Tag Archives: Business Card Design

Business Card Design for Small Business

business card design for small business

As a graphic designer I have been known to break a few corporate rules. However, I choose to play by the rules when it comes to business card design. At least when it comes to the shape and size of business cards. As in most industries, there are standards to follow that help consumers and industry professionals.  Challenges, expense and frustration occur when products vary from  industry standards.  An innovative product may be deemed unusable. A company who chooses to break from the norm may be striving to create a new standard (Hello Apple iphone7 headphone). In other instances they may not have compiled the proper research. Or they are just going rogue!

Lately, when attending networking events the business cards I have garnered are in a variety of shapes and sizes. Creative business card design is a valuable investment for start ups as well as established corporations. But, it is important not to get too far away from the norm.  It is your logo and business card design that people see most. Business cards will be exchanged at networking events, one on one meetings, and cold calls. If your card looks unprofessional, then so do you.

What is the size of business cards?

The standard dimensions of a business card design is 2” x 3.5”. Traditionally the 3.5” is the longer, horizontal measurement. Over the years vertical business card designs have made a mark as well. The most widely accepted business card shape is a horizontal version. Industries such as banking, insurance, manufacturing, and education use traditional, clean designs. Comparatively, vertical business card designs, tend to be used by creative industries such as architects, interior or graphic designers, crafters or arts and craft products, etc.

Business card design styles

Business card designs that break away from the normal business card size stand out. But, having an outstanding design is different than having a design that stands out. The goal of a professional business card design is to be memorable, communicate clearly and be easy for the recipient hold onto it. When a vendor hands me a square business card that are all the rage right now I don’t know what to do with it. It doesn’t fit in my business card holder, it doesn’t fit in a pocket folder slit, it doesn’t fit in my phone case! Plus, with square business card design, nearly all are two sided – so now you’ve created more work for the recipient.

Don’t get me started on the small business card designs that resemble the size of keychain loyalty cards. Why would someone choose these to promote their business? Does the small business card save that much on paper cost? I will confess, I do not know the actual printing cost of business cards in this format. Why? The answer is because I would never recommend them to my customers. Consider using them as a small product insert but please don’t use them as a professional business card.

Size matters

In closing, I will share that it is common practice to scan business cards into a customer relationship management (CRM) system. All of those tiny business cards get stuck in the scanner. Additionally, square, two sided business cards must be scanned twice. In one sense you have achieved the goal in standing out to me by choosing an odd shaped business card design. Increased scanning and input time has been created for me. This doesn’t leave me with a good impression of you and your company. Isn’t leaving a good impression the first goal of networking?

We’re happy to take a look at your business card and offer feedback. Fair warning- it will be honest feedback! Email or give us a call today.

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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.