Tag Archives: business card

Are Business Cards Still Necessary?

custom business card design and printing Lansing area connection GraphicsSomeone asked this in a forum recently. Maybe they were just looking for attention, I don’t know. Business cards have a long history of service in many forms and are still the the cheapest form of advertising.

What is the history of business cards?

Visiting cards – used in 15th century China these cards communicated the desire for meeting another person.

Calling Cards – Very popular in 17th century Europe these cards were used by the upper classes as personal advertisement as a formal request of an introduction

Trading Cards – Late in the 17th century tradesmen began using these cards to inform customers of their services and shop address

Business Cards – 18th – 19th century less formality was practiced and the trading card and visiting card merged.These cards were used in formal and informal settings as personal advertisements and trade promotion.

Business cards have been the go to item for businesses to get and give contact information into this century. Beside a short stint of the late 1940s’ invention, the rolodex. The rolodex was very popular with businesses in the 80s’ and 90s’. Companies even included pre-printed contact information on rolodex cards in direct mail pieces. As much as recruiters sought out candidates with the most complete rolodexes in the 90s they were quickly replaced by the emergence of the desktop computer. Databases and synchronized address books are now stored on smart phones a third of the size of  the smallest rolodex.

Will business cards go the way of the Rolodex?

Rolodex cards were nearly twice the size of a standard business card size (3.5 x 2) plus they had an odd die cut that didn’t exactly travel well. Business cards are lightweight an easily tuck into purses, billfolds, and standardized sleeves found in many office products.

Admittedly not everyone holds onto business cards they receive these days. Computer scanners with OCR readers and software such as Neat allow direct feed into computer databases that even store the graphics and corporate logo on the cards. Business cards can be disposed of at this point since all of the information can be accessed on a future date. Yet, all of this content still begins with a printed business card.

How are business cards used now?

Like every good invention there are abusers amongst us. Watch out for those business cards grabbers at  networking events who return to their offices, scan each business card they receive, import the contacts to multiple mailing lists and the spamming begins.

Of course not everyone has embraced this latest business card scanning software. Business card holders are still overflowing or stuffed in piles on desks, in purses and cars — even if there are Neat scanners waiting to receive them in the office. Let’s be honest, some of these business cards may never see the light of day. Some people are guilty of taking business cards out of courtesy and politeness with no intention of ever looking at them again. It’s that one person who takes it and uses it that we all seek — and the handful of cards that are taken out of courtesy are pennies on the dollar.

Of course haters gonna hate and many claim they can Google the information they want or search on a corporate website for the contact information they need. But how do you search for the person you met at the networking event last week who sold the exact service you are Googling right now? What was that company name again? What was that smart account representatives name? Only a business card is going to help you recall all of this information.

Business cards are here to stay

  • A business card is a basic tool for start up companies trying to get their brand in front of people at a low cost.
  • Usually the first touch a prospect will have of your brand messaging.
  • A business card is an instant connector and leave behind piece for casual or impromptu meetings.
  • A business card is small and fits standardized office tools
  • Sales training 101 promotes carrying businesses with you at all times
  • It’s no wonder business cards are essential to business. The cost to reproduce them are usually less then a few cents a piece. When printing business cards choosing a professional design and printer is critical to show professionalism and details are important to you. A smeared, bent card doe not a good impression make.

Are business cards necessary these days? I say yes. However, I also confess I am somewhat stingy with my cards in networking events. I have experienced those marketing firms and over zealous small business owners who believe since I gave them my card it was permission for them to add me to all of their email campaigns, direct mail campaigns plus phone me way too much.  I’ve gotten picky who I give my card to -especially at networking events. Consider this the next time a business owner offers you a card – they may not give them to just anyone – but they chose to give it to you.

Business cards are this month’s special. Business cards are discounted 20% through December 30, 2014.

Please connect with us today if you need a new business card design or if you need reprints of  an existing business card design Connection Graphics has created for you in the past.

 

 

Top 10 Tips for Creating A Great Business Card Design

Business card sample of Bear Creek MaintenanceBusiness cards are still the best and most cost effective form of advertising your business or freelance work. The surest way to stand out like a start up is to say “I don’t have a business card yet.” The next best way to scream novice is to have a  business card design that looks like you designed and printed it yourself.

A business card design should quickly and clearly communicate what your business is. Creating a great business card design that will stay in the forefront of a prospect’s mind says it is customized for you and your company.

  1. Be Clear – Choose a font that is clearly legible. You don’t have to stick to the same standard fonts that are on everyone’s computer. Choose a font with personality that suits your brand just be sure it can be read. Print a proof at 100% size and have a variety of people read it. Don’t close out the senior market because they can’t read your card!
  2. Keep It Clean – A business card should not replace your brochure or website. Add contact information, a tag line if you have one or a coupled of products and services you offer. If you choose to add all of your products and service or other information, consider using the second side of the business card.
  3. Stand Out  – Nothing helps build a brand quicker than a custom logo design. Nothing beats a brand image that demonstrates your commitment to quality, and quickly communicates who you are like a professional logo design. Choose colors that are noticeable and suitable to your brand.
  4. Cover It – It’s important to include all points of contact. Include your company name, your name,  phone number(s), address, email and website. Include the best phone number for customers to reach you. If you don’t want to list your cell or fax number, it is not necessary. Web or home based businesses do not need to include addresses on their cards if they prefer. For independent company representatives, it is good practice to include the corporate headquarters address.
  5. Hold On – Compare the weight of the paper from business cards you have received. Which ones feel best? A flimsy stock will not hold up over time and can easily be lost. Choose card stock, preferably 12 pt and up.
  6. Finish Strong – A gloss- or UV-coated stock is more durable than an uncoated sheet, but it also shows finger prints and glare in high light. An uncoated or matte finish business card stock is more understated. A graphic designer or printer can help you determine which can suit your brand best.
  7. Add Value – Include a coupon, a calendar or dates to remember to encourage the recipient to hold on to your card. Add these to the back of the card so as not to compete with your contact information on the front.
  8. Look Closely – Whether you do it yourself or outsource design, make sure someone who hasn’t been a part of the design process proofs it before it goes to print. Call the phone numbers listed, check the emails and website URLs before printing your business cards.
  9. Show Off – Photos are a custom touch to business cards. Realtors, consultants and professional speakers business card designs benefit greatly by including their image. A picture offers recall for many years after a meeting; just be sure to use a current photo. You can also use a photo of your product, a shot of your corporate office building (if it is attractive), or a photo or graphic that is connected to your industry.
  10. Convey Class  – A business card from your desktop printer screams low standards. Plus inkjet prints dissolve before your eyes with any contact with water!  Full color business cards printed professionally are very economical and show you are committed to presenting your business in the highest class.

There are a few free business card design websites that offer hundreds of pre-made business card design templates. These sites often offer very inexpensive (sometimes free printing). For start up companies on limited budgets, this seems like a great solution. So thousands or companies utilize these business card templates – every day. I remember attending a networking event one evening where I brought back four business cards that were exactly the same design, same ink colors, same logo, etc. and they were all for a different company (and in some cases a different industry). Customize your business card to have top-of-the-mind awareness. If you are a commercial builder, you don’t’ want to be confused with the unlicensed home remodeler in your town because you are distributing the same business card designs.

Connection Group offers custom business card designs as an individual service and as part of our graphic design packages. Call us today for a business card design consultation. We can provide individual business card designs and cards for all of your staff and contractors. We’re happy to brainstorm unique added value ideas including calls to action and informational tips to help people hold to and continue to reference them. Receive

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