Visiting cards have been in use since the 15th century when they were sent ahead by noblemen to their hosts to announce their arrival. Since then visiting cards have come a long way from being mere pieces of paper with a name written on them. Today, visiting cards present the first impression of the company and the individual. For a business visiting card is a form of advertising it has to make an impact, something that the receiver will remember and will hold on to. So how do you ensure that you have the perfect visiting card?
This is the most essential feature of a good business card. It must include details like name of firm and individual contact address, phone numbers, website and email addresses. The back of the card may also include a small map to guide prospective clients to your address. You can also put addresses of your branch offices at the back (if there are any).
It’s of course essential that your card is read and understood by the target audience. English is considered the international language of communication but you could also include the locally spoken language on the reverse of the card. Also, if you are doing business internationally then consider offering the language of the country you tend to visit most often, say German or French for instance.
Your card whether it has cool pictures, interesting cut outs or even a pop up feature needs to be relevant to your business. An interesting example is that of a visiting card of a restaurant with a recipe printed on the reversal. Try using colors that are in sync with your type of industry. Don’t make it too Loud.
Size and shape:
The basic rectangle is still the preferred shape for formal business cards but it is interesting to note, that when the information is printed in a vertical format it tends to catch the eye more. Cards are now being innovatively created in different shapes – round, square, oval etc. But however they are they must fit into the card holder.
White and cream backgrounds are again the formal choice for a visiting card – they are also the most likely to get lost in the card crowd. If you want your card to stand out choose to go with a dark background color. It is essential to remember that the colors on the card whether they are of the logo, an image or the text are complimentary and do not clash.
The company logo is of course mandatory on a visiting card as it gives an immediate visual recognition. The cards that have some visual content definitely tend to attract attention.
There is a plethora of material available now in the market from the classic handmade paper, to different textures that could suit your business profile. Visiting cards are also printed on innovative materials like tin, steel, cloth, all it needs is a little imagination.
As we have said your business card presents the first impression – make sure it is error free. Spelling mistakes, wrong numbers etc will show you up as careless and worse will cost your business!
As a rule, there should be a fair amount of blank space in the card. If its too crowded it’s going to be difficult to read. Keep it precise and ensure that the information is presented in a way that the eye can follow from left to right
Your business card is the most important accessory you have never leave home without it.
Excerpts from Mumbai Mirror