I recently received my first ever, personalised business card due the launch of our exciting new agency brand for Truly Deeply. Up until this point I have been representing myself in meetings without a business card, believing my personality and designs skills would carry the day. The difference is amazing. A business card is nothing short of an essential first contact when meeting a client, or anyone else you’re going to be doing business with for the first time. It is an expression of you and your brand. It also has an enduring role as a reminder for clients of who you are and what position you have within a company.
Here are our 4 key tips on the art of business card design.
1/ First Impressions Count
Business cards are an effective tool to reflect your businesses and personal brand. If meeting a potential client it is all about first impressions, even down to the small details such as your business card. Research in the US found that the perception of the quality of the business and it’s products and services after a first meeting were directly influenced by the quality of the design and production of the business cards exchanged. You know what they say; ‘you only get one chance to make a good first impression.’
Below is the business cards we designed for Gelati Sky. Gelati Sky is a boutique, premium gelati brand. Gelati Sky has a strong personality and storyline driven out of Gelati Sky’s founder Paul Scalisi’s memories of growing up in Rome, eating gelati – ‘a world where every moment seemed frozen in an amazing sensory assault and every cloud in the sky made you feel it was about to rain gelato’. We were looking for something that was unique, represented his story and would create conversation. The communication platform of ‘it’s what dreams taste like’ was born out of the brand strategy definition for we conducted for Gelati Sky. The business cards designed for Gelati Sky reflected this proposition and looked almost good enough to eat themslelves.
2/ Endless Possibilities
There are a tonne of things to take into consideration when designing a business card. You have endless possibilities in card production and finish with customised shapes, die-cuts, spot UV, embossing, matte finishing, card material (paper/wood/metal), paper texture and paper weight. This list of options must be carefully considered when designing a business card.
Below is an example of metallic foil used on the entire face of the business card that we designed for FAME. FAME is an integrated marketing and communications consultancy with a focus on fashion. The team at FAME are vibrant, dynamic and on trend, offering a huge range of integrated services including brand management, strategic and retail marketing, event management, creative services and publicity. We designed the business card to reflect FAME’s market proposition of fashionable, premium and dynamic. The business card has gold foil printed on curios touch paper for a premium feel. As a finish and paper stock, this card is a more expensive example, but what better way to project a premium image?
Having a business card is all well and good, everyone has one (now that I have one). The true leveraging power of a great business card comes from a business card that is truly unique.
Below is a business card we designed for a company called Forum5. Forum5 represents a new model of artist and talent management and required a business card that stood out in an industry where talent is typically bombarded with business cards. Driven out of the communication platform of Talent Partnerships we created a book of perforated business cards–the talent receives one half of the card with Forum5’s contact details, but the talent’s details are also taken, written on the part of the card that remains with the Forum5 staff member. The ceremony of tearing the card and taking details becomes a brand gesture demonstrating the unique proposition of partnership-based talent relationships. The cards are also individually numbered, and each month a number is drawn and the person who received that card is invited to a lunch with Forum5 founder Mark Richardson. The idea creates a nice ‘touch’ of theatre in an industry big on performances.
4/ You Get What You Pay For
When it comes to business cards you get what you pay for. An attempt to save money on this communications tool will almost always deliver an image for you and your company that looks less than professional. Your business card is an important expression of your brand and it should be designed by professionals who take the time to understand what your brand stands for. Importantly it should be designed by someone capable of translating your desired brand positioning into a 55mm x 90mm piece of potent brand communication which is both on brand and distinctive.
Here is two examples of strategically driven business card designs. GXY Search and Jane the Agency. You can take a peek at our strategic approach to designing the GXY Search brand identity here.
If you see the need to update your stationery or business card and need help in defining what your business should be leveraging, please give us a call.
Here are some more examples of great business card design. Enjoy!