When your career is taking off and you’re making more connections, it’s time to create a professional business card. This compact card contains all of your important information should potential business partners want to get in touch with you.
If it’s your first time making a business card, you’ll likely make a few mistakes, and some can be costly due to reprinting. So, before creating your first business card, be sure to take a look at our article about business card mistakes that everyone makes.
To jumpstart the ascend of your career journey, here’s the beginner’s guide on how to create a professional business card.
Step 1: Use Design Software
You can create a professional business card just by using design software. You dont need any fancy degrees, just a knack for design. If you’re a Photoshop pro, you can use your extensive editing skills to create a unique business card that will make you memorable to new peers.
If you find Photoshop hard to navigate, try using free editing sites like Canva which offers multiple pre-made layouts and free stock photos. Canva allows you to upload your own photos and has a wide collection of features that can help personalize your future business card.
If you’re more comfortable getting the opinion of an expert, talk to a designer. Some have consultation services, give feedback on your samples, and provide you with alternatives.
Step 2: Choose a Shape and Size
A business card compresses the company’s image and branding to a card no bigger than your hand. The standard measurements of business cards vary depending on the area but their differences are barely noticed as listed here:
North American Standard Size: 3.5 × 2 in. (88.9 × 50.8 mm)
European Standard Size: 3.346 × 2.165 in. (85 × 55 mm)
Oceania Standard Size: 3.54 × 2.165 in. (90 × 55 mm)
Don’t feel limited by the traditional rectangular size because your business card can be any shape you desire! If you want to stand out without being too flashy about it, opt for rounded corners. This sleek and modern design can transform the entirety of your card and make it ten times more impressive.
You can also use your imagination and break the mold of business cards. Some use special shapes and cut-outs to show off their creativity, which can be seen as a plus if you work in the design industry. For more formal industries, however, be wary of going overboard because they can have negative effects.
Always keep practicality in mind because even the quirkiest business card with innovative design is useless if people can’t fit it inside their wallets for future references.
Step 3: Find a Layout
First impressions matter in business cards. Because it represents you and your company, the layout of your business card should be a nod to your personality and your industry.
Knowing where to place your design and information affects the visual appeal of your business card. Keep it sleek and simple, but remember to add a little flair to make it more you.
When deciding on a business card layout, it helps to draw up where you want your name and position situated, as well as your logo and other contact information.
Will you have your logo on the same side as your contact information, or will they be on separate sides?
Step 4: Add the Necessary Information
The purpose of the business card will determine which pieces of information are needed. For some esteemed business people, they are very picky with who gets their personal phone numbers and generally opt to leave it out of their business cards. As an alternative, they provide a company email instead.
A standard business card should have your name and the company you work for. To be more specific, you can add your job title. You should never distribute old business cards that bear the name of your previous employer. Only give out the most recent version of your business card to avoid misunderstandings.
In the business card, you can add your phone number, email, and online portfolio (if you have one). For a more personal touch, you can include your social media handles, too. Use a character count tool to better optimize the limited space in your card.
For security purposes, never put your home address in your professional business card as that may compromise your safety and privacy.
Step 5: Play with Typography
Typography is more than just picking fonts. It’s the overall style and art of arranging type to make written language legible, readable and appealing when displayed or printed. As such, typography matters when creating your own professional business card.
Now that you have the needed information on the card, you can experiment with its appearance.
Choose a font that best represents your brand image and one that has easily distinguishable letters. You can mix and match fonts, but remember that the overall look must be united and cohesive.
The size of your font also matters because your information is useless if it’s not legible. To maintain good readability, your font size has to be at least 8 point. To bring some things to the forefront like your name and company, play with the font size and don’t be afraid of putting it in bold for extra emphasis.
The color of your fonts and other designs should present an attractive color scheme that’s easy on the eyes. Avoid using more than one bright color as that can hinder readability and make your business look cheap.
If your company has an existing color scheme, use it to maintain brand unity.
Step 6: Add Graphics (OPTIONAL)
Having the company logo on your business card is a must, but nothing is stopping you from adding more graphics to fill in the dead space of your business card.
Look organized and spice up your socials by replacing the social media names with its corresponding icons instead. This way, you’re adding more colors and graphics, giving a better visual experience.
If your card contains the address to your office, make a double-sided business card and use the back as a mini-map! Make a simple map giving directions to your building and put landmarks and street names.
Step 7: Finishing Touches (OPTIONAL)
You can add more flair to your business card and make it stand out from the pile by adding finishing touches.
Embossed business cards, for example, use a process that adds texture to it, pushing the image or text from the other side of the business card so they’re on a raised surface when viewed.
Another way to make your information stand out from the card is to use the foil stamping technique. Lined with foil, the text is decorated with a metallic effect, making your business card look that much more prestigious as it shines under the sunlight.
Make your business card multi-purpose by letting it double as a magnet. Attachable to metal, you can stick your business information on multiple surfaces. That makes you extra memorable! Don’t be surprised if your colleagues have your number memorized after seeing it on their fridge so often.
Some opt for the more sensual approach by using scented ink. As it releases a delightful scent, people will remember your business card every time they smell something similar.
Step 8: Print out a Sample for Inspection
Before ordering a large number of business cards, print a sample copy and inspect it for its legibility. Try checking its durability, because a business card that easily breaks isn’t ideal. If you want a sturdier card, you may want to look at duplexing, triplexing or using higher GSM paper.
Make the necessary changes before finalizing your design. Once you’re satisfied, print it in bulk and you’re ready to hand out your new business card during your next networking event!
It’s advised to always have at least 50 cards with you. Who knows? The road to success might be through your business card.
About the Author
Jayson Antonio is an Outreach Specialist at Word Count Tool that offers useful tools such as Word Counter Tool, Character Counter Tool, Scrabble Word Finder, Pomodoro Timer and Mind Map Tool for your creative writing. In his free time, he enjoys traveling, writing and playing mobile games.