Your business card is often the first impression a potential client has of your company. A well-designed card, tailored to your organisation and its market, can have a huge impact on your company’s image and will leave a lasting impression on the recipient.

We sat down with our in-house designer, Gary Hawkes, to discuss what goes into a successful business card. Discover his 15 top tips and some inspirational ideas on how to design a memorable business card.


1. Consider the purpose

Business cards have a multitude of purposes, so identifying the key takeaway elements is an important first step.

Traditionally, business cards were used to solely share your contact information. Now, however, a successful card should also clearly outline your values and stand out from your competitors with its design.

If your organisation is already well-established in its field, freshening up your design can also highlight any rebranding or restructuring your company has undergone, acting almost like a company status update.


2. Identify the target audience

After clearly outlining your card’s core purposes, you need to consider your target audience.

For instance, is this business card most likely to be used at an exhibition for to potential customers? Or will it be passed around at a networking event among other industry professionals? Perhaps you might even distribute it to other local companies as a way to build brand visibility in your community.

For this reason, think about creating multiple designs, each tailored to different audiences and purposes.


3. Choose your shape and size

While most business cards follow a traditional sizing format, there’s plenty of alternatives to help your card stand out.

At Headline Printers, we’ve got several different size options, each suiting a different purpose. Check out our sizing guide to see what’s on offer:

Business card typeSize (mm)Size (cm)Size (inches)
Standard85 x 558.5 x 5.53.3 x 2.2
Mini85 x 258.5 x 2.53.3 x 1
Square55 x 555.5 x 5.52.2 x 2.2
American89 x 518.9 x 5.13.5 x 2
Alternative88 x 558.8 x 5.53.5 x 2.2
Long90 x 559 x 5.53.5 x 2.2
Small80 x 508 x 53.1 x 2


4. Use both sides of the card


While the front of your card will remain the main focus, by utilising the back effectively, you can separate yourself from the competition with your design

Try to avoid featuring any essentials on there, keep that for the front. Gary believes that; “business cards work best when there’s nothing but a logo on one side and a smaller ‘reminder’ logo on the reverse. I like to use a block of colour on one side to create an impact”.


5. Plan your text

When planning your text, don’t overload your card with information. Keep your details clear and concise. Gary suggests that; “as long as you have your logo and contact details on there, and they are clearly readable, you can work on the basis of adding as little as possible after that”.

These additional details could be social media icons, or a small quote about your company. However, Gary advises “don’t fall into the trap of treating your business card like a flyer”.


6. Select a readable font

Gary highlights that when it comes to selecting a font, “clarity is key”. For that reason, try to use broader font types and 7pt size or larger.

There’s plenty of typefaces to boost your business card. For instance, Proxima and Source Sans are good options for readability. Or, for a more formal look, Gary recommends fonts like Junicode and Stix General.

He also suggests that using font families, such as bold and italics, helps when it comes to emphasising important details.


7. Choose your colour scheme

When choosing your colour scheme, Gary emphasises that the most important element is “staying true to your branding and identity”.

In order to keep in line with your brand’s identity, choose two or three set colours that are most closely linked to your branding, such as the colours used in your company logo.

After choosing the background hues, select a contrasting text colour to retain a clear image that complements the overall colour scheme of your card.


8. Add graphics and imagery

Pictures say a thousand words.  By using one effectively, an image can help your branding stand out.

However, Gary advises avoiding using images that are too busy for the space, or as watermarks. Instead, opt for graphics which are on brand, and still allow plenty of space for your text.


9. Importance of a logo

Your company logo should be a prominent feature of your business card as a way clients and customers can easily identify your brand.

For this reason, Gary recommends going full bleed with your logo to ensure it is big enough to read – helping your card recipients to make a visual connection with you brand.

Try experimenting with different layouts that incorporate your logo and see what works best to balance this with the amount of text on your card.


10. Keep in mind edging and bleed

Bleed is the process of including more artwork than the chosen business card sizing, to ensure your design runs to the edge of the card.

Usually this is a minimum of 3mm of margin which protects your text or images from being cut when printed. Take care to consider this when you’re creating your artwork.

Remember, our talented designers are always on-hand to offer design advice when you print with us.


11. Choose your paper finish

Paper finishes are an important touch – they liven up your card and add personality to your branding. Gary recommends using a laminated paper finish for a robust, quality end-product.

However, the finish best suited to your card depends on your brand’s identity. If you want to highlight your brand’s ethics, for example, look for paper types which use sustainable sources. For instance, Gary states “if you own an organic wool farm in the Outer Hebrides, I’d go for one of our uncoated options”.


12. Consider the thickness

A general rule of thumb is, the thicker the business card, the more professional the overall finish. The standard thickness for a business card is 350-400gsm (grams per square meter).

You can apply more layers to your card to add thickness – our triple-layer business card is 810gsm. The extra layers create an elegant and professional finish, which can help you give the perfect first impression when you hand out your card to potential customers or clients.


13. Think outside the box

Technical qualities aside, one of the essential elements of a successful business card is your creativity.

When designing your card, try to offer something unique, which also aligns with your brand personality. For instance, you could highlight your eco-conscious business ideals by printing on recycled paper.

Alternatively, don’t be constrained by standard card shapes or designs. At Headline Printers, we offer alternative options that can help you rise above the noise, including folded business cards.


14. Add a personal touch

Adding an image of yourself to the back of a business card, or a small quote or introduction about your company, can really help set your brand apart.

By laying out your business’ identity, customers and clients are more likely to make an emotional connection with your organisation.

Plus, adding an image of yourself allows your card recipients to put a name to a face, long after your initial meeting.


15. Keep it simple but memorable

Above all else, the main thing to remember when creating your business card is to keep it simple but memorable. You want your contact to go away with a card that both attracts their attention and includes all the essential information they need to get in touch.

With these great tips under your belt, explore our wide range of business cards and get started with your next show-stopping design at Solopress.


Whether you’re ready to push the button, or you’d like to pick our brains on the best options for you, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.


Call us on 02392 718111, send us an email, or simply head over to ourBusiness Cards page and start printing today.


Business Cards