use one of these gorgeous free business card templates.
Double-check your art
This tip applies to each piece of printing work you do, but it is so crucial that it is worth repeating for business card layout. When sending your artwork off to the printing shop, ensure you’ve double-checked each and every detail. There is nothing worse than getting your cards back and finding a typo in the email address or name!