If you are running a business, your business cards (though miniscule as they may seem) are very significant. Think about it:
- You hand them out at craft fairs.
- You include at least one in every package you mail out.
- You pass them out to strangers and friends when your business is mentioned during face-to-face conversation.
- You tack them onto community bulletin boards.
- You decorate your house with them as a substitute for wallpaper. (Okay, maybe not this one.)
You get the idea. Business cards = kind of a big deal. Which I urge not only to have them, but to have business card which accurately represent your business.
If I am handed a business card (at a craft fair, or what have you) and it has some pretty, swirly floral design and a web address on it, I’m not going to keep it. If I can’t look at your business card and at least GUESS at what you are selling, it’s going in the trash. Secondly, and maybe this is just because I am a graphic designer, but if it’s a stock design I’ve seen before (I think a lot of us recognize the black silhouette wearing pearls from Vista print’s stock), then I’m going to toss it. If your are a creative person selling items you’ve CREATED, why would you have a very non-creative business card that has been used a million times before? You may think that design is pretty, but I’m telling you, about a gazillion OTHER crafters do to, and are already using it.
So if you want business cards that stand out, but still look professional, then you have two options. You can pay someone to design them for you (like me for example, I am currently running a $14.95 special in my MegansCreativeDesign shop), or you can learn how to design them yourself. If you’re going to try the DIY route (and lets face it, that is the way most “crafty-types” are inclined), then here is a simple list of tips that will hopefully help you.
Make what you are selling obvious.
Follow the squint rule. If I could not read the text on your business cards, would I be able to guess at what your product is? You don’t have to out-right have a picture of your product (if you don’t think that is suitable), but something related would be nice. For example, if you sell soap your business cards could feature bubbles or a bathtub. If you sell crochet items, maybe have faded bundles of yarn as your background. While I have an actual picture of one of my products on my MegansBeadedDesigns card, I have background that try to capture the “feel” of my Glamour365 and SteampunkDream shops.
Keep it simple.
You don’t have to put every single link and bit of contact information onto that tiny 3.5 x 2 inch rectangle. Your Shop name, and Etsy URL would be enough. However, you can add your name, or another link or two, just don’t over-do it. (Just to give you some ideas: On my MegansBeadedDesigns cards I have my shop URL, blog address, and Facebook. On my Glamour365 card, I have my URL and Twitter. On my SteampunkDream card, I have my URL, and a 10% off coupon code.)
Limit your fonts.
3 is pushing it. 2 is awesome. 1 is good. IF (big if) the fonts go well together you may do more, but 1 for your shop name, and 1 for your contact information should suffice. For smaller fonts, such as what you have to use for your web address, use a font that is EASY TO READ.
Don’t make me get the magnifying glass.
I’ve seen business cards that use white text on a dark background in size 4 font. Don’t do this. Allow your font size to be large enough to be readable (you can go slightly-smaller with serif fonts), and a bit larger than that if you are going to use the light-on-dark route.
Give it some breathing room.
You’ve probably heard this before: graphic designers love white space. There is a reason for this. It makes your design more visually appealing. It cushions the elements on it so that they stand out more and grab adequate attention. White space does not have to be WHITE (as in the color), it is referring to the negative space around your elements. Offer this space so that your background (or blank space) can show through.
Hope these tips help! If you opt to design your own business cards I would love to see how they came out! Please feel free to share. :-)