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Anatomy of a Good Business Card

2014 November 11


I recently redesigned my new business cards (well, I art directed – my husband actually designed them) and they seem to get a lot of compliments everywhere they go. Thought I would share some of my tips for a business card that stands out from the bunch:

1) Keep it simple and subtle. Prints, patterns, colors and cute details can be more distracting than you think and often come across as pretty, but not all that professional. If you’re in a creative field, choose one distinct element that conveys your style. But just one. And think really long and hard about what that element is and how you can simplify it. If your business, like mine, is not driven by your personal style or creativity, stick to a very simple logo (or none at all), a neutral color palette and a one-sided card with the backside left blank. If you think you need to use both sides to share your info, you’re sharing too much.

2) Logos aren’t law. My business is me. I am a consultant and all I am really trying to sell to potential new clients is me and my expertise. So I decided to forego a traditional “logo” and simply used my name instead, designed in a strong, simple font with some detail work. A logo can be beneficial if it truly helps to summarize your work in one image; if not, re-think it altogether. You’d be surprised how impactful a logo-less business can be.

3) Titles are. Whether or not you choose to use a creative logo, make sure you have a title on the card that spells out what it is that you do. Mine is simply: Public Relations Consultant. Nothing fancy or complicated, just enough to remind people of who they were speaking with and why when they dig my card out of a pile on their desk. Yours might be “floral designer” or “graphic designer” or “private chef”. Skip the hierarchical titles unless they are given to you by a company – in an age where CEOs sit alongside account executives in open-air cubicles, it’s not your position that matters, it’s your expertise.

4) Contact info is key. But don’t put it all on there. The days of listing your office number, mobile number, address and email are long gone. If people want to get a hold of you these days, they will use email first. Nine times out of 10. If your email is related to your professional web site (i.e. then no need to list that, either. Just the email is fine. If not, include a web site and post the rest of your contact info, social media handles, etc. there. And no mailing address, please. That’s by request only.

5) It’s all in the details. Once you have a clean, simple design in mind, shift focus to the quality of your cards. Because that is what leaves a true impression. I order mine from Moo* and opt for their luxe offering which is a thicker, sturdier paper that feels weighty and substantial in your hands. It’s a slightly higher investment, but in my opinion, well worth every penny. I also get their border color option (I chose black to keep it super simple) which adds a nice thin frame around the edge of the card that makes it stand out. I opted for sharp square corners (as opposed to trendy round ones) to keep the look classic. Finally, I opted for Moo because they don’t have any of their own personal PR on the back of the card. That is the number one business card blunder out there. Pick a printer who doesn’t put their name or logo (even if it’s in tiny print on the back of the card) anywhere on your card. It’s your business, after all. And your job isn’t to promote them.

Hope this helps! Would love to hear any additional tips you may have – leave them in the comments below. 

*not sponsored, I truly use them and love them.

9 Responses
  1. Karsha permalink
    November 11, 2014

    LOVE your cards! I totally splurge on extra heavy cardstock. Costs a fortune – but it’s soooo worth it!

    • WWGD permalink*
      November 12, 2014

      Of course you do, because you are the best! 😉

  2. LDuncan permalink
    November 11, 2014

    I love your tips, but all this makes me think about is Amercan Psycho. Ha!!

  3. Einat permalink
    November 12, 2014

    How timely!! About to purchase cards for myself and in the design process right now…! Thanks for the tips!

    • WWGD permalink*
      November 12, 2014

      Ooh, fun! Let me know how they turn out!

  4. November 16, 2014

    Raluca, thanks so much for these tips. New business cards for my writing have long been on my list. This is a sign

    • WWGD permalink*
      November 17, 2014

      Oh good – share your final product once you have it!

  5. November 24, 2014

    I like the simplicity aspect of the business cards because that makes it easier to highlight the things that truly matter in the business card. Thanks for sharing!

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