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From Karen Saunders

Your Branding, Marketing & Self-Publishing Coach

Business Card Design: Make Your First Impression Last — Part 2

In Part 1 of my “First Impression Last” story, I told you about my quest to find a contractor to landscape my backyard . . . and the trouble I had figuring out who’s who with the generic batch of business cards I brought home from the local home show! I finally did get in touch with the right person for the job, but it was almost like finding a needle in a haystack. It shouldn’t be that hard to figure out what your specialty or niche is with a good business card design.

I was at a Chamber of Commerce mixer a few weeks ago, which can be a great place to network for small business owners. And for someone who specializes in marketing (i.e. me), it’s also fun to take a gander at business cards, brochures, and other promotional materials to see what’s going on out there. It’s amazing how many people are out there to network, but they hand you a business card design that leaves you saying, “OK, so, what is it that you do?”

Take Angela, for example. She owns a candle shop. She has candles that look like cakes, candles that smell like your mom’s apple pie, and even some with therapeutic aromatherapy. I learned all this from talking to her at the mixer. Which is the only way I would have learned it, because her card left a little to be desired. It had the name of her shop and her name, title, address and phone number. Boring! A good logo coupled with a clever tag line, a font and color scheme that complements the soothing mood that burning candles create, and she would have a fabulous business card design that not only gives people the pertinent information, but also the feeling of being relaxed. She wouldn’t have to talk so much, because her business card design would do the work for her!

Your business card design is your introduction, so make it a good one! Here are 7 more topnotch tips to keep your card out of the wastebasket and into the rolodex! (The first 7 are in Part 1, the August issue)

7 More Top Tips for a Great Business Card Design:

  1. Don’t get too crazy with the fonts. Make it appropriate for your business, without the trendy or overly embellished versions that are available out there.
  2. Keep a tight rein on your text. Think small and compact, and your text will have a much more professional look.
  3. Avoid using all capital letters, because THEY ARE HARD TO READ. It looks unprofessional, not to mention it implies that you are shouting at the reader. You don’t want to scare anyone off, do you?
  4. Use a grid. It helps you to align texts and objects to each other in a way that you just can’t do with the naked eye.
  5. Any illustrations that you use should be bold, not delicate. When you try to print all that detail at the small size of a card, it just looks muddy and you lose the look you were going for.
  6. I said bold, not amateur. Illustrations from clip-art are usually out-dated and campy. Find a good quality resource for your illustrations, and stay away from the I-did-it-myself look.
  7. Don’t forget the back! That’s wasted real estate back there. Why not put a special offer, photo or something else enticing to encourage people to call. Be creative! The following are the 3 business cards I’ve designed for Alpaca ranchers. Notice how I used the front and back sides of the card.

Shalimar-business-card-design

French-Hollow-business-card-design

Tuscany-Valley-business-card-design
OK, now you are all set to let your little business card design do big things for your business! If it’s the first impression people get about you, you want to make sure it’s a memorable one. Your success depends on it!

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