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The Elements of a Perfect Business Card Design

When you make your living as a web designer, it's easy to think that's the only type of design you'll ever have to deal with. There's even a bit of rivalry between web designers and print designers. But the truth is, print designers can actually teach you a thing or two.

Part of being a designer (especially one who works freelance) is marketing yourself, and a memorable, impressive business card goes a long way towards making a good impression. Which means that print designers are one-up on you because they know how to create a business card that truly appeals to their audience.

Lucky for you, not all print designers keep their business card tips a secret. The creative team at Company Folders is very vocal about helping others make meaningful business cards - they're constantly sharing examples of cool cards they've made and offering design help on their website. To get a taste of their work, check out these helpful tips:

Be adventurous with materials

If you think you can just print a business card on any old paper, you're sorely mistaken. Will you choose traditional card stock or eco-friendly recycled options? Will you choose colorful stock or print the colors you want? Or will you ditch paper and go totally crazy with something edible, like chocolate? The material you choose might limit your design options, or open up new doors, so make your decision early in the process.

Alter the card's shape

A classic rectangular design isn't your only option. With die cuts, your card can be practically any shape you imagine - a lightning bolt, a fish, or something abstract. If you don't want to get too wild, you might consider simple round corners for a look that's both visually interesting and functional.

Choose contact info carefully

Most people have at least five forms of contact info (email, phone number, address, website, and social media account), but for some, that number is closer to 15 or 20. Crowding all this info onto your card wastes valuable space and confuses your client - they're not sure which method you want them to use. It's best to eliminate any info that won't resonate with your audience, so you'll need to learn which types of contact info work and why.

Play with color and typography

Colors and typefaces set your design's tone and reflect your brand's personality. A business card composed of light, airy pastels attracts a very different clientele than one with deep, dark colors. Be sure the elements you choose support the brand image you want to portray and appeal to the type of client you want to work with.

Focus on imagery

A picture is worth a thousand words, so when you're working with a 3" x 2" rectangle, images go a long way toward telling potential clients about you. As with colors and type, images help set the design's tone. A headshot of yourself looks professional, while a cartoon drawing of you is more fun and playful. You can also include images that showcase your past work to give clients a feel for your designs.

Learn about imprint methods

Most web designers aren't aware of all the cool printing options available for business cards. If you're printing on paper, you'll want to learn about the differences between PMS and CMYK inks, plus the capabilities and limitations of foil stamping, embossing, and debossing. If you're working with an unusual material, talk to your printer to make sure they use the right specialty ink for your card.

With these great tips at your disposal, you're now ready to create a business card so awesome, it will knock your customers' socks off!

8 Tips to Design the Perfect Business Card

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