15 Mistakes to Avoid, While Designing a Business Card

Business Cards 15 Mistakes to Avoid, While Designing a Business Card

Business card is the representation of you and your business, apart from that it also is the most convenient and inexpensive marketing tool. If it is designed properly and displays your products or services in an unusual and advantageous way – it’s a sure way to get the attention and business of the clients you’re targeting. However, poorly designed business card is a missed opportunity of making a favorable impression. If you use unreadable fonts, boring design that blends with the rest or printing materials of the bad quality – there is a big chance that your business card will be thrown in the trash and the potential client won’t call you. Therefore, it is essential to create a business card that captures the attention and is memorable enough for the potential clients and business partners. You can design a great business card yourself by avoiding the common mistakes that people commit while designing their business cards.

1.  Pretentious Claims

Form time to time we see business cards with the statements like: “The best photographer” or “The best designer” and so on. The intention is to stress the impeccable professionalism and outstanding skills, however a business card like that may easily make an opposite impression to the intended one. No one likes a person that constantly brags. Besides, you need to let other people be the judges of your work's quality. Thus, the first mistake to avoid is unnecessary bragging.

  2. Improper Use of Unconventional Materials 

     Unconventional materials undoubtedly make a business card stand out from the rest; nevertheless, their improper use can negatively affect your image. While woodworker’s business card made out of piece of skillfully cut wood will be an advantageous marketing tool, a lawyer’s wooden card will look ridiculous. Make sure that the material you use for printing of your business card correlates with your line of business.

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3. Too Much Text

Under no circumstances must your business card look like a novel. The simpler it is – the better. No one wants to read quotations of famous people or long descriptions of your line of work. Your business card must contain only essential information, so that the potential client or business partner can easily locate your contact details, instead of wasting time on reading the entire paragraph.

4. Overly Honest Message

Even if you are in desperate need of a job at the moment and are ready to take on any project – there is no need of indicating it on your business card. If your card says that you are great at any job, it will not make you look good, it will sound desperate and people generally don’t like that. Respect yourself and people will respect you.

5. Sloppy Outlook and Lack of Effort

Sometimes people choose overly simple design of their business cards – just your name, profession and contact details. While you may imagine such card to be cool, unconventional and minimalistic – others won’t see it that way. Business cards like that scream of the lack of any effort put in their creation. This is the type of business card that will lie, forgotten on the bottom of your drawer, as no one will express the desire to take it.

6. Use of Overly Cheap Printing Materials

All of us have different budgets for the promotion of our business, which is why some people choose to create colorful and even well designed business cards, but print them of the cheapest printing materials they can find. Low-quality materials will practically guarantee that the colors of your business card will fade within a short period of time and the business card itself may even disintegrate if it gets soaked during the rain or if the person you gave it to puts it in a place with high humidity. Therefore, it is highly advisable to choose good paper for your business card, it may not be the most expensive, but it most certainly has to be durable and pleasant to the touch.

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7. Having an Oversized Business Card

If you are working in a professional environment, it is natural that your potential clients or business partners will have business card holders or business card cases, where they keep business cards of their contacts. If your business card is oversized, it simply won’t fit in a standard business card holder and will get thrown away or placed in a drawer and forgotten. To avoid this – try to keep the size of your business card within standard limits.

8. Use of Inappropriate Fonts

Some people believe that the more information you include in your business card, the better impression it makes. Unfortunately it also means that the size of the letters needs to be decreased, as a result you get a business card that can be read only with the help of a magnifying glass – people won’t bother reading about all your skills and qualifications, it will only irritate them. Apart from that, you must be very careful with the fonts you choose for your card. Unprofessional and tacky fonts like Comic Sans will make a negative impact, as your business card will not look professional or trustworthy.

9. Lack of Unique Business Proposition

Unique business proposition or complex solution is capable of attracting numerous clients, which is why if you don’t indicate it on your business card – you will miss out on the opportunity to provide an impressive reason why people should choose you and/or services or goods you provide. For example, if you provide free shipping of your products, while your competition doesn’t – make sure to indicate it on your card.

10. Poor Choice of Color Palette

Color is a powerful tool in marketing, which is why the improper use of colors can have a negative effect on the image of your company/business you are trying to create. For example, in case your business is landscape design or spa, the use of red will be a mistake because people associate spa and gardening with relaxation and tranquility, which is why the appropriate color palette here will be green. For IT companies the best choice will be combinations of grey and blue or grey and orange.

Related Article: Creative Business Cards Tips + 30 Awe-Inspiring Examples

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11. Having a Vague Business Card

Your business card must clearly indicate the line of business you’re in or your profession. If a person can’t tell from the start what is it that you do – you should definitely rethink the design of your card. Being a representation of your professional skills and services, business card must not be vague, it must carry a clear notion of the goods or services that you offer.

12. Lack of Contact Information

In the digital age we’re now, including only phone number is a sure way to miss out a substantial amount of potential clients, who prefer visiting your website or sending an e-mail, instead of calling. It is essential that your business card has your website, e-mail and Skype ID. Moreover, the contact information must be clearly seen, so that the person, whose interest you’re trying to capture won’t have to spend time, looking for it.

13. Going Overboard with Colors and Images

This mistake is most common among designers, who deem it necessary to display all their skills on a tiny space they have. The abundance of colors and graphic elements will confuse the person, looking at your business card, making it hard to find your contact information. Besides, some people prefer minimalism, which is why you should be very careful with the amount of details, when designing your business card.

14. Weird Shape of Business Card

Being creative is wonderful, going overboard with shapes – isn’t. No matter how creative is your card, if it doesn’t fit into the business card holder of your potential client or business partner, he will most likely store it somewhere and forget about it. Make sure that the unusual shape of your business card will fit into a standard compartment of a business card case.

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15. Having an Overly Fancy Business Card

As it was previously mentioned, your business card is the representation of you, which is why it must correspond to your occupation. For instance, having a black business card with elegant golden or silver text will be ridiculous if your occupation has nothing to do with fashion or entertainment. A simple, but tasteful high quality, well-designed business card will be much more appropriate if you are a manager, lawyer, physician and so on.


Never underestimate the impression your business card can make. It can attract numerous clients and boost your sales if it’s designed correctly and creatively, but it can also have negative impact if it is inconsistent with your line of business, overloaded with color and inappropriate fonts and send a wrong message, instead of clear statement of the reason why people must choose you.

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