Better business cards

The right card can unlock the relationships you need to grow and thrive.

Why waste money on a piece of paper that’s bound for someone’s trash can? Short answer: don’t. 

Who needs business cards in a digital world? Short-ish answer: everyone. 

When you have seconds to make an impression, your card communicates your value. When your business card is good, people will hold onto it, and not just because they make great bookmarks. It’s a quick reference for every reason they may want to remember you. 

White and blue nonprofit business card

YellowDog’s been printing business cards (as well as signs, mailers, stickers, brochures and just about any other printed material you can imagine) for 20 years, and we’ve seen it all. In this comprehensive guide, we’re sharing the inside scoop on what works, what doesn’t, and how you can meet your business goals with this underrated asset. In short, we’re the Denver business card printing experts. Congrats–you’ve come to the right place. 

Business card basics: What you need to know when a butt sniff won’t do

Think of the business card as a little dating profile for your business–your one shot to make a lasting impression. So, it better: 

  • look good
  • quickly communicate who you are and what you do 
  • open the door to next steps (first date, discovery call, free trial, purchase and, one day, maybe even going exclusive)

A business card is a base-level means of correspondence. Worst case, someone you just met can now get in touch to do business. But, used effectively, your card can unlock the lucrative, mutually beneficial relationships you need to grow and thrive.

A business card earns you a sense of credibility and professionalism to leave your mark on any interaction. In a digital world, print stands out. 

Ingredients of a great business card

Content: What to include on your business card

The card’s main goal is to drive business back to you. Design and distribute them with that in mind. Include only the most relevant, impactful elements.

Special offers. Provide a reason to hang onto your card and engage with your business.

Distinctive branding. Whether you want to convey a sleek, modern image or a more playful, creative vibe, your business card should align with your brand identity.

All the necessary contact info–no more and no less. Your name, title, company, and email address are givens. Only include a physical address if you want visitors. Only include a phone number if you want calls.

Relevant social links. Make it easy for people to find and follow you on their platform of choice. 

A single QR code. Combine print and digital! QR codes let you direct a new contact to the action you most want them to take.

Design: Make it pretty

Clean, simple designs tend to be more effective (think Ocean’s 11). Use ample white (negative) space to create a visually appealing, easy-to-read design. A touch of creativity or a splash of color can help your business card stand out–just use them sparingly.

Choose colors that align with your brand identity and evoke the right emotions. Consider using color psychology to convey specific messages. For example, blue can represent trust and reliability. Yellow can symbolize positivity and creativity. Splattered colors could symbolize you’re Jackson Pollock. 

Typography can convey character and quality. Serif fonts are seen as traditional and sophisticated, while sans-serif fonts give a modern, clean impression. Papyrus font means you’ve created another Avatar movie. 

Experiment with font pairings and opt for fonts that are clear and easy to read, even at smaller sizes. If you really want to get it right, hire a professional to design the perfect card. 

PSA:  Use photos with caution.

Photos are a high-risk, high-reward addition to your card. If you’re going to do it, do it right. 

DON’T:

  • Use a bathroom selfie.
  • Get your coworker to take your photo on their phone in the hallway.
  • Crop a photo of yourself from New Years Eve standing on your rich uncle’s boat.

DO: 

  • Book a professional photo shoot. (Those photos will always be useful beyond a business card application.)
  • Keep it simple–no extraneous props or distracting backgrounds.
  • Select a clear, appropriately sized, quality photo. 

Now that you’ve got the perfect design, work with a reliable printer to ensure nothing gets lost in translation. 

Business card printing

Materials matter

Paper stock is the foundation of your business card. It’s what will make your design and information pop, provide durability and enhance perceived value. Your standard meat-and-potatoes paper stock for a typical business card is 130 pound cover uncoated. This high-quality, cost-effective paper stock is the most common choice for business cards. 

Add some pizzazz

Consider alternative stocks and finishes to imbue your card with character: 

  • gloss
  • textured finishes (like eggshell or linen)
  • colored stock
  • soft touch lamination
  • spot gloss
  • UV coating (aka extra shiny) 
  • scratch and sniff (Not real. I made this up.)

Special finishes should complement your design and brand identity rather than overpower it. Use them strategically to draw attention to specific elements or create contrast. We also offer other premium additions like:

  • corner rounding
  • die cutting (i.e. cutting your card into a unique shape other than rectangle)
  • double-thick 

When you work with a print-savvy designer, they’ll even break out a few tricks to achieve these luxurious looks without breaking your budget

Make it happen

By following the essential tips outlined in this guide, you can create the perfect business cards for your brand.

Ready to step up your business card game? YellowDog is here to guide you through your design and printing journey. Email hello@yellowdogdenver.com or request a quote to get started.

Matt Hunter

Matt Hunter

Matt Hunter is a writer hailing from Memphis, TN, with an extremely useful background in television production. He can talk in length about old British cars, still builds Legos to relax, and sometimes commits to playing ice hockey as his attempt at exercise.

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