Every day there are more and more companies emerging, branching from industry growth. You have only one opportunity to make a good first impression on your potential customers - either you or your business card. The business card talks about your brand and it is a good and effective way to impress and keep in touch with your customers. But if your business card is impersonal or poorly designed, it can only endanger the image of the company and turn that chance of great first impression into bust. Therefore, some basic rules in designing a business card must be honored whether you're designing a business card for a company or getting it designed for your business.
A business card is a card that contains information about a company or an individual. They are usually exchanged at business meetings, conferences, seminars and so on. A business card usually contains a company logo, the name of the provider, the position in the company, the address, the telephone, fax number, and sometime a tagline.
Traditionally, for a very long time, business cards only had black text on white paper, but since technology has advanced, business cards have become increasingly complex and creative in their layout and design.
Nonstandard shapes, partial UV coated, matted, rounded edges, simple and sophisticated are now the norm for modern and trendy business card designs; it is important that you understand how they can be incorporated into your layout to make an outstanding business card.
The visual hierarchy or how the human eye catches information from business card surface is important. According to that we must consider that if a business card is for company and not individual, the company logo should dominate.
Second information should be person's name and surname, so viewers instantly know who gave him the business card.
Third would be contact information like telephone, address, website, email etc.
Next on scale are information which are relevant in today's digital environment, and those are social media contacts. Facebook profile, Twitter account, YouTube channel, Dribble portfolio links and many other digital world information have become very important means of communication so you need to display them in your design. Although, by old standards of clean and minimal design, they are not necessary information for business cards and that business card may look too crowded and not so professional with all those information, but today's way of communication dictate that it's highly desirable for business card to contain all those information.
Putting all those information on relatively small surface of business card can be a real challenge for designer so avoid writing all names of social media platforms in letters; your designer usually use only icons of those social media. Icon designs can also be linked to specific company color like Facebook blue, or YouTube red etc. This job may be slightly easier with double sided business cards. In a double sided design you can put all social media at the back of business card but sometimes a designer can't afford that luxury because brand guidance dictate the look of front and back of the business card.
Another recommended element for business cards is QR code. "QR code (abbreviated from Quick Response Code) is the trademark for a type of matrix barcode (or two-dimensional barcode) first designed for the automotive industry in Japan." - Wikipedia. QR code is easy to create and it can replace a lot of information and by doing that can make the designers job lot easier. One of the websites where you can create QR code is QR Code Generator.
The position of QR code on your business card may vary but sometimes it's better to put it in the back so it won't draw attention from primary information.
Even multiple QR codes on one business card is allowed because their functions can be different. One can drive you directly to website, other can make instant SMS or lead you to Facebook profile etc.
Among all the elements used on a business card, choosing the right font is crucial. It's customary that for Name and Surname designers usually use non serif fonts because they are easier to read. It largely depends on the brand itself but in some cases even decorative fonts can be used for some information. It's not recommended because some decorative and festive fonts are hard to read and that can annoy viewers so your business card can easily end up in trash. Also telephone numbers and address should be easily readable and that can be achieved with slightly larger kerning. Not too spacy, but just a little larger than regular, space between letters can contribute easier reading because letters aren't stick together.
The number of fonts available today is huge so any specific font can be recommended but it's important that the font is readable and comes with several font styles. With different font styles you can emphasize important parts of your business card. When you use just initial letters instead of whole word like "T" for telephone or "A" for address you can use bold version to emphasize it or even different color that match the company's brand identity. An important rule that defines good business card design is that you should never use more than 3 different fonts in your design.
One of the things that can distance business card from a bunch of others is material selection. According to the business type a card represents, various materials can be used. Carpenter may have business cards made on wood.
If budget is limited and usage of nonstandard materials isn't possible in purpose of driving attention on your business card, your designer can always use nonstandard shapes of classic paper business card. These will ensure you company stand out and communicate modernity for your brand.
In all those design madness, when choosing a nonstandard shape for a business card one thing should be kept in mind. Size of business card. Because the purpose of business card is to remind someone to keep in contact with you or to call you and start business relationship, it's very important that that person keeps your business card. It's highly unlikely that someone will keep a business card larger than the standard size. Some standard business card sizes are listed as under:
3.5 x 2 inch for US size or
85 x 55 or 90 x 50 mm in EU size
These are recommended sizes because then the business card can fit in a pocket or in a wallet without sticking out.
Bottom line is that in business card design all means are allowed but if you honor these several important rules you should achieve success and your business card will fulfill its purpose.