How to Design a Business Card Logo

Business Card Logo
Business Card Logo (Image: David A. Claerr)

If you've started a new business and want to try your hand at designing your own logo for a business card, here are some tried-and-true design principles and tips.

Things You'll Need

  • Pencil
  • Paper
  • Digital design or editing program
  • Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator

Start brainstorming with a pencil and paper and sketch out an idea. Involving a graphic artist after you have a basic concept is a good idea, since they have the computer programs and equipment to make the type of file that professional print shops use.

Select a basic shape or icon that can be reproduced easily in one or two colors on a small scale. For a basic shape, think ovals, rectangles, shields, stars, teardrop, spirals, hexagons or a combination of shapes that will make a pleasing image. An example would be the Nike swoosh, which does not look like a shoe, but looks good on a shoe, is easily recognizable and can be scaled to a small size. Simple designs are best.

Start with basic shapes and colors and build from there.
Start with basic shapes and colors and build from there.

Choose an icon, if you wish to have a simplified picture that represents a product or service. It will need to be plainly designed with thick lines and broad areas. The icon should be a stylized depiction without a lot of detail or intricate lines.

An icon is a simple, stylized drawing.
An icon is a simple, stylized drawing.

Select a type of lettering or font that fits in with your company's image. For example, a bold block type would suit an industrial manufacturer, whereas a flowing script would suit a wedding planning service. Some logos are comprised of just lettering on a background.

Font style should match the nature of your business.
Font style should match the nature of your business.

Fit your design inside an area shaped like either a square or rectangle (similar in proportion to a playing card). If your design fits within one of these proportions, it will fit well within the limits of a business card, leaving room for names, addresses and phone numbers.

Decide whether you want to place your company's name or initials. Longer names are generally placed underneath.

When you have a good, solid concept, you may wish to draw out the logo in a digital editing program, like the raster-based Adobe Photoshop, Paint Shop Pro or the freeware Gimp. Most graphic artists use a vector-based program like Adobe Illustrator, Macromedia Freehand or the freeware Inkscape to design logos. Vector files can be scaled to any size without losing resolution or having jagged-pixel edges. Either of these two types of programs have font sets to choose from.

Tips & Warnings

  • Unless you have some experience with these programs, you will probably need a graphic artist to produce a good, crisp image that can be scaled and printed on your business card.

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