How to Create Effective Business Cards

Most self-employed people and company owners know that having business cards is necessary for self-promotion and advertising. You need something small and compact to include in company mailings, hand out to people you meet, and otherwise market your business in the real world.

Creating an effective business card takes some care. You cannot just slap your name and company address on a little slip of paper and be done with it. That tiny rectangle of paper represents everything your company is. The moment you hand the card to a potential customer, client, or professional contact, they begin to judge your company. First impressions are vital to growth, brand reputation building, and ongoing success.

Below are several key points in how to create effective business cards.

Business Card Layout


Business cards usually have all the information on one side of the card. This standard design means that people will be able to know what the card is telling them quickly and easily. Also, most business cards are designed to be held horizontally. If you have a quirky, fun-loving, or truly unusual company, you might want to print your cards vertically.

Beware of unusual shapes, double-sided printing, or any textural accents. These may catch a person’s eye, but they also make the card more difficult to tuck into a wallet or pocket. The recipient may not see the information on the back of the card.

There are many different types of layout that you can use on a business card. Printers and print designers can help you pick one that is most effective for your industry or niche. Whatever you decide, it is important that all of the information should be clear and easy to read. Graphics should not overpower the text on the business card.

What Information Should Be On It?


If your company has a specific graphic logo or symbol associated with it, it should be displayed on the business card. This is important for business branding purposes. No one can think of Coca-Cola brand items without picturing their characteristic red and white wave design.

Besides the logo or decorative graphics, include the name of your business, your own name, and any contact information you wish to display. The contact information can include mailing or physical address, email address, website URL, and phone number. For businesses with both offline and online presences, maintaining consistency for all this information is vital to building your brand successfully.

Many business cards also include a short motto or saying that explains what your company does or stands for. It can be as specific as “We have the best ceiling fans in Memphis,” to something more general like “Best Value in Town.” Think of your unique selling point (USP) that makes your company different than all the others in the industry nearby. “Home of the 6 Pound Burrito Challenge!” is much more evocative than “Great Mexican Food.”

When making an effective business card, the key is to include everything that you need to get the point across to the potential customer or client and nothing else. A cluttered business card will not attract much attention and can appear confusing. Contrarily, a business card that only includes the name of a business and a phone number will be almost worthless.

It is important to match your business card style to your business. A home-based candle shop may have an off-white business card printed in warm colors, include a candle logo, and script typeface for their motto. An upper-class financial advisor may have a crisp white card with a beveled edge and raised black lettering and no graphic whatsoever. The card must fit the business it represents.

Creating an effective business card is important to the overall success of your company. It is, after all, often the first impression that potential customers or clients will have. Through proper layout, inclusion of information, and overall look, you will be able to use your business cards effectively.

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