Pick a card...but not just any card

We’ve been through the process of designing and producing business cards a million times - so let’s take a closer look at how the process should break down.

  • 12 September 2017
  • Reading time: 8 minutes
Pick a card...but not just any card

If you’ve ever travelled to Japan on business, or perhaps even on holiday, you’ll know just how important business cards are there. While we in the UK are usually content with a handshake and maybe even following up with a request to connect on LinkedIn, in Japanese culture business meetings are taken much more seriously. There’s even a widely-accepted etiquette for how to behave when receiving or giving a business card (use both hands to hold a business card and keep any that you’ve been given on the table for the duration of the meeting, if you were wondering).

It’s quite astounding that in such a technologically advanced world, a couple of inches of paper with our details on it is still such a sacred concept. We think Japan has the right idea here. Business cards can be such an important and formative part of a new client or partner’s first impression… and that’s why we think it’s vital to get them just right.

That’s not to add unnecessary pressure or anxiety to the creation of the perfect business card. Don’t fret, we’ve been through the process many times so let’s take a closer look at how it should break down.

Firstly, let’s talk about the design. Many business cards do not reflect their owner’s brand. For example, if you work in financial services or online security, you might look to communicate how responsible and experienced you are. This is where your branding should come in. Although you only have a small space to utilise, it’s important to create a balance of information and space. Don’t worry about trying to fit every service you offer and your fax number on there, sometimes less is more! If you’re struggling with the look and feel of your business card, we can help!

Colour is another aspect of your business card that requires a bit of thought. If your company has a set of brand guidelines, this is the place to start when making a choice. Yes, even if your brand colours are black and white! Going off-piste with your colour choices will likely result in something that isn’t immediately associated with your brand – and you might not be there to help join the dots once the meeting’s over and that card is out of your hands.

Our advice for choosing a font is much the same – keep it simple. Often when faced with a choice of fonts, the temptation is to go for the most ostentatious, attention-grabbing one. Or worse, more than one. Too many fonts will look ‘busy’ and bewildering, so stick to ones that are used elsewhere on your company’s brand collateral. Of course, if your business card is hard to read it’s unlikely that anyone will bother trying at all. You can read our articles on type here and here.

Finally, the third part to our secret recipe for the perfect business card is getting the right weight of stock you’d like to print on. This is a sometimes subtle but very real measure of quality. The general rule of thumb is that the heavier the stock the more premium the feel – but always be sure to ask for a sample and use your own judgement. Duplexing – where two or more pieces of board are laminated (glued) together, often using different colours of board - is a great technique that may well help you find the look, feel and balance of colour you’re searching for. Of course, there’s embossing and foiling as well – these can really make your card stand out but will of course come at an extra cost.

These things are all important points to consider when you’re thinking about how your business card is going to impress that next important contact. There are always unique considerations for every business card and you’re very welcome to make use of our expertise in that area. You’ll find our contact details here (assuming you don’t have one of our cards!). Oh, and if you’re jetting off to Japan any time soon, whatever you do, don’t forget your business card!

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When it comes to branded items, consistency is paramount in showcasing your brand identity—we oversee that right through production. We will ensure your products carry an impression of quality across every communication.

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