Consider your business card as a window into the experience that you provide your customers. Are the shape, texture and colour consistent with your branding, and does this differ from your competitors? Thankfully, there is no law stating that all business cards must be 2×3.5”, flat, and contain only a company logo and contact information. A business card is a great way to express what your business is all about, in a physical form that clients keep on hand for future reference. The unfortunate truth is that most business cards end up in the recycling bin, or amongst a stack of other business cards, never to be admired again. The trick to having potential clients remember your business based on your card, is to make your business cards unique, something that they will want to hold onto even if they are not interested in your services.
There are many ways to make your card memorable, but perhaps the most effective ways is through implementing the human senses. A client is more likely to remember ‘the thick round card that feels like water-colour paper’ than ‘the blue card with a guy’s face on it’ when searching for your information in a stack of other cards. Variables such as texture (also known as ‘tooth’), finish, embedding, shape, typography, and colour all play a roll in how people retain information from a physical card.
Shape and size are fun to play around with, but often cause headaches for designers trying to fit in tons of information onto a custom shape. Straying away from the standard business card size typically requires a minimalistic style and content to keep the information legible and effective. Another important note to keep in mind that although various sizes of business cards are cool, many people still use business card holders. If this is consistent with your target market, make sure that it is still able to fit into the standard 2×3.5” slot.
My favorite, and the most efficient way to ensure that a client holds onto your card, is implementing interactivity. Although this is a fairly unique method, as it typically adds plenty of additional costs, it’s really the full package when it comes to creating an incredible experience. Interactivity doesn’t necessarily require making your business card unfolding itself to reveal a tiny robot who tells the potential client all about your business, but involves the receiver of the card to get absorbed in transforming the card from it’s original form or message into something new. By making the card something useful and relevant to your business, the client is more likely to keep it and show to their friends in the future.
The primary goal of your business card should be to communicate the most basic information about your business in a memorable manner that your target market can perceive immediately. To ensure success, ask yourself:
- does this card fit the style of my company?
- would I keep this card if I was comparing businesses?
- is this card physically restrictive to it’s content and where it will be stored?
- what makes my card stand out against my competitors?