Less is more: what to consider leaving off a business card

Even in a digital age, business cards are still critically important to the development of your business. Business cards form part of your introduction to prospective contacts, clients and customers and help you to create a sense of legitimacy and professionalism. They are a highly personalised marketing tool that you should be optimising.

All too often, however, business cards are poorly designed, unreadable and cluttered, which defeats the object of having one in the first place. So, let’s talk about what you should leave off a business card for that all-important first impression.

Outdated information

Not only should you ensure that the contact details on your business card are as current and up-to-date as possible, but you should also consider leaving off methods of communication that are becoming outdated.

While fax machines, for example, still have a place in many offices, the chances of someone you’ve met at the moment you’ve handed your card over wanting to fax you are slim. Think about it: is the best way to contact you faxing you? The answer is... probably not. So, make things as simple as possible for yourself and this new acquaintance.

Jazzy colours and prints

Although your business card may be creative, especially if you’re in a creative field, you should be selective about the colours and prints you use. Think about the expectations within your profession.

For example, if you work as a freelance makeup artist, a neon-pink, zebra-printed card may make a bold impression. If you work for a legal firm, however, this may raise eyebrows – and not in the way you’re hoping for!

So, put yourself in the other person’s shoes: think about how you would feel if you were receiving that card.

A strange shape

It may be tempting to try a new style of business card, but beware gimmick designs that make your business appear silly. New designs can overcomplicate matters.

Take a circular business card – what seems inventive to you is likely to be a hassle for your new potential client who can’t fit the card in their wallet. This card will be misplaced quickly – not quite the impression you were hoping for!

When it comes to business cards, common shapes still win. So, you should try getting yours made by a company with a slick and accurate finishing process. Business cards made with all-in-one slitters, cutters, creasers from a company like Duplo International are your best bet.

A QR code

QR codes are used globally now, and they’re certainly a quick way of taking a piece of information from something physical and putting it into your phone. So, it makes sense that they would go on your business card, right? Think again!

QR codes can appear impersonal and overly technological and may irritate the receiver more than you think. They’re not aesthetically pleasing, either, and may dampen the overall effect of your business card’s design. As the saying goes, ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ – so it’s a good idea to use the precious space on your business card for your email address, phone number, website, and even your home or business address if it applies.

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