Monday, June 21, 2010

Business Card Basics

Your business card is the receptionist of your business. After face-to-face networking, your business card is the key reminder of your new meeting. How then should your receptionist best represent your business?

Keep it simple. The design doesn't have to be boring, but if a potential customer has to look for your e-mail or phone number because it is too artsy-fartsy or too complicated, you probably have lost a customer. If you have too many competing elements or drop shadows on your text, it may cause your card to look too busy, thereby losing the message.

Keep it simple. Text should be no smaller than 8pt, and I recommend your company name (assuming there is no logo) should be no larger than 18pt. No drop shadows; keep in mind, if your company is advertising in a newspaper or needs to send a copy of the card over via fax, special effects won't pick up well through a fax or a flatbed scanner.

Keep it simple. No more than three different typefaces. Use color to point out the important pieces, such as your name and phone number. If you use your photo along with another (i.e., a realtor), you might ask your designer to watermark or fade one side of the other photo so your mug shot gets primary importance; better still, if you want to use your mug shot, leave any other photo out.

Keep it simple. Black is a color not many businesses can carry well; it also tends to carry a negative message, so try not using this color for your background unless it's the only color that works. If you decide to use black for your background color, be careful when selecting a secondary color to use (other than white). Try using a percentage of that color; remember, black will push lighter colors forward, making them more noticeable.

Keep it simple. Try not printing on the back side unless it is absolutely necessary. In many networking circles, it is nearly required to use the back side of a business card to write down where you met your contact, if you decide to offer a special price, scheduling a day/time for a meeting -- the list goes on.


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