FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

How do I put my best foot forward with a business card? Contributed by Deb Ling


Business Cards - How do I put my best foot forward?

No matter what medium you are advertising in, these rules apply. Sometimes all the potential customers sees, is your ad, business card, sign, etc, rather than your work, therefore it must represent you to the utmost. If you are at a festival with other face painters, and you all do comparable work, the consumer will only have the business card to go by 6 months later. You want yours to stand out, but with taste. 

1) White Space...

White Space is essential. When designing a business card, (or any advertising medium), find the most important fact you are promoting, and surround it with white space. If you have a graphic included, the white space can be outside the graphic, if it is a part of the main topic you are promoting.  Don’t go overboard with graphics, use them to point to a main topic, or to give the card some pizzazz, but NOT just to fill space.

EXAMPLE:

cardellen.jpg (19755 bytes)

2) Lists...

IF you have a lot of info you want to share, you can run a list to save space, i.e.:  birthdays  * school events  *  festivals * corporate * special events * picnics The list can run across the entire card in two or three lines, if that is how much you offer, or you run a vertical list down one side, or both sides. But use bullets, (i.e.: diamond) rather than commas. Graphic Design does not necessarily follow what you learned in school. Bullets catch the eye more than commas.

EXAMPLE:

card1.jpg (16384 bytes)

Gary used a good means of listing his clients, that others could call for a reference. On the back of his folded “Party Faces Inc.” card, he did use commas, however he used different colors, to break the monotony of the list. This usage of  multi colors works in this situation, but this is the exception to the rule.

EXAMPLE:
card5.jpg (42094 bytes)
3) The Type...

Use one or two fonts, maximum for your regular copy. Change the type by stretching, italics, bold, different colors. You can get use a third font in a heading, such as “About Faces” used in the card above. When proofing the layout, before printing, make sure that there are no typos, that there is spacing between words, that the card is ‘pleasing to the eye’ and easy to read. Having everything, centered, with equal amount of space between each line with nothing popping off the page, is called “shot gunning”, and makes for a bad layout. Below I have made up a card showing you what it looks like.

EXAMPLE :

cardsillie.jpg (14367 bytes)

4) Color...

Again, less is more. If you have a colored card, the print must be in a good contrast color. One that is EASY to read. You do not want to have a  lot of colors for the type, either. Use one or two colors max for the type. One color for the main body of type, and one color for the main event -so to speak - of your card information. If you want to use more colors, then separate the colors out by segments of type i.e.: headline in red, phone # in blue, list in green.. Color also is used to draw the eye... Red is a color that draws the eye more than green  Using Sweet Tomato the clown’s card as an example, there is a red outer border, with an inner blue border, and her name is in red, the border draws the eye down from the top, to where her name is written. This is a clean layout, and she used the back of the card to place all her info on.

EXAMPLE:

card6.jpg (12833 bytes)

5) Information on Card...

On a One Sided Card, only place on the card what is pertinent... If your address is not important, then omit it. Web sites, email addresses, fax numbers are good, but the main thing after your name should be your phone number for focus. (That does not mean that is the order it must go in...). But have your name or company name as the main item, then secondary should be your phone number... unless you think there is something more important than that. The phone number should be second in size also. Larger than the copy, smaller than your name. So you could have 3 sizes of your font.  Berry-Merry used two lines on the front of her card. Her name is first then her phone #. And if you look you will see they are repeated on her costume, everything else was placed on the back of the card, therefore her focus is her name and then the phone number.

EXAMPLE:

card3.jpg (7904 bytes)

Below is my card showing the three focus areas, 1) my name, 2) phone number, and 3) copy

EXAMPLE:

card7.jpg (17629 bytes)

Now if you absolutely must place everything you do on your card so as to spark ideas in your potential customers mind, consider having a folded card, or a two sided card. It would cost more, but be worth it to have a memorable card with a clean layout. In that respect, Gary’s card is an excellent example. He has a two sided card, that has all the info he needs to convey to the customer, as well as facts about face painting. The facts about face painting, give the customer another reason to hold on to his card. He has offset the photos. As you look at the card, first you see the photos, then company name, then the body copy. This is a great layout, in that it forces your eye to see what you want it to see, in the order of importance. 1) The photos that show what his product can look like. 2) The Company Name. 3) His name. 4) His phone number. 5) The pertinent body copy.

EXAMPLE:

card4.jpg (45978 bytes)

His “Party Faces Inc.” card also used the same type format, causing your eye to travel. But on this card the focus is different. He wants people to read the inside, so the “Look Inside” is the third focus after the pictures and company name.

EXAMPLE:

card2.jpg (16135 bytes)

6) And finally...

If you have a web site, place the address on the card. People are more   computer oriented than ever. If they have called you for a date and are waiting for you to call them back, your voice mail can direct them to check out your web site for more information while they wait for you to call back. It is another tool of this day and age. For any questions or feedback, please email me at IAMsKlown@aol.com

Deb Ling

 

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