Business Card Design Should be Sociable AND Social

Posted By on November 30, 2012

Visual prioritization is the key to business card design. These elements are required.

Visual prioritization is the key to business card design. These elements are required.

Last March, the LA Times reported that Passing Out Business Cards is Quickly Becoming Passé. Reporter Matt Stevens’s opening line: “Chalk up another looming casualty of the Internet age: business cards.”

Business Cards are More Popular than Ever for Networking. And Business Card Design Can Help.

According to Statistic Brain 10 billion business cards are printed annually. That’s 27, 397,260 cards that spin off the thermography presses every day. is one of the fastest growing print businesses in the world and online printer VistaPrint reported 25% growth in revenue last quarter.

A Moo-funded survey of 1000 small business operators said that 67% of the general population and 78% of small business operators think “that the business card, long thought to be a dying medium, remains a critical component of successful networking with nearly half (48%) giving out more business cards than five years ago.”

Let ‘s not empty out those wallets prematurely.

When I hand out a Two Pens business card, people either exclaim over our business card design with the double-nibbed pen logo or they flip the card over and read one of 50 writing tips we print, thanks to, on the back. (Sometimes, they’ll even ask for multiple cards so they can read more tips.)

tips for making strong verbs

We put 50 different writing tips on the back of Two Pens cards which is consistent with our business. Other creative ideas: photos of food for cooks, old bicycle illustrations for bike shop owners, home sales figures for real estate agents, etc.

A business card is still your hard copy in a virtual world.

Do you know the moviemaker’s trick of showing an object to reflect the emotions of the character? Think of the blue diamond necklace in The Titanic that Rose, the heroine, flings into the ocean; or the iron lung shown in The Sessions that both emprisons and extends the life of Mark O’Brien, the sex-starved (and paralyzed) hero.

For us non-movie types, a business card operates as a personal object, our surrogate in the world. You hand a card to someone you meet as both an introduction to who you are—-and a way to get in touch with you. They hold the card in their hands and via the magic of metaphor, the card becomes you in two-dimensional form.

Do’s for a well-designed business card

  • Nice heavy stock says you’re not a cheap skate
  • Great logo type shows your aesthetic taste
  • Tag line tells what you do
  • Name and title identifies who you are and what you do
  • Phone number, email, web site (or one major social network like Twitter) says how to get in touch
  • Include a QR code for easy sharing of contact info
  • Consider using the back for creative content that represents your business like photos, quotes, recipes or tips.

Don’ts to prevent card-read errors

  • Skimp on visual prioritization.
  • Make your card into a link farm. Linked In, Google+, Pinterest, Facebook etc. go on your email signature.
  • Include a fax number. Why prove you’re a Fax-o-saurus?
  • Forget to reload your purse or wallet when you’re planning to network.

Show us yours and win a Word Czar hat.

P.S. We’d love to see how you’re making your business cards work harder for you. Got an interesting way to use the back to sell your business? Are you using a QR code in an interesting way? Post it in the comments and we’ll pick the best idea and feature it in an upcoming post. Plus, we’ll send the winner our fabulous Word Czar hat to show off in the real world. Now that’s an incentive!