A business card is the first impression you give to a potential client or business partner. It is the first contact and primary marketing tool most businesses have. It is especially important for smaller businesses.
There are approximately 10 billion cards printed in the US each year! That equates to 27 million a day. In today’s digital world, the importance of business cards still is paramount.
You only get one chance to make an excellent first impression. StatisticBrain estimates that recipients of a business card will hold on to a colored card up to ten times longer than a standard black and white card.
72% of survey respondents say they judge a company, brand, or product by the quality of their card. A further 39% suggested they wouldn’t consider doing business with someone with an inferior quality business card.
We’re here to help. With over 60 years in the printing business, we’d love to share with you our best practices when it comes to printing business cards. We have a range of low-volume clients, from entrepreneurs and small businesses to high-volume jobs such as the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
1. First, consider your market
Before you start designing, first, think about who your cards will need to impress. Are they consumers or businesses? Are you offering products or services? What message do you want to convey? Do your business cards want to have a strong call-to-action? Or does it want to give your product or service some branding?
As an example, a card for a luxury product will look far different than, say, a fun-loving toy brand. Knowing your audience is the first step to designing and printing your perfect card.
2. What will your card say?
Next, what information do you want your card to convey? Beyond the primary name, address, phone number, and email do you have a logo, slogan, or tagline you want to be included? A list of services?
Some folks like to leave a little space for “lead generation” cards to be handed out at major events for card recipients to take their own notes.
Do you want a one-sided card or two? What’s the backside of the card going to say? Maybe if you have products, you could turn one side into a discount coupon. Or list awards, accomplishments, or any other special services. The choice is entirely yours.
3. Logo or headshot?
It’s fine and dandy if you already have a logo and an existing brand image. If not, designing a logo is the first step to getting your brand image on paper.
When designing logos, minimal is best. The most challenging route is designing one yourself. However, logo design is best left to professionals. With many designers working remotely, having one professionally designed costs very little and ensures you can have a unique and original card.
Sites to find logo designers are plentiful since the number of remote workers has increased exponentially in the last two years because of the pandemic. Finding a logo designer will not only support a freelancer, but it will also prove more cost-effective if you aren’t well-versed with designing software like Photoshop.
If designing your own logo:
- Use minimal details and colors
- Keep it simple
- Make it about your business. For example, an electrician can use a lightning bolt, while a plumber uses a tap.
- Ensure that the logo stays attractive, whether printed in a small or large piece of material.
In the place of a logo, some professionals like those in real estate often include headshots. These benefit those whose personalities are synonymous with their business or brand. If you are the product, then including a headshot might be beneficial to your potential audience.
Headshots are commonly used by real estate professionals or politicians, whose business is basically the individual.
4. Choose the size and shape
Most business cards come in a standard size but differ across regions. The classic European size is 85mm x 55mm and is used by most countries in Europe, including the United Kingdom.
Die-cutting a card will allow you to experiment with different shapes and use virtually anything to convey your products or service if you want to stand out. A bottle, animals, a type of food; the sky’s the limit.
Having your logo cut out also can make a dazzling card. Make sure to print on thicker paper for die cuts. Flimsy, thin cards don’t hold up so well with unique shapes.
The thickness of the paper is measured as “gsm”, or grams per square meter. Business cards are typically at 300gsm to 500gsm. In comparison, printing paper is usually at 60 to 120gsm, with 80gsm being the standard.
Thicker paper costs more but rightfully gives the impression of higher quality. Most business cards should start at 350gsm.
5. Special finishes
Consider an extra touch of creativity like embossing, spot UV, and hot foil. They cost more but will add tremendous flair.
Finishes like matte or gloss can also make your card more durable and add another layer of protection to tearing.
Now that you’ve gotten the design ready, pick your printing house well. Printing houses differ by price, quality, experience, customer service, and speed of delivery. The relationship between you and your printing house will be long, so take your time choosing your printing partner well.
Experienced printing houses also have their own design department and can help with your card design at an economical cost if you print with them.
Once chosen, submission of your design has a few notable steps:
- Keep important information away from the trim areas. You don’t want to lose any graphics or information from the edges of the card
- Convert to CMYK color mode. If you have designed your card in RGB, convert it first before sending
- Upload your card design onto your printing partner’s page
- Get your cards!
Handy Tips On Card Design
Designing a card can be a tricky one. One man’s meat is another man’s poison, and there’s no one size fits all solution to please everyone.
Some best practices should be considered while designing the vital piece of material that will dictate the first impression of your product or brand.
- Know your audience. Cards targeting pet owners, bankers, designers, and artists will all look immensely different.
- Include pertinent information only. Superfluous information of no interest to your potential clients should be excluded and only shared upon request.
- Keep it simple. Resist the temptation to fill the whole space with information. Less is more, in this case.
- Make sure all the text is legible. It might be tempting to use creative fonts, but if the text is too small or excessively stylized, no one’s going to be able to read it.
- Check, double-check, and triple-check all the text, numbers, and details. It will be what your potential customers use to contact you, so it has to be spot-on.
- Common things to include in a business card are:
- Company name
- Mobile phone number
- Website URL
- Social media links
- QR code
About Crescent Print – Printing Business Cards in Edinburgh
We have been in business for 60 years and are happy that many of our customers have been with us for decades. We like constantly adapting to new technologies and benefiting our customers with cost savings, better quality, and speed of delivery.
If our customers are happy, we are delighted. We take great pride in the quality of our prints and offer last-minute print services to all our customers, often at little or no extra cost.
Same-day delivery has been our goal. The time between submitting your final artwork to receiving your printed material can be a matter of hours.
If you need design help, we also have an in-house design team ready to help you with your cards or any other printed material.
In addition to business cards, we also offer:
- Hot foil printing
- Photo printing
- Passport photos
- Wedding invites
- Greeting cards
- Promotional materials
- T-shirts and other fabrics
- ID cards and badges
- Mugs and glasses
- PVC banners
And much more. Visit us here.
We are conveniently located at 301-303 Cowgate Street, which runs parallel to Royal Mile and is a 5-minute walk away from Waverly Train Station.
We are open from 9 am to 5.30 pm Mondays through Fridays. Come visit us and let us show you our past work from previous clients. We are proud of our work and love sharing our art!