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Old 03-24-04, 12:00 PM   #1
naturalturn
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Default tips on designing a new business card

Hi folks,

Any tips on how to design a good business card?

I was thinking of a standard-size card printed on both sides. One side in color with a headshot or action shot, and simply my website address, phone number, and a couple of words to capture their attention. The other side will have a bit more information, stating the benefits of hiring my services, etc.

What do you think?

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Old 03-24-04, 03:57 PM   #2
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in a lecture on Marketing at last year's MotionFest, someone advised leaving the back of your card blank, so you can write something on it when you hand out the card. This gives the person who received the card an immediate connection with you and how you met every time they look at the card.
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Old 03-24-04, 04:01 PM   #3
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Default KISS

That stands for Keep It Simple, Stupid. Too much info is clutter. Your name, contact info & one photo or logo is enough.

If you want something more fun & informative, check out Superstar Performer Cards:

http://www.superstarperformers.com

I'm #11 this year, and I hand these out to everyone at my gigs.
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Old 03-24-04, 05:05 PM   #4
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I leave about half of the back side blank
for notes. Avoid complicated type, avoid serfs and script, avoid tiny type, keep it easy to read. include area codes (duh - I know, but in days of old, in my locale we didn't use an area code much, and so most people left them off. Guess what, now we HAVE to use an area code just to call across the street.)

If you can hold the card at arms length and still tell what the graphic is all about, you are probably ok. If your graphic requires a magnifing glass to understand, well, you better include a maginifing glass with every card!

Beyond that, does the card REALLY reflect you - your passion, your gift to humanity?

Remember, you never have the last card, so don't print 50,000 of them on the first run. You'll want to change them with in two weeks of getting your order printed.

Good luck!
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Old 03-24-04, 05:24 PM   #5
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I would agree with stephon about leaving one side blank.

When I am designing a piece of marketing, I always try to ask, "What is the point of this piece? What action do I expect the person receiving this to take?"

In the case of a business card, I think there are two important points -

1. To remind the person who has it who you are - Becuase of this a photo is an excellent idea. There is nothing worse than someone who calls you and says, " I found your card in pocket...Who were you again?"

2.To give contact info - I have started including only my toll free number, email and website on my business cards. This way I can order large amount and not worry about moving.

But ultimately I don't think business cards need to try to close a sale. The extra info you give is probably better given live on the phone where you can *get* more info before you *give* more info. This way you can tailor your pitch to the clients needs, instead of trying to guess ahead of time who you will be handing your card to.

Worst case senario something you have on the card discourages the person from calling you.

Of course this may be different if you think someone who hasn't met you is going to end up with your card. Then I think you might be able to make the case that the card really needs to act an a mini brochure - that it needs to include a pitch along with the other info. In this case, I might suggest two different cards - one for people you meet and one for those who do not know you at all.

best of luck

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Old 03-24-04, 05:55 PM   #6
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Default Serfs, to the fields!

Quote:
Originally posted by Stretch
Avoid complicated type, avoid serfs and script, avoid tiny type, keep it easy to read.
"Avoid serfs, white slavery on your buisiness card is never a good idea."

I'd totally agree with every thing in Stretch's sentence except for the serifs. Every typographer can tell you that countless amounts of money have been wasted on studies that repeatedly say that serifed fonts read quicker and easier than sans-serifed fonts, although every one seems to hate it these days, there is nothing wrong with Times New Roman.
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Old 03-25-04, 08:32 AM   #7
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I will second the good Dr., serif fonts are easier on the eyes, easier to follow. Especially if you've got text in some graphical format (like wrapped around a circle, for example), serif fonts are more easily interpreted in non-linear applications.

Stay away from red and green, as that's the most prevalent colour-blindness (and it's esthetically offensive). I was told by a client to also steer away from purple & blue together (such as purple text on blue background) and any other low-contrast colour combo, if you intend to give your cards to anyone over 50.

And unless you're really well-geared, don't print them yourself. Nothing screams "chintzy" like pre-perf'ed edges or ink-jet stutters.
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Old 03-25-04, 03:19 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by Lynneski
Stay away from red and green, as that's the most prevalent colour-blindness (and it's esthetically offensive).
Never thought of that before Lynneski (Well that color blind part, I already knew it was ugly as sin) it's good to know.
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Old 03-25-04, 03:55 PM   #9
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Thanks very much!

Everybody made some excellent points about fonts and the how's and why's of designing a card. I especially liked your comments Lynneski regarding color choice.

This is probably where the expertise of a professional graphic artist or designer would come in handy, someone who really understands how colors and fonts work together to achieve a company's mission statement.

Any views on tent-fold type business cards or 3 fold brochure-style business cards. As a 'marketing gimmick' and a way of getting them to remember me, I'm also thinking of incorporating a trick "built into the business card" (perhaps a mind reading, visual-optical illusion, or number trick that I would perform for them on the spot, or even over the phone when they call). Is this too tacky?!

Any other thoughts on business card designs are welcomed and thank you again!

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Old 03-26-04, 02:44 PM   #10
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In my opinion, gimmicky buisiness cards = gimmicky performers, and if the trick you're talking about is that Kenton Knepper thing... good luck
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Old 03-26-04, 06:17 PM   #11
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Hmm... thanks Doc

I'll seriously have to reconsider.

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Old 03-26-04, 08:30 PM   #12
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I suggest that you put my name and phone number
on the card.

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Old 03-27-04, 12:07 AM   #13
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Exclamation

Maybe we should post our business cards, so everyone can get and idea of what works (or what doesn't). Critiquing could be an option.

I'll start.

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Old 03-27-04, 03:28 AM   #14
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Butterfly gimmicky buisiness cards = gimmicky performers

I'm not so sure I agree with the good doctor on this one ... (though I agree with him on most everything else) ...

I've seen a plethora of performer business cards in my life (in fact I have a massive collection) and when done tastefully they can set a performer apart.

Eg: Mr. Moon in CHCH had one of the best cards I have ever seen and it had a picture of the moon on it which if you set in on a table you could pop the moon out and it would stand up by itself ... way cool.

and more recently the "Handsome Little Devils" sent me their new promo and while their whole package was extraordinarily brilliant (except maybe their video) they had a business card that blended in with their folder and could easily be popped out ... way cool also, I thought.
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Old 03-27-04, 11:17 AM   #15
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Default Speaking of the Devils...

I haven't seen their business card, but I met The Handsome Little Devils last summer at Chicago's Busker Fest, and they are both very nice guys to work with. Hope I see them again.
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Old 03-29-04, 09:38 AM   #16
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I, too, seem to keep business cards from folks for aeons. And though it's hardly worth a leg wrestle, I'll disagree with Robert in one respect. Business cards that are kept have to be kept somewhere - usually in a Rolodex-type system or one of those binder things with pages of plastic flaps to fill with cards. If your card is too thick or too big, it may stand out from the rest in an unwelcome annoying way.

Make it groovy, die-cut, pop-up or whatever, but make sure it can be held in a standard-sized space.

The Devil's "gimmick" works, because you get the special promo, and then you get a more regular biz card for your keeper file.

I just had a flip through my stuff, and the ones that stand out (IMHO) are the glossy-coated stock ones, preferably with a coloured or black background - they stand out most from the usual coloured-ink-on-white-stock ones of 90% of the straight world.

All this being said, I'm now gonna contradict myself by saying that I still have a soft spot for two that break the rules: an older Junkyard Symphony card - hand-drawn, hand-lettered, and hand-coloured cut to standard size from a piece of cereal box (complete with nutritional analysis on reverse), and, one of my former students that's black print on a piece of cut-to-size incredibly thin wood veneer that simply says their name and "Globetrotter" where a title ought to be.

Did I mention that I'm a Gemini?
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Old 03-29-04, 05:50 PM   #17
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Agree with you there Lynneski.

A magician several months ago gave me his business card, which was actually the same size as a "standard post card".

Unfortunately, I had to discard it 'cus it just didn't fit in my business card filing system.

Thanks for your input Butterfly!
ummm... Aaron, boy WERE YOU ever (?) funny!!!
Nice business card Stephon,
very unnatural...

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Old 03-29-04, 06:46 PM   #18
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Default Business Cards

Pet peeve: business cards that don't include a "snail mail" address or, at least, an indication of where your home port is.
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Old 03-29-04, 06:59 PM   #19
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This could get a little confusing.

Serifs are the little additionally thick line ends on some fonts. (courier / times new roman)

San Serif fonts don't have those things.

See my ill below.

People read bodies of text by taking little snapshots of the skyline of the entire words. Because of this, it is easier to read lower case serif fonts. lowercase letters are more individually unique and the serifs provide a simple map of line end locations.

It is different for titles and headings. For a heading or a title, you want something that shouts what you are trying to say and you want it to stick out and show itself as not just being some more body text. Your mind is used to taking in lowercase text as a block, and so if you look at a list in lowercase serifs, it will take it a second to figure out the format and diliniate crap.

For your business card, use the text as it is in the upper right hand corner of your website 1/3 of card. your headshot 1/3 of card. your info 1/3 of card. Your website looks good and your card should look the same good.

If you want to give people more text, more photos, more hand drawn wood chips, make an additional piece. If you want people to be able to reference you, put you in their wallets, take you seriously, make your business card boring. That's the way a lot of people expect it.

On folded cards:
I once recieved a folding business card from a photographer. it was good for him because he does photography and so, could include an entire person's body in nice detail. I liked getting it, felt like it was something special, but threw it away because it was too bulky and a pain. He would have been better off having a small brochure for me to peruse, or keep and an ordinary card.
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Old 04-04-04, 12:15 PM   #20
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thanks scot and GlassHarper...

for clarifying the serif issue and for advice regarding business cards. Much appreciated. I hear www.victordezsofoto.com who are based in Vancouver, takes great photos.

Cheers!

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