Most any business card
will have at least a name of a person or company but there are other essential and useful elements of a good business card.
"How does a person, business, or organization adequately describe themselves in a 3.5 x 2 inch space?" — Business Card Lesson Plans
- Name of Individual
Not every type of business card has to have the name of the individual but it's a nice personalized touch. In a large organization it can be beneficial to the recipient to have the name of a specific person to contact. The name of the individual or the name of the business or organization is usually the most prominent text element of a business card.
- Name of Business or Organization
A business card almost always has a business or organization name on it. The name of the individual or the name of the business or organization is usually the most prominent text element of a business card. An organization with a highly recognizable logo might de-emphasize the business name (size and/or placement) but it is usually an essential piece of information.
A physical address or a mailing address or both are typical parts of a business card. If the company does business exclusively online or by mail, a physical address might not be a key element to include. If both a physical and a mailing address are included, it may be desirable to label each one. For pros and cons of leaving off the address see Do I Need an Address on Business Cards?
- Phone Number(s)
Multiple numbers are typically listed in order of voice, fax, cell but you can omit any numbers that are not the preferred method of phone contact. Don't forget the area and/or country codes and extension, if required. Using parentheses, hyphens, periods, spaces, or other characters to separate numbers in a phone number are generally a matter of preference and custom but be consistent in whatever method is chosen. For a variety of opinions on how to format a phone number see Phone Numbers: Dots or Dashes?
- Email Address
Including an email address is an important element for Web-based businesses but other businesses or organizations might omit this form of contact unless it is one of their preferred methods of contact. Today, it's almost a requirement that there be an email address to be considered a legitimate business.
- Web Page Address
Web addresses can be listed with or without the http:// preceding the URL. As with email addresses, it is an essential element for Web-based businesses but increasingly important for any type of business.
- Job Title of Individual
Not a required element, some entrepreneurs or sole proprietors might include "President" or "CEO" or some other title to give the appearance of a larger organization.
- Tagline or Description of Business
A tagline or brief description can be useful when the business name is somewhat ambiguous or doesn't clearly convey what the business does. Taglines can also convey benefits and features.
A logo used consistently on business cards and other print / electronic materials helps to establish a company's identity.
- Graphic Image(s) (including purely decorative elements)
Small companies without a logo may choose to use generic or stock images or custom illustrations that help reinforce what the company does. Small graphic embellishments or boxes might be used to separate blocks of information.
- List of Services or Products
A long list will usually clutter up a standard size or mini business card but when using two-sided or folded desgns a bullet list of services offered or main product lines can extend the usefulness of the card.
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