It would be easy to think that the business card, like most printed items, is on the decline, slipping away and becoming redundant with all the digital ways for us to share our details. There is no doubt that the new ways of sharing our contact information is on the rise, but with over ten billions cards printed every year, fueling a five billion dollar a year boom for the printing industry, the death of the business card seems overstated.tobias wong

We absolutely live and work in a digital age, but the business card remains one the final print items that is remaining relevant and useful, unable to be completely overtaken by the digital device. It is one of the cheapest and most effective marketing tools around. Potentially packed with high touch and personality that digital versions cannot match, it continues to make a memorable connection between you and your clients. A great design can still help your business grow and get noticed, whatever business you’re in, especially design. A business card can be as important as your website, so here are a few tips to help you get the most out of yours.

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1. The design of the card should fit the brand. Business cards are all about first impressions and when the design of the card matches the narrative of the brand, it will be memorable and entertaining. Business cards are the antitheses of digital experiences, take advantage of this difference. Use your card to tell a story.

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2. Use the principles of good graphic design. Details really matter, and make all the difference. Create a solid layout, use negative space to add clarity and simplicity, stack the information in a way that makes sense (critical information bold), avoid too many fonts (keep it clean), and use a design that fits in with your overall identity. A successful business card keeps information simple and tells the brand story in a clear, upfront and honest way.

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2. Business cards are tangible, invest in high quality printing and appropriate materials. A great card is something people want to touch, feel, play with, and keep.  A business card creates a physical connection between you and your customers, so respect that relationship. Use materials that make sense to your brand, if your company is high tech or folksy, make your card reflect that in its materials and design.

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3. Have a concept for your card, and make sure that concept taps the essential part of your brand. Do not be afraid to take a risk, be bold and inventive, and always try a new idea every time you print a new batch of cards. Be entertaining so that your prospective clients will bother to find their way back to your site, long after you met. Business cards that are creative often enjoy a second life online, as examples of excellent design, so go for it, and have fun.

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4. Think of your card as one part of a complete identity. It should compliment your website, and link to any other collateral your company uses, it should never compete with the other materials you use to tell you brand story.  They do not need to all be the same information, or even have the same look, so long as they add up to something. Let them work together.

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5. Let the card do its job. It should be memorable, clear and straightforward. Do not make it be everything, it does not need to tell every detail of your business. At its best your card will be a reminder of your initial meeting and the conversation you had at the time. The rest of your materials will fill out your complete brand story.

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Business Card Etiquette.
1. Don’t leave a stack cards for people to help themselves, hand them out personally.
2. Present your card face up, face down is bad luck.
3. Only write on a card with the giver’s permission.
4. If uncertain on the name, say the it aloud so the giver can hear you pronounce it.
5. It is rude to put cards in your pocket before the giver has left the room.

Source: Stuart Nelson of The Business Etiquette Consultancy
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