Design Spotlight: How to Design a Business Card

Typically, my design spotlights are showcasing recent work, most commonly recent brand projects.

Today, I'm doing something a little different. I want to showcase a recent project and teach you how you to do it yourself! Plus, this recent project isn't a brand new client. I partnered with Olivia, from Styleheir, to design her business card.

If you missed it, the last design spotlight I shared was of Olivia's new brand for Styleheir. Styleheir is an online shopping experience for the versatile woman. Her style was minimalist, chic and inviting. Check out her brand spotlight to see the full project.

 

1 | Decide what information to include

Before you start thinking about the design of your business card, you'll want to consider what information to include. 

Your business card is one of the few tangible pieces your business may have, especially if you are a digital company. More than that, your business card enters your audience's home, it's something they can take with them.

So, when you are considering what to include in your business card, I suggest putting yourself into your audience's shoe's. Do they want to email you about a conversation you had? Maybe they are just learning about your business and want a link to our website. How and when will you be using your business card?

Take the time to consider these questions and weigh them against the below list of items to consider including:

  • Logo
  • Name
  • Title
  • Email
  • Website
  • Phone number
  • Social media accounts
  • Address

Depending on your business, audience and goals what you choose to include will vary. For example, if you are digital business, you won't want to include your home address. I have a friend, who doesn't believe in speaking with clients on the phone, so she doesn't include her phone number. You have to decide what feels right for you and what aligns with your business process. 

Olivia for example, decided to include her: Primary logo, tagline, secondary logo, name, phone, website and email. View Olivia's primary logo below:

How to Design a Business Card | Styleheir Primary logo

 

2 | Select a layout

Now that you've established the content that will be included, it's time to think about the layout of your business card.

Layouts can go a long way in helping your business card stand out and aid in brand recognition. Typically a business card is horizontal and 3.5" x 2.0". A simple change in this area alone, can go a long way in being memorable to your audience.

So, what options do you have for layout? For starters, you can use a vertical, horizontal or square business card.

Horizontal

Horizontal is the standard. If your brand is more traditional, this may be a good option. Remember, you can always add flare and increase memorability in other aspects of the design.

Vertical

Vertical is a little trendier and a great option for most businesses. The vertical layout tends to be the middle ground between the three options.

Square

Square business cards are by far the trendiest and great for cutting-edge, trendy and technology-based businesses. It's an exciting layout and easily makes your brand pop with creativity. 

Olivia chose a horizontal business card. As you'll see later, we utilize a few different techniques to make her business card pop.

 

3 | Implement your brand

You've selected your information, chosen a layout and now it's time to start implementing your brand. 

A business card is one piece of your brand's collateral and as such should be used to promote and educate people about your business. That means, sharing quality information and ensuring that it is on brand.

Let's start with the visuals. 

Your brand's visuals consist of the logo, color palettes, fonts, patterns, etc. When designing your business card you'll want to include most of these items, if not all.

Depending on the layout, you'll want to include your primary and/or secondary logos. Your logo's are a non-negotiable must-have for all brand collateral. Next, you'll want to decide what colors to choose. I suggest, using your primary color palette but a few splashes of your secondary color palette can also create a great design. Lastly, patterns, icons and any additional items you have that can aid in branding your business card and sharing information can and should be included. But, don't crowd or overwhelm the space. Often, a little can say a lot when it comes to business cards.. 

Now, let's talk tone.

Your business card consists of more than just the colors and icons, it also utilizes your brands tone. A brands tone is the feeling that it evokes from your audience. Are you playful, sincere, subdued... No matter what your brands tone is, it should be present in your business card.

If you are a playful brand, don't take that away from your business card. A business card may feel serious and professional, but if your brand isn't, you shouldn't be catering to an audience that is serious and professional.

Also, be sure the terminology, brand voice and messaging are also included. If you have a playful title, include it. If you always refer to emails as internet love letters, say that on your business card.

How to Design a Business Card | Business Card Front
How to Design a Business Card | Business Card Back

 

4 | Printing your business cards

You've successfully designed a business card, now comes printing. Before you get started on printing your business cards you'll need to decide two things: what material will you use and where will you get them printed. 

Select a material.

You may think all the hard decisions are completed, but not quite yet. First, you have to select what material you want to print on. 

Business card materials range from standard card stock, cotton, plastic... on and on. Truly, you can use any material in the world if you're creative enough. However, cost is often the primary factor in this decision, but don't be afraid to try something a little different if it makes your brand stand out. 

Olivia decided to print her business cards of a plastic material! 

Select a printer.

There are a few ways you can get your business card printed. First, you have to decide if you will print with a local shop or online. Local shops are great for getting your hands on the print material before making a decision and tend to move a little faster. However, they can be more expensive. Online shops are great for finding design templates, getting quick communication and affordable prints. However, it can be a little bit of a guessing game for material and they may have limited options due to their mass production. 

Which ever you choose, there are costs and benefits to both. It mostly depends on your priorities. Plus, you can always switch between the two if necessary. 

 

5 | Start networking

Finally, your business card has arrived. Cheers to your newly designed business cards!

Now, the hard work actually begins... it's time to start networking. 

Hopefully, you've followed these steps and your business card is meeting the needs of your prospective clients. But, if not, you can always update them to fit your needs as they change and adapt with time. 

If the thought of designing your own business cards, has quickly become overwhelming and you'd rather focus on the networking, use the contact link below to shoot me an email. I'd be happy to discuss pricing and availability with you!


Are you interested in working with me for the design of your brand and website? Visit my Services page for more information on my process, design package, pricing, and availability, my Portfolio for a look at my most recent work, and my Contact page to get in touch!