A Guide to Business Cards Basics
When you hand someone a business card, you are handing them a piece of your company. Business cards should no doubt make a good impression. In a lot of cases, your business card forms someone’s initial views on your company.
Data collected from a survey done by Statistic Brain Research Institute, showed that 72 percent of people judge a company or person based on the quality of their business cards. The statistic also showed that 39 percent of people would choose not to do business with a company if they had a “cheap looking” business card. 72 Percent Will Judge Your Company by the Quality of Your Business Card (INFOGRAPHIC) – Small Business Trends (smallbiztrends.com)
While some would argue that business cards are pointless and outdated, this data shows that business cards are still very relevant and useful. That being said, let’s talk about what makes a good business card, and what makes a bad business card.
Trends in Business Cards
Business Card trends change every year. Like most things, trends come and go. What was a popular business card format or design element last year may not be popular now. Researching current business card trends before ordering your business cards is important. In order to make the best impression possible with your business card, you need to know what people consider an “impressive” business card at the time.
QR Codes are Key
One of the current trends for Business Cards right now is the use of a QR code. A QR code, if you are not familiar, is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as “a machine-readable code consisting of an array of black and white squares, typically used for storing URLs or other information for reading by the camera on a smartphone.” With a simple scan of your phone, the desired QR code URL is open and ready to be viewed. QR codes are currently taking the world by storm and have made finding information faster and more convenient than ever.
However, it should be said, people that primarily use their computer to look things up, and not their phone, argue that QR codes are pointless. They say that they are still going to have to look up your information when they get to their computer anyways so they wont even use the QR code. However, most people primarily use their phone for calling, going online, and pretty much everything else, so a having a QR code makes finding your business’ information so much easier. This results in a higher number of people actually following through and reaching out.
Adding a QR code to your business cards is a great way to modernize your current card. Business cards with a QR code take something hand held but add the convenience of technology with a simple scan. We highly recommend adding a QR code to your business card.
Your Colors Matter
Using your company’s branded colors is very important for brand recognition. Your business card should immediately relay to the recipient who you are as a company. While you will want your business card to be visually appealing, you shouldn’t neglect to use your company colors and familiar design elements. That’s not to say that you cant sprinkle in additional colors, however, don’t use so many additional colors that it confuses your customer. You want your business cards to be simple enough that all information is easily conveyed. However, you also want them to be colorful enough that they stand out. That’s where a graphic designer can help you navigate the fine lines.
One current business card trend is having alternating colored backgrounds for your business cards. This trend involves ordering the same business card but in two different colors. If your company colors are blue and grey, getting some business cards printed in blue and some in grey will add an element of uniqueness. Handing out business cards in varying colors will be sure to make an impression. It will make the recipient feel more valued than if all the business cards were all exactly the same.
Cardstock shows you care
Business cards can come in a variety of cardstock weight ranging from thin to thick. Depending on where you get them printed, the weight typically starts at 12 pt and goes up to 24 pt. A thinner business card would be 12 pt and a thicker, almost heavy, business card would be around a 24 pt weight.
While a nice looking business card is great to have, it is all for nothing if your business card is flimsy and easily damaged. A nice, thick, cardstock will make a difference when you place it in someone’s hand. Choosing a good cardstock shows that you put in a little extra money and will help your business stand out. It shows that you truly care about their business and want your business card to hold up.
However, it should be noted that there are pros and cons to a thick cardstock. One downside of a thick cardstock is that, while it will make a great first impression when you place it in someone’s hand, it may be unlikely for them to actually keep it. A thicker business card will take up more room in someone’s wallet. This may result in them deciding to toss it out.
An average paper weight for a business card would be 14 pt, or 16 pt. A 16 pt business card may be your best bet for a thicker business card. A weight of 16 pt will make a good impression, while not being too heavy.
Things like adding a raised ink element to your business cards also make them literally stand out. Raised ink makes specific parts of your business card raised above the rest. When holding the card you can feel the parts that are raised, typically the logo or other important elements. Raised ink is a great additional touch that will set you apart from the competition.
As you can see, there are a lot of factors that go into designing the perfect business card for you or your company. Your business card is a very important piece of your branding and all these factors should be taken into consideration to create a great first and lasting impression.