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What makes a good business card?

Wednesday, 20 March 2013 | By Debra Templar

This week’s Secret Soloist is answered by sales guru Debra Templar.


Don’t listen to anyone who tells you that business cards are passé. They’re wrong.


Business cards are something that we take for granted. We shouldn’t. The look, feel and message on a card helps people determine how they view you and, more importantly, if they will remember you.


When you leave a conversation and the other person has your business card, your identity is that piece of paper.


Your business card should not only state the name of your business, your contact information and what you do, but it should also state something about you.


Not in a written sense, but more so on the overall image it creates about you.


For example, if I were to hand you my business card you would probably get the feeling that I am all about retail. Why?


  • My card is the shape of a shopping bag or swing ticket (depending on whether you’re a consumer or a retailer).
  • The card colour is an “on trend” green.
  • The typography is clear but mainly in lower case – a bit different.
  • It tells you who I am and what I’m about.
  • And how to contact me, including my website if you’d like to know more.


The main reason I had the card created this way is because when I hand it to people, I want them to remember me. They do. I have been called “the bag lady” more times than I remember, thanks to my memorable business card.


If you don’t have a business card and are looking to create one, here are some things to keep in mind:


Colour: we usually take colours for granted, but there are meanings behind them. If you’re a dentist, for example, you’d never, ever have a card that is predominantly red.


Paper: the quality of your card says something about you. The last thing you want to use is cheap paper or a material like metal which doesn’t allow others to write on your card.


Stop ink jet printing your own cards on flimsy paper. It says to me that you are not serious about your business, and that it’s a “hobby” and you’re pretending.


Uniqueness: if your business card doesn’t stand out in a pile filled with other cards then the chances are people won’t remember you by looking at your business card. You need to make your card unique.


Typography: fonts have a voice, so choose one that best represents who you are and make sure to choose one that is easy to read and in a size that is easily readable.


You certainly don’t want a font that can change the meaning of your business.


Feel: touch is an important sense that we all have and your business card should appeal to that sense.


Don’t put absolutely everything on your card. Too much information ruins the design of your card and please do not put clichéd mission statements or values on the back.


All the additional information should be on your website (which should be front and centre on your business card).


A good business card is one of the best marketing tools you’ll ever invest in. So go find a graphic artist and design yourself a memorable marketing tool – your business card!