4 Tips for Creating the Best Business Card

Your business card can only hold so many words before it looks cluttered and is hard to read, but a picture can tell a thousand words.

Read time: minutes

Long after the trade show booths are packed up, the convention hall is vacuumed and waiting for the next industry show to come to town, what are your new contacts doing? They’re sifting through a hefty stack of business cards that could rival a phone book in its thickness.

Yes, business cards. Despite everyone hopping on board the “paper is out, digital is in” bandwagon, people still enjoy receiving business cards of people or companies they want to work with again in the future. Don’t let your contact information get lost in the shuffle of receipts and other miscellaneous papers in people’s wallets. You can make your networking cards stand out and attract the attention you know your brand deserves with these four tips:

Pictures Can Show AND Tell
Your business card can only hold so many words before it looks cluttered and is hard to read, but a picture can tell a thousand words. Use a picture or two on your business card to attract people’s attention. Think of your card as cereal box. Which ones on the shelf catch your eye? The bland colored ones blend in (not that anyone is complaining, those are the freakishly healthy ones anyways) whereas the fun sugary ones are bright and vibrant.

My advice: opt for fun and vibrant whenever you possibly can, life won’t be nearly as boring that way.

photo credit: Crazy Pixels

Don’t Be Afraid of Color
Pictures can be expensive, especially if your industry doesn’t really need a picture on your business card to attract attention. That doesn’t give you the excuse to go boring and give out something that looks like you created it in Microsoft Word on your home computer and printed out. When in doubt and in need of color, pick one color and then use all the other colors in that family (darker and lighter shades) as well as complementary colors.

My advice: for more information check out this article on color schemes  from the Quality Logo Products’ Resource Center

Show More by Saying Less

On the flip side of the spectrum, using just two colors on your business card can really say a lot too. This James Bond business card (I like to think Mr. Bond  would have something like this if he had business cards) shows off the minimalistic look that’s easy to achieve. Use the negative white space to your advantage to really make your name and information ‘pop’ and steal the show on your card. After all, that’s why you’re handing them out, right?

My advice: this type of design is perfect and ideal for “serious” professions; economists, engineers, lawyers, doctors, and those who wish they were executives.

Emboss Like a Boss

What does it mean to ‘emboss’ something? It doesn’t give any rights to anyone to boss others around, it’s when “the material (business card, wedding invitation, etc.) is fitted between two dies and a press and heat are used to squeeze the die imprint into the material. The result is a raised and exact copy of the logo or artwork. The embossed area is smooth because the heat and pressure act like an iron.” Boom. Embossing.

My advice: use this technique if you want your business card to stand out in a pile, thicker paper is required to make the impressions, so your card will be the most unique of the bunch.

BONUS: Get Your QR Code On

Quick Response codes allow you to bridge the gap between your paper business card and examples of your work that you have online (personal website, portfolio, resume, social network, etc.). All the person you deemed worthy enough to have your card has to do is scan it with a smartphone reader and they’ll be taken to whatever site you have linked to it.

My advice: Be 100% certain that the people you’re giving your cards to know this technology. There’s no point in wasting time, energy, and money creating a QR code if you have to tell people what that “black and white maze” on your business card is for.

Once you’ve got the perfect business card that’s ready to inform the world about your business, you’ll need a handy place to store them. Be sure to take a look at Quality Logo Products’ extensive business card holder selection so that you won’t have to worry about your beautiful cards getting bent or ripped.

What sort of business cards do you like to receive? Do you have any advice for people designing their first business cards? Were there any on this list that really caught your attention? Sound off in the comments below!



Amy Swanson

Amy Swanson is a part of the marketing/content department at Quality Logo Products and regularly contributes to their promotional products blog. She is a self-professed newspaper nerd, business buff, and TV enthusiast who cites 'Parks and Recreation' as one of her favorites. But don’t ask her to put in a good word with Ron Swanson – she unfortunately can’t help you there.

Reader Interactions


  1. Mandy says

    Great tips for creating business cards, Amy! I love the idea for embossing your cards – I never would’ve thought of that!

    For tip #2, I would add this: if you’re really stretched for cash, stick to black, cyan, yellow, or magenta and then go with varying shades of the color you pick. Since printers use CMYK printing, this would keep you to just one color which would keep the cost significantly lower. I’ve seen people design some great flyers with just white and cyan!

    • amy swanson says

      Thanks, Mandy 🙂

      What a great idea using one bright color if you’re strapped for cash but still want to make an impact. That idea never crossed my mind! It’s amazing how bright and eye-catching something can be and yet at the same time still being clean and simple.

      Thanks so much for stopping by!!

  2. Jill Tooley says

    Great resource on business cards, Amy! I’ve heard a lot of mixed feedback this year regarding their effectiveness, but the consensus seems to be that they’re still 100% relevant. You just have to use them correctly! Colorful ones are my favorites, although I shy away from terrible color combinations. My tip is, if you’re going to use color, then get people’s opinions on the combo before spending a ton of money to print them. You don’t want to end up with thousands of cards that are rendered useless because they make recipients’ eyes bleed!

    FYI, I also love looking at the ridiculously creative business cards out there. Some of them are INSANE. I’d keep them forever just because they’re fun. 🙂

    • amy swanson says

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Jill 🙂

      I had to laugh with your comment about avoiding color combinations that make recipients’ eyes bleed. That’s an excellent point to share. Using a red & blue color combination came to my mind first. Yes, it’s really cool and very eye-catching, but starring at that combination for more than 30 seconds always seems to result in a migraine for me. Giving people headaches isn’t the memory you want your snazzy new business card to give people.

      Thanks for the link to check out on “ridiculously creative business cards”. I’m with you, I’d keep a card like those around forever!

  3. Fatima says

    Awesome tips on business cards. I am helping one of my friends with her business cards for her new venture; will surely make use of your advise. Thanks for sharing.

    • amy swanson says

      You’re so welcome, Fatmia! I hope some of these tips helped get those creative juices flowing. Best of luck with your friend’s business cards, I hope they turn out fantastic 🙂

  4. Joy says

    I totally agree, having a nice business card to give even to stranger is one way of letting others have a glimpse of you personality. Plus, it creates a more credible impression. Thanks for sharing this awesome blog!

    • amy swanson says

      Thanks for the great feedback, Joy!

      I’m with you 100% on business cards giving a glimpse into your personality. The possibilities are endless for what you could convey to someone 🙂

  5. Emilia says

    Business cards are never passe. And I love how you incorporated creativity and professionalism to this post on making business cards without overdoing one from the other.

  6. Calra says

    Thanks for posting. These are very good tips when creating a business card. Business cards should be creative and informative. And for professioanls it should have the idea of seriousness that it should be informative and with less uneccesary designs.

  7. Sandra says

    How a business card looks may leave impression as to how your business might be , so it’s important to choose the right designs and contents when making one. Thanks for the tips. Bookmarked this!

    • amy swanson says

      Aww, thanks Sandra 🙂 You’re exactly right with understanding that business cards give an impression of your business to new and prospective clients and customers. Spending a little time designing the right look will only help you out in the long run with attract the people you want!

Leave a Reply

If you liked this, you might like...