Old-fashioned or not, creative and professionally crafted business cards are more useful in our characteristically impersonal, ad-congested Information Age than ever before. Non-targeted advertising– while growing increasingly expensive– is becoming less and less effective as the attention span of the general American public steadily shrinks. Particularly where small, private entrepreneurs endeavor to compete in mainly local markets, a sincere smile and firm handshake can do more than any catchy jingle or celebrity endorsement– for considerably less. Still, however much the soil is turned, it cannot produce in the absence of seed. To this end, the traditional business card is indispensable.
Especially for small, new businesses, reducing overhead is critical. This being so, it may not be the most wise investment to pay for the services of a graphic designer, marketing consultant, printer, and so on, if one has the wherewithal to produce their card in their own home office. The necessary means for such a project are surprisingly commonplace.
Firstly, one needs a computer, a printer, and some kind of design software. Often, a great deal of things can be done using the programs that come with our digital cameras. With some imagination, a nice design can be executed even with a bit of clip art and some tinkering with Microsoft Word. Nevertheless, anyone planning on producing fliers, brochures, web art, and other such creations might want to consider throwing a few extra bucks down for Microsoft Publisher, which will generate much better results with less effort and expertise.
From a single ream of 8.5″ x 11″ cover stock, one can easily make a few thousand cards of standard size. This might sound like a lot, but they can go quickly; if the enterprising individual wants be assured that their business card, the fruit of their labor, gets used (or even passed around), two or even three should be left with every contact. It is advisable to not cut the cards from the sheets with a scissor (it will make them look conspicuously cheap); instead, go to the local library or Kinko’s to use a decent paper cutter.
Lastly, remember that the attention your card will get can be a bad thing if it is designed poorly. Pay all necessary attention to details in the lay-out. Be communicative, but keep it simple and stick to a main theme. The overall presentation should be clever, eye-catching, and memorable; however, it will usually be best to avoid corniness. The foremost aim here is tell the public what you do and why you are the best at doing it. Treat the design of you card as an opportunity to express your competence and professionalism.