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Business Card Design and Use

Updated on February 11, 2014

Business Cards: Never out of fashion

Business cards don't fall out of fashion even though the online business world is growing.

To tell you the truth, even people who negotiate online mainly need business cards - I'm one of those cases. Here are some reasons why business cards are something that will stay in our world for years to come:

Networking Purposes: Even the average businessman knows the importance of networking. If you are a businessman or businesswoman (don't want to discriminate here), chances are that you are in a chamber of commerce or registered at another place that joins several merchants and business owners together. How can you possibly turn those connects into leads if you can't give them a business card?

Guaranteeing Professionalism: Business cards are used to "show off" sometimes, but that's a vital part of making clients perceive quality and professionalism. If you are an online professional like myself you need to assure your suspicious offline leads that you are a "legit" entrepreneur. Business cards give you credibility - I still have them.

Lead Exchanging: Business people usually hang around with other business people - and they keep stacks of cards of other business people too. They usually engage in Lead Exchanging: they recommend people to their friend's services and they do the same. So, you see, business cards are a must.

These are the 3 most important reasons people still cling on to the old habit of handing out business cards. Feel free to leave some other reasons in the comment section at the end of this article.


What should I include in my business card?

Here are some tips on things you might want to include in your business cards - as well as some insight on some things to be left out.

Name of the Bearer: You always have to include the name of the person handing out the card - if it's the salesman's card include his name and if it's your personal card, well you guessed it, include your own name. People need to know who are they talking to when contacting your company.

Company name: Don't leave your costumers in the dark.

Logo: Make your company instantly recognizable by associating an image or a logo to it in all of the advertising materials.

Contacts: Off course, or you won't be contacted

Following this info, here are some things you want to avoid having in your card.

Stock Clip-art: Cartoons or amateur looking clip-art is a huge turn off!

Legal Information: Nobody cares about these details. Be memorable, not boring.

Well, I could go on, but here is the rule: Avoid wasting space in your card! It must be simple and easy to digest.

Keep it simple...

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Design Tips for Business Cards

There isn't a "Holy Grail" tip to get a perfect business card. It isn't a one size fits all kind of thing, but one that needs to be thought about carefully. What is the personality of the target market? Are they the conservative type? The young and rebel type? What are they looking for? And another important factor to have in mind - what are the values you want to convey?

Vintage Design: Vintage design tries to pass out the values of integrity, elegance, expensiveness (even though you may think this last one is bad, don't forget price is perceived as a quality measure).

Grunge Design: Totally the opposite, it represents jovial energy, originality, creativity and a rebellious nature. Used in most sport shops aimed at teenagers.

Sleek Design: Conveys the values of professionalism, responsibility, organization. Good for financial institutions for example.

Abstract Design: If you aren't sure of what values you want to pass out by this point you should use this design, it can be used in many ways and it's a more generalist choice.

Some Design Suggestions

Jewelry Businesses
Sport Shop
Insurance Companies
Antique Shops
Bars and Clubs
Wine Businesses
Surf Supplies
Talent Agencies

How to properly use Business Cards?

There are some tips I can share with you about the proper business card use. You should keep in mind that what works for me may not work for you - but at least consider these options.

Write something: When you are handing out a card, write something in it with a pen, like your personal number or an indication - the person will feel a special attention was given to him and is more likely to hold on to it.

Give several copies: Never give just one card, give some of them and ask the person to pass them on to any friend that may need your services.

Always have them: You can't leave home without them and you can't let the stock go dry. Keep an eye out for possible shortages and keep some extra in your car.

"Forget" them everywhere: Leave them in crowded places, place them in bulletin boards, on coffee shops counters and such.

Make cards for your employees: They will feel proud of having their name on a card, thus feeling enticed to hand them out

Be creative and create your own philosophy in card usage.


Become Memorable

The best tip I can possibly give you:

  • Be memorable!

Everyone uses business cards, so standard business cards get tossed to the garbage pretty quickly. You got to concentrate your design efforts into creating something that will keep your card in your client's wallet. Something original and creative, something memorable.

The concept on the right, a creation of mine for Origami, includes a guide on how to make the company's logo from a square of paper (using origami techniques).

Take some times to browse the web and get inspired by some of the amazing ideas out there.

Author's Note

I hope this article helped you out, and as a final note I'll sum up the things you have to prioritize when designing and using your business cards:

  • Match your company's personality with the cards design;
  • Make sure you keep it simple;
  • Never run out of stock;
  • Give them out often and in number;
  • Never leave home without them;
  • Make them memorable;

Feel free to leave me a comment regarding this subject or article.

How to Give Out Business Cards

Opinion Time

What kind of design works best for your company?

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The Author

Rui Carreira is a Marketing Major who graduated in the ESGTS - Santarém University in Portugal.

A design and writing freelancer, his passion about marketing inspired him to create this article.

If you liked this article feel free to browse his writing profile here.


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    • Rui Carreira profile image

      Rui Carreira 5 years ago from Torres Novas

      Thanks for the awesome comment Lupine, and also for stopping by.... I will!

    • lupine profile image

      lupine 5 years ago from Southern California (USA)

      Rui - It's good to know business cards are not considered old fashioned and still useful today, considering all the other media available. I have designed many business cards in my lifetime, my dad had a printing shop a long time ago. I began doing typesetting at 12 yrs old and still do it today. Of course, graphics and do so differently today. I have kept up with my graphic skills and design/print business for friends and family. Thanks for the hub...keep up the good writing.

    • Rui Carreira profile image

      Rui Carreira 5 years ago from Torres Novas

      Yea it's awesome! See you around

    • drmiddlebrook profile image

      Sallie B Middlebrook PhD 5 years ago from Texas, USA

      I just watched the video, Rui (fellow apprentice!), and it's amazing. Don't know how I missed it the first time, but I'm glad you mentioned it in your response. I had looked right past it I was so interested in reading your article. But those are some fancy biz card throwing moves, to be sure! Thanks for sharing. Great video. Very entertaining.

    • Rui Carreira profile image

      Rui Carreira 5 years ago from Torres Novas

      Thanks for the kind comment fellow apprentice!

      Did you check the video out? Now those skills impressed me!

    • drmiddlebrook profile image

      Sallie B Middlebrook PhD 5 years ago from Texas, USA

      Very nicely done article Rui Carreira. Your work is great too (the business cards and visuals for the article). I think you've made an old item new again, at least in the way we think about it. And you're right, business cards are a "must have" if you network for any reason, and there's little doubt they will ever go "out of style." Electronic cards exist, but aren't as easy to throw in your purse or to put in your pocket. Well done, voted up.

    • Rui Carreira profile image

      Rui Carreira 5 years ago from Torres Novas

      Thanks for the nice comment flashmakeit

    • Rui Carreira profile image

      Rui Carreira 5 years ago from Torres Novas

      Thank you very much for your compliment phoenix. Yeap, I tried to make it useful for business people.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      Excellent hub. Well written and organized with loads of helpful information. I'll be bookmarking this for future reference. Thanks for writing this.

      Voted Up, useful and shared.

    • flashmakeit profile image

      flashmakeit 5 years ago from usa

      Very useful and business cards worth having.