[The owner’s names are covered up to protect them. After this final showing, they’re going in the recycling bin.]

What’s the point of a business card anyway? Are they relevant in the digital age? YES! They’re easy to carry, easy to hand out and when made with some thought and care, say just what you want about you and your business. No internet connection required. Business cards represent people, and share traits with people. What are some characteristics of bad business cards? When business cards go bad, they might fit one of these descriptions:

TOO SLICK. Sometimes we like to jot notes on a card like, “that guy that seemed to know what he was talking about,” or “call after July trade show”. When the card’s too slippery and glossy, you just can’t write on it – you can tear it, trying. Glossy on one side works, but glossy on two sides? – not the best idea.

SHADY. No description of your business. You work for ABCD Corp., YOU know what you do, but will anyone know by seeing your card? Be sure people know what your business is.

DODGY. Vague business title. Be clear, don’t hide, even if you’re in sales 😉

DULL. Same old size and shape. Most of the cards in this stack are white, 2 x 3.5 rectangles. Using a standard size has advantages, considering how people will keep them, but little changes can make a big difference. Consider round-corners or a fold to stand out.

TENSE. Type too close to the edge. This is really annoying, and not just to printers. It creates unease – not the best thing for a business card, and can enhance even a small error in trimming the cards. (see next entry)

CROOKED. We see cards like this come through our door, but they’re not from Advanced Color Graphics. Even a 16th of an inch off on one end of a card looks like a bad haircut. If you happen to get cards like this, don’t keep them.

WEAK. The flimsiest card in the stack above is curled and dented. This just feels temporary and cheap. Really, the paper used on a business card is a pretty small bit and the weight can usually be sufficient without breaking the bank. For large quantities we can suggest papers that fit the bill and feel right.

JUST UGLY. The design of your card doesn’t have to be fancy or complex, but simple, elegant and attractive can take more effort than ugly. At the least, to be effective and memorable it should be clean, clear and comfortable in the space, and say the important things about you and your business. Again, simple things can really set it apart from the crowd, like light type on a dark background, or metallic ink, foil stamping, and spot gloss areas. Use a strip of color along an edge. Use a QR code if you want your card to “say” a lot more than a few things.

Don’t let your business cards go bad, give them the attention they deserve. No time? We’ll start them out right; want my card?