Four Business Card Blunders

When calling cards first appeared in France during the 17th-century reign of Louis XIV, they were used as symbols of aristocratic position. The higher the position in court or society, the more impressive the calling card, and the more sophisticated the rules governing their use.

Four hundred years later, calling cards are no longer a luxury reserved for royalty, but a business necessity whose roles and rules shift based on culture and fashion. But one thing remains constant: the psychological impact of visual appeal and readability.

Four Business Card Blunders that Lower your Credibility:

  1. No Physical Address. One of the blessings of technology is that we can live and work anywhere in the world… but people are skittish about doing business with someone they can’t physically track down. A post office box is better than no address, and will add a subconscious level of credibility to your business.
  2. Huge Graphics and Tiny Print. Your name and contact information should be the focal elements of your card. If your logo dominates the space and forces a small type size to fit the text in, your card will end up in the trash. Most people don’t carry magnifying glasses.
  3. Single-Sided Printing. You’re paying for the paper, and the back side of your card is valuable real estate. Use it for a larger display of your logo, website address, or specific information on your company.
  4. Obvious DIY Job. No matter how hard you try, a homemade business card can’t compete with professional design and commercial printing.  Invest in a professional design that will support your company image for five to seven years, and a quality paper.

In the 17th century, people kept calling cards as proof that an influential person had come to visit. They were, in a sense, as much a symbol of the recipient’s social standing as they were of the caller’s status. We’re a bit less formal with them now, given the low cost of producing cards and the mountains of them we collect each year. But the questions still remain: What is the psychological significance of your business card? Do people have reason to keep it? Does it serve you in furthering your business image?

If not, perhaps you should give us a call.