Business cards are pocket-sized brand ambassadors. A professionally designed and printed card is one of the most important elements of your marketing strategy.

Very often it’s the first item a prospect receives from you, and a cheap-looking, poorly designed card sends out the wrong message. It’s a well-worn cliché but you really don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.

There are many creative methods to produce an unforgettable business card and these four steps will show you how to give your clients a memorable first impression:

Standard Size Is Best

Business cards are typically 3.5″ x 2″, so space is limited. Your logo shouldn’t take so much of the available space that your contact details are too small to be easily read. Use a sturdy card stock, 14pt or 16pt is best.

There are things you can do within the confines of a 3.5″ x 2″ card to differentiate yourself such as having them cut with rounded corners, but choosing unusual shaped cards can cause problems (see point 3).

What To Include

Business cards are an easy way for prospects and clients to contact you. You don’t need to tell your life story. Your name and the name of your company, your phone number, e-mail address and website address are essential. Simple cards that use white space effectively will always stand out.

How often do people look at the back of a business card? Card storage boxes or folders are produced assuming the back of the card is blank. If you put copy on the back of your card, make sure it’s supplemental information such as your company’s tagline or mission statement.

How do you use other people’s cards? Think about that when you design yours. Does frustration set in when you can’t find what you need? Is the typeface too small or hard to read? Don’t make those mistakes when designing yours. Make your business card an accurate reflection of you and your company and mirrors your brand identity.

Use Color

When designing your card, colors bring attention to important information and make it eye-catching. Ever looked through a selection of business cards? It’s the colorful ones that catch the eye.

Be unique. Despite point 1, cards don’t have to be 3.5″ x 2″. They can be circular, oval, square or another shape that’s die-cut from within the standard rectangular size. Make sure that, whatever the shape, it fits into a standard business card holder.

Avoid Mistakes – Proofread

It’s essential that you proofread your cards before they go to print. If you don’t and there are mistakes, you can’t turn back (without incurring extra expenditure on reprints). This tip will help you check that your text is correct – read each line backwards, from left to right and from bottom to top. That forces you to look at each word and number and not skim the text you have seen so many times already.

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