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3 Ways to Design a Better Business Card

by Margaret Penney | January 20, 2017

A business card design can be a quick litmus test for a designer with prospective clients. After all, if you can’t impress with your own b-card, how will you wow the masses with your client’s project? So it pays to make your business cards impress. Here we present three tips for improving your business card designs.

1. Avoid Clutter

In a business card design, decide what the necessary information to include is, and include only that information. Imagine you are your potential client and you are taking out the card to contact yourself, what will they need to know? Will they need to know your fax number that you never use? Probably not. You can provide only the most basic information and then have more details at your website. Want to know what the basics are? Okay, here they are:

  • Name
  • Role or Specialization
  • Web Address
  • Email
  • Phone Number


Zoe Wetherhall’s Business Card

Zoe Wetherall has a word search logotype for her name and uses ample white space around a text module with only the essential information included.

2. Splurge on Quality

A business card is such a small yet important element of your designer arsenal. So don’t waste your time creating a business card if you aren’t going to have it printed well. After all, you are a graphic designer. A business card is an opportunity for you to show potential clients your skills and what you know about print techniques, special finishes and card stock, Choose a premium card stock, go for a letterpress design, use a die cut or a copper foil. Show them what you got.

If you don’t actually know too much about printing options though give your local printer a call or email a high-quality online printer like Mingo Press.

Business card for QQChose

Embossed type really makes this card for QQchoose.

N/mbl Business Card

N/mbl uses a die cut to suggest a Y letter and a period in this clever business card design. The design also has a horizontal and vertical layout in one.

3. Use Space Well

Since space is of a premium your use of it becomes even more important. First, make sure that you include enough margins on your card, regardless of the card’s size. If you know what printer you are using, make sure you download and follow their printer requirements.

Consider the layout. It’s quite common to have either horizontal or vertical cards. Right now we’re seeing more designs with multi-directional text in a clean style. Somewhat unconventional text layouts on a business card are a way to show off your design skills, but don’t go overboard. The design should be a balance of clear information transfer combined with visual aesthetic.

Remember that white space is a way to accentuate information content and make it the focus, instead of detracting from content. When in doubt, take something out.

Too Undo Business Card

Too Undo has an organized and clean design that uses a lot of white space and still has room for a colorful gradient design on the front of the card.




Margaret Penney is the Managing Editor of Notes on Design. Margaret is a teacher, designer, writer and new media artist and founder of Hello Creative Co.


This blog is powered by Sessions College, the leading online school of visual arts.

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