Business Cards have been businessmen’s best friends for a long time, no matter what kind of business you own, they’ll surely help you in its promotion. I’d like to talk about Business Cards and share with you some secrets which are based on my own experience. I got interested in this topic for the first time, when I decided to create some business cards for sale for the Graphicriver.
Graphicriver is a popular website that has a lot of traffic. Its sales are good enough, but the level of competition is very high. Another important fact is that all the works go through the strict selection and not every work can be placed on the website, so you must be well-prepared to add your works and examples to the website. Actually, I’ll try to highlight the main issues for you and make them really plain and simple to understand. If your work is related to design than this article will be very useful for you.
When I opened a well-known Photoshop graphic editor for the first time and was going to create my business card I thought over one simple, but very important question: “What exact size must a document have?” Business cards are printed, so the number of DPI is 300, a color scheme is CMYK. But what is the correct size of the document? If you want to get the answer immediately, it’s 3.75*2.25. But take a look at the picture below.
It describes the sizes of business cards in different countries and different standards. But why there are no the sizes that I’ve mentioned above? Because you shouldn’t forget about the concepts of post-processing cards. The cards are printed larger than they are than unnecessary parts are cut off after printing. That’s why my size is 0.25 inches in height and width greater than the standard size in the USA.
So, we have created a new document with the correct size and now we are ready to work. If you want to create a personal business card or make it for an order (I mean, for a person or a company), it’s no problem, but when it comes to mass production of cards, you will understand, that you have a lack of imagination. I’ve faced this problem and decided to take a look at the cards produced by other designers to get some inspiration. I’ve visited these three websites:
And do you know what I’ve noticed? Many business cards use the name of John Doe.
This is a false or a pen name, which can be used as a sample, so I checked Wikipedia, because I want to be completely aware about John Doe. It’s pretty simple. John Doe is a designation of the male part in the trial (Anglo-Saxon law) and this name is used like a placeholder name for a party who must be withheld in a legal action or whose identity is unknown. Earlier the unknown defendant used to be named Richard Rowe. In case the body belonged to a woman she was called Jane Doe, Baby Doe was a child of Doe. In case the unidentified were family members, they were called James Doe, Judy Doe and so on.
Now let’s come back to the design of the Business Cards.
Here’s what I want to draw your attention to:
Some business cards are so-called QR-codes (quick response codes). They’re two-dimensional bar codes. At present they can be easily scanned with mobile phone camera and the program will recognize these codes (the program can be installed on any modern mobile device).
QR-code can accommodate a fairly large amount of information (the numbers – 7089, numbers and letters (including Cyrillic) – 4296; binary code – 2953 bytes, characters – 1817). Naturally, if you want to place 4296 numbers and letters on a Business Card, the only solution is to place there a bar code. Although, I think it’ll spoil the card interface, so you need to beat the location of the code:
2. Different styles of Business Cards
Nowadays the availability of business cards is a personal matter, but in ancient times the Chinese officials should have red cards with the names and posts written on, and nothing else. Today everything have changed (the higher links give the best proof). I decided to divide all card into several groups. Each group shows what the designer wants to emphasize.
The background image. Some designers focus on the background image of a business cards. For example, look at the following works:
Different backgrounds will diversify your cards and will fit almost any purpose. Strict pattern on the background can be used for business style, and the color splashes and stripes serve as an excellent backdrop for the design studio. Still it’s all up to you.
Typography. Typography is a second popular trend that is worth to pay attention to. Sometimes it can be really difficult to get a corresponding font, but most designers manage to get it:
You should remember one thing: if you do the design for sale, use only licensed fonts, and not all of them are free of charge.
Photos. Why can’t you use a photo on your business card? Many designers have tried it and here is what they got.
As you probably understood, when I talked about placing photos on a card, I didn’t mean that it should be placed on the card in the same way as in the passport. It’s quite difficult to place a photo on the card and stay pleased with the result. Do you remember, I’ve talked about QR-code? Take a look on this business card:
I’ve got a personal note, the designer must have placed the QR-code instead of one of the photos, and place it in the lower right corner. What do you think?
Transparency. Nowadays these types of cards are very popular among business owners.
This type of business cards is much more difficult to print, so the demand for these business cards is less than for standard ones. If you remember the beginning of our conversation, I already told you that I would like to create business cards for sale. I’m not a believer of transparent cards though if a person wants to stand out and do something like that, it’s better to use services of a design studio, which can develop great business cards.
3. Unusual shapes
As you’ve got it from the title, these cards have unusual shapes and usually they are custom-made. The creation of these cards require far more resources than simple business cards. Therefore, this type of cards, as well as transparent, fits not-for-sale. Business cards that are listed below will help you to get inspired:
A few more tips:
1. If you intend to create designs of business cards, pay attention to the signs. Many designers just forget about them. Typically, these symbols are written in the lower left corner. Here is a list of some signs.
p.f. – Congratulations (pour feliciter)
p.r. – An expression of gratitude (pour remercier)
p.c. – Expression of sympathy (pour conolaence)
p.f.n.a. – Happy New Year
ppc – parting out a long-term
p.p. – Introduction
It’s not hard to remove them, but if you use them, you would stand out among other designer’s cards.
2. Also, take your time to create thumbnails of your business cards. Presentation of a business card to the buyer is a half of the job. You can use ready-made moCaps. Take a look at these examples:
I do believe that everyone will find something useful in this post. If you have any questions, feel free to to ask me in the comments, I’ll do my best to help. Follow me on Twitter, to stay updated.