Handing someone a quality business card is like a good handshake - it makes an important first impression. Many cards give the impression of a well-established business while others exude a different feeling altogether. What is it that makes some cards give off a different impression? There are several things that can affect the overall impression of your business card when you present it to a prospective customer, client, or in some cases, employer. By focusing on 5 major areas, you can create a card that is more effective and professional in its impression.
The first thing to keep in mind when designing a business card is its visual impact. Most modern companies have fortunately started exercising more creativity with their cards and have moved away from traditional, plain looking cards. Many business owners now see and understand that those little 2" x 3.5" cards are important marketing tools. Be creative with the use of color, fonts, and imagery.
Paper quality is judged and notated in many confusing different ways. For example "80# Text" and "80# Cover", the first is thin like writing paper and the second is thicker, like a thin business card.There are three things that matter in determining what paper stock is going to produce a quality card.
- How thick the card stock is.
- How dense/compressed the card stock is.
- The quality of the finish on the card stock that will be printed on.
One point is equal to 1/1,000 of an inch for card stock. Therefore, 15 point card stock is.015 inches thick. Paper with more points is thicker but not necessarily sturdier and paper with fewer points is thinner. Fifteen point paper is good for business cards if the paper is also quality made. It is common to have thick, cheaply made paper.
Let me discuss items #2 and #3; these two issues are more important to consider than the first. Most people, however, focus solely on the first question, "How thick is it?" Paper density and the finish quality of the paper that will be printed on is determined by how the paper is "calendered".
"The calender is a series of hard pressure rollers used to form or smooth a sheet of material. The purpose of a calender is to make the paper smooth and glossy for printing and writing." - Wikipedia
Think of it this way - in terms of bread. A slice of Wonder bread is much thicker than pita bread. It is how the bread is made that is more important than its thickness. Pita bread is denser than Wonder bread. When it comes to business cards, not all thick papers are created equal either. You can have a 15pt thick card that feels cheap and spongy, yet it is still 15pt thick. On the other hand you can have a 15pt thick card that feels stiff like a metal blade. More expensive and higher quality papers are highly calendered and have that feeling of quality, thickness, and snap everyone desires for their card.
When choosing card paper or a company to print your cards, be careful not to only look for "how thick the paper is (Points)" but also look at the paper quality. It is easy to find thick cheap paper with no substance and a poor printing surface. This paper leads to a cheap feeling business card with poor quality and poor printing on a sub-par calendered finish.
Alignment for Text, Logos, and Pictures
In most cases, people's eyes find aligned text and objects appealing. Make sure that the text on your business cards is aligned left or right or centered. As long as it is consistent over your card it will project a neat, professional look. Experiment with multiple text layouts that allow you to easily upload a picture of yourself, your company, your logo, or whatever you may wish to have displayed on your card.
The Back of Your Business Card
Many people overlook the importance of the space on the back of their business card. While leaving some open space can be valuable at times for short notes or other information that needs to be written down, the back of your card is valuable advertising space. Use it to give more details about your qualifications, your products or services, or print a coupon, discount, or other incentive on there for your prospective customers.
Glossy Stock Business Card Paper
Glossy card stock allows colors to pop and offers a nice, smooth finish. But, if you opt for this, remember that it can be hard to write on glossy paper. If you or your clients ever need to jot notes on your business cards, take into consideration the use of uncoated, glossy, or super glossy finishes.
Considering these 5 points will be extremely helpful to you as you design online business cards for your company. If you have additional questions about card design, please feel free to contact the author.
Color Card Administrator is the parent company of PrintBusinessCards.com and several other innovative business card websites, we're eager to share with you what it is we do. Give us a call today at 858-522-9335 or email at Author@CardAdmin.com. We look forward to discussing your comments, suggestions, or hearing any ideas for future article topics you may be interested in regarding cheap business cards design or business card management.