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Creative Design

5 Bad Business Card Designs (and how to avoid making them) 

We all know it’s about first impressions in business. Handing over a professionally designed business card that represents your brand, style, messaging and personality reflects well on your ideal customer – automatically communicating confidence and a level of professionalism in your brand without you even having to tell them how great you are. 

We know budgets may be tight, and there are those of you that like to design your own material, so we thought we would help with some useful tips. When you are creating designs yourself there is no point looking at creative designs that are beyond your skill set. Look at bad examples and understand why they don’t work to ensure you don’t make the same mistakes. 


Here are our 5 biggest business card mistakes and how to avoid making them yourself.


1. Business card colour madness! 

There is no need to use every colour in the rainbow – even if you are a painter or decorator. The general rule is to stick to using two colours (excluding black or white), and these should be related to your brand colours. Going outside these causes chaos and confusion to the human eye. 

If you have quite a bit of design knowledge and have a multiple coloured logo and wish to use all the colours, contain them in a strip, shape or element from your brand to keep the business card looking professional.


 2. Business Card Font overwhelm

When there are too many font styles it can make your brain hurt. Your eye doesn’t know where to go first and it causes confusion. Stick to a maximum of 2 font families – any more is overkill.

While we are on fonts, make sure that someone else can easily read what the words say. This is especially important when it is your company name. 


3. Buy from me pleeeeeease!

Business cards are designed to create connections and build relationships. Selling before knowing the person just indicates that you are just there to sell your products or services and you have no intention of collaborating. Selling on the back of your business card will automatically downgrade your business and turn 95% of your ideal customer ever contacting you.


 4. Pictures as business card backgrounds

Using imagery as a background does not create a professional looking brand image. Backgrounds cheapen your business instantly, and give you a feeling of a low grade service or product. In this instance the mix of multiple fonts, image background and the random numbers telling you where to read gives an automatic red flag. 



Image: creativebloq.com

5. Legibility

Business cards are there to provide a useful link between you and your ideal customer. Using fonts, splitting text or using crazy backgrounds hinders the connection and understanding of your brand and how it can help your ideal customer. 

In this example there are so many fonts, a random picture in the middle (which I am still trying to work out what it is) that my brain can’t focus on what is important. 

Business cards are small and you need to be precise in the way you group information to make it easy for your ideal customer to connect and hopeful buy from you in future.


Remember, the goal of your business card is to serve as a reminder of who you are, what you do and how to contact you. Outside that you’re literally wasting your time trying to cram anything else onto that tiny surface area.


Now is the time.

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