June 7, 2010 1

Designing Business Cards

By in Design

Designing business cards is kind of a tricky area. For those who are trying to network, get their name out, and are responsible for designing their own cards, there is a lot of freedom. The question is what you should do with that freedom. Back when I was in school, the time came for us to start going to portfolio reviews, meeting experienced copywriters and networking. So our teachers advised that we make some business cards. There are usually two routes. The standard, classic card or the interesting, creative card.

It’s hard to say which is better. A business card is how you promote yourself and share your contact info with people, but it also presents an opportunity to show off. On the one hand, the standard card is totally safe. It’s always professional, and won’t get you any funny looks or weird first impressions. On the other hand, the standard card doesn’t exactly showcase your talent and creativity the way the funky card can.

It may be hard to determine if you should go safe or flashy. In reality, it all depends on the hand you’re putting your card into. If that person just wants to know how to get a hold of you and doesn’t care for cute or gimmicky nonsense, the traditional card design is a safe bet. But if that person is looking for a sign that you’re more creative than the rest, than you’re better off designing a more interesting card.

Of course you have no way of knowing which kind of people you’ll be doing business with. The good news is that you can find a balance. A friend of mine did a card design that was classy and standard, but then made the shape of the card short and wide in shape. It still looked nice, and it managed to peep out from within a stack of other student cards because it was about a centimeter wider (very smart).

There are a million things you can do to your business card. You can play with the shape like my friend did.

You can make parts of it perforated or use impressions.

You can make it read vertically instead of horizontally.

You can make it colourful. You can add an element to it that speaks to your profession directly.

You can make it fold out, sit on a desk, or just make it plain funny.

While the more creative cards are a little riskier since you never know how some people will judge it, I would say that most people in the advertising industry welcome it. As long as you’re not doing anything too kooky or offensive, I think people like to see something different that stands out from all their other cards. It’s kinda nice to be able to hand out a wacky card to a potential employer or client. And since we’re lucky enough to be working in a creative industry, we may as well reap all the benefits that we can.

About: Ian:
Hi, I'm Ian T. I'm a York grad and a copywriter for Eden Advertising. I'm the master of procrastinating. I like to use parentheses (sometimes). I love the LCBO because wine makes me happy. I don't blog, I capture moments in time.

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One Response to “Designing Business Cards”

  1. Jack Smith says:

    i always make my own business card through adobe photoshop and ms word, they are satisfactorily made though-*’