Despite advances in digital marketing, high-quality business cards still make their mark when it comes to creating a great first impression. If you want to convert customers then you need to look beyond the contact information on your business card but to the psychology of its design. Here are some essential details that can impact the power of your business card in a big way:
Appreciate the subtle:
If you want to create an impression of quality and professionalism, pay close attention to the negative or white space in your design. Negative space has nothing to do with creating a negative impression – but that will occur if you over-stuff your design.
Instead, your focus should be on micro negative space where the spacing between different elements will highlight critical information and macro white space where the way the elements sit within the overall design looks clean, minimalist and stylish.
The power of fonts:
It’s universally known wouldn’t use Comic Sans or Papyrus for your business card unless you were being ironic, but what fonts are right for your graphic design? Never choose two different fonts of the same family together, unless you want to create a negative impact on the recipient. Outside of the graphic design sphere most people do not know much about fonts and typeface, which is understandable.
The convention is to use sans-serif fonts for your headers and serif fonts for the body of the text, but for your business card, your primary objective is that it be easy to read. You also need to focus on the proper spacing between font elements so that the brain can process them quickly and easily. One tip is to ensure the line height is larger than the font size.
Fonts are essential for conveying a mood visually. Try typing a sample of text that you think matches the font you’re focusing on – is it fun, energetic, bold, forthright? If the words and the typeface match then you’ve conveyed the mood you want to achieve.
In most cases, the colours used for business cards will match those of your corporate branding. But do your brand values fit with the psychological meaning of your corporate colours? While the shape and font can also contribute to the emotion behind your choices, colour has the most obvious impact.
Before making any hard and fast decisions, think about the way colour will be interpreted and, if possible, choose one colour that most relates to your values to avoid sending conflicting signals.
Often overlooked, the finish of your business card can determine how it represents you and your business. Whether you choose a matt or laminated finish decide which one best suits your branding and image. From matt to silk or gloss any of these can be applied to the finish of your business card. For example a gloss finish can make the card more durable but may also give it a plastic feeling. Having a good finish to your card can give you an edge over your competitors and set you apart. Remember you can use a few different finished from embossing, foil blocking and laminating to create an outstanding card.
Like colour, the shape of your business card should also represent your brand. The most common shape of business card printing is the rectangle and it’s standardised for a reason. Universally recognised for its shape it’s quick and easy to identify, fit into your wallet or pocket. However this doesn’t mean you can’t get creative and change your business card to a more unusual shape. Consider carefully what you want to convey when thinking about the shape of your business card. Rectangles and squares traditionally convey strength, efficiency and professionalism whereas circles or rounded cards can show a more relaxed approach.
Ultimately business cards are essential when conducting modern day business interactions. For more on the power of business cards take a look at the fantastic article by Meredith Fineman, The Hidden Power of the Business Card.
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