1. Step 1: Forget Design And Focus On Purpose
  2. Step 2: Have Your Brand Manual/Style Guide Ready
  3. Step 3: Brainstorm
  4. Step 4: Sketch on Paper
  5. Step 5: Identify a Graphic Design Tool
  6. Step 6: Design Your Business Card
  7. Step 7: Finalise Your Design
  8. What Should You Avoid in Your Business Card Design?
  9. Will A Graphic Designer Be Able to Help?
  10. Final Thoughts

Business cards.

Are they really still a thing in this digital age?


In fact, business cards are still a vital tool for networking and making connections in the business world. But with so many businesses competing for attention, it's important to design a business card that stands out from the rest.

But how do you design a business card? And what elements should you include to make it memorable?

In this guide, we'll walk you through the steps of designing a business card that will leave a lasting impression on potential clients and colleagues.

Step 1: Forget Design And Focus On Purpose

Before even thinking about the design of your business card, it's important to consider its purpose.

What do you want your business card to accomplish? Do you want it to simply share contact information, or do you want it to showcase your brand?

What makes your business unique? How can you convey that through your business card design?

You cannot design a business card without a clear purpose. After all, purpose is the backbone of any great design.

Step 2: Have Your Brand Manual/Style Guide Ready

If you have a brand manual (or brand style guide), this is the perfect time to refer to it. If you don't, then it's important to set one up.

How do you create a brand manual, you may ask?

A brand manual is a document that outlines the key visual aspects of your business, such as logo, colours, fonts, and overall aesthetic. This will ensure consistency across all marketing materials, including your business card.

You can create a brand style guide by following these simple steps:

  • Define your brand's mission, vision, purpose and values.
  • Define your brand identity (a brand identity is the visual representation of your brand, including logo, colours, fonts, and imagery).
  • Set design guidelines for your brand (e.g., colour palette, font usage, image style).
  • Include examples and explanations of how to use your brand elements correctly.

Having a clear and cohesive brand manual will make the design process for your business card much smoother.

Step 3: Brainstorm

With your brand style guide in hand, it's time to brainstorm design ideas for your business card.

Think about your target audience and what would appeal to them.

For example, if your business sells organic honey, what would appeal to an individual interested in organic and sustainable products? Perhaps a minimalist design with earthy colours and a simplistic graphic of a beehive or honeycomb would be fitting.

The most important thing here is to think outside the box. Do not be afraid to go crazy during this phase.

Step 4: Sketch on Paper

Once you have a few design ideas in mind, it's time to start sketching them out. Don't worry about being an artist - these sketches are just rough drafts and will help you visualise your ideas on paper.

Sketch multiple variations of each idea, and don't be afraid to mix and match elements from different sketches.

This will help you come up with more unique and creative designs.

Step 5: Identify a Graphic Design Tool

After you have sketched out your design ideas, it's time to choose a graphic design tool to bring them to life.

There are many graphic design tools available, both free and paid, such as Canva, Adobe Photoshop, and Illustrator.

We recommend reading our blog post about 8 Graphic Design Tools to help you decide which is best.

Step 6: Design Your Business Card

Now for the fun!

Use your sketches and ideas to bring your business card design to life.

A few important elements to remember when designing your card include:

Shape - do you want to stay traditional with a rectangular design, or do you want to play around with unique shapes, such as the outlines of your logo?

Size - the size of your business card depends on standards set by your country or industry. In South Africa, the standard size of a business card is 90 x 50 millimeters. Please take into account the cut line when designing your business card.

Logo - your logo must be the most visual element on your business card. Make sure it stands out by placing it in the centre or alone on one side of the card.

Contact information - include your name, title, company name, phone number, email address and website URL. Keep this information clear and easy to read.

Slogan - if your company has a catchy slogan or tagline, consider including it on your business card for added impact and brand recognition.

Colour scheme - choose colours that represent your brand and complement each other well. Stick to a maximum of three colours to avoid overwhelming the design.

Font style - select fonts that are easy to read and reflect the tone of your brand. Avoid using too many different font styles, as it can make the card look cluttered.

White space - don't be afraid to leave white space on your business card. It helps draw attention to important elements and creates a clean, professional look.

Special finishes - embossing, letter pressing, foil stamping, and spot UV coating are all ways to add a touch of luxury to your business card. These finishes can make your card stand out and leave a lasting impression on potential clients.

Step 7: Finalise Your Design

Once you have all the elements in place, take a step back and evaluate your design. Show your design to others for feedback and make any necessary changes.

Remember, a well-designed business card can leave a lasting impression, meaning that anyone who looks at it must go, "Wow!"

If you do not get this reaction, then it's time to go back to the drawing board and make some revisions.

Once you are happy with your design, save it in a high-resolution format for printing. Make sure all the elements are aligned correctly and there are no spelling or grammar errors.

And voila!

You now have a professional and eye-catching business card ready to promote yourself and your brand.

What Should You Avoid in Your Business Card Design?

While it's important to know what elements to include in your business card design, it's equally crucial to know what to avoid.

Here are some common mistakes that you should avoid when designing your business card:

Inconsistent branding

Use the same colours, fonts, and logo as your other marketing materials for brand consistency.

Poor quality printing

Print your cards on high-quality paper with crisp printing for a professional look.

Small font size

Choose a font size that is easy to read, especially for contact information.

Personal information

Do not include personal information such as your home address or phone number on your business card.

Cluttered design

Avoid overcrowding your business card with too much text or graphics. Keep it simple and clean for easy readability.

Incompatible file formats

Make sure to save your design in a common and printable format, such as PDF or JPEG.

Will A Graphic Designer Be Able to Help?

If you are unsure about your design skills, hiring professional graphic design services is always a good idea. Graphic designers know exactly what makes a business card stand out and can help create a unique and effective design for your brand.

At Starbright, we offer personalised, high-quality graphic design services in Pretoria to help you make a lasting impression with your business card.

Contact us today, and let's design a standout business card for your brand!

Final Thoughts

So, how do you design a business card that stands out?

You design exactly what represents your brand and yourself while keeping it simple, professional, and easy to read.

With these steps in mind, you are well on your way to handing out a business card that "WOWs" potential customers!