How to design an effective business card

Your company’s business card is extremely important because it is a graphical snapshot of what your business represents.

A poorly considered business card may portray you as second-rate, old-fashioned, out of touch or downright slovenly.

On the other hand a well designed business card can depict your company as professional, forward thinking and switched on.

If you are new to designing business cards we would certainly suggest you consider using a graphic designer. Their knowledge and experience should be invaluable in taking your brief and turning it into an impressive design. However, if you are on a limited budget you may wish to undertake the job yourself.

Useful tips for creating a business card: 

Use of colour

Consider use of colour as a black and white card may have less impact. However, going too far in the opposite direction could lead to people mistaking your business for a circus.

Company logo

A well designed company logo will add gravitas to your business stationery. We suggest you keep it simple but professional. For inspiration why not take a look at what your competitors and multi-national companies are doing. They spend millions of pounds on designing their brands and logos but don’t be tempted to follow their design too closely or you may get your hand smacked!


Choose a good font that represents your business. For example, an antiques dealer may prefer an old script style of font whereas an architect may be more suited to an angular typeface. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s legible and don’t mix too many fonts together as it will nearly always look amateurish.

Size matters

The size of your card should be within conventional guidelines, say 90 x 60mm or 85 x 55mm. If your card is too big it may make it too difficult to file away and it will also adversely impact on cost.

Quirky printing techniques

Finally, your printer may offer a number of material or printing technique options to add that touch of uniqueness, such as embossing or thermography. These can be extremely effective, but you must also be careful not to let your card rely too heavily on a gimmicky technique which could quickly become played out and look unprofessional.

Content, content, content

Content is king, so make sure you include all your salient company and contact details. A good strap-line which embodies what your company offers is also useful to reinforce your proposition.

You may be tempted to include a list of services but avoid information overload which could make your business card seem cluttered.

Many printers now offer the opportunity to print on the reverse of the card so this would be a great place to show this information. Of course you’ll want to include your name but you may also wish to add your position within the company and possibly your professional qualifications.

Don’t be afraid to play around with the content and how it is justified on the page to see what looks best.

I’ve tried to give you some guidance on creating a great looking and effective business card. Don’t be afraid to experiment but follow the above principles and you’ll soon have a business card that stands out from the rest.


By Michael Applin , NCR Printing: With over 20 years experience as print brokers we are usually able to make significant cost savings for our clients and at the same time improve on the quality of the finished product. We recommend you visit our site for more printing advice or for a free of charge quotation business cards.

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