What Makes a Good Business Card?

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Business cards are only useful if you make genuine connections.
Business cards are only useful if you make genuine connections. (Image: business man hand show visiting card image by Anatoly Tiplyashin from Fotolia.com)

A good business card is a valuable tool for networking and maintaining business connections. Like the clothes you wear or the way you present yourself, the business card makes an impression on the people you meet. Your card must tell enough of a story to remind the recipient of who you are, what you do and why they should contact you to learn more.

Paper Weight

The standard size paper stock for business cards is 80 pounds, which means that every 500 sheets of the stock weighs 80 pounds. Business cards should be no lighter, but may be of a heavier stock if you want to present a high-quality aesthetic. Touch is important to memory recall, so choosing a high-quality paper may help to boost your image. (See References 1)

Logo Size

Your logo shouldn't dominate the business card; in fact, according to "Entrepreneur" magazine's website, the better known a company is, the smaller the logo on the business card. While a recipient of your business card should never be confused about the name of your company, the logo should be sized appropriately so that the white space makes the logo stand out.

Contact Information

Include your contact information clearly and concisely; after all, the whole point of a business card is to allow the recipient to contact you easily. Your name, title, phone number and email address must be listed on the card and easy to read. If you have a storefront or an office that clients need to visit, your business address must also be clearly printed on the card.

Simplicity

Although you want your card to stand out, keep things simple. Avoid using odd materials, like metal, plastic or fabric, which people may not be able to keep with other business cards in such places as their wallets. Odd sizes may also mean your business card gets left behind. To get your business card noticed without going over the top, consider custom embossing, varnishes or rounded corners.

Effectiveness

When designing your business card, include something about your business and provide a narrative of the type of work you do. According to graphic designer Sean Kinney, having a business card with a photo of your products in the background or a link to your website helps your recipient remember what it is you do and how she met you. If your business caters to vastly different audiences, consider having two different designs.

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