Date posted 23 January 2015

Are business cards still relevant? Why bother about business card design when smartphones, social media, and other developments in technology have changed the way people keep track of their and the Internet to learn more about a particular business or enterprise?

Times may have changed but there is no doubt that business cards, if used properly, can help you make a great first impression on potential customers and stakeholders. Keep the following factors in mind when designing your business cards.

The conventional rectangular business card is just one of the many options available as far as business card shapes are concerned. Circular cards, square-shaped cards, eye-grabbing quadrilateral shapes---you can consider different options for your business card design. The shape of your card can convey a lot about your business.

A whacky and unconventional shape will highlight the stand-out-in-a-crowd approach of your business. On the other hand, sticking to the conventional design can help you come across as a sober and responsible entrepreneur who prefers to let his or her work do the talking.  

If you don't want to tinker with the shape of your card, then you can change the look by modifying the orientation. Skip the conventional landscape mode and opt for the portrait mode to give a different feel to your business card design without changing the shape of your card.

Pay attention to the quality of paper that you use for your cards. Make it a point to check the GSM of the paper before finalizing the design. Poor quality paper with a rough and cheap feel will create a very bad impression every time you hand out the cards.

If working on a small budget, then you can consider plastic cards, which look like paper without costing a lot. For premium customers, consider metal cards with a die-cut design to make your card and your brand rank above your peers and competitors.

Once you have finalized the material and orientation, it is time to consider the various printing options. Add a bit of personality to your cards by going in for colored business card designs. Or, consider embossed cards for a classy and sophisticated finish. Foil and spot UV are modern printing options that can help you showcase your logo or trademark on your card itself.

For tech-savvy customers, opt for double sided cards with a QR code on the back side for easy scanning through smartphones. The customer can download your contact information into his or her smartphone by simply scanning the QR code through the smartphone. This simple trick will ensure your card remains relevant and useful even if your customers prefer virtual business cards.   

If you want to highlight your credentials as a responsible and environment-friendly business, you can opt for business cards made out of recycled paper. This simple decision will highlight your commitment towards protecting the environment, and will help create a very good impression when you hand out your business cards.

Next, you should focus on the overall finish of your card. A matt or glossy finish will enhance legibility of the text and protect the card from wear and tear. You don't want the card to fall apart in a few weeks, do you? Laminated cards may seem boring but these cards tend to last for a really long time. This will be a smart choice when attending networking events and meeting people from all over the country or all over the world.

Of course, there is nothing stopping you from opting for whacky or innovative finishes as well. Perforated cards or cards with wood finish will ensure your conventional design does not seem boring or uncool. The finish is important because people often touch cards before they read what is written on it.  

Many people make the mistake of thinking that the contents of the card are not of any relevance as far as the overall business card design is concerned. Do you intend to print your photo on the card? Where do you want to print it? Will the photo be clear and accurate on your recycled-paper card? Do you plan to have your business logo on the card as well? Would it seem like overkill to have your logo and photo on the face of the card?

It does not make sense to finalize the design of your card without considering the placement of text, logo, photo, and other details. Considering that we live in the age of social networking, you should make sure your card contains details of your personal and corporate social media presence as well.

All the details should be incorporated in an aesthetically pleasing manner without any mistakes or errors whatsoever. Going in for a standard-sized card and stuffing tons of details is not a smart idea. At the same time, going in for oversized business cards that are difficult to carry and unwieldy to hand out is not sensible either.   
The best way to finalize the right business card design is to rely on a service provider offering multiple templates and designs along with the option of going in for a custom-design for your cards. Choose a service provider with a good online presence as this will help you compare templates and designs from the comforts of your home or office. You can check out multiple design options and have a relatively clear idea even before you begin the process of designing your card.
Finally, take time out to come up with an interesting characteristic that will add that X-factor to your card. Consider printing your logo in 3D. Or, consider cards that are shaped like the product you manufacture or sell. Cards with a gold or silver finish may convey an impression of wealth and prosperity.

It is not imperative to spend a lot of money to come up with an interesting and unique business card. Rather, use your imagination and combine it with online resources to come up with a card that enhances your brand recall amongst your target audience.