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In Business and in Life, First Impressions Matter

These days, many of your potential customers will discover your business via social media or search, so it’s crucial that your website makes the right impression. Having said that, plenty of your prospects will also learn of your company the old-fashioned way, via word-of-mouth or business cards.

The only way to control what people are saying about your business is to provide great service, but we’re sure you’re already doing that. However, you do have control over your business cards, so it’s definitely worth your time to make sure they’re sending the right message. Here are 5 things to keep in mind when you’re designing your own business cards.

DIY Business Cards or Hire a Pro?

Before you get started on designing your own business cards, it’s worth asking whether that’s something you should be doing in the first place. We can’t all be design wizards, of course. If you’ve never done any type of graphic design, or find that people are constantly questioning your sartorial sensibility, then you may want to consider enlisting the help of a pro.

Of course, there’s no reason you shouldn’t at least give it a go if you have the time. If it doesn’t turn out, you can always seek assistance.

Make the Important Information on Your Card Obvious

Creativity is a wonderful thing, but when designing your own business card, you don’t want to get too terribly artsy. All the important stuff should be clearly visible. What do we mean by that? Well, the purpose of your business card is to get clients to call or to stop by, and to convince them that yours is the company they want to patronize.

Crucial bits of contact info such as your phone number and email address should be clearly visible. If yours is the type of business that does most of its sales at a brick-and-mortar location, you may want to include the physical address as well, but it generally isn’t absolutely necessary, as most prospects will likely call or email ahead anyway.

Cut the Information Clutter

Once you’ve got all the important information listed, take a look at your design. Is it clean and easy on the eyes, or does it give you a headache? That flashy piece of clip art may have seemed like a good idea initially, but does it really make the card better, or does it detract from the overall impression?

What about that font? Does it accurately depict the spirit and nature of the business? Is it too ornate or busy? How will it look in print?

Print a test card. Cards might look fine on a computer screen, but when printed to scale, clarity becomes even more crucial. Pass a few around the office, and be open to the feedback that you receive.

Bold or Minimal Business Card Design?

For some types of businesses, vibrantly colored cards can be a smart and stylish choice. For others, it’s best to keep the design of the business card minimal. You wouldn’t want to do business with a fun-loving funeral director or a devil-may-care divorce attorney, but you likely would trust someone with a stylishly colorful card to design your social media marketing campaign.

The choice is ultimately yours, but make the card fit the business that it represents.

With Business Cards, Quality Matters

If you’re a small-business owner, then you’re probably eager to find ways to save money, but you should be willing to invest a bit more in your business cards. Getting impressive business cards with quality paper stock and professional printing really isn’t that much more expensive than going the cheap route, especially when you consider the fact that potential clients will be judging your business based on your cards. Print them yourself on your home printer, and they may even question your business’s legitimacy.

Bonus Tip: Follow Directions When Designing Business Cards

Your business card printing company will probably provide you with instructions on designing your own business card, and it’s best that you follow them to the letter. If they tell you to avoid using borders, then it’s best to stick to their advice, even if you’re really attached to that border brush you downloaded for Illustrator.

[Photo Via: New Biz Card Designs]

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