5 Common Business Card Mistakes

businesscardmistakesOK, show me your wallet. Hmmm. Money, family pics, credit cards, driver’s license. Got business cards? Of course you do. A business card is such a little thing, almost insignificant—but more important than you might think.

I go to a lot of events and I’ve collected a lot of business cards. I like to keep them instead of scanning them in to a database because I’m a visual person. I love the creativity, the graphics and the individuality of some peoples’ cards. A distinctive card helps me remember you.

But I get a lot of cards that are a mystery weeks or months later because I’ve forgotten who was connected to that card. As a professional designer, I did some thinking on this, and came up with some tips.

Of course your business card should introduce you and help create a good impression. But more than that, it should help people remember you, your organization, and your brand.

Are your cards putting your best foot forward? Here are some business card mistakes to avoid:

1.  Too much information.
Resist the desire to make your card a tiny brochure. The card’s purpose is to introduce you and leave a tantalizing impression, not say it all. Let them check out your website and meet you later for all the details.

2.  Not enough information.
If your company name is “Smith and Associates” your contact may wonder what you do when they look at your card later. Use one simple phrase to state your organization’s product or purpose: “Acme, Inc. – Providing Complete Accounting Solutions.” A short bullet list works too.

3.  Outdated information.
Don’t go to a business meeting with the wrong information on your cards or correct your cards with hand-lettered additions. It suggests you might let other details slide as well. Better to take the card of a new acquaintance and contact them later. Then order some great new cards for yourself.

4. No way to add information.
I’m often thwarted from adding a quick note to a card because of the card’s slick coating. Neither pencil nor pen works! Ask your printer for uncoated stock or a matte coating that allows you to write on it.

5.  Information that’s hard to see.
Don’t bury your message under artsy stuff. Make it easy for people: avoid positioning a name sideways when all the other information is vertical; don’t put text over a busy, decorative background or use unreadable ornate type. Keep it simple, and keep in mind that your card should be the best possible introduction to you—and your brand.