Wednesday, June 30, 2010

When Should You Update Your Printed Material?

Business cards, like other forms of print collateral, tell a certain story about your business. Let's face it -- it's all about presence. The thickness of the card, the typography, whether or not you use a clipart, glossy or nay -- all are important and are vital to the success of a business print material.

Today I called on a new client needing business cards, a referral from a friend and good client. This new client informed me he was down to his last twenty business cards and needed to print, but he started re-thinking the look of his cards when he saw my friend's. Long story short: I took her folded, white-and-just-black-text-except-for-the-logo business card and turned it into a portfolio, showcasing her stores' services. This new client told me he didn't know you could have a photo with a business card. Furthermore, his card hadn't been updated in about ten years.

Sounds like an exaggeration? It's not. I see plain business material all the time. Sometimes it's for the profession (i.e., a financial planner, for example), sometimes it's the taste of the customer. More often than not, it's the customer not realizing that plain may send a different message -- a message that they don't care about the image their company portrays.

Obviously this is not the case at all! I talk to many business owners each month, and all are so passionate about their own business, it is worn like a shroud as they walk in the room. They are so proud they can't wait to tell everyone -- but not being pushy, of course. They do care about their business and how people perceive it. This is why designers should make it their mission to explore all new possibilities with their clients; to ensure that, at the end of the meeting, their clients are very satisfied with their chosen design. If the client isn't happy, the designer didn't do their basic job: listening.

Now it's your turn! Think back to your very first business card. What would you have changed about it? Are you happy with the design of your current card? If not, why not?

(I may continue this as a series, stay tuned!)

Happy designing!


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