by Tanya Klumb
I started off the month of February pondering what it takes to make a good impression.
“You only have one chance to make a first impression.” … boy does this hold true.
When your career has taken you into the marketing world, the word "impression" takes on a whole new meaning.
Impressions are how many times your business is in front of a potential client.
And in both cases impressions are important.
You can’t go back and make a new first impression, and you need to make as many impressions as possible
Remember, the first one is sticky.
Do you want to be known as a chicken? Then don’t use chickens in your advertising, unless you’re selling eggs or chicken. (We do love our chickens … I call mine “pretty ladies”) But using chickens would be chickening out of building a great first impression.
And you know what? Those chickens may have you lost the sale.
Chickens are probably not you. But you are the first impression of you.
Take that and build upon it.
Building upon your first impression is now your brand.
What is your brand?
Business cards are the first printed piece we hand out … just like candy at Halloween. Business cards don’t need to play video. They need to showcase your brand and set you apart from the rest.
You might be tempted to save some money and use vista print and fiver for your designs. Is your brand’s goal to be cheap? Then you found the perfect fit.
I do not recommend these graphic design and printer services. You won’t get anything original, and the quality will be less than desired.
One way to save some cash is to go directly to your local printer. As a graphic designer, they are my go-to source. Printers are skilled professionals, and they can recommend ways to achieve a unique look at a reasonable cost.
Printers occasionally have an open ream of paper which they don’t have to order from the warehouse. You can get a top quality, unique stock at a low-low price (hey, they’ve already paid for it, and it’s just collecting dust).
Bonus x2 Tip:
Printers can order parent sheets of paper, and cut them down to the run size. You don’t need to pay for a full ream of paper when seven parent sheets will net you 500 business cards.
I’ve seen a lot of business cards over the years. I remember gang-running 4/1’s at least once a month at Plese Printing. These always seemed like the cheapest cards. C1S (Coated-one-side) cards were a bit nicer than vista print, but they all seemed to blend after awhile.
One card I remember was for Empire Paper. Their business cards were on a wood veneer paper with a green foil. I loved how this design made their first impression a show stopper.
I realized after six months of networking at events; all the business cards start to blend into one giant blob. I’ve sorted through the stack a few times trying to remember what so-and-so’s business card looked like. What do you think?
By working with a graphic designer and a printer, you can craft an individual brand building upon your first impression. Take control of that 3-inch by 2-inch rectangle. Make it your own.
CutBoard’s Top 9 Tips for creating the
best business card …
a printed business card of course.
Mind the Rules
Don’t break the rules unless you know the rules. Try using a grid to lay out your business cards. Think about the hierarchy of information. Is your business name/logo the most important, or is your name.
K.I.S.S. … ing!
Keep It Simple Stupid. Adored by graphic designers everywhere, this tip is to remove everything you don’t need. Do you need to advertise Facebook? Why are you putting their logo on your card?
If you follow KISS, then it won’t be hard to make sure the size of the text is readable. Remember to keep everything above 8 pt. When your potential customers are older, you may want to consider making the text even bigger. Who wants to pull out “cheaters” to read your phone number?
Size Matters x2
Traditional business cards are 3.5x2 inches. You may think going square, or smaller will make you stand out. Truthfully, when you make your business card too far out of standard, you look like a fool in my business card deck.
Baby got Back
Whatever you do, don’t leave the back side of a business card blank. Think about how many times you’ve flipped one over to check it out. Leave an area for notes, or fill it with an illustration or picture. Just don’t leave the back side blank.
Don’t forget to Bleed
We’re not talking about blood here. Bleed is where the ink runs off the edge of the card. Technically the card is printed slightly larger, and it is cut off. OUCH, that hurts. This technique lets you use someone’s imagination to see a complete picture.
Feels are nice
Anytime you can add some texture to a business card it gives a surprise. Embossing, foil, and varnish can do wonders. Did you know that by engaging more than one sense can improve recall of an object? Remember that business card that had that …
To Color or Not to Colour
That is the question. If your company has a brand, keep to it. Use their colors. If not then you are free to pick and choose. Make sure to use a colour scheme that is complementary and professional. Did you know all colors evoke feelings?
Back from the Future
What is one single thing you want people to immediately think of? Highlight this unique or strong feature of your company. Just make sure it is something you already have and not what you think you do or wish to have in the future.