7 Cringeworthy Business Card Mistakes

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In this day and age it’s not uncommon to hear bold statements such as “The business card is dead, it’s all about wireless vCard” or “I’ll email my contact details over after the conference”.

The truth is business cards are as prominent as ever, especially with the ever advancing methods that printing allows, such as: unusual shapes, textures, thicknesses, and sizes.

Business cards provide a platform to express your workmanship and creativity, allowing you to nudge aside the tech obsessed that are trying to bump their phones together to exchange details. You can attract the attention of potential clients or partners with a compact and handy card. What do you think is going to make more of an impact, an electronic vCard you forget about the moment you receive it, or a sturdy and beautifully designed business card?

We have compiled a list of common mistakes people make when designing their business cards, which will help you to create a compelling business card design.

1. Low Quality Images and Graphics

Nothing ruins a business card design more than blurry or pixelated images. You wouldn’t put one on your website, so why make an exception for your business card. Remember that just because something looks good on your screen, doesn’t mean it will print fine.

A good guide if you are using photographs is to make sure that they are at least 300dpi. Also, if you are using a logo ensure that it is vector based. Vector files will easily scale up (or down) without any loss of quality.

2. Cheap Quality Card

Think about what your card “says” as you hand it over. Is it strong, sturdy and solid or is it weak and flimsy like a limp handshake? Nearly all online printers offer free sample packs these days, so request one and try them out!

3. Poor Grammar

Be sure to check the spelling and grammar of your business card numerous times. Triple-check to make sure that all your contact information is correct. You will be kicking yourself after receiving a batch of 500 business cards and realizing you missed a full stop on your email address, or a digit in your phone number.

4. Unusual Shapes/Sizes

Be careful when choosing unusual shapes and sizes. If done correctly they can turn out great – ensuring your card (and you) get remembered. But, if your business card doesn’t fit in a client’s pocket, wallet or purse, the only place it’s getting stored is in the bin (or maybe even a dumpster!).

5. Don’t use plain white designs (people write on them)

Be cautious when designing a mostly white or plain business card, and don’t be too offended if it is used as a piece of scrap paper for scribbling notes or other people’s phone numbers. If you want your card to be all about you, make sure it’s a quality piece of engineering, and not another sticky note.

6. Don’t Clutter Your Card

Be sure to only include important information on your card. Your client should be able to find your email or phone number at a quick glance – you don’t want to hide your details so they can’t call.

7. Be Careful Using Your Own Picture!

Lastly, be careful using your own picture on your business card. It can be cheesy and dated, but it can also be rather brilliant. One easy way to determine if adding a photo is a good idea is by taking a look at your card and asking yourself “what do I think about this person?” or “would I keep this?”.

Do you have any strong dislikes when it comes to business cards? Ever make an embarrassing mistake while getting a set printed? Get involved by posting in the comments.

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