Five Quick Tricks to Design a Business Card

Business cards are a crucial part of networking. Oh, sure, most of the business cards we get we just toss (or stick on the fridge or in our wallet for a couple weeks and never look at them again), but there are some we keep. If your card is one that your customer keeps, it’ll likely be because it stood out and made you memorable. Here’s my quick tricks to make your business card look sexy:

Quick Trick #1: Use color. Maybe this goes without saying, but avoid the trap of printing your business card in a monochromatic scheme. Show your customers you care by creating a nice, multi-colored business card that is fun and reflective of your company’s mission and target market.

Quick Trick #2: Use small typefaces. Using the default 11- or 12-point font on your computer isn’t going to cut it with business cards. For some reason we have the crazy idea in our heads that anything smaller than 10-point font is unreadable and that 10 is pushing it. That simply isn’t true. On small documents, especially business cards, you can get away with a 7- or 8- point font. And not only can you get away with it, it will look much better! This will also allow for some nice white space and it will give you more room for a large logo–which is much more memorable than your contact information anyway.

Quick Trick #3: Design both sides. There is an added element of elegance when you design both sides of your business card. Make one side image-heavy (or, at least, color-heavy). Make it pop out by putting a solid, saturated color (like orange or red or blue, depending on your company’s style guide and/or personal logo) and a simple, solid logo. Think, for example, of a McDonald’s yellow “M” on top of a solid red background or Apple’s iconic logo on a solid lime green background (similar to their old iPod gift cards). Nice.

Quick Trick #4: Don’t go crazy with the shape. You’ve probably seen them: business cards that are larger than the typical business card, or ones that are circle, a perfect square, or some other funky design. I’ll admit, some of these look very cool and they do stand out. But, truthfully, because most other business cards (and the planners, folders, and wallets that hold them) are all the same size, yours will end up being a pain in the rear to the people you give them to. On this, trust me: you’re better off sticking with the convention.

Quick Trick #5: Align your content strategically. With such little real estate to work with, sometimes we get confused as to where the content should go. Even on a small document like a business card, you don’t need to be afraid of white space. In fact, embrace it. Put your name and contact information aligned and grouped together and leave the rest to your logo and emptiness. Avoid, at all costs, arbitrarily placing items around the document (don’t, for example, stick your name in one corner, your phone number in another, your address in another, and your email in the final slot).