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Starter Kit: Designing Your Business Card's Logo, Format, and Content

Looking at a small, blank rectangle shouldn't be intimidating, should it? Well no, but taking that small, blank rectangle and designing it so that it perfectly represents you and your business is no simple feat. Fortunately, there are a few tips on how to best approach the logo, formatting, and content of a business card to jumpstart your design process.

Logo: Keep it Simple and Useful

There are a lot of great tips on how to design a business logo. While remembering those tips is important there are a few things that you must consider when using your logo or creating a logo specifically for a business card.

First, color is very important. Oftentimes, it is helpful to start off with a logo that is just black and white. Then, once the meaning and design of the logo have been determined, a simple color palette should be used. Try not to incorporate more than three colors into your logo as more colors can dilute the power behind a minimalist design.

But, before choosing a color scheme, how do you give meaning to the design of your logo? Consider your brand and your business. When someone picks up your business card and sees your logo you want them to be immediately reminded of what you do, sell or provide. Symbolic logos or logos with a double meaning are often most effective.

Take the Nike logo for example. The simple, single colored swoosh suggests both movement and a sense of completion which are both a nod back to their famous “Just Do It" slogan.

Format: Remember the Basics

When determining the format of your business card there's a couple tips to remember when starting. First, the orientation of your card is very important. Generally, people are more accustomed to landscape oriented business cards. So, unless there is a meaningful reason as to why you would flip your card to be portrait-oriented, stick to landscape. Next, a hierarchy between the elements of a business card is necessary to communicate well with whoever receives it. When formatting a business card, a good trick is to make whatever is most important – be that an image, slogan, contact information, name – the largest on the card.

Once you've established that hierarchy, space out the content accordingly so there's enough white space to balance out the elements you decided to include. Make sure you give the edges of your card a comfortable margin as well. A typical rookie mistake when designing a business card is having text start or end right at the end of the card. Doing this makes the card look unbalanced and less professional.

Content: A Need to Know Basis

Having a great logo and a well-formatted business card is not enough to leave a lasting impression. The content of your business card should complement the design as well as clearly communicate with whoever receives the card. In the case of business card content, less is more. You may want to pack your card with as much information as possible so a prospective client can learn as much about your business as possible. However, this doesn't tend to work very well. Instead, just give them the information they need. Remember, this is a business card, not a CV.

A good rule of thumb is that one side of the card should be informative and the other side should be persuasive. For example, on a well-designed business card, the front side should include company name, location, contact information, and logo. The back of the card could include a high-resolution image or slogan along with a call to action. The image and/or slogan will give a sense of your brand while the call to action will inspire engagement with whoever receives your card.

Blank slates can be intimidating. Jump-start the design of your business card with these tips and check out a free business card maker to streamline the process even further.

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