Have you ever felt like eating a business card? Seriously, the other day, someone had talked about business cards made out of chocolate. Chocolate, my favorite food in the food pyramid!
Seriously, your business card is the compass that directs people to you and what you do. It tells people how to reach you, and should take them to your website. Your website is a written and visual communications tool, which provides more detail as to how your business can solve the customer’s problem.
Ask yourself, is my website…
Your card should distinctively represent your business and the services you provide. There are cards that are die cut according to shapes. There are many services out there today that create generic cards, and some at a reasonable price. However, remind the client that they have minimal control over mixing a card design with the card copy. Meaning, one design may allow one message, while another, will design may not. Also, remind the client that these cards are open to the public, so there is a good chance there are many people out there using the same design as you, even in different industries. I like to tell my clients to develop their branding personality and build on that across all their marketing materials.
Make sure the colors do not overshadow nor blend indestinctively into the information. As people read the card, are they able to decipher the message on the card? Some font scrolls may be lovely, but can your clientele clearly make out what it says? What about the font size? Does the website and phone number jump out to the reader? Is the card too crowded with information? Consider using the front and the back of the card. Be mindful how to split the information without compromising the card’s message.
Business colors and fonts are part of your branding. Don’t be afraid to experiment with them. However, in the end make sure they come across neatly on both the card and your website. You will want to note that some fonts may project as fuzzy when displayed on some flat screens. Using a Sans Serif font has a higher print resolution, thereby accomplishing a crisp visual for the reader.
Do people get a feel from the card as to what the services and products the business provides? Your tag line should communicate this message.
Simple is best. Clutter distracts the reader from capturing the message of the card. Adding your Twitter, Facebook, and Google information is not necessary. Your website should convey that information.
The information should include the information below; I’ll address the following points, in more detail, in the next blog:
- Business Name
- Business Tag Line
- Business Logo
- Your Name
- Address (local business, not necessary for a virtual business)
- Phone #
- Fax #
- Website Address
- Email contact
- Tag Code (for a 2D or QR code for hand held devices)
As yummy as chocolate is, and as creative as the concept is, I have to ask, how does someone save it or scan it into their business card recognition software? By professional, I mean, keep it practical for the user. Not everyone may have scanning software, but they may have a wallet, and they don’t want chocolate melted in it, or an oversized business card that cannot fit in the folds.
Also, you can be fun-loving, without representing yourself as foolish, immature, or inexperienced. In other words, don’t mix up your business cards with your marketing toys, such as squeeze balls, Frisbees, or absorbable water sponges.
Speak the potential client’s language
The style of the business card you create for your clients should represent who they are. They chose their professions because usually it a reflections of their personality, who they are. Obviously, if you are pursuing accountants, you will try to keep their design, as simple as possible. Accountants think linear, in black and white, and bottom line. If you want to get their attention go for a raised print on the card. If you are appealing to art galleries, you will want to have an abstract and full bleed piece of art on a glossy card with an exciting, yet, legible font.
Every person is different, so to be all things to all people is almost impossible; however, if you really listen to your client as to who they are, what they do, and how they project themselves, you should be able to design something close to what they are looking for.
Regarding the copy on the card? Consider that some people prefer to type over talking, and other find it easier to make a phone call than type a message or text.
And if you are a bakery, then that chocolate will be a deliciously, successful marketing tool! Just make sure your business information is on the wrapping and it doesn’t get crumpled up and thrown away.
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