The Four Laws of Business Card Design

September 4th, 2009 Posted in Various

For many customers and clients, your business card is their first point of reference when looking at your services. With this huge importance to your business, it’s essential that your business card projects three things, not just about yourself but about your business: value, innovation, and information. By using modern design elements and selective information to build and maintain your brand image, your business card can create not just new business relationships, but powerful word of mouth buzz.

These four design elements are essential for ensuring that your business card achieves what it should:

1. Information

It should come as no surprise that your business card needs to display the relevant information for your business. Whether you’re a freelance contractor or a company representative, you need to make sure that your business card balances both your contact details and your company information carefully.

To decide what information you need on your business card, take note of the most simple and popular channels that clients, customers and business partners use to get in touch with you. For simplicity’s sake, you’ll want to limit your communications to just a few channels, and by sticking with the most popular ones you can save yourself time, worry and missed business opportunities.

Got 5 different phone numbers? Pick whichever one you use the most often, or exclude your phone number all together. If you do 99% of your communication by email, put your email address as the primary contact address, and leave your phone number or office address as a secondary address.

2. Balance

Great business cards aren’t just about getting your information out there. To make a truly great business card design, you need to combine aesthetics and information, balancing the two to guide the eyes around the card.

Take stock of your contact and personal information. What needs to go where? Some of your information will need to be grouped with complimentary information. Keep your name and address close together, your landline and cell phone number next to one another, and your business email and website URL close to one another. Grouping information not only balances your card effectively, but it guides the reader through the card and down towards your contact information.

3. White Space

White space is an important design element that too often goes forgotten when designing a business card. You need to balance information with itself, and also with the blank spaces of your business card. By balancing the amount of informational space on your business card with minimalist design elements, you can guide the reader through the card and create a design that is clean and professional.

Think about your business card design as two separate planes of design: the information and the aesthetic. In order to master both domains, make sure your card balances information and emptiness, but still leaves all of the appropriate information in view for your customers, business relations, and clients.

4. Simplicity

There’s a simple rule of design, lifestyle, and thousands of other domains: less is more. Nowhere is this philosophy more true than in business card design. By selectively eliminating parts of your design, you can build a business card that not only displays all of your contact information, but gives the viewer a look into the DNA of your business.

There are ultimately two primary purposes of a business card. The first is to make contact easy for clients and customers, and the second is to give your business the exposure that it deserves. By balancing information with simplicity and minimalist design elements, you can make your card stand out from the pack and present your information clearly, concisely, and in a form that is easy for potential customers to see.

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12 Responses to “The Four Laws of Business Card Design”

  1. Joseph Wrangler Says:

    Great article. I’ve seen some good business card designs which have some of those features.


  2. Japanese Business Cards Says:

    Excellent article. People often forget the importance of white space, and a busy card is is as bad as a card lacking key information.


  3. priyesh das Says:

    Great article. Can anyone specify the ratio of white space?


  4. CSS Brigit | The Four Laws of Business Card Design Says:

    The Four Laws of Business Card Design…

    For many customers and clients, your business card is their first point of reference when looking at your services. These four design elements are essential for ensuring that your business card achieves what it should.


  5. rory Says:

    Good article, I mainly work as a web designer don’t think Ive designed a business card in years…sign of the times?! But a really informative blog kinda makes me wanna start designing cards again.


  6. Mark Says:

    A certain amount of whitespace is one of the hardest things for clients to understand. Too much clutter can lose the importance of what a card is really for.


  7. Printclick Says:

    Agree entirely on the white space section. Even on web design it is a crucial element. Thanks for this post


  8. mothers day flowers Says:

    The fonts that are publicly available are generally fine. Typically, typographers design a font and then people pay to be able to use them. Many businesses actually use the same font for their image.


  9. Lisa Perkins Says:

    i love the info on white space. no one understands that these days – with all the full color printers out there. any other business card design enthusiasts other than me? if so, you should definitely visit cardobserver.com and http://www.tasteofinkstudios.com/portfolio/business_card_design

    thanks for this blog, i appreciated the info – quite inspiring.


  10. Basilakis Says:

    This article, is not even relevant with the rest articles that have been posted in this blog.

    Check out, from the related posts some card designs and tell me then :)


  11. Bobby Says:

    Great tips. I add a fifth rule: Take chances. An original business card can put you ahead of the pack. Heard of one that just had a name and a phrase something along the lines of “Google me.”


  12. Reinette Says:

    Loved the Examples! Thanks for the great tips.
    Hehe…love the “Google Me” idea Bobby!


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