We like business cards. At the bare minimum they carry the info you need to do a little research once you get away from that lunch/meeting. At best they can provide a conversation starter, an introduction to your brand and an indication of what your brand values most.


They might be a hangover from paper offices but they have really evolved with the times, allowing organisations to offer a distilled vision of themselves and the info that matters most today.


A well designed business card means different things to different types of organisation, for example, one for a firm of solicitors would not suit a freelance photographer. Different needs, a different market. The business card is the perfect place to start that differentiation and help you stand out from the crowd.


‘Business’ business cards.


All organisations are serious about something but some are more than others. Law firms, medical services, accountants are examples of organisations that tend to want to place seriousness, steadfastness and quality above all else. Creativity or friendliness aren’t always a trait that we look for in these professions and the business card should be representative of this.


Minimalist, clean designs are the order of the day. The name and relevant info says it all. Any extra copy or imagery isn’t needed because the firm is likely confident in the quality of their work and, by extension, the name on their card.


These cards should certainly be ‘professional’ but don’t have to be boring by any means. Simple design elements, like raised type or a luxury surface, can help elevate a standard business card into something special.


Creative business cards.


Those in a creative business should have a creative business card. The elegant, simplistic card that is necessary for some professions (see above) would look borderline lazy coming from a design agency or a freelance copywriter. The business card of the creative is often the first opportunity for seeing their work. Does it attract your attention? Make you smile? Does it display the best hallmarks of the copy/design/image production industries that it wants to represent the best of? If not it is a missed opportunity.


Business cards have clear constraints (size and cost of production being most important), constraints which a good creative should look to take advantage of. If they can achieve the aims of a business card, given the constraints of a business card, they will have made an excellent first impression of their services.


The convention of giving business cards allows creatives to hand out a little slice of their portfolio and/or of their capabilities. Better make it as creative as possible.


Best practice business card design.


No matter what your organisation offers, there are some universal tips that will help a business card perform.


    • Don’t use too many colours on the side with the contact details on and make sure the typeface is legible. If it is hard to read it isn’t working.


    • Include the essentials. Nowadays we would argue that includes the name of your organisation, your name, email and contact number. Addresses can be looked up, social media is de rigeur for creatives but jars on a business card.


    • Your brand is the star. The card should be consistent with all of your branding guidelines and representative of the services you offer.


After all that work, it would be a pity if you didn’t make the best use out of them. Make sure you always carry plenty around with you and keep them clean. Don’t want all that hard work to go to waste.


We have lots of experience in creating business cards for a variety of organisations. We know what works best for whom and why. Come and meet us, judge our business cards, and find out how we can make your first impression an excellent one.