Today we’re going to take an in-depth look at an often underestimated aspect of brand identity, and one of the habits that have changed somewhat in recent months: business cards.
Due to the current global situation linked to the COVID-19 epidemic, and the tension it has created, many aspects of our professional lives are being called into question and leading us to fundamentally rethink our efficiency, our environmental impact, our cultural context. This is an exam that seems necessary and long desired, and we are going to look at an aspect that may seem minimal but is very important in order to be able to present oneself professionally, and we are also going to outline some suggestions to be able to move forward in this area in a conscious way. .
Business card timeline
The visiting card first appeared under this name in the 15th century in China, when people carried small cards with them containing information about their social status. The Industrial Revolution, in addition to the number of changes it brought about in the world, also created a space where industrial relations expanded and generalized. The exchange of contact information became essential.
Visiting card and business card became one, and their use spread outside the social world and came into use. The elites retained their aversion to banality, but the use of the business card spread in the United States.
Wood cutting technologies and letterpress printing techniques allowed for the mass production of business cards. Another effect of this was that businesses could give their detailed contact information easily, both to their prospects, their customers, and their employees. In the 1980s, the business card culture became widespread. Who could forget that scene in American Psycho, which was actually a memorable depiction of the business card obsession?
The business card has become a serious business almost everywhere on the planet. The latter grasps the card by the two lower corners, using both hands. Leaving a finger over the name or any information on the card is very rude. We keep the Meishi in a dedicated card holder, so that it does not get damaged. you never put it in a pocket, another lack of respect.
What information does a business card show?
A business card is a facilitator of relationships with more customers, partners and collaborators; it increases your professional network and is a precious help when launching a project or during a career change. It is an essential part of professional life.
These details should include: your name (yours or that of your company), the title of your profession (current or future), your email, phone number and website. We can add to this information social networks, your slogan, a QR code linked to a web link, or any other information that is important to you and that you want to include in this concise presentation. For the digital aspect, this information is often what will be found in your signature on your professional email.
Here are the standard sizes of business cards:
North America: 88.9 x 50.8 mm (3.5 x 2 in.)
Europe: 85 x 55 mm (3.346 x 2.165 in.)
Oceania: 90 x 55 mm (3.54 x 2.165 in.)
The best graphic techniques for creating a business card
The business card is a central part of your brand identity. Therefore, it must be a visual extension of this identity. Let’s take a look at the best ways to create a great business card.
First, keep it simple. Balance, readability and comprehension are your top priorities when designing graphics.
In terms of the use of space, you will have to pay attention to three factors: the bleed, the cut line and the safety margin. Bleed is the outside of the map, which will be removed. The cut line is the guide when cutting the cards.
A card has two sides: use them both, with maybe one dedicated to the logo and the other to contact information. It is also possible to consider integrating the logo on both sides, with the contact information arranged in a clear and legible manner.
Logos and colors are among the most important visual aspects. The logo should take center stage on your card, and other visuals and graphics complement and enhance your logo.
How to create your logo?
Now that we’ve seen the most important things to consider when creating a business card, you’re probably going to need a logo. But the question is how to create this logo?
In summary, you have two options: hire a professional graphic designer to do it for you, or create it yourself. Both have pros and cons and are worth revisiting. Let’s analyze the two separately.
Recruit a graphic designer
Professional graphic designers know all the techniques, tips and tricks by heart, of the kind we mentioned above. When you hire a graphic designer, whether he or she is freelance or part of an agency, you buy their expertise as well as their time.
The problem is, none of these seasoned professionals will work for free. The main downside to this option is its cost – talented graphic designers can charge hundreds or thousands of dollars for a logo design.
The standard price for a professional graphic designer logo is around 250 euros, so if someone charges you 5 euros, you are right to find that weird!
Plus, even if you have the budget to spare, it can be difficult to find the right designer for you. The graphics business is creative, so there are an incredible number of different styles. You need to make sure that the person you hire will understand your vision and be able to bring it to life; but it may take a while.
Create your own logo
If you don’t have the budget for a logo, don’t worry. If you thought you had limited options, technology has advanced such that anyone can design their own logo, using an online logo maker tool, like Logo.
In our digital age, logo design software allows you to focus on ideas and less on the pencil stroke. No need to master the brush or the shading, no need to have a precise line either! With online logo design tools, all you need is an idea.
Logo, like other online authoring tools, uses templates to make creating something quick and easy, even for beginners. First, you select your domain from the drop-down menu.
We have categorized our models according to the needs and requirements of major industries; finding yours is therefore the first step. Logo Design Agency algorithm will then generate the best choices targeted to your field of activity.
- Choose the model you like and start editing. You can customize each template however you like, along with your choices for:
- The main images
- The name of the company and its slogan
- The font and typography
- The color palettes
- The text and the size of the images
- The placement of the text and the image
- Add new icons
- Overlay different layers in an order particular
- You can choose from our library of over 200 icons. A quick glance will show you that there are more than enough visuals, like the ones we were able to quote above.
By using a DIY logo maker like Logo, you are able to create a professional looking logo in just a few minutes. Once complete, you can then purchase all permissions and the commercial use license for $ 24.90, which gives you that graphic for life.
Printed or virtual?
Now that we have an overview of the history of the business card and graphics best practices, it’s time to make a decision for your card: virtual or printed, or both? We live in an age where the real merges with the virtual world, so it’s important to determine which of these universes is most important to you. In your sector, what is the media most used by your employees, customers, partners? Do you prefer online interactions or organizing events? If you are having trouble making up your mind, you may as well prepare both options, print and virtual.
The pros of the printed card
A printed business card provides a traditional feel in communication, and provides an opportunity to talk about your business with people you want to stay in touch with in the future. Giving someone something concrete makes a memorable first impression. Printed business cards are particularly suitable for conferences, trade shows and markets, business dinners, and any type of event requiring your presence.
Cons of the printed map
Studies have shown that 88% of business cards received end up in the trash within a week. Transparency is now essential for companies, and customers want to know to what extent companies take the ecological aspect into account in their approach. Let’s see the alternative to printing!
The future is in the virtual business card
The virtual business card allows you to easily keep contact information, integrate a calendar, updates, presentations, all very easily; it also allows you to integrate reminders on the calendar, and to maximize your online presence, among many other things.
It’s a profitable choice: instead of spending money on printing costs, you can use these resources to improve other marketing aspects of your business. Our world is becoming increasingly digital and virtual, and while we are living through an unprecedented health crisis that limits physical contact and that prevention around hygiene is more relevant than ever, the business card virtual is the perfect solution.
While it is true that this alternative may leave out the generation before, it is nevertheless easy to create simple and inclusive versions, accessible to all. Imagine the ease with which you can share, save, and transfer information from your virtual business card. You can save a screenshot for offline use. You can use larger, more readable fonts. Really think about your clients, collaborators and potential investors to create the ideal version of your own billboard!
Business cards are an effective way to show how progressive, thoughtful, and environmentally responsible your business is. Isn’t that how you would like to present yourself,