In recent years the price of high quality business cards has plummeted. The advent of massive printing factories with on-line shop fronts together with digital pre-press and even digital presses has meant that it is possible to print hundreds of cards for a price that would have previously have been unheard of. Not only are cards inexpensive but they are also available in full color, with glossy coatings and even with rounded corners or foil-like features.
Having a card as a way of providing information to someone is one thing, creating a card that really stands out is another. Business cards in the USA are commonly three and a half inches wide by two inches tall. This means that they fit in people's business card files. If you must have card that is this size then there are several ways to differentiate your card. Some of these methods will be more expensive than the 'factory' produced cards mentioned above, but the extra cost may not be huge compared to your overall marketing budget. Ideas include:
1. Add rounded corners, or a combination of rounded and square corners.
2. Use engraving to create a sophisticated masterpiece where the text is raised above the rest of the card. There are still several engraving printers to be found in big cities.
3. If engraving is much for your budget consider thermography, a process which emulates engraving, with similar results, although not as satisfying to the purist.
4. Foil stamping, perhaps over part of your logo, creates a card which is noticeable and different from most.
5. Most color cards are produced using offset lithography or digital presses. Consider having your card produced using traditional letterpress printing. The result will likely have a slightly more three dimensional feel.
6. Create an embossed effect (where part of the card raised above the surrounding area - similar to the effect created when a Notary Public stamps a document), or a debossed effect (where part of the card is pushed in to lower than the surrounding area). The effects can be produced without ink, i.e. 'blind' or with ink.
7. Create a unique design. Take the real estate industry as an example. Many real estate agents have cards that include their photograph. The cards are obviously created by the agent's broker and conform to the broker's template. Trouble is, they obviously look very similar to the cards created for the broker's other agents and hence do not do a good job of differentiating. When you commission a design, make sure that it is fresh and different.
8. Don't forget the back of the card. This is a great place for more information about your business, for example, you could include a map to your physical location, or list your social media accounts.
9. Consider creating several different cards for yourself, perhaps with the same theme but slightly different. One company I know created cards with five different color themes for each person. It was unusual and created a good talking point.
10. Remember that cards do not need to be printed horizontally, they can also be printed vertically.
Since people are using electronic forms of contact information collection and hence retaining business cards after capturing the data contained on the card is becoming less common. The result of this is that it makes sense to create a card that is totally different from everyone else's in terms of size, shape, paper type and design. The following are a few ideas:
1. Turn your business card into a mini brochure, the same size as a regular business card when closed,but it opens up provide more information about you and your business.
2. Similar to one are 'concertina' business cards where a card opens up into a concertina of information.
3. Create a long rectangle, round or square business card which is a little larger than the standard business card size.
4. Consider using a significantly thicker card stock than normal to differentiate you card by its feel.
5. Remember that there are literally thousands of different paper and cards stocks available. Choosing a more unusual material could help get your business card noticed.
If you want to learn more business card tips and advice, visit http://business-cards-stationery.blogspot.com right now to get started.
Martyn R. Whittaker
Billy Fire LLC