Business Card Designs – 8 Expensive Mistakes to Avoid

Some old-school marketing tools cannot be replaced. And one such is the business card. The marketing scenes have evolved leaps and bounds over the past few decades. And now most people judge a business based on its digital footprint. There’s no doubt about that. But the charm of tangible business assets like business cards makes them worth that extra effort and expense. It’s just about how you make business card designs relevant to the digital age. 

Business card design by Kimp

When you hand out a business card, you are opening a communication doorway. You are introducing your brand, giving your contact details, and evoking curiosity over your business. Only a good design can make all this happen. One small mistake and all the time and money you put into creating business cards will go waste. That’s why we are going to talk about some of the common business card mistakes that brands make and how you can avoid them. 

But are business cards really relevant today? 

We hear you. That’s a thought that many small business owners get. In the early stages when the business budgets are already tight, do you think it is worth bearing the design and printing cost of business cards? Yes! Nearly 10 billion business cards are printed every year. That shows that businesses around the world still trust the effectiveness of a business card in branding. Not convinced? Let’s look at some of the benefits that a business card offers. 

  • Business card designs make a solid first impression. And they show people that you are invested in your idea. And it is a good starter for building trust. 
  • Having your business cards ready during networking events shows that you are open to and prepared for new opportunities. Businesses looking for partnerships as well as clients looking for services or products are both eager to work with a business that is actively embracing progress. 
  • A well-designed business card is like a souvenir to remember your business. Your visibility skyrockets because your clients are exposed to your brand every time they see your business card. And with a few impressions, your brand name stays with them. We all love doing business with a brand that we are familiar with. 
  • Business cards have also maintained a strong reputation when it comes to their ROI. A company’s sale is said to increase by nearly 2.5% for every 2000 business cards. Provided you hand over your business cards to the right people at the right places and at the right time! 

Despite the benefits, you should also know that nearly 88% of business cards go to the trash in a week. To be sure that your card does not undergo that sad plight, here are some mistakes to avoid in business card designs. 

8 mistakes that bring down the effectiveness of business cards 

1. Weak branding 

Some businesses stick with plain designs where the branding elements do not make much of an impact. This will be a wasted opportunity. 

A business card is like a formal introduction to your brand. So, this would be a good place to use the strength of your brand identity. 

Kimp tips: 

Simple things like your brand colors, fonts, tagline, and your logo can make a huge difference. In the little space you get, you want to make a solid first impression so people will remember your brand. And so, even if they do not take any step from your business card, the next time they see your ads somewhere, they will remember your brand. 

The overall mood of your business card should align with your brand’s personality. Your design should exude luxury, trust, or any other emotion you want people to feel when they connect with your brand. 

Take a look at the below card, for example. Can you feel the sophistication of services offered by the brand just from the elegant design? 

Business card design by Kimp
2. Too much information or too little information 

Brand name or the name of the individual, business logo, and contact details are the common details you will find on most business cards. But yes, you can get creative and add a peek into the services you offer. However, remember that too much information, as well as too little information, can affect the performance of your business card. 

If there is too little information to convince your clients why they should consider your business, they might not take any action. If there is too much information they might not be curious to find out more by connecting with you through other channels. And too much information can also lead to visual clutter since you only have a little space to utilize. 

Kimp tips: 

Once you have a draft of what to include in your business card, plan what comes on each side of the business card. Remember the cut line and bleed area to understand the effective space available to display your information. Based on this, remove all the details that do not have any significant value to add. 

3. Inconsistent or incorrect information 

Errors in the copy can be the biggest turnoffs when it comes to business card designs. These could be in the form of:

  • Spelling mistakes 
  • Grammatical errors 
  • Incorrect contact information 
  • Outdated contact information 

Spelling and grammar mistakes affect the reputation of your business. And they can make you appear less professional. Incorrect and outdated information, on the other hand, can take your customers to a dead end. They might not make an effort to reconnect through other channels. And sometimes, the bad experience might permanently affect their opinion about your brand. 

Another issue will be when the information you provide on your business card and the information you provide on other communication channels like your website or social media pages do not match. For example, if your website displays a different tagline below your logo and there is a totally different one on your business card, it does not make a good impression. 

Kimp tips:

Proofread your business card design copy before you take it to your designer. And ensure that you work with a credible designer so that you do not have to worry about typos despite giving good copy. Thoroughly check your design before printing. 

With Kimp’s subscriptions, you get unlimited revisions. So, even if you notice some gaps in the information you provide, you can always go back to the team and ask them to add those details or correct them. 

4. Too many colors or too many fonts 

Unlike other marketing materials where you speak to your customers in whole sentences, you only convey your information in brief points on a business card. So, to distinguish each type of information, you should have a plan. Some resort to using a different color for each detail or a different font type or both. Some use bold fonts, italics, or too many variations in the line width to distinguish each detail. 

Here is a design that uses far too many font and color variations. Would you have the patience to read all the information on a card like this one? 

Too many colors and too many fonts can both affect the aesthetics of your business card. They make the design look disorganized and cluttered. Because colors set the mood of a design. And fonts have a role in it too! You do not want to confuse your customers. You only want to smoothly introduce them to your brand. 

Kimp tip: 

A business card is a good place to put your brand colors and fonts to the best use. Stick with just the two or three colors in your brand’s primary color palette. Here is an elegant business card that shows that even with just one color you can create a catchy design with every little detail having its own place. 

Business card design by Kimp

The above design also does not have drastic variations in font styles. Another noticeable trait is that the front and back of the card look coherent. On the whole, this is a design that will leave a good impression on your brand. And it does not use too many colors or fonts. 

5. Ignoring the safe printing area 

Just because you have very little space to present your information, do not use up every inch of space. Here is what happens when you ignore the borders and cutting areas in business card designs. 

Kimp tip: 

Based on the dimensions of your card, calculate the safe printing area. For example, the standard US size for business cards is 3.5″x 2″. And in this case, the safe printing area will be 3.36″x 1.86″. All your critical information should like within this space. Otherwise, your details get trimmed off or lost in the edges. 

Working with a professional design team takes the burden of understanding all these dimensions off of your shoulder. So, sign up for a Kimp subscription now and simplify business card designs for your brand. 

6. Bad photos 

Images are not mandatory on a business card but yes, they make your design look fresh. And visually stimulating designs are easier to remember. But when you do use images in your business card designs, here are a few mistakes to avoid. 

  • Using stock photos – if you use product photos or images of your services, use real photos and not stock images. Stock images mess with the authenticity of your business card design. 
  • Using poor quality images – whether it is a headshot or a product photographer, use a professional quality image that will look good in print. 

Kimp tips:

Will your photos be the focal point or are they there just to add more value to the design? Based on this build your design around the images you choose. Remove backgrounds and let your image blend seamlessly into your design. If you use headshots, you do not want the outfit color to clash with the business card color palette. Choose neutral colors for your outfit or touch up your photos so they look good on the business card background color. Here is an example of how you can add photos without breaking the business card design. 

Business card design by Kimp

If you feel photos are cliched, you can also use illustrations as you see in the below business card design by Kimp. 

Business card design by Kimp

Want to create memorable business card designs like these? Get in touch with the Kimp team today. 

7. QR code mistakes 

QR codes are not mandatory add-ons on a business card. But they help bridge the gap between print and digital marketing. So several brands incorporate them in their business card designs. But here are a few things that could go wrong. 

  • Using QR codes when your target customers are not particularly tech-savvy. If the chances of your clients scanning the QR code and taking an action are negligible, this will be wasted space on the business card real estate. 
  • Providing broken links to your QR code will again lead to missed communication opportunities. 
  • Redundant linking like the QR code being linked to a website address or contact number that is already present on the card will again be a waste of space. 

Kimp tips:

Use your QR code to capture information that cannot be briefly conveyed in your business card. Or to take customers to your social media page. You can also have a special lead capture landing page designed for this purpose. All of these will help you track whether the QR code actually solves its purpose. 

You can link your portfolio or a demo video to the QR code. And this way, you strengthen the credibility of your brand right away. 

Business card design by Kimp

The brand logo at the center gives the QR code a personal touch and makes it gel with the design perfectly. And the copy clearly tells where the code takes you. That is one way to convince users to scan the code. Here’s what you see when you navigate to the linked destination from the code. 

By giving a quick demo of what is offered and being consistent with the brand colors and visual style, this design is sure to leave an impact. 

8. Poor overall quality 

Your business card is not just a marketing tool. It is an encounter. It is a sample of your business, the quality you offer. And often, it is the first demo of the experience that your clients and business partners can expect from you. Naturally, the quality of your business card will be equated with the quality of your business. Poor quality cards, low-resolution images, and bad printing quality can all dampen the effectiveness of your business card. 

Kimp tips: 

To avoid quality issues from affecting your reputation, here are a few things you can do:

  • You need quality designs, to begin with. Work with professionals who can help you create business card designs that elegantly and relevantly represent your brand. 
  • Choose good quality cardstock. Most businesses use 14-point or 16-point cardstock for printing business cards. But the choice really depends on your budget. Avoid flimsy materials that are easily damaged. 
  • Stick with reliable printing services. You do not want the print to fade and your card to look worn out before you hand it over to your leads. 

Simplify business card designs with Kimp 

So, here we spoke about business card mistakes to avoid. We also have a blog that delves into the finer details of business card designs. As you can see, the actual design part has a huge role in making your business card more effective. So, work with a reliable team like Kimp to design your business card and lay a strong foundation for your branding. 

Want to see if subscriptions will work for your business? You can now sign up for a free 7-day trial.