Business Cards – A Complete Guide
The first impression is the last impression and a business card is that first impression of your company. According to global stats, about over 10,000,000,000 business cards are produced annually. That is indeed a lot of zeroes, still people can’t get enough of them. Business cards are a way people give away information about themselves in a brief yet personal way. The custom of trading business cards has been around since the 15th century, but things are changing now.
Due to COVID, the exchange of these cards has decreased, and people are going for something more efficient and environment friendly. So how will the aspect of professional introductions change in the upcoming future? Will business cards go extinct? What are the alternatives for these super essential business assets? Let’s find out.
As we discussed earlier, business cards first appeared in the 15th century as “visiting cards” in China. As the name suggests, the main function of these cards was to prove the credentials of an individual so that they could be allowed to enter an elite or royal institution. The specifications of these cards were used to determine how elite the owner was. Some other forms of these business cards can be traced back to the 17th century in Europe, where a version of these business cards was used like notice cards instead of introduction cards.
Hence, they were distributed to the masses before the arrival of an elite, to spread some general information about them to the public. Although they were also used as regular visiting cards where people with a royal status traded them with other royals. Back in the day, the owner was judged upon the quality and materials used for printing their business cards. Some royal families even had specialized card trays where the visitor could leave their cards.
Back in the day when people weren’t using addresses, the two sides of these cards came in handy, where the front was used for introduction/ information and the rear side had a map which was used to navigate to these businesses. Then came the industrial revolution which made things more professional than casual.
This meant that trading business cards were no more a status thing, but it became a professional courtesy. Gradually, the advancement in technology allowed more and more cards to be produced at a faster rate and a cheaper price, which allowed businesses to provide these printed cards to any potential client. Hence, the industrial revolution also brought a revolution to the business world and the production rate of these cards has increased exponentially over the years.
WHAT CONSTITUTES A BUSINESS CARD?
Just like in the old days, business cards are used for the same purposes in the modern world as well. They are small introductory cards which are traded in order to introduce oneself or one’s services. A standard business card is printed with the basic contact details. These details include the name of the owner, job title, company logo, phone number, email and the website. Fancier business cards come with more bells and whistles like social media handles, company’s tagline, important links in the form of QR codes, etc.
BUSINESS CARD DESIGN PRACTICES
As we have uncovered till now, business cards are a standard yet essential part of your branding. Hence, they should be the preview of your overall brand design. Just like the stature of these cards, the design on them should also be simple yet efficient. It should be designed in such a way, that one can get a gist of your business just by looking at the card. It should be well balanced and detailed yet simple and elegant at the same time. Although the traditional business cards are printed on 350g paper, some plastic variants are also emerging which have comparatively more shelf life, but they add to the pollution problem.
While making a standard business card, three factors should be kept in mind. i.e. bleed area, trim line and the safety line. The outermost part of any business card is the bleed area which is generally removed in most cases. Trim lines are simply the target lines for cutting these cards. Any sort of text, design, or graphic is supposed to go between the safety lines of the card.
One should ideally use both sides while designing a business card. However, the design format of these cards in general is never constant and can vary according to the requirements and preferences of the card owners. Essential information like contact details and address can go on one side of the card while the logo goes on the back. One could also opt for the logo being on both sides and the contact details on one of those sides.
HOW TO DESIGN A BUSINESS CARD?
Designing these cards is all about personal preference and creativity. Business cards can be very different in terms of design. One can decide on either hiring a professional designer or making the card on their own depending upon the scale and expenses of the business. Every card should be to the point and unique which ensures a good first impression on the recipient. A professional designer should be the ideal choice when it comes to designing these essential cards.
The designers are well equipped with the design software and they are aware of the modern trends when it comes to efficient designing. The downfall however to this situation is that anything which comes with the professional tag costs money. However, the services provided by any professional are extraordinary. They are known to provide promised results at a reasonable price.
Nowadays, several web services also offer certain designers which come at a relatively cheaper price and provide the same results as compared to their professional counterparts. Companies like Designfier offer designing services at a very reasonable price and their results speak for themselves. Most websites just like Designfier comes with a design engine built-in, where you can try your hand at designing yourself.
If not the professional route, one can also try their own hand in designing their business card. Making a standard card is simpleyet important at the initial stages of a business. Going simple and unique can be a good start for an upcoming business especially when saving cash to invest it at something bigger is important. Same rules apply while making a card yourself, proper research and designing knowledge are essential. The key is to keep the logo and card design simple yet efficient.
Any self-made or professionally made business card should be able to propagate knowledge about the business while having a positive first impression at the same time. While making a logo without taking any professional help, one should consider logo design tools on websites like Designfier. These logo design tools are easy to use and navigate and one can try their hand on logo making on well-certified platforms. DIY designs are cheaper to make and they are more personal to the owners when compared to something which is produced professionally.
Companies like Designfier are also a medium for professional logo designing, hence one can get an idea of modern trends while browsing through some trending top designs. Designfier has a large team of professionals who are available 24X7 for designing services along with a virtual library where people can browse through some outstanding designs for their business card designing experience.
WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD FOR BUSINESS CARDS?
The trade of business cards has gone down significantly in COVID times. However, this does not mean that these cards will eventually go out of business, as they have a traditional value attached to them. Operating businesses will certainly not be the same if these cards were meant to go obsolete soon. No matter how essential business cards are, it cannot be denied that they are not the most convenient method of information exchange out there anymore. With COVID and the online era, certain promising alternatives to these cards are coming. These alternatives are easily scannable, conveniently transferable and a more progressive way of business promotion.
Digital business cards have the essence of traditional business cards while being cost-effective, eco-friendly, and easy to store at the same time. As the world is moving more and more towards digital means because of the ongoing pandemic, digital cards are proving themselves to be a great alternative that is here to stay. They cut the printing costs entirely making sure that the company resources are being used on assets that are more profitable for the business. Modern E-business cards can be a great medium to show the competition that your company supports the environment. Plus, something new and pleasant like digital business cards is a great first impression.