Business Cards : The good, the bad, and the ugly

24 Jan


I’ve attended many local trade show for homeowners. I enjoy collecting business cards when I’m there – not necessarily because I’m going to use these companies for their services, but because they can make great inspiration as to what works and what doesn’t with a business card.  I think i’ve got over 2000 that i’ve collected over the years that stood out to me, and have used them in presentations and seminars to show some real life examples of what makes a successful card.  Looking through them, I notice that the majority of them weren’t the greatest cards. So many people have a hard time selling their products or their services to people. Why on earth would you short change yourself by having poorly made or outdated cards to hand out? Give yourself the added confidence when representing your business by making sure that you don’t commit any business card design
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faux pas.

1. you’re at the end of a stack and you’ve changed your phone number or address… so you cross out the old information and write over the top. (see bottom left)… no no no…. bad idea. I know it’s quick and simple for you… but later, this comes across as sloppy, unprepared and unprofessional. If something changes, so should your card. Period.

2. Overfilling your card(see top left)… ok yea, name, address, phone, website, email address… those are certainly important. But stick with ONE logo and make sure you don’t overfill your card with either information or graphics that are unnecessary. The point of a card is to give information in a clear, clean, short but sweet message.

3. Colors (see top right) – colors are great, but be careful. Not only will you up the printing costs, but if you clash as well as these guys, you’re not doing yourself or your profits any favors. Stick to two, maybe 3 colors when printing… unless you include a well thought out photo (do not stretch, do not pixelate). Also keep in mind that by adding color, you’re giving your card a better chance at being noticed.

4. Cost – going for the cheapest you can find. Yea when you’re starting a business, you try to keep costs down. But this is something you’re giving to a client. It is a direct extension of who you are and what you’re business can do for them. If you give out a flimsy card with a poor design, what are you saying about your business? Paper quality, gloss, even specialty cuts are the added things that will cost money, but are definitely worth it. They help your card stick out among the others.

A business card is your business’s identity… if it’s bland, boring, or poorly designed you end up losing the appeal and therefore losing a sale. A business has a personality, a feel to it, and your identity should reflect that.

Now does that mean to go and make the snazziest best design EVER?!  no – not exactly – you can certainly overdo it.  And an overly designed card can backfire just as bad as a poorly designed one.  Keep your audience in mind – what will attract THEM?


2 Responses to “Business Cards : The good, the bad, and the ugly”

  1. Nidia Sauler February 6, 2010 at 2:50 pm #

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  2. John August 19, 2011 at 5:20 am #

    Your a genius! simple superb stuff! please keep them coming!

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