Business cards for your business

Business cards are still an important asset for your business.

  • They give you credibility.
  • They create a first impression, good or bad will depend on the card.
  • They contain valuable information such as your name, contact details and website address or url.

Organising business cards should be a simple process but like most things there is still quite a bit of shopping around and research to get the best outcome. You need to figure out:

  • Who is the best printer to use?
  • What type of paper stock should I use?
  • What design is best and what information should I include?

Who is the best printer?

I recently went through this process and I started local as I believe in supporting local businesses. I also wanted to be able to drop in and talk to an expert on the options and perhaps see some samples and get a quick quote.

Unfortunately my local experience was disappointing. One local printer had disappeared even though their website still existed. Another one clearly never expected to see any physical customers, wanting to do all of their business online. Their premises looked abandoned and unwelcoming. Another one treated me like my requirement of 250 business cards really wasn’t worth their time and told me to send them the art work and they would send me a quote online.

So I began to look further afield in fact so much so that one of the attractive options was a company in the UK! Moo Print are an innovative printing company leading the way with new ideas. One of the options is a pack of cards created from a set of different designs, great for someone wanting to show off their portfolio and a great conversation starter. Another innovative feature is their NFC(Near Field Communication) cards which look to be the future…

The cost of the postage for a normal set of business cards put me off selecting this company for my requirements this time. However if you are happy to wait 16 business days then it is not too outrageous.

Two printers stood out to me, one was Vista Print for the cheapness of their offerings, a quarter of the price that the local printer quoted. The parcel took 6 business days to arrive and although it did look a bit battered the cards were fine!

Another printer I was impressed by was The Printing Hub, they offer more choices and are a good quality high end printer. They were still cheaper than the local printer and their cards arrived cushioned by air bags in 4 business days.

What type of paper stock should I use?

Paper stock is measured in GSM, grams per square metre, which is the substance weight of the paper, relating to an area of paper that remains constant, irrespective of sheet size. Most printers supply business cards in 350GSM, so if you want to express a more up market, quality image then a higher GSM such as 420 will do this. Anything less than 350GSM will be too lightweight.

You can also select between a matt or glossy finish. The Printing Hub’s Premium Business cards have a matt laminate which gives smooth, silky finish. A high gloss finish would create a more fun, loud image.

The normal size is 90mm x 55mm but sometimes choosing a non-standard size is a way of standing out from the crowd. Most printers also give the option of rounded corners.

What design is best and what information should I include?

Moo Print give you over 500 classy designs to choose from and this is a great starting point for your card.

Use both sides and list your services on the back.

I initially thought of including a QR(Quick Response Code). If you install a QR Reader app on your phone, with one snap you can instantly include a vcard complete with all details, to your contacts. Unfortunately QR codes are quite ugly and in general seemed to have failed to take off.

Future

Moo Print offer high quality printed Business Cards, embedded with an NFC chip that triggers digital Actions. With one tap against an NFC enabled device such as a smart phone, you can display your chosen information – like your website, or online shop or downloadable app.

You can even change the Actions on your cards at any time, and as many times as you like. You can also see how many taps your cards receive, and learn how many people are interacting with your information in real time.

However if you don’t have the time OrangeLime Web Design can organise the design and printing of your business cards or other marketing material at a reasonable cost.

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