Did you know that business cards date back to the 15th Century, where the Chinese used them as 'visiting cards' to announce visitors? Fast forward to today and with a move towards a digital age and online networking we've heard people say business cards are becoming obsolete, however we don't agree. If you go networking or meet a lot of people day to day, you'll know how hard it is to remember everybody's names/faces/business proposition, so a well designed business card takes your brand, takes your business proposition, takes your personality even and puts it on a little card that people take away with them, to remind them of you at a later date.

Saying all that, we see so many boring unoriginal business cards, that don't tell us or remind us of anything about the person's business. So here's our top tips for making a business card that isn't boring, but pretty damn cool:

1. Use Colour - It is not essential for business cards to be plain white with your logo in the top right corner. Do you have a pile of business cards in your office? Look through them now, and we bet the most colourful one stands out instantly. That could be you! Stick to your brand colour however, as this will help build the brand identity.

2. Say what you do - this seems like an obvious one, but we see so many business cards with just a logo and contact details on. Please remember to include something on your cards that says what you do. Even better, something that says the problems you solve, and why you are awesome at what you do. Another pet hate of ours is seeing "(so and so) business solutions" on a card - that doesn't tell us anything, what are your solutions and to what problem!? Be specific and clear in your message.

3. Your business card is NOT a flyer - point 2 is important, however please do not try to cram as much information on your business card as possible, it will look messy and unappealing, and ultimately confusing. Stick to a main message.

4. Get them printed professionally - home made business cards are not a good look, so please don't go there. You want at least 400gsm card with a finish (we prefer matt lamination). Don't be tempted to order online for pennies either - they won't be good quality and detrimental to your brand. You can get 500 good quality cards printed for less than £30 so don't compromise

5. Shapes and Sizes - lots of printers offer bespoke shapes and sizes to make your business cards really stand out, however you need to be careful. You want a business card that can easily be put in people's pockets/wallets/purses, as well be stored in a sensible way with other business cards. If it doesn't do the above it will likely end up in the bin! If you get a bespoke shape, have it cut out of a regular business card shape to avoid this problem.

6. Think about your customer - who is your customer, and what do they want to see? If you sell to the average Joe, you don't want your business card filled with industry specific jargon. If you are in a specialist industry selling to specialists, then include something about your specialism. Thinking about it from a consumer's point of view will help decide what gets included and what doesn't.

7. Think about your brand - do you know what your brand is? If not then address this before you start thinking about business cards. However, if you do know then make sure you put into your business card something that says what your brand is. A talented graphic designer will be able to do this without using any words, which is why we would always suggest getting your cards designed professionally.

Make them awesome, make them memorable, make them special, and remember to make them very YOU!

Article by Andrew and Pete.

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