Designing a Better Business Card

Whether you’re designing a business card for your own business or offering design services to your customers, there are always opportunities to design a better business card. Designing a truly great business card involves considering not just the design but the print options that will help create the final product.

1. Consider the Stock
Experienced designers for print can tell you that your stock choices make a big impact on the look of the finished print piece, and stock choice for business cards is especially important. These little cards act as many people’s first impression of a business, and you want to get that right!

Stock choice will be different for each business card you create—and it should be! After all, if you’re working with two very different customers, you should consider very different stocks for their brands. For example, if you’re working for a customer that wants to emphasize an earthy or eco-friendly aspect of their business, recycled stock is an ideal choice. If they want their business card to stand out, extra thick and color core stocks will help them do that literally.

2. Play With Your Logo
Logos are designed to be a recognizable expression of a brand, and that concentrated branding makes them an ideal basis for a business card.  Consider playing with the logo and putting it on the back of the card, using embossing to create a minimalist version, or use the logo’s colors or shapes as the basis of the business card’s border.

3. Keep it Readable
Imagine walking into a sales meeting and shaking hands with someone. They are wearing a suit, shake your hand firmly, and then introduce themselves… but they speak so quietly that you can’t understand a word they say. An unreadable business card is a lot like this introduction: it might look great, but looking great only gets you halfway there.

You want this business card to look good, but it also needs to convey information. Choosing a readable font and include just the most important information: the business’s name, the employee’s name, the job title, and their contact information.

4. Give the Print a Raise
One great way to make print more appealing is to give it not just visual interest but a texture that the recipient can feel. Thermography, a process that uses a special powder to cause the ink to “rise” above the surface of the business card, is an ideal way to combine spot color or full color print with a raised texture. If you’re looking for something more subtle, consider embossing; this inkless process is a subtle way to show off your customer’s logo by pressing it into the stock itself.

5. Looking For a Change? Try a New Angle
If you’re looking for a way to change up your business card design? Look at it from a new angle—literally! Consider turning it so that the business card is vertical to create more visual interest, or include print on both sides for twice the print real estate and twice the design potential.

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