Business Cards For Beginners: The Complete Guide (2020)David - About Business - August 18, 2020
If you run a business, you absolutely need business cards.
They help your potential customers know who you are, contact you, and remember what you can do for them. The better they look, the higher your chances to make a strong impression and land a new contract.
How to make a business card?
How to design a business card?
Where should I order my business cards?
Who should I hire to design my business card?
Can I design my business card on my own even if I know nothing about the Adobe Suite?
In this comprehensive guide, I will cover all these questions and give you the tools and tips I use to design my own business cards.
How to Find a Great and Professional Design for Your Business Cards
If you're not used to working with design software such as the Adobe Suite, you can find many talented designers online. There are tons of freelancers and companies that will be more than glad to work on your business card. Paying for a professional service ensures you won't have bad surprises when it comes to printing.
Let's see where you can find talented people to design your business card:
99designs: This platform is helpful and reliable, and it has incredible features. Basically, you fill out a form where you tell what you want, what type of design you like most, what's another business card that you really want to get inspiration from, and other details. In the end, you set a budget, and dozens (if not hundreds) of designers will compete. Your business card project will appear as a contest where each designer gets a chance to earn the amount of money you've set beforehand.
Pros: You'll have many proposals made by different artists who are used to design business cards using their own style, while following your guidelines. You won't have to worry about printing.
Link: Click here
Mockupworld: If you don't have Adobe Photoshop, be it a free trial or the paid version, skip this part. Mockupworld is a website where you can download digital mockups made by professional designers who want to showcase their work or present their designs in an elegant manner that helps their customers envision how their virtual design would look on physical objects.
Pros: You can quickly see what your business card will look like in reality, and the mockups are easy to modify and adapt to your needs. You'll get a bunch of Photoshop Template files where you simply have to edit two layers that represent each side of your business card.
Cons: The files may not be tailored for printing. You might have an extra step between design and printing. It's not free, yet it's not too expensive neither. It's up to you.
Canva: It is the easiest drag-and-drop online tool to design a slick and professional business card. There are hundreds of templates ready to use, where you can edit colors, texts, and structure. Further than business cards, Canva is an excellent tool to design flyers, book covers, envelopes, and many other branding products.
Pros: Canva is free, and makes it super easy to customize fancy business card templates. Beyond that, the exported files are ready for printing.
Link: Click here
Dribbble / Behance: Mostly for inspiration, these platforms gather artists who showcase and present their work. Here you'll find tons of different styles and ideas for your business card, especially if design's not your thing and you have no idea where to start.
Pros: You'll find innovative, professional, and outstanding designs and ideas for your business card.
Cons: You will certainly have to hire a designer to turn a Dribbble / Behance design into an actual printable business card. On these websites, it's not so common to find editable files.
Link: Behance and Dribbble
You're spoiled for choice. No matter what you're looking for, there's a platform for you!
What You Should Include in Your Business Cards
Beyond design and aesthetics, your business must look good and professional. It's an open door to your company, its values, and its services. The fancier your business card, the better. It will make an excellent first impression, and that's what you're looking for.
Make sure you include these information:
Your logo if you have one. Otherwise, the name of your company written with a font that goes well with your industry.
Your full name.
Your business address
Your contact details (email and phone number are the bare minimum)
The services you provide or the industry you're in
Keep it clean and simple. Do not try to stuff as many words as you can, and strive to remain concise using the right words. Above all, make sure your contact details are correct and your name, along with the name of your company, are correct as well.
How to Print Your Business Cards
Here I'll talk only about the companies I've worked with. See further:
Moo: For starters, their customer support is incredible. I once had a small issue with my cards, which was all my fault, and they offered to take my new file, print the business cards again, and ship them at no cost. Further than that, the quality of their business cards is excellent. You have many options to choose from, and you get exactly what you expect, if not more. Finally, it's never stated on their website but the business cards you order are packed in stylish boxes filled with funny words from the team. The customer experience at Moo is definitely worth the money.
Pros: Flawless customer support. High quality. Free templates available. Large range of options to choose from, with premium features and custom formats you won't find elsewhere.
Link: Click here
Vistaprint: Who doesn't know about them? I like to think of Vistaprint as a cheaper alternative to Moo. I have never had to deal with their customer support, and I've always been happy with their business cards. Their online business card customizer is more powerful and more complete than Moo's. The colors were fine, albeit a little bland. For an everyday business card that isn't too expansive, I would go with them. For higher quality and stronger impression, I would go with Moo.
Pros: Cheap and affordable. Easy to use.
Cons: Colors may be less intense after printing.
Link: Click here
Unfortunately, I haven't tested tons of on-demand printing services, although these two companies certainly are the most used worldwide. Feel free to use Google to find other companies.
How to Make Your Business Cards Stand Out
You can take the game even further and leave a strong impression on your customers by adding unconventional features to your business card.
This is what I've seen so far:
NFC: This technology enables you to embed information into a tiny chip placed inside the business card. It's used in credit cards and badges mostly, yet it could help you make sure your customers won't ever throw your business card in the bin. Most phones have an NFC chip, so you could program your card to trigger specific actions once it's scanned (go to a website, display a message, etc).
Where to find: You can go on Alibaba and check with different suppliers until you find what's right for you. Otherwise, Moo is still working on that feature although they had it back in 2012, so it might be released soon.
Metal / Wood: Using metal or wood, your business cards last longer than the ones made with paper or plastic. On the one hand, you may have fewer customization options, although you can literally drill holes in your card. On the other hand, your business card will make a strong impression on your customers.
Where to find: Alibaba is, once again, the place where you can find that. Otherwise, a Google search will give you plenty of results. This one, for instance, looks really good. And they also have this website for wood.
Painted edges and Foil: That makes your business cards a little thicker, which, in my opinion, is good. It also makes your business cards shine, and look great even when they're laid flat. That's yet another way to stand out. Gold and silver can be a nice addition if your company's into luxury goods for instance.
Where to find: Moo's got all these features.
These are incredible details and elements that will make you and your company stand out.
Personal tip: Feel free to ask for samples before ordering! Just to make sure you get what you expect.
Checklist Before Printing Your Business Cards
One last check before you order your business cards. Make sure all these points are good:
Keep your text above 12pts.
Do not put too much text.
Avoid painted borders (not edges). Your borders may be inconsistent due to the nature of printing.
If you design your own business card, use a template and CMYK / Pantone colors.
Do not use more than two fonts.
Let it breathe. Do not put too much information nor useless shapes to fill blanks.
Make sure there is no typo.
These guidelines will help you make the most professional and good-looking business card.