5 Business Card Blunders That Make You Look Unprofessional (and How to Fix Them)

5 Business Card Blunders That Make You Look Unprofessional Your business card is a critical part of your businesses marketing team.

The power this little 2 x 3 1/2 inch card wields when it lands in the hand of a client can either make or break you, your image and your business.

A perfectly executed business card design printed on the proper paper type can secure you a winning spot in the mind of your customers and clients.

On the flip side, a poorly orchestrated business card can prematurely signal the end of your business game and put you on the sidelines – maybe for good.

How can you map out the best play for an professional looking business card?

You make sure you’re business card isn’t tackled by any of these blunders.

1. Thin is Not In

What goes through your mind when you’re handed someone’s business card? Is it thick and brawny depicting strength and security or thin and dinky causing you to lose confidence in the giver?

Using a flimsy card stock not only cheapens the look of your business card, but can adversely affect your business and your image as well. All business card stock is NOT alike. Get your business cards printed on at least 80-pound (10 pt.) sturdy card stock or higher.

2. Unprofessional Font

Cute and whimsical typefaces (fonts) are perfect if you’re printing flyers for your kids’ Lemonade Stand, but not so hot for your professional business card.

If you look at the majority of business cards on the market today, you’ll notice the use of a sans-serif  font for the business name or the name of person and a serif font for the remainder of the supporting text.

The sans-serif font performs well when used as a headline because it doesn’t have the “tails” called serifs at the end of the stroke. Its appearance promotes strength, depth and boldness. Fonts such as Arial, Franklin Gothic, Helvetica, and Verdana fall into the sans-serif font category.

Interesting fact: Most websites use a sans-serif typeface (font)

The use of a sans font like Times New Roman, Book Antiqua, Century Old Style and Modern and their associated “tails” are commonly used for lengthy text printed in books, magazines and newspapers.

Tip: If the point size of the sans font you use on your business card is too small, the text on your final printed card may lose the tiny lines at the end of the letter.

With the introduction of Google Fonts, there is no shortage of fonts to choose from to select a signature font for your business card.

3. Too Tiny Text

Your business card should communicate the facts about you and your business quickly and clearly. Otherwise, what’s the point?

The only thing worse than a unreadable font is unreadable text because it’s too small. Choose the smart play and make the legibility of your font large enough to read, usually 8-9 point. Remember, not all of your business contacts will have 20/20 vision.

If in doubt, print out a sample and have your friends and family take a look. Listen to their feedback and change the font size for maximum readability.

4. Missing Information

A typical business card is outfitted with your name, business/company name, a contact phone number (including area code) and mailing address. Why not kick it up a notch by adding links to your website and social media channels?

Also, don’t forget to include your e-mail address so you’re new business clients and contacts will be able to get a hold of you.

5. Typos

Spell check is a beautiful thing but let’s be honest, all of us have made our fair share of typographical errors. There’s probably some in this very blog post. Do yourself a favor before your suit up your business card for the big game – print out a draft of your business card to have other people proofread.

Stick in the face of all of your friends and family. Post it on your Facebook wall and invite your friends to give it the good ol’ once-over.

You’ll thank yourself in the end and so will your checkbook because you won’t have to spend time and money on a reorder.

Colleen


What’s your secret for making your business card look and perform the best it can? I’d love to hear from you so share your comments below.

Colleen Conger

Colleen Conger is owner and lead pixel alchemist (graphic/web designer/photo specialist) at Digital Photo and Design, LLC. She's a self-confessed Starbucks addict, font freak and geeky tech girl. Connect with her personally on Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+. You can also follow Digital Photo and Design on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, YouTube and Dribbble.

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  1. says

    I would think the font would depend on the type of business you run. There may be a place for a more original, out-there font if the business itself is more unique or is aiming for a more unique market.

    Again, all comes back to ‘Who’s your target market?” (And Goodness, but I’m tired of hearing that Question! :D )
    Birdy Diamond lovingly created…Hematite PendantMy Profile

    • says

      Your spot on Birdy. If you are branding yourself and you are in some sort of creative field, I’d be disappointed if you used a regular ol’ serif font on a business card. And yes, even though we’ve both heard it a gazillion times, design all of your branding and marketing materials to appeal to your ideal client/target market, not to yourself. Thanks for dropping by. I appreciate ya!

  2. says

    Nice stuff, understandable !!!Thanks for sharing, I want to add one more point here for better quality is to have a print specification file must be in CMYK not RGB format.detail print specification in

    • says

      Thanks Gans. Oh yes, you’ve touched on a very important point about creating the right type of file. When I first started out in graphic design, I didn’t know the difference between CMYK, RGB or RSVP :-D Now that I’ve got some experience under my belt, I see now why it’s so important to create the right file type to get the best printed product. And thanks for commenting!