The four things you should never, ever do in business card design

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Business card design is not what it used to be. With so many printing options, DIY business card companies, paper thicknesses, foiling, glossing, photography overlays, shapes and sizes, it’s easy to get caught up in wanting to create the most creative or luxurious business card design for your business. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

Once you strip away all the bells and whistles, we believe that business card design should fall into one of two categories: simple, sleek and professional or radically creative. In either case, your card needs to clearly display your logo, your contact information, and provide a relevant call to action about your business or brand.

While those three things are all given, there are four business card design trends you should never, ever fall prey to. Below, we share our hit list of business card faux pas and why they are bad for your business.

1. Forget all the text you want to include on your business card design:

Your business card is not the place to teach prospects about your product or services. Overloading your business card design with cramped text or too much information can overwhelm the viewer and detract from the contact information on the card. The primary goal of your business card should be to encourage customers to reach out, surf your website, or give you a call. Leave them wanting more by including a simple catch phrase or invitation for a free consultation. Everything else you should save for your website, blog, or customer brochure.

2. Don’t create something that won’t fit easily into a wallet:

We know that creating a business card that looks like a pack of matches, or going crazy with the die cutter might seem like a cutting edge way to set your business card apart from the competition. The reality is, if you want your prospective customers to remember to give you a call, your business card needs to fit easily inside their wallets. During networking events or daily exchanges, you may trade any number of business cards. While quirky or oddly shaped cards may stand out in the moment, those that don’t easily fit into your prospects’ business folios will likely end up in a pocket (and subsequently the washing machine), at the bottom of a purse, or inside a trash can.

3. Never use QR codes in business card design:

There once was a time when marketers like our Orlando marketing agency team tried to socialize QR codes. The idea was a good one. Simply scan the code to reveal promotions or contact information. The reality is, no matter what anyone tells you, this trend has never (and will never) catch on. Save space on your business card and skip the QR code. No one will use it anyway, so you’re missing an opportunity to put that same information or promotion on the card. The QR code itself is also distracting and can be a major detraction from your design.

4. Avoid generic fonts:

If you have seen and can easily recognize the font on your business card before (think: Comic Sans, Papyrus, or Copperplate) you shouldn’t be using it. There are tons of free fonts available for download if you choose to create your own business card design, and any good marketing agency has access to paid and free options they can incorporate on your behalf. Using overplayed or highly exposed fonts makes your business card look less professional or may create an unintentionally negative association between your business and another business using the same font. The same goes for generic images in lieu of a customized logo. The small investment in a new font or personalized logo will go a long way in building a lasting, meaningful brand identity that will help customers associate your products and services with your unique value proposition rather than someone else’s.

For more inspiration on how to design a perfect business card or how to use creative elements to build your brand, visit our creative services page.

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