How to make the most of them.
Most of the time the BC design is generic or downright makes you wonder if your contact calligraphy wouldn’t be more interesting. It limits to provide contact information and passive branding while wasting the opportunity of communicating more about you and what you do.
This does not mean that you need to stack the design with data and lists and a galleries and what not. It’s about communicating the whole agenda in a single message that fits under 20 sq. inches.
Check your current business cards for:
The business card design should be in sync with your branding, that is not only using the logo, but the colors and white-space conventions to achieve an attractive and memorable set.
We all know the feeling of having to comb through piles of business cards giving them a quick look until we find the one we were looking for.
What specific part of the design gave you the clue to say “this may be it” before reading it? think about it, is not a complicated experiment to do.
Legibility and finish
The design detail and finish must be flawless across all the production run. Legibility should take in account your target market age and there should be 1:1 print tests to ensure this.
It also helps to spot other common errors when you are designing something small in those huge designer workstation screens.
Is not unlikely that the main focus of whom is producing your business cards is to keep those machines producing, not much your corporate image or brand strategy. When this is relevant to you, you are expected to bring it in the form of a finished design that you’ve reviewed and approved beforehand.
What you do
Another important factor is to include hints to the products or services you are offering. Imagine a potential client looking for the business card of that sales exec that had such awesome payment options. He does not remember the agent’s name, but he clearly remembers what this person was selling only that the business card does not include any of that information.
Is what you or your business do, is what you are trying to sell after all. If your logo does not give a direct hint of what your company do (which is not right) then you’ll have to add this information.
Experimental or Minimal + Alternative substrates
There’s another 2 or 3 ways to get a memorable business card and that is through experimental design that plays with your branding elements making them more protagonist. And the other is the minimalist approach where white space is the protagonist.
This clearly depends on your communication tone and personality of your brand, it does not work for everyone.
A third way that can influence -and be influenced by- the 2 ways referenced above is to go for an alternative substrate to paper.
Custom materials, trims and finishes of course help a lot to make your business card to stand more, but it takes good design to make the most of these alternative production methods without them stealing the show.
In conclusion, nothing speaks more to a commercial contact that “my company gives attention to the detail and quality” than a pretty and solid business card that is memorable.