How to Design Your Business Cards at Home

9 12 2008

Printed business cards are an indispensable tool for businesses of all sizes – including home-based businesses. No matter how big or small, business cards are simply a must for every businessperson. Even if you have only the most basic word processing software, you can design business cards at home. So roll up your sleeves –  even if they’re just your pajama sleeves – and lets look at how to get a business card design put together.

Get your information
First of all, get your information together. This may seem obvious, but there are some considerations to be made. You may decide to use a P.O. Box instead of your home mailing address. Maybe you have a cell phone and a land line and a fax line. If you have a few employees, you may need to pull all of their phone lines, email addresses and other contact information together. Are you really sure you know how to spell their last names? Take a few minutes to be sure.

What do your customers expect?
Next, make sure you put a card together that meets your customer’s expectations. It’s just a business card, right? Yes, but your card could be your first and last impression. It’s worth taking the time to think through what your customers need and expect.

Are you a professional in an industry that expects a classic design on premium paper? Don’t hand out glossy business cards with a big picture of yourself across the front as this could give your customers the wrong impression. On the other hand, if your industry normally includes pictures, coupons, and other information on business cards, then include those on yours as well. The key here is to know what your customers are looking for and to deliver it.

Layout considerations
Your business card does not have to be the stereotypical horizontal 2” x 3” design. Consider pushing the envelope a bit by using a vertical design. Just put your logo on the top and your contact information on the bottom. Most word processing software will give you the ability to rotate text.

If you are using Microsoft’s Word, use a Table to separate your content. Alternatively, you can use a Text Box so you can freely move your text and pictures around.

Templates
Once you have some ideas together, you may want to consider using a template. Your favorite print place should be able to supply you with templates on their website or via email. Templates will help you align the information on your document properly. This is important as you hope to receive a business card the way you designed it. You can either use a template at the end of your home business card design project or start off with a template with a design you already like. Either way you go, you will likely want to use a template at some point just to make sure you get all your information in the right spot.

Final thoughts
Home business card design can be tough, but if you have the right information, an appropriate layout, and use templates to set the business card up correctly, you can’t go wrong. As you can see, it does not take fancy software to get professional results. But it is worth taking the time to think through what your customers expect.

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