As both part of my Professional Practice Module, and for the exhibition for the Specialist Production, I have been looking at design ideas for business cards. Most likely the cards that I will need for each event may be different so a consideration that I must take into account is cost as well as the minimum order numbers.
Before printing your new business cards you first need to design them. There are many methods of this from handmade drawings scanned in to the use of programs such as Indesign and Photoshop.
When designing your cards consider who they are intended for and their purpose. What is the message you want to get across? It needs to be clear so consider the font that you want to use carefully – serif or sans-serif font?
Once you have a design and text planned you can think about what card stock and weight you want. Does your company champion the use of ‘green’ paper? Do you want a coating/laminated effect, or embossing and foil effects?
Obviously the budget you have will be a serious implication on what you can produce so it pays to shop around if you are not making your own. Many card making companies offer a sample pack for you to get an idea of their quality and the feel of their product. These are well worth getting if you are seriously considering getting professionally printed cards. We all know that a badly printed card has the ability to put a client off – regardless of the quality of your work.
I have been undertaking some market research into the cards provided in the Instaprint sample pack to find out who prefers each type. Interestingly the women seem to prefer the thick velvet feel luxury cards but the men, generally, have opted for thinner and gloss/laminated cards. Obviously knowing your market is important even with things such as business cards! Recent packs that I have ordered whilst looking into my business card choices include:
- Moo.com – I have used this company before for both their mini cards and luxury business cards and found their website to be helpful and their turnaround to be quick and efficient with a top quality product. Not a cheap option, but a quality feel to these cards.)
- Instaprint.co.uk – I ordered a free sample pack from this company and was absolutely amazed to find it delivered the very next day! They provided me with a sample of leaflets, letterheads, compliment slips and many different styles and textures of business cards. Quality products and although they are not cheap they are defiantly a top contender in my search for a producer.
- Awesomemerchandise.com – Having been recommended by a fellow photographer I have just ordered a sample pack from this company that looks full of options for self promotion items. I did have to pay a £2 fee for this pack, but this seems to be reasonable considering the postage is free! Looking forward to seeing what they have to offer me.
- Vistaprint.co.uk – I have ordered from this company many years ago and at the time I was happy with the cards (that I used as appointment cards). Now, having almost completed a BA in Applied Media, I know that they are not my producer of choice. They are, however, very good for a cheap product that can be personalised at a small cost (although if you are not careful costs can creep up to rival the more expensive cards). In my personal opinion most people with some printing/design experience could make their own cards at this level with a printer and a sharp cutter, although in fairness to the company, it has been some time since I used them and their website shows new and improved textures and choices. Sadly I could not find a sample pack link in their site to try them.
- Plasmadesign.co.uk – Really liked the look of this site, based in Southampton (UK), this company offer a variety of different cards, including plastic cards and metal cards. I really like the look of the mini metal cards and the transparent/plastic cards on the website and it will be interesting to see how they feel in the hand. Sample pack (free) has been ordered and I am waiting to see what they are like.
Links to other help on making your cards look professional and eye catching:
Instaprint.co.uk have an interesting article on their blog about the pitfalls of printing which makes useful reading as well as some advice on branding yourself. These can be found at:
and Awesome Merchandise have an article on their blog with exciting ideas for self promotion goods: