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In’s and Out’s of Business Cards

A business card is your company’s identity. It provides vital information for possible clients as a memory aid. They provide information such as your company name, address, phone number, fax number, e-mail and website. They are shared during formal introductions and business meetings.

When you leave your business card with a person you are leaving your own identity on that piece of paper. Because it is your identity your business card should state who you are, what you do, and how to contact you for further information. You should not overwhelm the paper with words, but should show what you do with an overall image.

Business cards have many different parts to them. Many people might not think about it but a business card can contain many parts to make a single end product.

* Name of Individual

Not every business card will include a personal name but it is a nice personal touch. When you work at a very large company it helps to place your name on your business card for the client to know exactly who to contact.

* Name of Business

Almost every business card you find will have the organizations name on it. The name of the business is normally the most prominent text on the business card. A company with a very well known logo may be applied to compliment the company’s name.

* Address

A physical mailing address is also very typical to be displayed on a business card. If your company has an office you can provide clients with an address to visit. This however is not always needed; some businesses do not have a local office and can provide a URL instead.

* Phone Number(s)

Listing multiple phone numbers for a land line, cellular phone line, or fax machine is typical for large companies to provide the client with as many possible contacts as possible. Don’t forget to include the area and/or country codes and extensions. When writing out phone numbers you can include parentheses, hyphens, periods, spaces, or other characters, but is not required. If you do choose to use any type of characters make sure to continue the same pattern throughout your business card.

* Email Address

Including an email address is a very important element for a web-based business. When you have a majority of your business online you need to provide information to be able to be contacted at. This of course is not required and may be better left off depending on your company.

* Web Page Address

Web addresses can be listed to provide clients with the ability to visit your website and learn more about your business and possibly view past work.

* Job Title

This field is not required but can be listed if you desire. Some smaller groups may provide the titles “President” or “CEO” to give the appearance that the company is larger.

* Tagline or Description

A tagline or brief description is useful when the business name is not very helpful with providing the client information towards what the business is actually about. Taglines can also convey features or highlights of the business.

* Logo

A logo is used often on business cards and other papers to help to business create an identity.

* Graphic Images

Some companies decide not to use a logo and instead use a subtle image can use a stock image or custom image to help reinforce what the company does. Small graphics can be used to separate areas of information.

* List of Services or Products

Having a long list will clutter your business card but when using a two-sided or folded business card a small bullet list of services offered or main products provided can be useful.

Now that we know what goes into a business card you are probably ready to make your own. Before jumping right in you will need to know a little more information about business cards.

The default size for a business card in the United States and Canada is 3.5in by 2in. In the UK the default size is 85mm by 55mm.

When picking color you need to think about a couple of things. First, if you have a website, make sure the colors match the color scheme on the site. If you have a company with a logo make sure to pick colors that go along well with that.

The quality of paper you use to print your business card on says a lot about you and your business. If you choose to print on a cheap paper people will notice that and not take you seriously. Make sure the paper is a high quality and not flimsy or low quality.

Making your business card stand out from the rest will make clients know you mean business. If your business card looks like the everyday card it will be forgotten.

Fonts are becoming more and more important in design. When choosing a font you must pick one that best represents who you are and what you do.

Font Size
Is your business card crammed with too much information? White space on your card will make it easier to absorb your message. If you have a lot to say, add it to the back of the business card.

When you hand someone your business card they will feel the texture of the card. This should also represent your company the best possible way.
Very intresting post. Reason being I was wanting to make some quick and simple cards for a convention im going to this weekend. (however It seems I can not get them made in time from when I thought of the idea) I was having problems trying to design a good card with all the information I wanted, but while keeping it clean/neat and "professional looking". Ill have to Fav this thread for use at a later time. thanks for the post.

Quick side note: do many people use a folder business card? I dont see them much, seems a little to much to me... is it?
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