Even in the age of the personal website, Skyping, and emails, the business card is a staple of the business world. There’s a reason for that, too: Even with all the new and more technologically advanced ways we have to connect with each other, business cards are a quick and convenient way to tell someone everything they need to know about you and to remind them you exist.
Of course, not all business cards are created equal. In order to serve their purpose (namely, to convince people to trust you and to contact you for whatever services you’re offering them), business cards need to meet certain standards. The best business card designers share many things in common, such as they:
1. Make It Readable
This may seem like an obvious suggestion, but it’s worth pointing out, anyway. In their quest to make their business cards more interesting and stand out from the crowd, some people pick designs that are so detailed and idiosyncratic that they are borderline illegible. Whatever else you decide to include in the design for your business card, make sure that all the pertinent information is clear and legible.
2. Stay Away from the Margins
As advanced as printing techniques have gotten, there’s no way to make sure that every single business card turns out perfectly. This is especially true for borders and text that reach all the way to the edges of the card. Most printing services recommend leaving a space of at least 3mm around the edge of the card that is the same color of the background. This space is known as the “bleed,” and it is there to make sure that none of the design gets cut off.
3. Use the CMYK Color Model
If you’re going to use a color design for your business card, it’s important to use the CMYK color model when laying out the design. CMYK-cyan, magenta, yellow, and key (or black)-is the name given to the color model used during the commercial printing process; most computers and electronic screens, on the other hand, use the RGB color model.
Without getting too technical, sending a design to the printers in RGB is likely to result in a muddy design and colors coming out distorted in the final product. If you’re not sure how to make sure your design is in CMYK, consult with a printer before submitting the design to make sure that it’s been formatted correctly.
4. Aren’t Afraid of Embossing
Embossing your business cards serves multiple purposes. With embossed business cards, even plain black-and-white designs appear more dynamic and elegant. If you have no eye for design or don’t want your business cards to feel gaudy or overdesigned, embossing is a simple but effective way make a simple design stand out.
Additionally, embossing adds a touch of elegance and class to a business card. It may be shallow, but business cards that look more expensive are more likely to catch someone’s attention and be remembered.
Whether you want your business cards to be colorful and glitzy or simple and dignified, following these design principles will make sure that your cards will make an impression. Once you stick with these simple rules, the rest is up to you! Perhaps the most important tips for business card design is to pick a design that makes you happy and which represents the way you want to be seen by your peers and potential clients.