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What makes a good business card?

So you throw your business cards onto your desk and what do you see shinning back at you? Are you struck by their originality? Their striking design? Or do they in fact look like every business card you’ve ever seen – with a white backdrop and illegible text to boot?

When it comes to business cards I think you need to go back to the beginning and understand what their purpose is. It is essentially designed to allow people to contact you. No matter how fancy the design or how striking your logo appears on the card if the receiver cannot contact you due to illegible type face or cluttered design you may risk them not contacting you at all.

There are a couple of things to consider when it comes to the contact details on a card:

Contact details:

Are you including all your contact details? Your company name and email may not be enough? I’m not saying you have to put your date of birth and blood type, but it might be worth putting on the essentials:

a. Your name

b. Your telephone

c. Email address

d. Website

Maybe even your address, fax number or a short statement about your business. However, as with most things in the design world, less is often more. I would steer away from using your business card as a mini advert, the more you put on your card the more the impact is lost.

Font type and size:

Are the contact details legible? Are they too small or are they hard to read due to a contrasted background?


Keep your card uncluttered, and contact details in full view. It is tempting to save money on printing by just printing the front of your business card, however it is worth the extra money to complete the design on both sides. This allows you to have room for a nice size logo or simply use the space to give your contact details some leg room. A good rule is, one side for your information and the other for the company information.

Extra white space also allows people to scribble details on your card enabling them to remember you (“Met Joe Bloggs at xx time at xx location”). 


The size of your business card is also very important. Predominantly people either put business cards in holders or wallets and if your card doesn’t fit into these it is likely not to be kept.


I would also recommend having your card printed on good quality card. You never know the milage of your card and how many people it gets passed to, there is nothing worse than a dog eared mangled card – what does that say about your business? 

Overall, the key point to remember is that your business card is representing you. You need to ensure that every element of your card speaks volumes about your business, through it’s design, ease of use and quality.

Posted by Lu

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Posted on Monday, May 19th, 2008 at 10:59 pm
Posted In Graphic Design | Tags: ,

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