Five ways to make a good impression with your business card

in Business Ideas

If you’re thinking of ordering a set of business cards then it’s worth taking a little extra time and effort to design something that will stand out from the competition. Here are five criteria to make sure your card will have the desired impact.

There are plenty of digital print companies who will create a set of business cards to your specification. Some have special deals and others will even do it for free. But before you submit your credit card details, think again: far from being a mere rectangle of stiff white paper, your business card is a vital piece of branding and perhaps the only lasting impression a would-be customer will have of your company. Get this wrong and that could be the last you will hear from them.

If you really want to create the right impression, it pays to do your research and spend a little more. Five principles to remember to create a strong and appealing card that still comes in at a good price are:

  1. Shop around digital print companies
  2. Choose heavier card
  3. Aim for high print quality
  4. Don’t be tempted by free cards
  5. Pick the right finish

1) Shop around digital print companies
Don’t go with the first company you find: look around and see what others can offer. This is important because there is tremendous variation in price, quality and speed of turn-around between different companies. Digital print doesn’t share quite the same set of rules as conventional print, and you may be surprised at the savings you can make whilst maintaining the same (or higher) standards of production. Moreover, your business cards probably won’t be the only bit of marketing you ever need, and a good company will serve you well for flyers, posters and other forms of advertising in the future. Ask for samples from a few if you’re not sure which to choose.

2) Choose heavier card
Light, flimsy business cards look and feel cheap and unprofessional. It will depend a bit on your industry (the kind of substantial, high-quality card you might expect from a solicitor or financial adviser could be incongruous for a more casual and low-key business, for example) but you should generally aim for heavier paper stock. 350 to 400 gsm is a good starting point. Heavier cards not only look better but they last longer and are less likely to be thrown away. You will find that different print companies have a huge variation in the weight of card they typically offer.

3) Aim for high print quality
It’s not enough for your card to be readable. The words and design need to be clear and sharp. Some companies will offer cheap cards that have grainy or low-quality print on them. These can look awful, especially if your design includes a logo or another image. The last thing you want is for your card to seem amateurish, since this reflects badly on both you and your business. Again, ask for samples if you’re in any doubt, and make sure that images are photo quality and print is crisp.

4) Don’t be tempted by free cards
You can often pick up a set of cards for free as part of one or other promotional deal. These are best avoided for a number of reasons. They are generally low-quality, using cheap, thin card and print that will fade or look grey and tired to begin with. Not only that, but some companies require that the cards include their logo on the back. This is a false economy: remember that your card is part of your branding, and if you save money in this way you will give the strong impression to any prospective clients that you are willing to cut corners and don’t particularly care about how you come across.

5) Pick the right finish
Make sure you finish your card, rather than leaving it unvarnished. It will last longer and look better. A spot-UV finish can really bring out details in the text or a logo. Otherwise, make sure the finish (typically matte, gloss or silk) fits the design and the contrast of colours on your card.

This article was supplied by printed.com, a supplier of quality leaflet printing and an accredited member of the Direct Marketing Association.

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