Business cards – 5 key features for success

Business cards – a boring subject…but they are very important. It is said when you first meet someone you make your mind up whether you like them within the first 30 seconds! On these occasions business cards are often exchanged. Quality business cards can help make a good impression and are worth investing time and money on. The business card exchange ritual goes back along way:

businesscardattorney1895
American Attorney business card 1895
(a very serious looking fellow!)

I’ve received 1000’s of business cards over the years. They come in all different shapes, sizes, colours, textures, materials, etc. I’ve even been given a Titanium card!! With so many choices what do you choose for your business card? We dusted off our boxes of other peoples business cards last week and compared 100’s of cards. In the end we decided that the key feature of choosing a business card are:

  1. Text- Clear readable text which is a good font size and is well spaced. This makes the card easier to read and brings the impression of spaciousness. We found plenty of cards which used very small fonts and/or the text/lines were crammed together.
  2. Print quality- First impressions do count. Cut costs here and you maybe sending out a cheap low quality impression of your company and its products/services. Unfortunately we found several poor quality print jobs.
  3. Card thickness – Again quality counts. This is a strange thing to describe but when you hold a thicker business card it gives a feeling of substance. Again quality. When we looked through our cards quality thick paper makes a big difference (preferably 400g+).
  4. Back of card- IN the past I’ve used the back of peoples business cards to write summary notes. Alternatively the back of a business card is a great way to reinforce your logo and brand. It’s a walking advertisement of your brand. We found some great examples including Jive Software, Trampoline Systems and Mindcandy.
  5. Size- Having a card which fits into a wallet or purse is helpful. In a wallet it can be easily found and will be looked at again. I do like the ‘mini’ card funkiness but there just not practical as they get lost easily.

With all this in mind we had our cards designed by a professional designer. In the past we skipped the designer and did it ourselves. I think its worth paying that extra cash even when you are extreme bootstrapping to have it done properly. Here is our final result:

aware-monitoring_business_card1

Armed with a great design/layout you then need to find a good printer. We have looked at several printing companies and selected Printing.com. They offer a local service which is always useful when in a rush, a useful proof checking service and they are a big outfit which means they have good printers. Yes, we checkout what printing machines they used. There are lots of other printing companies. Emma Jones at Enterprise Nation has suggested several  including MOO and vistaprint.co.uk. “They cost as little as £15 for 250, again with free ‘template’ designs that look very professional” (Emma).

Good business cards really are worth investing in to give out the right impression when meeting a potential partner, prospective client, etc for the first time.

My other startup related posts:

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3 Responses to “Business cards – 5 key features for success”

  1. 5 Startup Steps to finding & working with freelancers « Nickpoint Says:

    [...] freelancers we’ve worked with. We found Keegan through 99Designs and used him for our logo, business cards, Launch page and a new blog for Bootstrapping. Why did it work so well? We’ve now experienced [...]

  2. 5 Startup Steps to Finding & Working with Freelancers - Web 2.0 Surgery Says:

    [...] best freelancers we’ve worked with. We found Keegan through 99Designs and used him for our logo, business cards, Launch page and a new blog for Bootstrapping. Why did it work so well? We’ve now experienced [...]

  3. 5 Unique Urban Planning Business Card Designs | The GRID | Global Site Plans Says:

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