How to Create a Simple but Successful Personal Business Card
Business cards are something that everyone knows about but when it comes to creating them, they don’t know where to start. In this post, I’m going to explain what information should be put on a business card, as well as how to design a business card in a way that is both unique and professional. I will also share a few tips with you regarding style choices!
Designing a business card
When designing a business card, you have a few options. Websites like Vistaprint, Canva, and Staples all provide relatively inexpensive business cards with a variety of templates to choose from, as well as some (albeit limited) options to customize your own. Alternatively, you can create your own business card in Photoshop, or another editing software and bring it to a UPS or FedEx store where they will print your design for you.
Despite there being plenty of options for templates, business cards can still be overwhelming. Questions about the background color, finish, type of corner (rounded or not), what orientation to use (horizontal or vertical) and whether or not a logo/picture is needed are among the most common, and those will be the ones answered in this post.
As a general rule, you can never go wrong with a white or black background. That being said, if you’d like a guide on what specific colors invoke on a business card, printplace.com’s article Color Meanings and Business Card Design provides a brief but insightful guide.
Text color for a personal business card is also key. If you want to keep it simple, a white background with black text is the most common tried and true method. However, if you’re looking to stand out from the competition, a business card with a font color that matches the title of your resume and your LinkedIn account is a great way to add cohesion and professionalism.
When it comes down to it, the finish is all personal preference. Glossy finishes are better for making colors, pictures, or logos (if you choose to use them) pop on your card, and they also tend to make the card more durable. The caveat to that is it sometimes makes text harder to read, and it can come off as tacky depending on how shiny it ends up being. Matte, on the other hand, gives a very clean, smooth look that doesn’t show fingerprints. Additionally, if you’re trying to write on a personal business card before you give it out matte is the better choice. The cons of a matte business card are that they tend to be less durable, peeling and fading easier. The matte finish is also almost always the more expensive option.
Corner style, much like finish, are personal preference. Sharp edged corners are typically more cost effective and are the classic look, however they’re more likely to bend and crush if you don’t keep them in a box at all times. Rounded corners, on the other hand, provide a more modern look and maintain their shape better; however, they are a less traditional option, and usually cost more.
Card orientation is particularly difficult because the effect is a toss-up as to the effect it’s going to have. As a general rule I would recommend horizontal, the tried and true, safe option. Vertical business cards stand out because you see them less often, which can give you the ever coveted second look at your card. That being said, they’re also unconventional and can be inconvenient if the person you’re handing the card to has a business card holder.
Personal business cards have a very simple purpose: they give your contact information, so the age-old adage KISS (keep it simple stupid) comes into effect in a big way. Your business card only needs 4 things on it; your name (first and last), your phone number, your professional email address, and your LinkedIn (the last one is optional, I recommend you include it though because it can act as a second resume). Logos, pictures, your place of work, and your address are all things you’ll see added into most templates, as well as occasionally social media accounts. I would also not suggest including your place of work for the sole purpose of the possibility of losing your job. If that happens, the business cards you have are rendered useless and you have to order new ones. If there is a situation where you need a business card for your work, and your place of work must be included, ensure you have some extra business cards where that information is not included, just in case.
- Now what?
Now that you've learned how to design a great business card, be sure to check out these other great business card articles!
Want to learn how why business cards are important? Click Here!
Want to learn what the proper etiquette is for handling business cards? Click Here!
What’re your thoughts? Do you have any ideas on other parts of a business card that need to be gone over? If so please feel free to message me either via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via LinkedIn here.
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