There are many ways to design a business card. Traditionally the quadrant technique is used as a solution to small space constraints. The firm’s logo is placed flush-left in the upper left quadrant of the card. The logo is balanced by the phone number set flush right in the upper right quadrant. The street address is set flush-left along the bottom of the card in the lower left quadrant while the post office box information is set flush-right in the lower right quadrant. These four elements form a framework around the individual’s name and title, which are located in the center of the card.
Unfortunately, this layout ignores the marketing and information distribution sides of good and effective design. White space in the interior of this card quickly takes on a jumbled appearance, alienating elements and disrupting the unconscious reading flow. This start-stop, start-stop appearance is a telltale sign that the card was constructed with little regard to marketing.
A better solution is the lavish use of white space that allows each element to breathe. Arranging the type to balance the logo emphasizes the shape of the card. Free templates such as these are available at our On-Line Design Center. Good structuring of the information makes this layout functional and reflects positively on the image of the company and of the individual carrying the card.
Vertical formats also work well. They command authority and lend a modern feel to an important piece of business documentation. Once the basic card has been designed and stored as a template, it takes just a few seconds to change and update the information.
Don’t forget the backside of a business card! You can use the backside of a card for company information and reserve the front of the card for personal contact information (title, phone number, fax number, and e-mail address).
Adding full color (4 color) can also enhance a business card. You can add color accents to logos, graphics, or type. Adding one color and applying it selectively to highlight a few words or just your logo can be very effective. Color combinations can have strong effects on legibility. Avoid very light colors for small typefaces when printing color business cards.