If you’ve seen American Psycho, you’d know the importance of business cards. The famous business card scene tells audiences how impactful they can be, be it for a person or an establishment.
It’s not surprising that this classic tool is still a part of most companies’ marketing arsenals despite the digital takeover. When done right, it can do wonders for a business. The question is, how do you pull it off?
For one, you can always make one from scratch with the help of a designer. But if your busy schedule’s inescapable, you can always use pre-made templates to get the job done.
Think of this entry as a guide to all things business cards. We’ll help you choose a suitable template to hit the ground running.
5 Steps To Better Business Card Templates
1. Map out your card’s goals
Business cards are a company’s (and, by extension, yours) reflection. Think about its role in your business and how you’d like customers to see it. Ask yourself these questions while you’re thinking about its endgame:
- What makes your business the best establishment for your niche?
- What can you offer that your competitors can’t?
- How can you make standard services visually enticing to customers and clients?
2. Think about how you want your card to look
First impressions matter—especially in the world of business. Dress your business card the way you’d prepare your best outfit for an interview.
Tick these boxes in your graphics list for a great-looking card that no one can resist:
Nowadays, business cards aren’t just little rectangles anymore. Companies realize that shapes can make their cards stand out from their competition. Formal industries have kept it sharp and straightforward, while creative fields have played around with their choices, experimenting with cutting techniques.
This part largely depends on a location’s standard. For North America, most cards stick with the 3.5” x 2” dimensions. On the other hand, European business cards are usually 3.346” x 2.165” in size.
Regardless of your dimensions, keep these three factors in mind when mapping your card out:
- Bleed Area
This is the card’s outermost part that printers will cut off during the printing stage.
- Trim Line
Going by its name, this is where printing presses start cutting the card.
- Safety Line
You should place your content within this area. Anything that exceeds this line gets cut off.
When choosing your color palette, it’s best to stick to brand aesthetics. This establishes consistency, giving people something to remember about you. No tone should be out of place; you don’t want a messy-looking card, right?
Since business cards are short on space, it’s imperative to get this part right. Ideally, your text should be at least a size 8. However, you can make other segments like your brand name a little bigger to let them stand out.
As for font faces, use styles that are in line with your brand’s identity. Regardless if it’s a sans serif or cursive font, make sure it’s legible enough for people to read. Don’t forget to leave enough whitespace to keep your card clutter-free.
Your logo is your brand’s primary identifier. Make sure it’s the start of the show—what’s your card for if you won’t place it front and centre?
Brands usually use the front section to display the logo while keeping contact information at the back. Take advantage of each side by placing your logo on both, using a smaller one in the back. This is just one strategy, though; feel free to play with the placement until you find your preference.
3. Plan your content
Design elements aren’t the only factors at play. Words matter in business cards too. Don’t leave any of these essential sections out:
This first part is a given. How will people know who you are?
Unless your card is for personal branding purposes, add your brand’s name to let clients identify where you work.
Your business card should reflect what you do. This helps potential clients or customers reach out, especially if they need your assistance on a particular matter.
Speaking of reaching out, contact information is essential for letting people approach you. This section should include the following:
- Phone and mobile numbers
- Email addresses
- Social media profiles
4. Add special finishing
We’re almost at the finish line. Now’s the time to think about how you want your card’s finishing to look. Here are some options to choose from:
Most business cards come with this kind of finish. Its clean coating keeps them looking great even long after their printing dates. A great thing about matte finishes is that you can combine them with many others to give your card a focal point.
If you’ve seen business cards that have specific sections popping out, it’s the result of this finish. Aside from this benefit, it also adds a sleek shine to the card. This is an excellent choice if you want a particular area (or two) to stand out.
If spot varnishing pops letters out, letterpress pushes them down. This action creates an engraved effect, adding extra impact to specific sections. Pros recommend using special ink to pull this off.
5. Get everything together
Once you have all your elements down, it’s time to put them together and see how they work with each other. Does everything flow harmoniously, or does your card look like a disjointed mess?
Keep your eyes peeled for overlooked details, like illegible text or clashing colours. Ask a designer for some consultation; his or her feedback may be a gamechanger. If everything’s good to go, it’s off to the printers for you.
Don’t let their compact nature fool you: business cards do a lot, from advertising to networking. Get customers and clients calling by having well-crafted ones at your disposal.
Emma Olivia De León is a writer and social media consultant with an interest in career building and design. Connect with her on LinkedIn.