Creating Company Branded Items: Part 3.1 – Choosing Business Cards

8 mins read

This article is part 3.1 in our series on creating company branded items and explains the process of choosing a business card that is the best fit for your company’s brand.

Business cards are a great way to promote the brand of your company, while also giving out important information. It is crucial that the chosen card reflects the company’s brand. Having a unique business card can be the difference between someone putting it in their wallet to be forgotten and never used again, throwing it out, or showing it to others because they are so impressed with the look and feel – which becomes a valuable organic marketing tool.

Let’s take a look at the different aspects involved in choosing a business card that is the best fit for your company’s brand and the impression you want to leave.

Part 1 in this series explained the differences between an online provider and a local promotional company for your branded items, and also gave some questions to consider and ask when choosing which company to go with. The same principles and tips apply when choosing between an online print company or a local print company. Keeping those options in mind for when it comes time to selecting business cards, here are other aspects to consider when deciding on business cards for your company:

Choosing the Card

Choosing the right card for your business can be a daunting task. There are many options out there for cards, and there are many things to consider such as the cost of the cards vs. the quality or “wow” factor you would like. Before getting to the design of the card, it is important to choose a shape, size, cardstock, and coating that best suits the company’s brand. We recommend acquiring sample packs of business cards from various companies, or from the company you would like them printed through. This will allow you to physically see and touch the business cards to decide which has the right look and feel for your company’s brand.

Here are common criteria of a business card to consider when choosing the right fit:

1. Shape

If you will be going with the traditional rectangular business card shape with square edges then you can skip ahead to the next criteria, however, there are many other options to choose from. Many print companies now offer custom shaped cards which can be printed in whichever shape the client would like, including incorporating the company logo right into the shape of the card! These can be great for making a statement; however, these are considered rather eccentric, and it is still important to make sure the shape is representing the company’s brand. There are also other common options such as rounded edges, square (rather than rectangular), or circular business cards.

2. Size

Size is another important factor when choosing a business card. The standard size of a business card is 3.5” x 2”, which is the card size that will fit in a wallet. Most print companies can do any size you would like, however the cost of the cards will most likely increase with custom sizing. It is also important to consider if you would like the business cards to fit in someone’s wallet, or a business card organizer, which would require using standard sizing.

3. Cardstock

The card stock is the thickness of the business cards. The most common stock used is 14pt or 16pt. While standard stock can be used to create the card, it is worth considering if the card will be memorable with the printing alone, or if using thicker stock will make the card more memorable. Thicker card stocks such as 22pt or higher tend to have a more high-quality, premium feel and are more likely to be remembered and associated with a brand or company. It is also less likely that the card will be damaged in a wallet by being folded or creased if it is thicker.

4. Coating or Material

The coating of a business card, or the material it is made of, makes all the difference in the look and feel of the card. When you are handed a business card, think of the impression you get feeling certain cards vs. others. The texture of the card is the first thing that we experience when receiving a business card and can therefore have an impact on the judgement we form of the company and the brand we are being introduced to. There are many possibilities for the coating and material of a business card, each of which has a unique feeling and message that is being portrayed. It is important to choose a card that reflects your business and its brand best. Here are some of the many different coating/material options:

      • Silk Matte – Suede-like luxurious feel
      • Textured Matte – Sandy texture with a no-shine finish
      • Spot UV – Clear, shiny, gloss coating applied to enhance the most important elements of the business card
      • Bamboo – Soft texture, off-white colour, provides a natural elegance
      • Matte – Enduring classic, sophisticated and refined, adds a layer of depth
      • Semi-Gloss – Most popular and versatile, more vibrant than matte while more subtle than super gloss, good for photographs and vibrant colours
      • Super Gloss – Impressive shine, high-end professional finish, most vibrant
      • Wooden – Unique, different grains and texture, rustic charm, natural
      • Cotton – Softest texture, elegant, delicate touch
      • Pearl – Slight sparkle, offers shimmer with a unique texture
      • Sparkle – Radiant glittery surface, glamorous look and feel

Memorable or Forgettable?

Choosing a business card that is the right fit for your company can be the difference between making it memorable or forgettable. When making the selection, it is important to consider the shape, size, cardstock, and coating or material to best represent your company’s brand and make a statement. After reading this article, it may be a good opportunity to consider your company’s business cards and ask, “If I were receiving this business card, would it be memorable or forgettable?”

Next up in this series will be Part 3.2: Choosing Information for Business Cards!

Download this resource Creating Company Branded Items: Part 3.1 – Choosing Business Cards.

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