I make my bread and butter off of business cards. I’ve done so many business cards in fact that I don’t think I can count them all. One thing I do know is, you have to know not only how to set them up but what to do on them.
What Goes on a Business Card?
A lot of my clients come in and they want everything in the sun on their business card. They want their phone number, work phone number, Facebook or any other social networking tag, email addresses, tagline, business name,name and phone number. It’s a nightmare.
A business card is strictly a point of contact. So the only information you should be including in there is the best way to get a hold of you personally. Now if you have to include certain things like your office number or office address that’s fine. But a business card should be short sweet. It should give a person an idea of what you do, then give them away to contact you personally.
Another thing that I have noticed is in today’s day and age, printed materials aren’t hung on to. Instead people will take a picture or manually copy it in the information from the business card into their cell phones.
So why make a 14-point metal business card that’s expensive beyond all imagining. Your resources could be better spent. Especially if the person you’re handing your card to is going to throw it away.
So when it comes to designing business cards you keep all of this in mind.
Discount and Punch Cards
Another use that I’ve noticed for business cards has been punch cards or discount cards. This is another great use of the medium. It’s something that you can hand somebody that you’re not afraid will get torn up, destroyed or lost. It’s something that can easily be handed to a friend and it doesn’t necessarily mean to have any contact information on it.
Normally in a situation like this you’ve got to retail outlet or some kind of physical brick and mortar store that you can then go and use this card at. So if that’s the case, as with any printed materials, I suggest that it be single purpose.
Don’t try to use your business card as some kind of advertisement or discount card your business cards are small enough and inexpensive enough that they should be single purpose.
As far as the size of business card goes there been a lot of trends lately. In my line of work I have seen credit card sized business cards (slightly larger than your standard business card) I have seen ultra thin (1.75″ instead of 2″) and little tiny thumbnail business cards. Most of the time the text is indistinguishable or unlegible because the card is so small folks can’t read anything on it.
Some cases actually fit the application. For instance I’ve seen a lot of artists give out thumbnail cards with their work on it. It’s not much to be displayed but it is a really nice reminder of the piece that you wanted to pick up. Most of the time that’s for a younger demographic and the artist knows who that demographic is. It’s not an every person or application use. Also they will have a standard size business card to accompany.
Once again I’m going to go back and say that you need to know use and the end-user of all your promotional materials. I’m a big advocate of that. So you’re going to hear this a lot through this website. Know your final product.
Often times I will hear question like do you do QR codes or should I include a QR code on my business card?
The QR code became popular with the release of Android. It was a big novelty feature that they included with Android as far as the ability to scan a QR code and get your business card and contact info
It became hard for people who didn’t understand technology to use. Today QR codes are still used but not nearly as popular. They have evolved into something much more and got tied into analytics. So now usually a QR codes won’t contain the business card contact information, instead it will redirect the user to a website. From there clicks and their time spent on that website can be recorded using analytic features like Facebook pixels or Google analytics.
Often times it will also be linked to some sort of promotion especially for coupon cards or punch cards. It’s important for business to understand how their customer acquires services and or goods.
It’s also nice to know how much time they’re spending on each page for any given promotion or event.
So when I get asked should I put a QR code onto my business card, most times I don’t recommend it. If you have a very specific use for that QR code then by all means add that in.
Just keep in mind that QR codes run off of resolution. The more information the QR code has the larger the QR code needs to be in order to be scanned. Always print out a test proof if that’s the direction you’re going to go. Make sure to scan it and make sure it brings you to where you want to go.
In conclusion, I still believe in the power of a business card. There’s nothing easier than handing somebody a piece of paper that’s already got your name and phone number on it so that they can get in touch with you later.
Bill Wallbaum AKA Bill the Cat has been doing art his whole life. The past 15+ years he has been designing for every industry under the sun. Be sure to follow along the journey as the road unfolds