If you think that a business card is an old-fashioned item and you don’t need one, then you are terribly wrong! A recent study revealed that only in USA are printed approximately 317 business cards per second! Until you read this entire paragraph, only in USA are printed more than 500 business cards! The real problem is the business card design and the information it contains. The same study informs us that from the total number of handled out business cards, 88% goes to the trash in less than a week!
The idea that we are living in a digital era and the paper is a tribute to the previous era is wrong! Printing will continue to exist even though it will have a secondary role. A designer should be aware of this situation and he/she must act consequently! Having no business cards is as if you state yourself as a skilled Photoshop user, but you don’t have any idea about how to use the blurring effects. In other words, you aren’t complete without such an item.
In the next lines, I will propose you a complete and efficient strategy to make your own business cards. Taking into account that the majority of design agencies and designers invest impressive amounts in online advertising, you should be smart and invest few bucks in offline advertising, too. It’s true that the clients will want to see your online activity, so a business card should be an incentive! The business card design should be visually appealing to convince the viewers that you fully deserve their attention.
So, let’s dig deeper and teach you how to make your own business cards. I must warn you that it isn’t a simple task, but the great things can be achieved only with solid efforts. Before effectively presenting you the algorithm of designing the business cards, I think that it is better to show you the main mistakes you can do!
The Design Mistakes to Avoid
#1. Poor design
A business card should be created having two things in mind. The first one- it has the role of showing the contact information of the owner; nothing more, nothing less! The second one – it must make people curious about the owner. Unless the design is beautiful and intriguing, your business card will go to the trash. It’s not only my personal opinion, but also the entire team of iBrandStudio agree with this idea. Much more, TheDesignInspiration infographic consider that the poor design is the main reason of a business card failure!
#2. Poor printing
A poorly printed business card is a poor business card. Full stop! No matter the original design, if the business card paper isn’t top-quality, then your business card is a total failure! People use to judge according to the first impression – it’s not fair, but I guess that it’s written in our DNA to do it. Therefore, a designer isn’t able to change the human DNA so he/she should adapt to the existing context. Briefly, don’t ignore the printing!
The Three Phases to Follow
It’s enough with what you must not do, let’s get to what you should do! In order to make simple to understand the strategy to make your own business cards, I divided it into three big phases. I hope that in this way you will better comprehend my ideas.
I. Pre-design phase
#1. Research before taking any action
Research is very important in any field of activity. If you are an Internet marketer, then Neil Patel will convince you about the importance of research and how to realize it with good results. If you are a web designer, it’s enough to visit only a few web design blogs to make an idea about the importance of research in web design. We, the iBrandStudio team, went deeper and offered you a complete guide of teaching you how to do a professional research.
Business card design isn’t rocket science, but it shouldn’t be considered a job for a kid. A strong understanding of the design principles is important if you want to make your own business cards.
#2. Determine the core values of the business card
A business card shouldn’t be a separated entity from your brand. It means that the core values of the brand must be in accordance with the core values of the business cards. In other words, the design of the business card must complement the design of the official website and the logo. I believe that, as Cicero once said, the power of example is great, so imagine these two examples.
Let’s say that you own a company in the environmental industry. Which kind of business cards will work better for you: a standard business card, eventually having a green background or a less conventional one taking the shape of a leaf? I will choose the second option because this “says” more than only the personal data about me.
The second example: let’s say that you are the owner of a kindergarten. Which kind of business cards will work better for you: a very formal business card, taking into account that you are a serious manager or a very colorful one to express joy and optimism? No matter how serious you are, the second option is the best because it’s matching to the business profile and core values!
#3. Establish the profile of the average receiver
This step is problematic and I consider it being optional; you can’t make too accurate predictions about the average receiver of the business cards you should design. In spite of that, you should try to imagine the average profile and make your own business cards by taking him/her (the receiver) into account. You should answer to a simple question – would the average receiver of my business cards be attracted by it? In the event that the answer is “Yes” then it’s Ok, else you should start rethinking the design!
II. Design phase
#1. Start creating the first sketches
The same as in logo design, the pen and paper are golden. The business card design may be realized without the aim of pen and paper, but for the beginners this step is very important. The sketches made by using a pen may be erased or modified very easily; you don’t have limitations, so I strongly recommend not skipping this step. It’s irrelevant how your sketches are looking- some designers are better drawers while others are less gifted. Keep in mind, you are creating the concept at this moment! In other words, the only one that must understand your drawings is you!
#2. Use a software to design the business card
Well, in this case, it’s a matter of personal choice –it’s up entirely to you which software solution you select to work. The Adobe Suite is the favorite tool of choice for the great majority of the designers, but there are many other solutions. A special case is represented by the web applications created purposely for making business cards- I will explore these in the next chapters.
#3. Evaluate and re-evaluate
It very much depends on the deadline set up. If you have enough time at disposal, then you may evaluate, modify, re-evaluate the business card design. If you don’t have time (which is the most common case), then the phase may be reduced or even skipped.
Still, I consider that as long as you are your client (you are making your own business card, right?), you can allow the luxury of making a complete and strong evaluation of your business card.
III. Printing phase
Don’t be Scrooge
You shouldn’t make any mistake if you want to have an attractive business card. On the other hand, it’s enough a single mistake for your creation to be a failure. Consequently, even if your business card design is awesome, you have still no guaranty that it will be appreciated by the ones that will receive it.
If you want to make your own business cards, you should know that printing has the same importance as the business card design. It depends on each particular case, but you should test before printing a considerable amount of items. If you choose to print your business cards in your town, then you have bigger chances of testing the quality of the print. In the event that you prefer some online solutions, then you should carefully check the testimonials, the reviews and most important, the printing standards.
The Alternative Solutions
I consider that to make your own business cards isn’t a very difficult job and sometimes it’s even funny and interesting to create design works for you. If you consider that you don’t have the time, skills or the patience to make the business card design you shouldn’t worry! I have another two reliable solutions for you!
Alternative solution 1: Use free business card templates
Luckily for you, we have tons of top quality free business card templates. The idea is pretty simple. You search and evaluate multiple free business card templates; once you select the winning template you may start customizing it. Usually, the free business card templates are in psd format and customizing them is simple and doesn’t require much time.
Using free business card templates doesn’t mean that the above steps shouldn’t be taken into account. The difference is that you aren’t the creator of the business card design. More exactly, the chosen template should be in accordance with the core values of the brand, it should respect the rules of good design and of course, the printing should be done by satisfying the highest quality standards.
Alternative solution 2: Use web applications
Let’s say that you don’t like the idea of customizing free business card templates…I have a second alternative for you! In this situation, all you need is a good Internet connection. It’s about web applications that allow creating business cards. In the most cases, these web applications are created by printing companies. Therefore, how to use these web applications? Once you open up the web application, you have multiple free business card templates to select from. You select one of them and with the help of the application, you tailor it to your needs.
This alternative is similar to the previous one, but there are some fine, but important differences. The main one consists in the fact that the user must print the business cards by using the services offered by the web applications. Yeah, you don’t the freedom to select your preferred printing solution, but you have the certitude that the templates are “compatible” with the printer.
I think that this guide will help in your attempt to make your own business cards. Of course, only by personally trying to realize it you will have a complete idea about what it supposes. Anyway, I think that this guide may help to solve some inherent problems. It will be great to know your opinion about, therefore use the comment form to stay in touch with us.