A Good Business Card Is Like A Kick Ass Tie

Each day millions of people all around the world ask “May I have your card?”

Today when designing a card, there is so much information to include in your card’s design – from e-mail to voicemail to mobile phone and 800 numbers, double addresses and domains – that the small business card is a challenge even for the most experienced designers.  Information, by necessity, is flowing to the back side.


A business card is a small, portable marketing tool. 


The quality and intelligence of information is a reflection on the card holder and his/her company and the business card receiver makes an almost immediate judgment about the card holder and their business.  This goes to reinforce that first impressions are everything.  In just a second, the receiver will scan your card and decide whether or not they are going to do business with you.



Today I am going to share with you some do’s and don’ts to think about when designing your cards…


  • Print your cards at home using perforated paper.
  • Use a free template print program that advertises for the print company on the back.
  • Use many different font styles.
  • Forget to put something on the back of your cards.



  • Think of your business as a marketing tool.
  • Make it easy for the receiver of a card to retrieve information.
  • Minimize the amount of information within reason.
  • Consider using the back as a place for more information or to convey a marketing message.
  • Make sure that all abbreviations are consistent.
  • Make sure that typographic use of upper and lower case is consistent.


To go one step further when designing your cards, here is a step by step guide of the business card process:

  1. Clarify Positioning:
    Review your goals.  Review your competitor’s cards. Review what isn’t working with your cards.
  2. Determine Need:
    Who uses the card? What quantity do you need? What is the critical information for placement on the card?
  3. Finalize Content:
    Will there be a tagline on the card? Unify Abbreviations. What professional affiliations need to be added?
  4. Develop Design:
    Develop a color strategy.  Use real text.  Show actual size.  Examine iterations. Consider the back.
  5. Specify Paper:
    Paper weight? Paper Color? Paper Quality?
  6. Determine the Production Method:
    Offset printing?  Digital printing? Engraving? Foil stamping? Embossing?
  7. Manage Production:
    Review proofs.


Have you heard the saying “dress for the career you want”?  This is true for business card as well.  Even if you are a small start-up company, consider putting your best face forward and having your card professionally designed.  It is a designer’s job to make you look good.



Gina O'Daniel

Gina is an award-winning designer and brand strategist with over 30 years experience in the design industry and has worked with small start-ups to large corporations both nationally and internationally to ensure their logos, business sets, marketing materials, signage, display advertising, social media design and website work together to ensure brand identity and maximize the company's image potential and profit.

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