Ten Common Mistakes in Business Card Design

Affinity Express designs business cards for many small businesses. If you own or work with a small business, take a hard look at your card. If you don’t want your business card to convey how competent and professional you are, feel free to make any or all of these mistakes in designing your business card.

1.  Cram too much information into your card.

Sample Business Card With Too Much Text

This card incorporates #1 and #10

Want to cram everything anyone might ever want to know about your business onto that tiny rectangle of paper? Use a small font size so you can add more text and cover as much of the surface of the card as you can. Who cares about making it easy to read? Your business card should contain everything, even if you have to provide a map to find your phone number on it.

2.  Hide the important information.

Make your logo so small only you know what it actually looks like. Make sure your name and the company name are too small to be read without a magnifying glass: after all, anyone you give your card to knows that already.  But put your fax number and physical address in large font. After all, everyone visits or faxes: no one’s going to email you, are they?

3.  Don’t bother grouping related information together.

Have your name in one corner and your job title in the other. The company name in the middle, the address in the third corner and the phone number on the fourth. Your email address? On the back of the card, with the text informing me that it’s made of recycled paper.

Business Card Sample: Clashing Colors

That hurts my eyes

4.  Use similar colors for the text and the background.

Contrast? What’s that? You like blue, so use a bright blue background and dark blue text, except for your name, which can be in light blue. Try reading that, you pesky prospect!

5.  Crowd the edge of the card.

Margins are for suckers: your business card will have text right to the edge.

6. Use as many fonts as you can.

What are all those fonts on the computer for, anyway? Show the world how creative you are!

7. Never use the back of the card.

No, don’t even consider it. That’s the sign of the devil, or something, having a Twitter handle on the back of the card. Just cram everything in the front. . . oh sorry, that’s #1.

Business Card Sample: Insufficient Contact Info

Give me more than a phone number, Joe!

8. Don’t include all your contact information.

Yeah, you have a blog and a Facebook page, but why would you put that on your business card? It’s not like you want people to find them!

9. Ignore your company colors.

Your company logo is in green and orange? So what, if your favorite color is purple go ahead and use that for all the text. Who’s the graphic designer to tell you it’s clashing? It’s your card, isn’t it?

Sample Business Card With A Clean and Effective Design

A dash of color and a clean uncluttered design: this simple card manages to avoid most of the mistakes I've outlined

10. Be bland.

Your business card reflects your personality and your business, so your boring black-on-white card makes you look just as boring as you are. What’s wrong with that? Better yet, take your sister-in-law’s card design and just swap in your contact details. Why should your business card be original anyway? Your cupcakes store can totally have the same card as her accounting business.

If you want a cool business card instead, you might want to check out some tips here. And if you want to convince yourself that your business card is important, look at this video. (But really, don’t believe them. Losers.)

About Unmana Datta
Senior Marketing Manager at Affinity Express, Unmana is an obsessive consumer of blogs and social media, and fascinated by their use in marketing.

7 Responses to Ten Common Mistakes in Business Card Design

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  6. Nice suggestion but I think the business card should match the business logo color. Maybe I am wrong but if all of your company advertisements like brochure, business cards and posters are in same color, then it will give some awesome look.

    • Kelly Glass says:

      Thanks for the comment. I agree that it is important to keep colors consistent to maintain brand identity!

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