Think Differently When You Order Your Next Business Card

Thursday, October 2, 2014

You rarely have a second chance at making a good first impression. This is true with web-design and it’s just as true when it comes to business card design. It takes your brain only 0.013 seconds to identify images, and 0.05 seconds for someone to form an opinion.

Most business cards are plain boring and just get filed away in a box or folder or, worse still, in the bin! You might think that with all our electronic connections we don’t need a good business card, WELL THINK AGAIN.

Ask yourself these questions the next time you plan to get a new business card printed:

  1. Will my business card stand out?
  2. Will my business card create a reaction when I hand it out?
  3. Will my card stand out and help the recipient to REMEMBER ME?

Giving away your business card is often the only option you have when you meet someone at an event or something less formal, thus the need to grab the person’s attention right away and make sure they remember you when they look at your card later on is essential. So how do you stand out?

I am not going to talk about brands in this post. However, I am going to use my own card as an example of how you can make a strong personal brand stand out even more.

The brand is 'The Castle Man', which is part of a company called Celtic Castles. You may have heard of us...if you haven’t, then you probably haven't been looking for a castle experience!

We wanted this business card to stand out. We started to chat with Craig at Simprint with our ideas and discussed options. He mentioned it would be nice to follow the turret shape on our logo for Celtic Castles. Our designers got to work and created the graphics, featuring the castellation on the top.

You can see our Celtic Castles logo has a castellation across the top; this is what we used:


More by accident than design, our graphic was slightly larger than the normal card size; this turned out to be a benefit as it did not fit into normal card holding products - it had to sit out.

To get this cut out shape, the printers needed to make a dye cut; it cost a bit more to have the cut made, but was well worth the investment – it also brought both the brands closer together, plus it stood out. This is what our card looks like:


Now the question effective has this been? Remember our objective to stand out? Well, we do. Every time I hand over this card, people comment about the card and the dye cut at the top.

A couple of pointers to think about, which have worked well for us, and the brand...

  • We show an image of The Castle Man; this makes the card personal.
  • There is a clear message – “NEED HELP FINDING A CASTLE”.
  • The call to action is SPEAK TO ROGER – again very personal.

If the recipient of the card wants to connect to all our social media, this is clearly indicated on our website, if they choose to have a look. This is not detailed on the business card.

Another good tip is to use both sides of your business card. When I see cards that use only one side I think, 'what a missed opportunity'!

On the reverse we show only three contact details: email, web and our telephone number. We have also added a testimonial to show how we care about the service we offer. This has a lot of impact, and again is regularly commented on.

“We will never forget Roger, The Castle Man, of Celtic Castles – you got us started …after hearing me out on our ‘dream castle’ wish list, you absolutely nailed it by sending us to Thornbury Castle.”
Chris and Dawn Saunders, Alberta, Canada.

So what does this card do for The Castle Man?

  • It makes me and the brand stand out.
  • Every time I offer this card, I get a comment about it.
  • People who have received a card introduce people to me because the card helped to make a good first impression. It may also be for the castle stories I tell!!
  • I am remembered, therefore the brand (via the business card people refer to) is doing its work.
  • People tell me they still have my card on their desk, yet I may not have seen them for a year! It might just be because it doesn'tt fit in their card storage area!

Remember the 3 questions? I always say...have a bit of fun during the creative process, and find someone who can help you, like Simprint.

To spur on your creativity, I have collected a few of my favourite cards – you can see them on this Pinterest board.

To inspire you even more, a good friend of mine, Geoff Ramm, came across this amazing business card from a wine grower. By turning over the card you get some very unusual instructions....these fit hand and glove with his business purpose.