First Impressions Count,
Lasting Impressions Sell!
By Karen Saunders
It's the trade show of the year, and you're poised to meet, greet
and network up a storm because the precise buyers for your product
or services are here. Business card? Check. Sales brochures? Check.
Product samples, informational literature, or other appropriate
But wait. Let's go back to item #1 - both in the list above and the
all-important first step in creating a strong, lasting and favorable
impression. In other words, what you looked like or said may not be
remembered when potential customers are back home, but your business
card will be in the pile he'll sift through to separate the wheat
from the chaff; the business she'll want to follow up on.
What's your card saying about you? Here are some of the most common
mistakes you've no doubt seen and reacted to negatively. Tossing the
card into the wastebasket is inevitable.
Paper too thin. Card is wimpy and bends or crumples in your hand or
briefcase. And screams cheap. Might be an indicator of your other
business practices and products. Pre-printed perforated cards you
run through your computer printer. More cheap impressions, plus your
card may look like dozens of others because of the limited
preprinted designs available. There's much more. Boring. Bad choice
of typeface and size. Too much or too little information. No focal
point, muddy graphics -- the list goes on.
Your business card is often the first -- and perhaps only --
impression prospective clients may see. Will it encourage them to
find out more about you and your business? Having a good logo design
and a clean layout leaves them with a favorable first impression
that you're a credible professional businessperson.
Following are 13 easy ways for you to do what the professional
designers do; insider secrets about business cards that go right to
your first impression and bottom line.
1. Create a focal point or central place that draws a reader's
2. Allow white space to help balance the layout. Don't fill up
the card with text.
3. Use a clear, strong logo that looks good when reduced in
size on your business card.
4. Use a highlight color sparingly. Make sure colored elements
highlights the one main message you want to convey.
5. Be sure the highlight color you choose is appropriate to
your business. For example, using green on a lawn care business card
would be far more appropriate than say red or orange.
6. Limit your selection of type fonts to no more than two,
which may also include their "families." For example, a font family
includes styles such as bold, italic, or bold italic versions.
7. Format text to be smaller, more compact, and more
8. Choose appropriate fonts for your business, avoiding trendy,
or overly embellished versions.
9. Avoid using all capital letters because they are more
difficult to read, and look unprofessional.
10. Use a grid to align text and objects to each other.
11. Don't use illustrations that are too detailed or delicate, as
they may look muddy when printed at a small size.
12. Stay away from amateur-looking or dated clip art (unless you
are going for the "retro" look). Find good quality resources.
13. Select a beefy cover stock for your paper. Sometimes 80#
cover is not enough. You can get a free swatch book from your
printer or paper representative. The swatch book will give you the
opportunity to examine and feel the various sheets for finish,
thickness, stiffness, opacity (translucence), and color.
Impress your clients with your cards as though your business
depended on it! Cards are small in size but huge in importance to
your business success. Start employing these design tips to ensure
your cards are doing the biggest possible job for you.
Read other articles and learn more
about Karen Saunders.
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