We’re a graphic design agency in Essex and designing business cards is a pretty regular thing for us. The one question we commonly get asked is “What to put on a business card?”
A business card is a personal introduction to yourself and your business, an advert, a communication document and a reminder of who you are as well as how to get in touch. It sounds straight forward but two factors get into your head and make the whole thing a mountain out of a molehill. The two factors are:
- Business Card etiquette
- The plethora of details that can go on a business card
Business Card Etiquette
Business Cards used to be a monotonous regime with the same generic details on every card. Etiquette said that business cards should be plain and white to show professionalism and if you want be fancy with your business card design then a textured paper stock could be used. Typesetting was important and maybe a fancy font if you can pull it off but that’s about as far as it went.
The keyword here was professionalism becuuse the idea of business used to have a bit of a stuffy stereotype. All of it was about corporate buildings, suits and ties and inner-city workings where business cards were handed out. This is what was considered as professional and hence why the business card had built an etiquette in the same way.
Business Card Details
Business card details use to consist of:
- Company Name
- Tel Number
- Fax Number
This was not down to etiquette. These details were used because these were the only communication lines available at the time. Commonly, today, I get asked what details can i put on my business card:
- Should I put my skype address on it?
- Should I have my social links on it?
- Should I put bullet points and straplines on it?
- Should I put my address on it?
- Should they match my letterheads?
- Should they represent me or my company?
Because of old business card etiquette, many think that a business card design must have a certain regulated and official format with required details like a letterhead, but it doesn’t. A business card design can be whatever you want it to be.
The key to a good business card design is functionality. It has to allow people to get in touch with you?
If Skype and social links play a big part of your business then put them on the business card, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t and as long as there’s one single contact element on there, then you’re good to go. A better way to look at it is to look at your business and marketing activities itself.
How do you use your Business card?
The way you use your business card should determine what you put on it:
- Do you give them out sparingly or dish them out like flyers?
- Are they a personal brand business card just for you or a generic business card representing the whole company?
If you use them like flyers or as a generic representation of your company then go ahead and put sales points on there. It’s actually informative!
If you’re more personal with your cards and their used to represent you rather than a company then keep it simple and elegant (that does not mean boring).
Branding with your business card design.
It’s ideal to keep your business card design in-line with the rest of your stationery but a business card can have a little more creative flair. The idea is not to stray from the brand imagery but to create something that extends your brand imagery with the card design. It can be more colourful and graphic then your letterheads.
A list of what can you put on your business card:
- Website url
- Blog url
- Social links
- Office Tel
- Sales bullet points
Overall your own business scenario may be very different to anything mentioned above so in any case remember its graphic design! There are no rules, just guidelines. Add in a little of your own personal preferences, be bold and with advice from your designer, do what you think is relevant and works best for you and your business.