Posts

2674882565_f54d43dbe7_o

Designing Business Cards that Count in Three Easy Steps

As they say, everything can be done in three easy steps. From fixing a leaky faucet to a broken marriage, all is made better on the count of three. Or maybe we’re stretching it a bit too far; hence, for the sake of accuracy, let’s all forger about the aforementioned perhaps-far-fetched-perhaps-not allusion and stick to safer ones, designing business cards, for instance.

To prove our point, here are three easy steps recommended for those in the process of designing business cards that actually mean business.

1. Mind the details.

Aside from impressing prospective clients, business cards should, just as importantly, express a precise motive; to build an enduring and mutually beneficial professional/business relationship with your business card recipients. This is done by ensuring that the business card has all the essential details about you and your business.

  • Company Logo- This should be on top of the design’s hierarchy of elements. All other elements should be anchored in the logo.
  • Name- A business card without a name is as personable as one who’s already late for a million-dollar meeting only to realize he forgot his presentation. Sloppy.
  • Title- Unless your first name is CEO, or Lawyer-Extraordinaire, which happens to be consistent  with what you do, therefore space-convenient, make sure to clearly state what service you are offering.
  • Contact Info- You want to get a call do you?

2. Know your message.

Businesses come in many shapes and forms, and each has a message to tell. With this in mind, it is of the essence to know what this particular message is, and have it deftly mirrored in your chosen business card design. Let’s put it this way, a lawyer from a reputable law firm wants, ideally at least, to convey a message of credibility, authority, and earnestness; a business card in psychedelic chrome with neon skulls and what-not just won’t cut it. Conversely, a photographer hawking creativity is best to avoid giving away exaggeratedly muted business cards made with an uninteresting substrate, boasting of a dull finish.

  • Graphical Content- The keyword here is relevance; for example, an image of a tutu skirt for a ballet instructor.
  • Substrate- This refers to the material used for the business card, with paper and plastic as the most typical. In choosing a substrate, the preference of customers should be of utmost consideration. Are your customers taken by modern technology? Or do they appreciate the more classic/traditional options ?
  • Finish- This should also echo the business’s/company’s message; a business in the organic/health niche would not benefit from a synthetic looking gloss.

3.  Stay professional.

Just because you have recently downloaded the latest Adobe Photoshop or you’ve seen countless design tutorials on Youtube does not mean you have become a legit graphic designer. With this said, seek the help of a professional and give someone else a chance to earn a living. Unless, of course, countless of reliable individuals have already affirmed and validated your acquired design prowess. In the end, the money you count and save from going DIY might easily result to an end-product that does not count, in the first place. Unless you are willing to take this risk, by all means, hire someone you can actually count on.

Featured Image: Creative Commons – Attribution by alansangma

Article by Laura Brentley

Laura Brentley is a design guru and business card expert. Visit her website at www.cardprinting.us. Join her circle in G+.

Designed by Creative Juice

Top 10 Creative Business Cards

A business card is more than just a small piece of paper with your contact details on it.  A business card can be used as an effective marketing and branding tool, to say who you are, what you do and what you stand for.  Here are ten of the best creative business cards.

Grow your own lawn

Lawn and property enhancement company, Lush, came up with a novel idea to create a business card which perfectly sums up what their business does.  Designed like a small envelope, the inside of the card contains a handful of grass seeds.

Top 10 Creative Business Cards   By Struck USA advertising agency

By Struck, USA, advertising agency

www.lushmichigan.com

The balloon business card

This business card was creatively employed by an asthma allergy centre in India.  In order to read the contact details, the user would need to blow the balloon up, which would also determine their lung capacity.

Top 10 Creative Business Cards   Advertising agency Ogilvy and Mather Mumbai India

Advertising agency: Ogilvy and Mather, Mumbai, India

Model kit

Model-making enthusiasts will love this business card by Tamiya, as the small letters and pieces in the card can be taken out and made into models.

Top 10 Creative Business Cards   Designed by Creative Juice

Designed by Creative Juice

Spin the record

You won’t forget this DJ in a hurry.  Spin the record on the business card and it will reveal DJ Mohit’s contact details.

Top 10 Creative Business Cards   Designed by Deepak Nagar Nasheet Shadan

Designed by Deepak Nagar & Nasheet Shadan

The tasty business card

Never has a business card tasted more delicious! This clever design from a chocolate company in India involved incorporating the business card into a chocolate, so that the user would have to unwrap the wrapper to find the contact details.  By eating the chocolate the user would be part of the business experience.

Top 10 Creative Business Cards   By Draft FCB Ulka advertising agency New Delhi India

By Draft FCB & Ulka advertising agency, New Delhi, India

A meaty feast

Any recipient of a business card by a deli in Vancouver specialising in meat sandwiches, wouldn’t find it hard to work out what it had to sell.  Shaped like a circular slice of salami, La Charcuterie included its contact details on the back of the salami-shaped card and hung them in salami-inspired netting bags.

Top 10 Creative Business Cards   By Advertising Design agency Rethink Vancouver Canada

By Advertising/Design agency: Rethink, Vancouver, Canada

The furniture specialist

Here is yet another clever business card that doesn’t require much imagination to work out what it does.  The contact details of Casabella Furniture are easily displayed on this vibrant-coloured card shaped like a sofa.

Top 10 Creative Business Cards   By art director Amanda Casabella

By art director, Amanda Casabella

Relationship specialist

Couples in need of relationship advice or therapy are not likely to forget this business card in a hurry.  Shaped like a heart, the user has to pull back a strip cutting through the heart to reveal therapist Marisa Schmidt’s contact details.

Top 10 Creative Business Cards   By advertising agency Master Promo Curitiba Brazil

By advertising agency Master Promo, Curitiba, Brazil

The yoga mat

This unique business card will bring a smile to any yoga enthusiast’s face.  Rolled up like a yoga mat, the user needs to unfurl the mat in order to reveal the yoga specialist’s contact details.

Top 10 Creative Business Cards   flowyogavancouver

www.flowyogavancouver.com

The divorce lawyer business card

Divorce lawyer James Mahon has a clever way of giving his contact details to both parties going through the divorce process.  His business card can easily be divided into two, with each section detailing the same contact information.

Top 10 Creative Business Cards   By James Mahon Divorce Lawyer

By James Mahon, Divorce Lawyer

All images are copyrighted by the respective designers/agencies and are displayed here for the sole purpose of promoting design and their works.

Article provided by UK Print Price

This guest article was submitted by UK Print Price.  As specialist printers they provide printed carrier bags, mugs and a wide range of personalised promotional gifts.

By: Adrian

How to Build a Strong Brand

The importance of branding in the modern corporate world is undisputed. Whether you are a multi-national corporation making millions or a small business with limited funds, it’s crucial to understand that you need one in order to survive, and you need a strong one in order to succeed!

It all begins with brand identity

Brand identity is what fuels the recognition of the brand and amplifies the differences with their competition. It takes separated and unconnected initially elements, and through a concept, they are unified by designers into whole visual systems. Proper design in a brand identity is essential and determines how people see and feel about the brand.

You need to carefully consider your company’s logo design, website and print collaterals like your business cards, stationary, magazine advertisements and promotional material, so that they all speak with a strong and unified visual voice. All elements need to communicate distinct and clear messages.

Additionally you need to make sure that this message is the one you want to be known for! So just because your daughter can draw or you had the “bright” idea to offer your logo design in a contest for 55$ doesn’t mean is the proper way to go! In fact in most cases is a recipe to disaster.

Then comes the brand strategy

Effective brand strategy provides a central unifying idea around which all behavior, actions and communications are aligned. It also needs to be consistent and easy to understand.

To put that in test, have everyone in the company explain this strategy in as few sentences as possible. If everyone’s perception is aligned and consistent then you are at a good starting point. If not your strategy is too complex and will most likely fail.

Last but not least comes branding

Branding is the process to build awareness and customer loyalty on your brand through your brand strategy and your various marketing campaigns. Consistency is again the key for a successful branding campaign. Every newsletter, social media status, blog article and brochure must support your branding. And it goes without saying that your branding campaign needs to be both online and offline.

You can use events to build your customer’s loyalty offline. These could be charity events, festivals, or just a stall in a bazaar to promote your products. Also consider providing your customers with high-quality giveaway items that promote your brand in a positive light. Some examples are branded T-shirts, mugs, mouse pads etc. But you can find more ideas and a variety of cool branded promotional products at QLP specialty advertising products.

As for online you can use a variety of social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn to establish your online presence and of course the blog in your website. But mind that for this promotion not to be overwhelming most of social media experts suggest the rule of 80/20. Meaning 20% of your content should be about your company and the rest 80% content of value and use to your prospective customers.

Giving your business a friendly and approachable face, and helping your customers to solve their daily problems is extremely important to your long term branding, so always be on the lookout for the best opportunities to do so!

Further Reading:

  • How To Identify Your Brand DNA
  • Promotions and Branding 101
  • The Importance of Branding

Featured Image: Apple Logo wallpaper / Creative Commons – Attribution by Adrian

By: Robert

Five Unique Mediums You Should Try Printing On

Although Internet advertising has exploded, many businesses find that good old-fashioned mediums like printing still play a very important role in their advertising plans. While your customers will expect to get printed items such as business cards or brochures from you, you can do something unexpected by having these and other items printed on unusual materials to make yourself stand out more. Here are a few ideas for five unusual mediums you can print on to promote your business.

Plastic Business Cards

It’s a Catch-22, really. You know that you need to carry business cards to hand out to your clients and to compete in today’s business world. However, your competitors realize this, too. So how do you make your card stand out in your potential client’s wallet–by plastic printing, that’s how.

Plastic business cards give you the option of the sturdiness of plastic so your card won’t get beat up once it goes into your client’s wallet and with options like transparent card printing, you can add an element to your design that your competitors’ cardboard business cards won’t have.

Wood

Wood as a medium for printing has been around for thousands of years. Many of the surviving pieces of art from centuries past were painted on wood. You can give your promo pieces that same sort of timeless appeal. If you’re not sure how to do it, think menus for a restaurant or name cards at a catering event printed on thin wood for an extra classy and memorable touch.

Canvas

In the digital age, pictures are ubiquitous. If you’re printing marketing materials like calendars or inspirational posters to send out as promo items to your clients, think about having these items printed on canvas. If you add a wooden dowel to the top of your items printed on canvas, they will become pieces of wall art reminiscent of the tapestries found decorating the walls of ancient buildings. A promo calendar designed on this medium will wind up hung up on your client’s wall where he can see it and your business name all year.

Magnets

What is a kitchen without refrigerator magnets on the fridge? Without them, most people would have no place to hang notes to their families or their kids’ artwork. Use this to your advantage by having your advertising materials printed on magnets. Your potential customers will see your name every time they open the fridge.

Kid Tattoos

If your company regularly hosts community events, and you want to create a free giveaway that’s sure to draw families to your booth, think about having something printed on temporary tattoos. Make these items something that the kids will love and the parents will remember by having a cute graphic printed on the tattoo and then your business’ logo printed on the paper backing of the temporary tattoo. At your next community events, the kids will remember the tattoo and their parents will remember you.

Featured Image: Creative Commons – Attribution Photo by Robert

Article by Annette Hazard

 Annette Hazard is a freelance writer that suggests plastic printing for unique printing. She often writes about business related issues and spends her free time training for marathons.

great creative design1

Great Creative Designs In Adverts

Business cards are used by individuals to advertise their work, but other methods can be utilised by companies to promote their business. Creative designs are best used to get people’s attention, and this article will outline designs which especially caught our eye. Designs which are intriguing, interesting, colourful or humorous will all most likely demand the attention of the person viewing it. The designs contained within this article embody a diverse range of design styles.

Bluebird’s Appealing Design

Great Creative Designs In Adverts   great creative design1

Image provided by Author

The business card to the right uses a stark baby blue colour, which is extremely pleasant on the eye and creates an immediate attraction. The writing is contained within the silhouette of a bird, and has various other patterns below which bring dimension to the card. It uses a very sleek and comfortable design which immediately draws you closer, whilst maintaining a style which isn’t over complicated. Here simple patterns and colours are used to achieve the purpose of the business card, with very recognisable images of birds which are suitable both visually and in the context of the company name. This card is an example of how a business card without gimmicks can be effectively designed, using simple yet appealing colours and design.

Great Creative Designs In Adverts   great creative design2

Image provided by Author

Bosch’s Dinosaur Leg


The advert to your left is quite a humorous over exaggerated statement made by Bosch, who advertises freezers. The advert intends to promote the reliability and length of time their fridges are guaranteed for, by suggesting they last for so long you could pull a dinosaur leg out of there and it still wouldn’t have gone off. This is an ode to the guarantee that Bosch freezers will run for long periods of time, setting up a level of expectation for a long freezer life. This is a creative design since the dinosaur leg doesn’t even feel out of place, despite the ridiculousness of even considering a dinosaur leg to exist in that form in this day and age. The design shows other condiments and equipment to accompany the leg, in an attempt to show that it’s not out of place with modern items. The user will likely spend at least some time trying to work out what is being suggested by the advert, and if the freezers work that well I might have to buy one myself!

Great Creative Designs In Adverts   great creative design3

Image provided by Author

Pravina’s Circular Design


These circular cards have been creatively designed, with a shape unaccustomed to business cards. This helps them to stand out, alongside the use of black, a bold shade, and red which is a primary colour. These colour cards will stand out amongst others (especially white), particularly when they are also circular! The elevated writing is another unique element which draws attention to the company name. The ridged writing gives a memorable feel when moving across it with your finger, amidst taking in the shock of viewing such unique cards. This design is interesting because it shows the effective simplicity of design; where often business cards can be overcomplicated with elaborate design. These are guaranteed to take the viewer’s eyes and be held onto, and also when two different cards are held together it creates an incredible contrast of colour. For unique business cards and unique sizes of club flyers, check out NextDayFlyers – they have a great selection.

Business Cards

How to make your business card stand out

If you’re setting up your own business, or simply want to drum up more interest during the difficult economic climate, you’ll already know the power of an effective marketing campaign. But sometimes, nothing beats good old self promotion – and by that I mean getting out there, distributing your business card and making yourself known to potential clients and partners.

How to make your business card stand out   Fun Facts about Business Cards

The problem is, you won’t be the only person with this idea and if you hand your business card out, chances are the recipient probably has a stack of very similar-looking rectangles of card sitting on their desk. It’s all too easy for people to throw them away, so you need to make sure your business card catches their attention and makes them think: “Hang on a second, this person actually might have something to offer.”

So, where so you start? Well, aside from the obvious information, like your name, job title and contact details, you should consider putting a picture of yourself on your business card. Think about it, if you’re meeting lots of new people every day and all of them give you their business card, you’re going to forget who is who. Maybe you’ll sit at your desk and think: “Oh yes, Brian Smith was the guy with a shaved head, he seemed pretty nice, but who was Mark Robinson? And was Chris Smart the guy with glasses?”

If you have a photograph on your business card the recipient will instantly know who you are when they pick it up and connect your name with your face, meaning they are more likely to think of you when they require a particular service.

The next thing to think of is colours. Most business cards are white with printed lettering. So, imagine you are looking at a desk full of business cards – what would jump out at you? A business card that isn’t white. Consider going for a coloured background that will really make an impact. Red and black are particularly strong colours. However, it is important to ensure the text also stands out and is very readable against such a bold background.

Once you’ve decided on a colour scheme, the next thing to consider are the final details and all the creative extras you can add to your business card to really make it stand out from the crowd and ensure it’s unforgettable. Here’s a list of some things to consider:

  1. Size and shape – Don’t go for a standard rectangle, try something else
  2. Cartoons – Get a custom cartoon commissioned for the back of the card
  3. 3D – Some business cards can be printed so they stand up, fold over and have pop out sections
  4. Die cutting – Specify shapes to be cut into the side of your card, like a bite mark if you’re a caterer
  5. Recipes – Include a recipe if you work in the food industry
  6. Material – Cardboard is boring, try something else
  7. Quotes – Add a famous and relevant quotation on the back
  8. Double-sided – Take advantage of the fact you have two sides of cards and use them both
  9. Stickers – Print one side of your business card on self-adhesive paper
  10. Trading cards – If you run a firm with a few people get trading card-style business cards printed for each member of the team and encourage people to collect them

All of these ideas ensure your business card will offer something a bit different to the rest of the pack and mean it will stick in the recipient’s mind. It’s all about getting yourself noticed and an interesting business card will do just that.

Article by Lesley Sampson

This guest blog was contributed by Lesley Sampson a freelance writer who often blogs about printing and where to find the best 123 Print high quality printing.