Business cards are an important step when starting a business, as they can say a great deal about you, your work and your brand. But we’ve all seen business cards that fall flat or just give the wrong first impression.
Here are five pitfalls of business card design to avoid so your business cards can stand out from the rest:
1. Piling on the design elements
While business cards should be memorable, it’s also important not to go overboard.
One strong design element, like a powerful photo or an intricate logo, is enough for one side of the card (and sometimes both). The other elements should be simple and clean, to ensure your card looks slick and polished as opposed to looking cluttered. Less is more.
2. Choosing colours at random
Unless you have a keen eye for design, the chances are you should not be picking out a colour scheme at random.
3. Skipping the proof
This should go without saying but you can’t imagine how many people have mistakes on their cards, such as misspellings, phone numbers missing a digit, or not following brand guidelines.
Not only will these errors make it harder for people to contact you, but they will also reflect poorly on your business overall.
The easiest way to avoid this is to have two or three people look at the card design before having them printed. Easy as that!
4. Going in blind
If, like most people, you’re ordering business cards online, you should always request paper samples. Something can look great on the screen, but feel very different to the touch and a long way from the effect you were aiming for.
Remove the variable by requesting a sample pack before placing the order to ensure you can see and touch your preferred paper type.
5. Assuming the business card will do all the work
Business cards can be very helpful in making a strong first impression, but you should never let the exchange end there. Sending a quick email or handwritten note can go a long way towards establishing a stronger connection.
I personally like to jot down a few notes about the exchange on the back of each business card I receive, to ensure I remember the conversation so I can reference it in my follow-up if relevant.
If a note is not suitable, connecting with the person on LinkedIn can be another way to keep the exchange going beyond that first meeting.
Cathy Berman is the director of marketing (international) and global e-commerce at MOO.