• Someone asked me at a workshop recently whether business cards were still important in today’s digital marketing scene. With so many other options for people to communicate essential information about their business- why bother with business cards at all?


  • For starters- most brands need to succeed both offline (what we now call the real world!) as well as online– and this is perhaps even more true for small businesses. Having something to touch, to hold, and physically exchange makes a very different impression than a quick glance on a mobile device. That being said, many small businesses fail to make the most of their business cards and put little thought into design or card stock, opting for the cheapest, fastest options. What a wasted opportunity! Your business cards could be a valuable touchpoint through which your customers begin to connect with your brand and the value you offer. Here are some points to consider next time you go the print shop:

Tap into Texture

  • If every-day business cards go from overstuffed wallets into the recycling bin- give your cards added value by using texture. The different feel of your card will give the holder pause before discarding it, and perhaps jog their memory about your interaction.  Choose a texture that matches your brand style- so that it not only makes your card stand out, it communicates who you are. Think of the different effect of choosing a natural or rough-spun finish vs a high-gloss or plastic card. For luxury brands, you could try:

embossed logos

raised design elements

thicker card stock

satin finishes

  • Adding tactile appeal to your cards engages your potential customers through the sense of touch- and gives them a richer experience of your brand.

Expand Your Brand

  • Did you invest in a professional logo? Your visual brand shouldn’t end there.  While many business owners simply send their logo file to the printers and use a common font to display  contact information, this looks minimally professional and does not do anything to boost depth of brand awareness. A good graphic designer will be able to use your logo as a starting point for a dynamic, two- sided card design. This can further convey your brand personality and style– and turn your business cards into mini art-cards that won’t get thrown away. My clients have told me the decision to go with professionally designed cards was a very good investment, as the feedback they got from impressed customers was immediate.

DIY Design

  • However if added design costs are simply out of your budget- here are some things you can do yourself to give your business cards a boost :

Use a solid colour from your brand palette on one side of the card.

Try a right alignment for your text.

Choose a non-serif, modern font in a slightly larger size to create a high-impact, clean look.

  • Make sure your fonts/ colours are consistent with the look and feel of your logo- too many fonts look messy and do not present a unified brand feel. When going the DIY design route- its best to keep it simple.

Consider Your Content

  • What information do you need on your card? Aside from your business name and contact info,  a business card can also include content that conveys your brand promise and personality. Being careful not to crowd the space on the card, consider adding one of the following:

A meaningful tagline

A (short) humorous or inspirational quote

A creative job description

  • This added text could be featured on the back of the card- and always be sure that the message is on brand, professional, and conveys something of the benefits and value  of your business offering.

Calculate Marketing Value, not Costs

  • Investing in the design and quality of your business cards may seem like an added expense- but think carefully about how many business cards you actually need. Do you give out thousands of cards randomly? Or do you use your cards to reinforce authentic connections to potential clients? If so, it may be worthwhile to print less and spend more on making an impression.