Designing your Business Cards Using Photos, Logos and Graphics

By: Sophie Charalambous

Designing your card starts with who your prospects are and what image your company wants to portray them. Designing a unique card is not a bad idea; it will help you stand out of the crowd. At the same time, you have to be sure that your unique card will be acceptable in your industry.

Before you start designing, you have to decide what are the elements that will make your card unique and successful. Would these elements be photos, colors, illustrations, variety of fonts, your logo, or a combination of the above?

All the above elements have their advantages as well as disadvantages as outlined below.

Using stock photos: It is a good idea to use a stock photo that is related to your industry rather than experimenting with photos you have taken (unless you are photographer). You will be able to get really good quality images and your business cards will look more professional. The disadvantages of using stock photos of specific items such as clothing, people, etc, the customer will associate them with your products or your team and might feel misinformed if the customer specifically inquiries about them. Remember, the objective of your business card is to portray your company and its products.

Using your picture photo: If you are in the real estate or insurance industries, it is very common to have personal pictures included on the business cards. Whether you want to use one or not it's up to you, but it is not recommended to do so in industries that this practive is not common. The advantages of using a photo on a business card, is making it easy for your customers to recognize you. A lot of people have good visual memory and if they come across you and some of your competitors, the picture will help them remember you more than your name. The disadvantages of using pictures on the business cards, especially on those cards that will be mailed out not handed out after a meeting, is that the recipient might judge, or already form an opinion on you and your service simply by the way you look instead of what you have to offer. This could be good or bad, depending what the opinion that customer have formed.

Using Graphics/Clip Art: This can be the perfect way to find an image that portrays your company or service. These types of graphics are also a good alternative to the logo if you do not have one; however, it is recommended that you do. The disadvantage is overdoing it and will make your card look very unprofessional.

Using your logo: There are really not disadvantages using your logo and it highly recommended that you always use your logo. Make sure that your logo size is proportional with the rest of the information. Including a really large logo will not make your card more effective.

Selecting your colors: The main advantage of using colorful card is that they can easily stand out of the rest, especially in a Rolodex setting. Colors also portray messages and you can use color to portray professionalism, creativity, or emphasize your message. Do not simply choose a color because you like it or if it looks good, but look deeper into the meaning of colors. Here are some examples:

Blue

* Sky
* Sea
* Water
* Religious feeling
* Peace
* Faith
* Stability
* Melancholy
* Trust
* Loyalty
* Wisdom
* Tranquility
* Integrity

Red

* Fire
* Love
* Passion
* Energy
* Revolution
* Anger
* Power
* Debt
* Danger
* Heat
* Warning

Green

* Money
* Growth
* Environmentally friendly
* Fertility
* Envy
* Spring
* Freshness
* Stability
* Loyal
* Healing

Yellow

* Energy
* Sun
* Happiness
* Cheery
* Creativity

Orange

* Joy
* Sunshine
* Creativity
* Determination
* Success
* Encouragement
* Energy
* Autumn
* Construction

Purple

* Royalty
* Power
* Nobility
* Luxury
* Spirituality

Brown

* Conservative
* Stable
* Outdoors
* Fall
* Earth
* Organic

The bottom line is that you can be different; your business card and consequently you can stand out without crossing the line to being tasteless or not taken seriously.

Choose graphics that will stand out to first get the card in the rolodex, and once there to be easily stand out of the crowd and remind of your service.

Create a catchy phrase that summarizes your business so that it will remind those looking your card.

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