The business card still has its place, even in the digital age. But it needs to work a little harder to be truly eye-catching in our technicolour world.
Many companies, big and small, tend to have the same bland business card design. A logo, name and phone number- maybe a stock image if you’re lucky. These are all, obviously, the point of a business card but we are living in a very visual time, and people want to see new, innovative designs.
Boring business cards don’t sell anymore, they’re basically pointless. You’ll be happy to know that it doesn’t really take too much effort to make a card that people want to look at. All you need is a good idea and the resources to make it happen.
You may hear our design team talk about ‘bleeds’. This is a printing term for when the print is purposefully set to go off the edge of the paper. On a normal sized business card, the designers and printers prefer you to keep within a design area which is smaller than the actual card. This stops important information from falling off the edge!
We have noticed some great designs that use this bleed area, artistically ‘slicing off’ some of the design to give it an edgy look. When used creatively, this method can create a very successful business card.
This means that the shape of the card is not the usual rectangle shape but it’s cut into a less traditional shape. We love some of the hexagonal designs that we have seen but don’t forget, the card design, including its shape, need to fit with your company and brand.
There are some great ideas involving using a photo of your product as the background for your business card. This may sound simple and super-effective, but there is a fine line between quirky and downright odd.
The ones we have seen focus on food, which is a great starting point. For example, you could print round business cards that look like a slice of salami. But, their shelf life is probably as short as the product pictured. In other words, great for one-off exhibitions, trade shows or festivals but maybe not when introducing your business to a potential high-end investor… you decide!
Your business card should be the tool that prompts people’s memory of you, and there are many ways of achieving this. There is no doubt, however, that a 3D or interactive business card could make you memorable for all the right reasons.
We’ve seen aeroplanes, deconstructed boxes and all sorts. It is a great idea, you just have to make sure the shape is linked in some way to your brand.
Again, a great gimmick that could have a worthwhile environmental message too. In essence, you want people to keep your business card at the front of all others and the more eye-catching the design the better. Wooden business cards that we have seen are just fantastic and do exactly that. Again, if it’s relevant to your brand, then we say go for it!
The one thing we love about business cards is the lack of rules when it comes to design, shape, colour etc. which is why a ‘conceptual design’ could have everyone talking about your business card. And when people are talking about your business card, they are talking about YOU.
Negative film slides are a brilliant way to get your information across. Your information is printed on the piece of film in the centre and you just hold it up to the light. Hey presto, they can see your email address. Perfect! A memorable card and a great conversation starter.
The team at Colour Graphics love this idea for its impact and its simplicity. Imagine the plastic tabs that gardeners use to label their seeds- but on one end is your name, and on the other side at the opposing end, your contact details. The user simply twists the tag and matches up the information. Love it!
Imagine handing a ten-pound note to someone and asking them to give you a call! Defacing actual money is very illegal so don’t start writing on notes!
But you can have your own currency printed with your contact details on one side. The great thing about this type of business card is that you can have it printed on paper covered with a plastic film that makes it difficult to tear- but it is the same shape and size as real money, it fits into people’s wallets and purses – and it’s a great talking point. Importantly, though, it includes all the details that are needed too.
How will you make your next business card eye-catching?
James Birch is the sales and marketing manager at Colour Graphics. He is an expert in quality printed marketing materials
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