Business Cards: Small & Mighty

Neenah Paper Business CardsWhile 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:

Content
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.

Font
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
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.

Design Elements
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.

Brochures: Power in Your Pocket

Brochures are possibly the most flexible and hard-working of your marketing collateral. They can help initiate a sale or close one; they can be sent in the mail or handed out face-to-face. As John Treace wrote for Inc., “One of the biggest sales I ever made was initiated in an elevator with a brochure that I happened to have in my pocket.”

To showcase a configurable furniture collection, Miller Brooks created this brochure for Kimball Office.

Kimball Office, Miller Brooks

This brochure for TVNZ 7 (Television New Zealand) literally unfolds to form the brand’s “7” logo.
TVNZ7 Brochure

Audi’s engaging centennial piece, when ripped open, features a timeline of the brand’s history.

Audi Brochure

To celebrate Pratt Institute’s 125th anniversary, this brochure includes die-cut pop-ups of iconic artists and their designs.

Pratt Institute

Meet Mayhem

What’s a Trade Show Without the Giveaways?

A [trade show] booth without a giveaway could be viewed as heresy…

That’s a quote from trade show specialist Janice Breuer. Lest you be viewed as a heretic, define your strategy for promotional giveaways.

Google PensQualify
Giveaways will attract attendees to your booth… it’s then your job to determine if they are qualified leads. Eighty-one percent of attendees have buying authority, and you can probably imagine how many pens they’ve already accumulated. Increase memorability with a limited run of more expensive giveaways exclusively for more engaged, qualified visitors. Higher quality items can also be a great giveaway for existing customers – after all, they are special.

Samples
Ninety-two percent of attendees go to trade shows to discover new products. A great way to ensure your product is remembered post-show is to include a sample as a giveaway.

What’s the greatest giveaway you have in your arsenal? Or – better yet – what’s the most memorable giveaway item you’ve ever received?

Image via ePromos.