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What Information Should Go On a Business Card?

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Business Card sample
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Question: What Information Should Go On a Business Card?
Business cards serve many purposes but their primary purpose is to tell what you do and give the recipient a way to contact you. Don't leave off the information the recipient needs most.
Answer: At the very least a name and contact method (address or phone number) should go into a business card design. As for where to put this information, there are hundreds of possible arrangements, but there are a few commonly accepted guidelines for where to place the most essential information. When in doubt or when there is little time to experiment, follow these guidelines for creating a basic, serviceable, and effective business card.

Minimum Information for a Business Card

Other information is optional but as a minimum the business card design should usually contain:
  • Individual's Name and/or Business Name
  • Individual's Title or some other descriptive text to indicate what the person does if it's not obvious from the business name
  • A way (preferrably multiple ways) to contact the person — could be phone, fax, email, web page, mailing address, street address, etc.

It is not necessary to include a complete listing of services or products on the business card. Keep it to the essentials. Use brochures and personal interviews to disclose the full range of services or products offered.

  • Orientation
    Horizontal layouts are the most typical, most widely used format for business cards.

  • Name
    Whether using a horizontal or vertical arrangement, the person's name or the business name are usually the most prominent text item on the card. It is usually placed in the center or upper half of the card and emphasized with a larger or bolder font.

  • Contact
    Contact information is usually placed in the lower half of the card (left, right, or centered). The preferred method of contact (such as phone number or email) is often emphasized with a larger size, bolder font, or more prominent placement.

  • Mini-Ad Layout
    Business card layouts frequently mimic the common and successful Ogilvy ad layout formula that places the visual (logo) at the top or upper left of the card followed by the headline (name) with the signature (contact information) in the lower right.

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