A business card is your introduction to prospective clients, sellers, buyers, etc. It should contain enough information for people to know WHO you are, HOW to get a hold of you and WHAT you do, albeit in a condensed form. And you have to get all that into a 2″ x 3.5″ space. Depending on your card layout you can also use the backside to expand on your product/services lineups. This provides many challenges thanks to people thinking more is better.
Challenge #1: The logo is HUGE!
We run into companies often that have some very beautiful, and complex, logos. So beautiful and complex that when you shrink it down to 1″ x 1″ to fit on a card you lose most of the detail and it is hard to read. So you show that to the customer and they want to know why you can’t print it right, it looks great on the side of their van! Well yeah, because that is 3 feet high, moron. You may want to consider just using the company name on the front with the rest of your information and trying to print the logo by itself on the backside. It won’t be much bigger, but hopefully enough so you can make it out.
Challenge #2: Email address from hell!
If your company name has 3 words in it, each with several letters, and your email domain is the same, you are limiting yourself on card layout due to the email length. If your email is firstname.lastname@example.org, you will have very small text running the entire length of the card. You do NOT have options in that case, short of changing your email. email@example.com would work great!
Challenge #3: Being too accessible?
Some people REALLY need to be reachable. For those it makes sense to have your office phone, direct line, cell phone, email, web page, pager, etc. Most people do NOt need to be THAT accessible. Regardless, fitting 6 numbers and an email address on the card can take up most of your available space. Just think first: do you really need to list that extension that goes to your bathroom, just in case?
Challenge #4: Cramming your whole webpage on on business card.
Yes, people need to know what you do. What good is handing someone a card that says “Johnson and Associates”, if they don’t know what Johnson or the associates do? Are you lawyers? Marketing specialists? Auctioneers? So it is important to let people know what you do on the card. However you don’t have to get into details if the details would fill a phone book. It is good for law firms to list what kind of law they specialize in. Usually it would be 3 or 4 areas. Ares of concern are manufacturers reps who sell other people’s products or repair guys who repair everything. We have a current customer that has us list 22 different things on the back of his card that he reps, and the last one is “and many more…”. He wanted us to list 30 but we were down to 6pt type by then. Maybe list a few categories and then a QR code to your web page?
So TODAY, the day after Christmas when all is slow, we have a customer come in. Wants to make a business card for his new company he is starting in January. His logo is this big circle with several colors in it and a long rectangle coming off the right side of the circle. There is also so small type in the circle. This logo to just be readable takes up the whole card. The circle part has to be 1.875″ high to be readable leaving NO extra room top or bottom. The rectangle part goes right across the middle of the card to .125″ from the right and ends up being about 1″ thick, leaving 2 blank spaces on the card that are .5″ high by not quite 1″ width. Then he wants to add the company name, a tag line, office number, 800 number, fax, cell, email and web page. While I am not typing the company name here, it is the same length as David Davidson Appliance Repair & Sales. And yes, the email address was firstname.lastname@example.org. At least he removes the ‘& sales’ from the email, that will make it fit! Oh, and the web page was pretty much the email address in length as well. And last but not least wanted to list the 6 major brands that he repairs along with 10 other brands I have never heard of. I haven’t recovered enough from the weekend to be challenges yet. We are going to be having a long talk when he comes back in an hour and I show him what can and can’t be done. I was hoping this week would be idiot-free. I guess not.