"Business Card Design"
Jaclyn Strain, Graphic Designer | 8-1-2016
Last week I spoke about the importance of business cards from a professional point of view so now I’d like to touch on the design and layout of them from a designer’s point of view. Whenever I personally design a business card, I first get all the information needed from the customer and ask them if they have any ideas on layout in mind. If they do I make sure to incorporate those in. If not (sometimes even if they do), I like to get a little creative.
First thing I always look at is the logo and see what inspiration I can draw from it. I’ll take the colors or styles and incorporate them into the business card. If there is no logo, I’ll ask if the customer wants me to design one for them. This may add to the cost for the first run, but then they also have a logo they can use on any future projects. For instance, I had a customer that had a basic idea on the layout he wanted and described it to me. He even went so far as to sketch it.
Taking the sketch as inspiration, I drew up exactly what the customer asked for but when doing so I realized it looked a little plain and boring. My next step was to take a look at the name and what the company did. The company worked in heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC). Looking at the basic concept he gave me, I improved upon it by adding some design elements that represented an air conditioning unit and air duct. I kept the design simple and didn’t spend too much time on it so that if he didn’t like it, it wouldn’t be that big of a deal. Turns out, he really liked the design and asked me to send him the logo so they could make shirts out of it.
By just investing that additional fifteen minutes, which equates to roughly twenty dollars in design time, for the first round of business card, my customer got a design that he is very happy with. It’s appealing to the eye and at a quick glance gives you an idea of what the company does. That’s what makes the design of a business card worth the money. When I give a quote on a design, I always lean towards the higher side to give myself time to design an eye-catching piece that will bring people to your door.
On another design I had, a customer sent me a design that they were already using and said she was really not happy with it. It was too plain and boring. All their information was on there but quite frankly, it looked like something a toddler had put together. She expressed the fact that they wanted to keep the color scheme and the logo but they were completely open to new ideas. Their logo was quite simple, a couple of arrows. Taking that into account, I wanted to express movement in the card. I nestled the name of the company into the arrows with a font that conveyed movement and then put all the information underneath. To make it really pop, I used the same colors from the logo to design a border across the top and bottom of the card and overlaid a screened image to just the borders. The finished piece flowed well together and again, tells the customer at a quick glance what the company does.