How To Make Your Business Card Stand Out

Keep your card from hitting the trash can before the conference is over with these design tips.

The business card is the ultimate staple to your professional appearance. The power to whip out your perfectly crafted business card to new connections made everywhere from between the work cubicles to industry events is not only a boost in confidence, but takes your networking abilities to the next level.

But there are plenty of situations where the person you want to remember you has been handed over a dozen business cards—so how do you make yours stand out from the crowd?

Have a Signature Color

Have a specific color tone to your website? Love a specific color combo? As long as it doesn’t hurt the eyes, let your business card build your personal brand in a memorable way through color. The right use of color can take a simple, standard business card and upgrade it both in design and its ability to stand out from the crowd.

Plus, psychologists have found that color improves memory performance, since it adds an extra “memory tag” onto the item. Having a perfect color combo, whether that’s pairing complementary colors or a bright color on white, literally helps your business card stand out when it’s received, and when that receiver thinks back to the best business cards.

Organize, But Not in a Boring Way

We’ve all seen the standard, a quick list of information in size nine font that looks like it belongs in the depths of corporate America. With companies like Vista Print and Moo cards, you’re able to take the basic design and customize it to feature your key information beyond the normal standard. Why stuff your entire address in there in tiny font when you could fit your Twitter handle and website in an easy-to-read size?

The design and organization of your card speaks volumes, beyond just having an eye-catching card. Jaime Petkanics from The Prepary definitely feels this way. “A well-designed card with key information clearly laid out is much more important than something really creative or flashy in my opinion. I love a super fancy business card as much as the next person. But in reality, the content of your conversation while networking is going to make you stand out more than any business card can!”

Have a Catchphrase or Quote that Matches You

My business card has multiple versions of the backside, and one of them has the phrase “Do What You Love.” It speaks to what I blog about at thenenja.com. So many of us have slogans, quotes or proverbs that match what we work toward on a professional and personal level, and it’s a great way to add life to your business card without just placing your logo on the back. You can often design business cards to have multiple designs on one side, so you could have business cards that alternate your favorite phrases, have your logo, etc.

Plus, having that catchphrase will help bring your personal beliefs to life, adding a personal touch to your card beyond the best place to find you and your work. And who knows? Maybe the person you hand it to happens to also love that quote, philosopher, or idea behind what you’ve added to your card. And voila, instant connection.

This article originally appeared in Levo League and is reprinted with permission.

[Image: Flickr user Jonas Strandell]

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3 Comments

  • I’m a huge fan of business cards and always have mine handy. They are a great example of why printed materials are still relevant and still work. It’s a great opportunity to make a lasting impression and adding some personalization can really help with that. I’ve seen companies have a lot of success by adding a QR code, LinkedIn URL and Twitter handle to integrate some digital components to traditional print. I could see your idea about adding a personal quote or catchphrase on the back really taking off with some companies. It could be a good way to spark conversation with customers and build an instant connection. – Gina Testa, Xerox US Graphic Communications Operations, @GinaTesta

  • Dw Dunphy

    It's a hard line to walk. There is a reason why people have kept business cards so generic for so long, and that is because of the fear that you will be rejected on design long before you are rejected on lack of merit. The business card is a blank slate where people can insert whatever they are compelled to insert -- your professionalism, or lack thereof; your understanding of "the game," or lack thereof. A snazzy, unique card may get you kept, but it can also get you tossed.

    That division, between clever and too clever for your own good, is that line you walk. Again, that is an individual choice, but I thought there needed to be a statement as to why the status quo has been such for so long.