March 07 2011

Unusual or Unique Business Card Design?

Now, there is no harm in having a plain and simple business card – as long as you have a business card that sticks in peoples’ minds and gives the impression that your company is of good quality, reliable, along with being interesting.  However, if you want to stick out in your prospective clients’ mind, an unusual business card can amplify the effect on the receiver.  You are, after all, trying to show that you are different – and better – than your competitors are.

The kind of business card that engages the receiver fulfills the marketing requirements and is equally one-of-a-kind in design, style, material, format, and printing.  If your prospect keeps your card, remembers that he or she has it, and uses it later – then you have made a winner.  Why are unusual business cards better?

  • An unusual business card is noticed more quickly.  If you are unable to put a solid impression on your prospective client, a striking business card can impress him instead.
  • Unique business cards are kept. It does not matter if the receiver decides to contact you immediately or a bit later, the important part is that the receiver keeps the business card.
  • The material that your business card is printed matters because the ones printed on durable materials such as plastic or metal last a long time wherever they are kept.  They also give an impression that your company is as solid, consistent, and stable as your business card.
  • The business card material and design should match with the kind of company you run. For instance, a wood furniture company could make a card out of wood, or a software company could create a card looking like a microchip.  You get the idea. Now, what materials and design do you think an architect, engineer, environmental non-profit, landscape architect, or urban planner would use in order to stand out of the crowd?  … Global Site Plans has a few ideas up their sleeve.
  • An unusual business card can give multiple benefits, apart from marketing your business, it can be functional. For example, some business cards have a peel-and-stick backing, a magnet, a bottle-opener, mirror, or even a small comb (the last three don’t relate to the environmental design fields of architecture, engineering, environmental non-profits, landscape architecture, or urban planning, but are clever ideas).
  • The most important disadvantage of getting an unusual business card is the cost.  In comparison to a simpler and traditional business card, the cost increases significantly.  Your cost could double for business card stickers, and even quadruple for metallic, wooden, or plastic cards.  Cost can also be affected in regards to re-printing, when you hire a new employee or if your company contact information changes.
  • Today, many individuals and companies are switching from traditional business card albums or holders, to a business card scanner, which can upload all your contact information into a computer database within seconds. With this in mind, you should also consider your design; will it be readable to the scanner? In addition, if your business card recipient is still using the traditional business card album, does your business card fit in the traditional sized folder – or vice versa – will it get lost because it is so small?
  • On some materials, it will be difficult to read your contact information. Beware. While you want your design to stand out, the point is to get your contact information out.  Be original, but readable.

What do you want your company business card to say about your company – and you?

Renée van Staveren

Renée van Staveren is the Founder of Global Site Plans. She holds a M.S. in Urban and Regional Planning from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. She also holds a B.S. in Sustainable Community Development from Prescott College. Prior to establishing Global Site Plans and The Grid, Renée van Staveren was an Assistant Planner for A-M-M-A Transit Planning and the Program Director for Planet Green. In June 2014 Renée moved from Istanbul, Turkey, where she'd lived for four years, to return to the beautiful city of San Francisco. She is now a Manager at the Urban Land Institute's San Francisco District Council. You can find her at one of their many events, so pop in and say hello.

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This entry was posted on Monday, March 7th, 2011 at 6:51 pm and is filed under Architecture, Branding, Engineering, Environmental Design, Environmental Non-Profit, Landscape Architecture, Urban Planning and Design. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


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