10 tips for a good business card

Although they seem old-school, business cards are powerful tools in your communications arsenal

So much of the modern business day is spent online that some people forget about business cards. However, in an industry that relies on face-to-face interactions, clients and peers may use them to judge your professionalism. Don’t print shoddy DIY cards on pre-scored paper at a hotel’s business centre the night before an event. Invest in professional design and print on quality card stock to show that you care about the smallest details.

Here are 10 tips to make sure you stand out from the pack.

  1. Make sure your card has the basics: your company logo, your name (and professional designations), a phone number and email. If your website URL is different from your email domain, include that, too.
  2. If you use social media for business and to engage with clients or peers, list your handles. If your online presence is personal, leave them out.
  3. The quality of your business is reflected in your cards; do not print them at home. Most office supply stores offer business card printing on good paper with quick turnarounds for less than $100. Spend a little more to choose special finishes, such as glossy ink, extra-thick stock or a high-gloss varnish.
  4. If you can afford it, hire a designer. Rates start at about $60/hour for a junior designer, and go up to $100 or more for senior talent. The cost will vary depending on the card’s complexity. A designer can also align the branding with your website and other platforms (more on this in a future column).
  5. If you need to keep costs low, businesses that offer printing also offer online design tools you can use to make your self-designed card look more polished.
  6. Stick to a single font family such as Georgia or Arial. Avoid specialty fonts, such as those that look handwritten (we’re looking at you, comic sans).
  7. Keep font sizes reasonable. As a general rule, don’t go below 8 points or above 12.
  8. Some people use business cards to take notes. Make sure your choice of paper and finish can be written on.
  9. Take care of your cards! Invest in a card case and only carry a few at a time. Damaged corners and scuff marks diminish the value of giving out cards in the first place.
  10. Update your cards whenever your contact information changes.

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