While most methods of communication have gone digital, the traditional business card is proving to be surprisingly resilient. What originated in the 17th century as a method of announcing visitors has held its own to the tech-heavy present-day – but why?
Though a business card is tangible, it also has a number of intangible benefits. As the Boston Globe suggests, “Entrepreneurs who must fight to be taken seriously by prospective customers and investors talk about the sense of legitimacy they get from seeing their names and titles printed on quality card stock. They say that in the startup world — where businesses often don’t last long — it’s nice to hold something that feels kind of permanent.” Similarly, Print Media Centr’s Sandy Hubbard notes, “a printed business card still conveys credibility.”
In a way, business cards have also evolved to present more than just names and numbers. Graphic designer John Date refers to the exchange of business cards as “an experience… It’s become much more of a portfolio piece then it was in the past.”
A few things to consider in designing your next business cards:
Name, company, title… there are a lot of pieces of information you could include on a business card, but stick with the most valuable. What’s the best way to get in touch with you? Do you even use a fax machine? Choose the information you most want to share. If you include too much text, it may become difficult to read.
Once you know what text you want to include, think about what kind of typeface would be best to present it. Choose a font that is readable and matches the tone of you and your business.
Paper comes in a variety of finishes – smooth finish is typically the most popular. Of course, almost anything is possible. If it works for your business, you don’t even have to print on paper, nor do you have to stick to the traditional 3.5in x 2in size and shape.
You’ll likely want to include your logo on your card. How much card real estate will you devote to it? What color is it? What font is it? Make sure your logo is identifiable and works well with the font you’re using for the rest of your content. If you choose to use a color on your cards – or print on colored paper – make sure you choose a color that suits your logo and text and is still easy to read.
Image of Neenah Paper business card via Fey Printing.