Which Business Card is Best For You?

There are many different types of business cards available for your business needs, and it is important to figure out which type best fits you and your company. You want a card that is representative of what you are offering your customers or clients. Consider how professional you want your card to be, and what message you want it to communicate to the people you give it to. Here are seven different styles of business cards that you must can between before starting your design.

1. Standard: The standard business card is a 3.5″x2″ rectangle with square corners. This is the basic size and style that every printing company prints at a standard price. Due to the ease of printing and cutting standard cards, these are the most affordable option for any business. These are very professional and will show the customer that you are dedicated, qualified and reliable. This is a great option for anyone looking to print a large number of affordable business cards.

2. Round Corners: Round cornered cards are a variation of standard business cards. Once they are printed, a die cut creates round corners to give it a different shape. This can give your business card a softer feel than standard cards and is becoming a popular option for printing. Be prepared to pay a little extra for round corners, but it might be worth it to add a touch of personality to your business cards. Be sure to create your design with round corners in mind so that you do not cut off any of your information.

3. Square: A fast growing trend in business card printing, square cards are a unique take on the standard card. They are smaller than normal, only 2″x2″, but will definitely separate your business card from everyone else. Square cards are fun and will show your customers that you have a good personality and are a creative person. The only thing you need to be careful of is the space you use. Square cards are quite a bit smaller than standard cards, leaving you less room to include all your information. Try square cards for your next printing job and you will definitely be satisfied.

4. Die-Cut: Die-cut business cards are the most unique cards you can have. If you choose to do a die-cut, you can pick from standard die-cuts or pick from one of the die-cuts your printing company may already have. There is also the option of creating your own die-cut, in which you can choose or design any shape for your die-cut that you want to. Depending on the complexity of your design, die cuts can cost anywhere from $50 and up. Your printing company will likely charge you for this die-cut because you will be their only customer to ever use it. This is the most expensive option for business card printing, but it is the best way to have a truly unique card that no one else will have.

5. Fold-Over: Fold-over cards are great for companies that want to include a little more information in their design than a standard 3.5″x2″ will allow. Folded cards are 3.5″x4″, giving you twice as much space as a regular size card. Be creative with your fold-over business cards by using the folded style in your design. Include a die cut on the fold to create a custom shape or die cut one side of the fold. Fold over cards are a unique take on standard cards, but will give you enough edge to stand out from the crowd.

6. Recycled: Recycled business cards are perfect for those companies and businesses trying to “go green.” These are made of 100% post-consumer waste paper and content. Recycled cards look just as amazing as regular cards, but will give you the peace of mind that you are helping save the environment while still using print media. You can print in full color or black and white, and you still receive the same great quality and thickness as a standard card. These are especially perfect for companies that are selling products or services to other businesses to help them “go green.” You can not go wrong with recycled business cards.

7. Portfolio: Portfolio cards are the most unique form of business card printing. Whether you are looking to add a touch of personality to your cards or you just want to showcase a variety of images or products, printing your cards in portfolio style allows you to print multiple different cards with just one order. Keeping all the information uniform on the back of each card, choose a different photograph, background color, product or image for the front of your card. The best number of styles for printing is anything in a multiple of 20, including 4, 5, 10 and 20. Portfolio business cards are great for photographers, bloggers, videographers, or anyone looking to create completely unique cards.

As you can see, there are many different types of business cards available, all of them ranging in price and uniqueness. Make sure you pick the card that best represents your company, but make sure it is still within your budget. Also, double check that your card conveys the message you want it to to your customers to get the best response.

Some other options to consider for your business cards printing include: stock weight and color, size, full color printing or black and white printing, single sided printing or double sided printing, and how many cards you will need. You will never want to run out of cards, so it is important that you order more than you think you will need. It is a bad idea to get caught without your cards.

How To Choose An Online Business Card Printer

It’s gotten way too confusing to order business cards online. How do you choose a business card printer when there seem to be millions of them competing for your business?

Shopping for business card printing online is like shopping for any other product – your goal is to find what you what, for a reasonable price, from a reputable dealer. The problem when buying business cards online is making sure you’re comparing apples to apples, as the saying goes.

Finding the Business Cards You Want

Your first task is to find an online business card printer who carries the type of business card you want. Most online business card printers offer full-color business cards in a standard size (3″ by 2.5″), so a simple search for “business cards” or “business card printing” will find those.

You will need to decide whether to use custom artwork for your business card or one of the pre-designed backgrounds or templates offered by many business card printers. Again, many online business card printers allow you to order business cards either way.

Don’t be put off by the idea of using backgrounds that are available to everyone else; odds are slim that any of your direct competitors will find and use the same background. And these are professionally done designs that flat-out make you look good to prospects. (Much better than a homemade business card!)

If you need different cards, such as die-cut business cards or embossed (raised print) business cards, those are also easy to find using your favorite search engine. Many business card printers offer more than one type of card – raised print, one-color or full-color, for example. Some even offer magnetic cards, sticker cards and more.

For the purposes of this article, we’ll assume you’re looking for full color business cards.

Paying a Reasonable Price for Business Cards

Business cards are the bargain buy of the marketing world, but comparison-shopping for business cards can be a nightmare. It’s not enough to compare style and price of business cards between printers (say, 1000 full-color cards, printed on one side – 4/0).

Besides the style and price, you also should compare:

the thickness of the card stock (a 14pt card is sturdier than a 10pt card);
whether or not a protective coating is included in the price (and which type – a card can be “glossy” without having the protection of UV coating, and UV coating is generally considered more desirable than aqueous coating);
whether or not there are extra charges, such as a fee to upload your own images;
how many (or how few) business cards you can order at a time;
shipping costs; and, last but not least;
the reputation of the business card printing company.

Finding a Reputable Business Card Printer

Online business card printers who’ve made it to the top of the search engines, and stayed there, are generally okay – but not necessarily.

In fact, one popular, high-ranking business card printer online has such a pattern of complaints that they’ve received an “Unsatisfactory” rating from the Better Business Bureau. (This company’s cards are also of substandard size, although it’s hard to tell unless you directly compare them with another business card.)

So one guideline is to look for a designation such as Better Business Bureau approval or Bizrate certification. If a company has won such a designation, they’ll probably mention it somewhere on their website. Testimonials are another clue – but it isn’t hard to find a dozen happy people out of thousands of customers, so read them with a grain of salt.

Another way to assess a business card printer is to request samples of their business cards – not only will you get to examine actual cards, but you’ll get a feel for their customer service as well.

One Last Complication

Did you know that many, if not most, of the business card printers on the web are dealers for two or three huge wholesale business card printing companies? That’s right – you spend all that time shopping for the right business card printer and you probably don’t realize you’re comparing identical cards.

(You usually can’t tell until you reach the section of the website where you actually choose and edit a business card template or background – the URL will change.)

Now there’s nothing wrong with these online business card dealers, many of whom add value by educating people about business cards, just as I do, and nothing wrong with the business cards. But knowing that many business card printers online offer the exact same cards should save you some comparison time!

Given the affordability, portability and versatility of business cards, it is certainly worth taking time to shop around for the right business card printer for your business. And now that you understand some of the differences, you’ll make a more informed decision when you next go looking for a business card printer on the Internet.

Laminated Business Cards – What Are They, and Do I Need Them?

Well presented, quality laminated business cards help you as an owner of a business to create that vital favourable first impression. A poor quality card can reflect badly on your business image so choose a print supplier with a good service on offer and you should be fine.

How do we attempt to correct the ‘quality’ problem by using laminated cards?

The price of laminated business cards differ hugely amongst online print suppliers. The majority of print suppliers offer a design-your-own service whereby the onus is placed on the purchaser to spot and select a relevant design, complete all the other card details and possibly upload a logo before proceeding to the checkout, even before contact has been made. This suits particular business types such as the mobile hairdressing profession, cabbies, electricians etc. where a ‘quality image’ is often not so important to garner work. A plain, neatly presented business card using a quality design is often all that is required in many cases.

A small to medium enterprise however, as well as any blue chip company, will have a desire to create an instantly recognisable quality brand, that can be produced to cover all company marketing materials. In these instances, brand and colour consistency across the full range of business stationery is vital to preserve the company image.

Laminated business cards can be produced as the first step to switching from the plain single colour or two colour business card, to something that smacks of a quality design.

How is a laminated business card produced?

Essentially, it’s produced using 2 sheets of laminate enclosing a plain card front and back. Laminated cards differ from the plastic pouch often used with the typical office laminating machine, which uses a much thicker laminate. Quality card lamination is measured in microns, and is invisible to the eye, the main way to test if the card is laminated is by attempting to rip one in half, or just try rubbing the ink.

Matt lamination, and gloss lamination are the main process offered by suppliers, depending on your design requirement. Some people choose to laminate one side only, and leave the other side of the card plain, but the normal process is to have both sides laminated. Whatever you may hear, it’s actually a fallacy that laminated cards are a problem to write on, just grab a biro and try it! Being able to write on the card has advantages for certain users, such as adding names on membership cards etc.

Laminated cards feel much nicer than the plain non laminated version. Another huge bonus is the laminate process helps to enhance colour and your design, due to its reflectivity.

Are all suppliers laminated business cards similar, or do they differ in any way?

Unfortunately, they can be quite different. If you see prices for laminated cards that seem too good to be true, then it’s possible the supplier may have used a thin card, often not much thicker than paper, and then laminated with a cheaper, thick laminate which feels completely different. At the very least, choose a supplier who’s using 350gsm card, but ideally 400gsm card which will generally give quality results. Where a good quality card has been used, a very thin laminate process will compliment it perfectly.

What’s the main purpose of laminating business cards?

The first reason is one of a production hurdle that has to be overcome.

For instance, a plain business card, without the laminate may just have the contact details and little else, which uses minimal ink in the process. This will cause no problems for the supplier charged with the job of getting the business card produced. To throw a spanner into the works, let’s consider the designer wants the whole of the business card reverse produced in a solid process colour.

One thing to point out at this time is the fact laminated business cards are never produced singly in the lithographic process, but produced in ‘groups’ to keep production costs to a minimum for the supplier. As the business cards are produced and leave the press, they drop into a single stack. As business cards are added to the stack more weight is forced down onto the cards in the bottom section of the stack and if the ink hasn’t dried completely, which will be the case in our scenario due to the reverse being a solid process colour, then it’s possible ink will transfer from one business card to another. This is called ink offset or ink transfer which is bad news for the supplier who will need to start the whole process again.

Although your supplier has other ways to get ink to dry, solid colours are still a problem, particularly on plain, non laminated cards. Did you know? Blue colour inks take longer to dry than other colours. One way to prevent this type of issue is to laminate both sides of the business card before it reaches the stack and before the ink has a chance to touch any other business card in the stack.

My favourite reason for laminating colour business cards is that they look and feel so much better than the equivalent non-laminated version, with a vibrancy to the colours not seen on plain cards.

Any other info you can share about Laminated Business Cards?

Yes, make sure you ask your supplier for printed samples of laminated business cards along with the plain non laminated variety so you can see the results in comparison, before having your own cards produced. Your supplier should do this as a matter of course, however not all suppliers are the same so be sure to make contact.

By the way, laminated cards are produced by a quality four colour process. It’s usually too expensive to laminate spot colour business cards as these cannot be produced alongside four colour cards, and indeed would need a press to be specifically inked-up to print them. However, the benefit of the four colour process (CMYK) is that the sky’s the limit when choosing how many colours to use in your design, so be as creative as you wish with your main design! Also, be sure to not mix in spot colours with four colour process inks as the spot colour details will go missing due to the process being different than the four colour process.

If you own a company that needs laminated business cards produced for more than one member of staff, I’d recommend trying to group together as many names as possible when ordering as this will help to keep costs to a minimum as it’s easier for your supplier to get a batch produced. Contact your supplier for prices and you’ll soon get a feel for how to save money.

I hope you get to discover how having your card supplier produce laminated cards for your company can boost your company image. It’s a process well worth exploring and the results speak for themselves.

29 Perfect Business Card Tips That Will Make You Loads of Money

I love networking and meeting new people. I enjoy the pleasant etiquette of exchanging business cards. Unfortunately, I have seen some poorly designed business cards in my travels. I have been handed a boring dull business card from someone claiming to be a professional graphic designer. I have been handed a torn and frayed off-size card by someone claiming to be a marketing consultant. I’ve seen cards with outdated contact information and scribbled corrections.

This article is intended to help business owners create and design a business card they can be proud to present – a card that will pass the trash test. The goal is to be memorable. What I want for you is for prospects to remember who you are days, weeks, and months after the networking event and for you to make loads of money because of your business card!

Please use the tips listed here to design a card that works for you:

1. Don’t use plain white card stock for your business card. There’s nothing more boring than a white card.

2. Don’t use raised printing also called thermograph printing. This is considered passé.

3. UV coating is the shiny coating you see applied to many cards. Make sure you coat only one side of your card as people like to write on cards to remember who you are and where they met you.

4. Make sure there are 3 methods of communication on your card. Prospects have a preferred method and if you don’t include it, you may not hear from them. List your phone number, email address, and mailing address.

5. Use your business card to drive traffic to your website. Advertise on your card “download my free report” at yourwebsite.com

6. Use a nice quality card stock for your card. There’s nothing that screams unprofessional as a thin card.

7. Don’t list your fax number unless your business regularly receives faxes as a normal part of your business workflow. This is extra information that doesn’t need to crowd your card if not appropriate. And you won’t be bothered by fax advertising.

8. Include a Tagline on your card. Tell your target clients what it is you do for them. This will serve to polish your image and create a brand for your company. Put your tagline on the front of the card.

9. Maintain a consistent brand by utilizing your unique design on both your business card and your website.

10. Keep your business card simple. Don’t try to cram too much information on it. You need some white space to even out the design.

11. Use no more than two fonts in your card design. Fewer fonts make it easier on the eyes.

12. Don’t use all caps on your card. All caps are difficult to read.

13. Don’t use odd sized cards. Prospects keep regular sized business cards after networking events. Odd sized cards eventually end up in the trash.

14. Use the back of the card for something useful, like a listing of the benefits your clients receive from utilizing your services.

15. If you really want to be cutting edge, use the new video business cards available today. This technology is said to be the wave of the future and especially useful if you exhibit at tradeshows.

16. Do utilize a photograph of yourself on the front of your card if you are in a relationship building profession. This helps to make you more memorable.

17. Do utilize a four color photo of your creations on the back of your card if you are in the creative professions.

18. Make sure your business card fits who you are. If you’re an artist, include a photo of your work and make sure the card has an artistic feel. If you are in a conservative field, keep the design simple.

19. Make a digital version of your business card and include it in your email signature.

20. Use a professional email address on your cards.

21. Add certifications and titles to your card to add credibility.

22. When handed a card, make sure to study the card and ask questions about the prospect. This makes you a more interesting person.

23. When giving out business cards take them from a case and hand them to your prospect so that the card is facing up. I don’t know how many times I’ve been handed an upside down business card.

24. Include an offer on the back of your business card such as a free consultation or free quote offered in the form of a call to action.

25. Include a card with all correspondence.

26. Use a logo that is visually appealing and tells prospects what it is you do for a living.

27. Use a 4-color business card. They are not expensive and are more memorable.

28. Make sure you list your title near your name.

29. Hand out your business card as much as possible. Keep a supply in your car so that you never run out!

Professionalism Counts

The best advice I can give you is to use a professional to design your card. This is a one-time investment in your company identity. Just think about the additional fees you can command when you are perceived as an expert. How much is your professional presence worth to you? A well-designed business card shows that you are a successful entrepreneur and not a fly-by-night. It also positions your business for success by presenting a clear image of a company that can be trusted.

Business Cards – Essential Marketing Tools For Your Business

Your business card is one of the most important, cost-effective and versatile marketing tools you have. How come? Because they’re inexpensive, easy to carry with you and easy to get in front of people. Especially for businesses just starting out.

However, your card needs to make a great impression. A well-designed business card can effectively promote your business, but there’s a good chance that if your card looks unprofessional, it may be thrown in the dustbin or just lie in a drawer, collecting dust. Your business card needs to tell people what you and your business is about, instead of only telling people who you are and where to contact you.

Planning, designing and having your cards printed.

For your business card to be the marketing tool it should be, there are a few things you must take into consideration when planning and designing your cards.

Get professional quality business cards printed for you. Sure, you could print them on your laser jet and cut them with scissors. You’ll get what you pay for and worse than that, people will question whether they can trust you with their business if it seems you can’t afford to print full colour business cards.
Pay attention to the finer details on your card. A logo is important, so invest some time and effort in the design of your logo to make it stand out in the crowd.
A thin, flimsy card, pre-made, off the shelf design and small or unreadable text makes a bad impression. Use colour and images for impact and good design principles to make your business card pleasing and easy to read.
Be proactive and keep your information up to date. If any of your contact or other information has changed, you will appear to be disorganized when you have to scratch out and write new information on your card, so throw away those cards and have new, up to date ones printed.
If possible hire a graphic designer to help you. They are professional and know what works and what does’nt.
Maximize the usability of your card. You’re not limited to only the front of your business cards. Use the back of your card for more information. Keep in mind that people often write on business cards, so leaving some white space on the back is generally a good idea.
Your company name or your title tells someone what you have to offer. If it does’nt, add some words to explain what you do. Showing what you do makes you stand out. Let everyone who sees your card know what services you provide.
Avoid making the following mistakes when you have your cards made. It can cost you dearly.

Having a card that doesn’t stand out in the crowd.

Your card must look great, feel sturdy and clearly define what your business does – and you and your card will be remembered.

Technology makes it easier and more affordable than ever to have cards designed and printed that will get someone’s attention and at the same time look businesslike and appealing.

Don’t have a card that’s a mystery to everybody.

You are not going to get many calls if someone looks at your business card and can’t tell immediately what your business does.

A card with information overload.

Too much information printed on your card will make it look too busy and totally unprofessional. Keeping it simple is best. It’s necessary to have your name, your company, what you do, and why you should be used – but supply all your contact details; you want to be easy to reach.

Using too small text.

Using a small font, you may be able to supply more information, but what good is it if people can’t read it? A good guideline is to use a type size no smaller than 7-8 point. Make your company name the largest and your name and maybe your cell number a bit larger than the rest.

Not using colour properly.

Use colour in your cards to brighten them up and make them appealing. Avoid printing a dark colour on a darkish background or a light colour on a light background, for instance printing grey on white to make it look like silver. It just does’nt work.

Strategically distributing your cards to help your marketing campaign.What does it help you to have a box full of business cards if they’re not being used to market and promote your business?

Always keep some of your cards on you wherever you go. Hand a card to someone when appropriate, and while you’re at it, don’t hesitate to give out more than one. Invite people to pass the extras along to others who might need your service. You might be surprised at how often this can result in a referral.

Don’t be afraid to post them on public bulletin boards, stick them in doors or leave them in bowls for free drawings where your target audience might see them.

Ask affiliated businesses to allow you to display your cards, such as a hardware store if you’re a building contractor or a plumber.

Capitalize on natural opportunities to hand them out when you’re talking about your business or someone asks how to contact you.

Keeping in mind all of the above ideas and information, your business card will definitely work for you and attract business – and still at a very affordable price.