Business cards are the best way to make a first impression, even if it’s a bad one!

Everyone always says that first impressions are important, and this is especially true as you do business with people. Often a poor or misinterpreted introduction can set the wrong tone for an entire relationship. Think of business cards as an introduction in the world of networking. Rather than coming out and saying, “Hello, I’d love to work with you,” or, “Please take me seriously, stranger,” you simply do so in the form of a business card! However, you can say a lot more than just “Hi” with one. Like most things in design, a lot of what gets said isn’t necessarily said at all.

Think of the worst business card you’ve ever gotten from someone. Maybe they had a mountain of text on it that you knew you weren’t going to read. Or, perhaps you couldn’t read it at all because it had its text over a busy background. You may not even remember the worst one you ever received because the card was simply so forgettable. There’s frankly a lot that goes into business cards, and it’s easy to overlook things. I’d like to talk about some of these things that can go a long way toward making your business cards successful in leaving a good first impression.

Design

This is probably the most obvious thing for a design-centered blog to talk about, but make sure your business cards look nice! I can’t tell you how many cards I’ve seen that look like they were just shoved through the same stock template at the printers before being run. Stop and think about what you want your card to look like, and then talk to a designer about how to make that idea work. If you’ve worked with a designer on other material for your brand, please contact them. They will know how to best represent your brand on a business card.

 

Reverse Side

People really underestimate the back side of business cards. Most of them are blank, which is quite sad. With the right design, the reverse side of your business cards can have just as much of an impact as the front. Use visual imagery that compliments your brand. Nothing is necessarily required to be on the back side of a business card, so this space can be as wild as you’d like it to be. Just make sure it makes sense within the context of your brand.

Material

The material that your business card is printed on can and should have just as big of an impact as what’s printed on it. Paper is paper, right? WRONG! There are hundreds of different types of paper varying in thickness, texture, color, etc. In fact, paper might not be the right material at all! Perhaps you need plastic business cards for a sleek, high-class feel. Of perhaps thin sheets of wood with your information burned into them are just what you need. Choose something that fits your needs and stands out.

Memorability

Speaking of standing out, let’s talk about the most important part of a business card: remembering it. Too often, most business cards are forgotten until you need something for that bit of food stuck in your teeth or you find it caught between your desk and the wall. This should not be the norm. Your business card’s primary objective should be to give people your contact information, but immediately after that, it should be to stand out from others’. The more you are in someone’s head, the more likely it is that you’ll be there when they have a problem you can solve.


Getting business cards right requires a lot of foresight and planning. Despite this, they can often be an afterthought for people who are running a business simultaneously. You only get one first impression, so make it count.

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