Small businesses are often discouraged from designing a business card by themselves, but when you’re just starting out and have limited cash that needs to be allocated strategically, you may have to seriously consider designing a business card all by yourself.
If you’re a small business needing to figure out how to design a business card you can be proud of, you first need to identify what makes a good business card, and then you need to access great Envato Elements business card templates or a great online best business card maker like this one from Placeit.
Good Business Card Design - Business Card Guidelines for 2019
If you want to know how to design a business card, you first have to understand what makes a good business card. Best business card design should convey your business’s overall image in one glance. This may sound like a tall order considering that the average basic business card is generally 85 × 55 mm in size.
Here’s the thing. Your basic business card can’t possibly tell your entire brand story, but it can use every single aspect of the card—its shape, size, card stock, colour, texture and text—to present the image that best sums up your company.
So, if your company is an environmentally friendly travel agency, that should be communicated by the material you use to create your card as well as the logo, colours used, etc. Likewise, if you run a children’s indoor playground, you may want a card with an unusual shape that uses bright colours and playful but legible text. In other words, what makes a good business card? A professional card that people will remember and associate with your business.
Here are a few other crucial business card guidelines to help you better understand what makes a good business card:
- Design your card with your audience in mind. If your target audience is designers, you would create a different type of card than if you're targeting bankers.
- Include only the most important information. Resist the temptation to overcrowd your card with tons of information, just include enough to make the card memorable and pique the recipient’s interest.
- Make sure the text is legible. The point of your basic business card is to communicate, so if the text is too small, distorted or excessively stylised, no one will be able to read it.
- Honour negative space. Resist the temptation to fill every conceivable millimetre of your card with either text or graphics. Here the old adage ‘Less is more’ applies. Including some negative space gives the eye somewhere to rest and makes the information you do include stand out.
10 Business Card Tips (Unique Design Ideas)
Effective business cards are a powerful tool that tells the story of your brand and create a lasting impression on prospective clients and customers. It's important that you understand how to design a business card so that it communicates what your company stands for, helps distinguish your business from the competition and encourages potential clients and customers to get in touch with you. That’s why we’ve created this list of tips for designing business cards, to not only help with designing a business card but also to make sure that you get your basic business card design right.
1. Study the Best Business Cards from Across a Variety of Industries
One of the best ways to create business cards is to study effective business cards from a variety of industries, including your own. Try to collect as many as you can and lay them out on a flat surface. Make a note of what you like and don’t like about each card, what you find memorable and what you think just doesn’t work.
Next focus on the cards of your competitors. Are there qualities that they've got in common? Which cards stand out and why? Which are you drawn to and why?
You may want to emulate some of the qualities you’ve identified, find successful or that are memorable in the cards you’ve studied. Just remember though that you don’t want to emulate your competition too much because you want to retain some qualities that'll differentiate your business.
2. Create Business Cards Consistent With Other Brand Materials
Before you start designing a business card you should have decided on your brand logo, typography and colour scheme. These are the foundation of your brand identity. They should play a big part in the style and layout of your card and should be consistent across your website and other promotional materials.
3. Use Basic Design Principles
As printed materials, the basic principles of paper-based design apply to a good business card design. You need to keep all your key copy at least 5mm from the trim edge of your card, maintain a minimum size for your text to remain legible, design in CMYK and work at 300dpi to achieve the best quality reproduction.
It might also be helpful to use a grid to achieve proper business card layout of all the elements you use. This will help you to achieve the right hierarchy of information and ensure good alignment of different elements.
4. Choose the Best Shape and Size Card for Your Needs
Business cards are traditionally horizontal rectangular cards, but that doesn’t mean that yours has to be. Depending on your industry, the brand image you want to project and the audience you’re communicating with, your card can take on a number of other shapes from organic to geometrical. Really you want to consider what shape and size card best represents your brand. Even if you don’t want to step too far out of the box, consider a vertical rectangular card. They're less common than horizontals and can differentiate you from the competition.
5. Keep Your Design Simple
6. Don’t Forget Key Contact Details
There's some basic text that every business card should have to allow potential clients and customers who you hand your card to contact you. This will vary from company to company and individual to individual, but the most standard information on effective business cards is generally:
- company name
- your name
- job title
- contact information: phone number, email, address, one or two key social media channels
For some businesses, just the name, title and a telephone number might be relevant, while for others all the above information will be included.
7. Consider Including a Positioning Statement
A positioning statement is a short statement that most clearly defines your brand and its values and differentiates you from your competitors. For example, Nike:
Just do it.
Creating and including a compelling positioning statement on your card is a powerful way to stand out, be memorable and establish a connection with your potential clients.
8. Proofread Carefully
There's nothing more off-putting or more likely to damage a prospective business relationship than a business card with spelling mistakes or incorrect contact information, so proofread your card carefully and get others to proofread it for you. Double and triple check your contact details and make sure everything is legible.
9. Use Professionally Printers and First-Rate Materials
A well-designed and professionally-printed card inspires trust and sets a relationship off to a good start. So, don’t let down your good business card design with shoddy printing on poor card stock. Once your design is complete, be sure that you've got your card printed professionally on good card stock. This will not only make a good impression but will help with card durability.
10. Use a Professional Business Card Template
Finally, if you know your way around Adobe Photoshop and/or Illustrator, one of the best ways to make sure that you execute your business card design well is to make use of business card templates found on Envato Elements.
Learn how to take your business card designs to the next level with these awesome tutorials and articles:
- Business Cards10 Top Tips for Designing Your Own Business CardsGrace Fussell
- Business CardsHow to Create a Great Business Card in 10 Steps in Adobe InDesignGrace Fussell
- Product Mockup25+ Best Free Business Card Mockup PSD Designs (2018)Melody Nieves
- Business CardsThe Ultimate Design Guide to Standard Business Card SizesGrace Fussell
- Business CardsHow to Create a Modern Business Card Using Adobe PhotoshopMeng Loong
Discover 5 Great Business Card Designs from Envato Elements
A well-designed business card template is indispensable, as it saves you valuable time and effort designing business cards from scratch. Here are some great business card designs from Envato Elements:
This is an excellent example of a well-design business card template that's suitable for any kind of health and wellness businesses like spas, massage therapists and yoga studios.
Modern Business Card Template is a multipurpose modern design that's clean and simple. Easy and quick to edit. Just drop in your text and background image. Impress your potential clients with this professional card.
This Minimalist Business Card template is ideal for freelancers or personal identity. A super clean design crafted for the true professionals.
Artsy Business Card Template is a multipurpose business card template that's easy to edit. It's suitable for any business that wants to give a modern, artsy and creative outlook to potential clients. A clean and simple design that'll help you take your business to the next step.
This is a fully layered and editable professional template that's suitable for any business. This template is supported in Adobe Illustrator and is in print ready format.
Discover more premium business card templates that'll help you impress your clients:
- Business Cards24 Premium Business Card Templates (In Photoshop, Illustrator, & InDesign Formats)Sean Hodge
Envato Elements (Design Without Limits)
Envato Elements has a single compelling (all inclusive) offer:
Sign up for Envato Elements and you get access to thousands of unlimited use graphics and templates (with unlimited use). Get great web themes, business card design templates, and more—all for one low price.
That’s right! Download as many templates and graphics as you want, then customize them to fit any of your project needs.
Alternatively, if you’re looking for a simpler and easier alternative, you should use a business card maker like this one at Placeit. What’s great about this card maker is that it offers tons of business card design ideas and is a cost-effective way to create business cards quickly and easily. I’ll show you how.
How to Design a Business Card Online
Once you’ve decided on the best business card design for your company, you’ll need to customise it to make it your own. Here's how you can personalise your business card templates using the Placeit business card maker.
1. Select a Font
Starting with the controls on the left, add your business details and select a font style to match your brand.
2. Upload Your Logo
Moving to the controls on the right, upload your logo, or if you won’t be using a logo on your card, select a graphic from those offered that best represents your brand.
With this particular template, you'll also need to select a watermark graphic.
3. Select Colours That Match Your Brand
Using the controls on both the left and the right, change the colour of the business card background, as well as the colour of the fonts and other aspects of the business card design, to match your brand.
4. Resize and Move Elements As Needed
If you’re not happy with the changes you’ve made, you can hit the Reset Layout button to return the design to its original layout.
5. Download Your New Business Card
Click the Download button to download your brand-new logo for a small fee.
And that's how to design a business card quickly and easily.
Create Your New Business Card Today
Now you know how to design good business cards and where you can find excellent templates at Envato Elements and Placeit. Check them out and let us know in the comments below how'd you go with designing business cards for your company. Also, let us know if you’ve found the perfect business card template and which it is. We’d love to hear from you.
Editorial Note: Our staff updates this post regularly—adding useful business card guidelines and tips for designing business cards.