One of the business must-haves is a business card. We all know that once we speak of marketing, a business card could be one of the things that you need to bring with you in order to easily introduce yourself and your business. It will also easily remind your prospect clients on who you are and what you do. But a business card won’t be effective once there are some design defects on it. Well, anything can actually look wrong and be less effective once a designer fail on one aspect on it.

That is why, it is important that a designer is aware of some mistakes that he might commit while working on the design of a business card. Yes, designer’s skills are well sharpened for creating various design works but sometimes, there are things that they overlook. There are also instances that a business card is created by someone who is not really knowledgeable about the dos and don’ts in designing it. A little reminder won’t do any harm. So, we will shot you some design mistakes to avoid in creating business cards in this post.

What You Need to Know About Business Cards

Too small fonts

But before we go to the list of these common business card design mistakes, let us first do a brief review about business cards. If we talk about design, you can actually see a lot of them from Naldz Graphics’ business card inspirations. Merely looking at those designs will already give you ideas on what you can do with your own business card. Are you a designer who is already used in making business cards? Or are you a newbie who wants to do it right for a business card design? Well, whatever is your goal and whoever you are, it is always a must to get hold of the important things one needs to know about a business card.

The contents is one thing that you need to be aware of. A business card should have the name of the person, company name, company logo, contact numbers, address, email address, website and tagline. A tagline seemingly offers a promise about your business. It is like getting a client’s trust with a full assurance from you that you will be able to deliver a service or product with high quality. All the rest are a must for a business card because the primary reason of having one is to let the clients know where and how to reach you. You can also include links to your social media accounts but make sure that it will not look crowded.

Size of business card also matters. There are card holders that most business people own. They will keep business cards from different people in that. If your card is not the right size, then it would not be inserted to that transparent plastic thingy and there is a greater chance that it will be dumped, misplaced or forgotten. You will not like that to happen.

So, what else are important to take note of? It is also necessary to remember not to do some business card design bloopers. This article is about it anyway. Scroll down and take a look at the list we have below. But before you do that, why don’t you get your business card, lay it on the table and try to check the points we will be mentioning if you have committed such mistake in your own business card. Are you ready?

Business Card Design Bloopers

You will not like to waste money and effort for a business card. You will also not like it if your business’s brand and reputation will be compromised. So, make sure that your business card is effective and professional by avoiding these mistakes:

1. Too small fonts.
Is everything in your business card readable? Or you might need to hand out a magnifying glass with it? Your card will fail if your text are too small. Not all people have a perfect 20-20 vision and even if they have that perfect vision, they won’t bother trying that hard just to read what you have printed on your card. Yes, you could place more information on a business card but what is it for if nobody would read it? Make sure that your fonts are no smaller than 7-8 point.

2. Poor color usage.
Colors are always important. It could help you come up with a design that is more effective and attractive. Colors also affect readability. Observe contrast. Avoid using gray print on a white card for it makes the letters less readable and less attractive. You can play with colors but do not overdo it. Color overload will look busy and will distract those seeing it.

3. Not consistent branding.
You have a website, a logo and other things included in your branding. Your business card has to look coherent with them. If you adopted a certain motif, then do that for your business card too. There is a great value in integrating your brand in a business card design. This will create a stronger brand and will also make it easier for your clients to recognize your business. You have to remember that your business card is actually part of your branding especially that it is your representation once you have handed it to someone.

Failure to include email address and website

4. Failure to include email address and website.
Some people still miss this part and would stick on the old manner of merely placing phone numbers. You can do more business once you have your email address because most people will prefer to send you an email instead of calling you. They would also be interested to know more about your site. Hence, you have to include a link so they can head over your website.

5. Poor paper quality.
It is not just the print that matters. But the paper where information is printed on is also included in the checklist. Try to feel your business card’s paper. Is it thin and cheap? If it is, then you are sending out a bad brand to the people. You are wrong if you think that the paper is not counted in terms of branding because it does. Once the business card lands on your client’s palm, they could already tell if you are willing to give your all for a business contract merely through the feel of the paper you are using. So do not use cheap paper. Go for something more professional and presentable.

6. Cluttered and crowded.
Who wants to look at clutter anyway? Well, no once does. So, in designing your card, see to it that your layout is not cluttered. Also, make sure that it is not crowded. Crowding means that you have included too much information on your card. You do not need to place all your phone numbers on it. You do not need to place the links of every social media account you have. You do not write a pitch on it. Let the card speak for itself through its design and a few text.

Oversized cards

7. Lack of marketing proposition.
What you have with you is not just a card but it is a “business” card. With the word business involved, this means that you have to maximize the use of your card in marketing and promoting your business. That is why it is good to include a tagline that will tell the people what you do and why you are a relevant choice. Doing that creates a brand promise which can make your card more interesting. Your card then functions as an advertising tool and could help you get clients.

8. Oversized cards.
We have mentioned about business card size above. There are people who create oversized cards in order to include more information in it or just to make it look unique. But business cards like this won’t fit in the wallet and it would be hard to keep. Bear in mind that there are so many people who would give someone a business card. Once yours will not fit in the wallet or the business card holder, they will dump it since they feel that it is cumbersome. So, why don’t you just stick to the standard size?

9. Unused back part of card.
You can always use the back portion of your card. Put all the other information on the back. You can even place your tagline on that part and put that side up when handing it to someone. This will make the receiver look into your brand promise on first glance. Aside from that, you can also place other information on the back like a link to your Facebook or website or just anything that matters for a business card.

Oversized cards

10. Unrecognized business.
Your business card has to tell the people about what your business really is. So, make sure that one look at it will make them recognize the kind of business you are doing. This is a common mistake because others just look into the colors and other elements and do not think of business recognition. Avoid creating mystery cards because clients do not have time to unravel mysteries. Let your cards tell them what your business is on the first glance. You can do this by adding a visible logo or by using other creative ways like using a lovely photo if you are into photography.

11. Bland and unremarkable design.
Getting a business card that looks plain and unattractive would just be a waste of paper and ink. You will merely blend in with all the others without leaving a distinct mark on your card. When you have your card designed or when you work with your own card, do not just focus on the look and on the information on it. Think how you will make it unique and how it can convey the message about your business. Let it elaborate your pitch merely through its design. Make it a point that the receiver will feel great upon getting your business card.

12. Undistributed cards.
This last entry is not about design but this is important because all your efforts will be put to none if your business cards are merely sitting on a box, left undistributed. Give out those cards! Do not hesitate to flaunt your business. One advantage of having a well-designed card is that you will always be excited to distribute your card. You seemingly want to brag about how visually appealing your card is and expose your business at the same time.

So, how was your business card assessment? Did you pass? Or did you commit some of the bloopers above? Well, if you did, it is time to redo the design of your card. When doing that, always go back the purpose on why you are making one. Make the most of your business card. You do not want to waste paper and ink just because you created a bad design. Once you fail with the design, you and your card will be soon forgotten and you will lose your prospect clients.

More Business Card Design Tips

You can work better on your business card with more design tips. You can check on the articles below if you need more guides in designing one.

1. 10 Tips in Designing Effective Business Cards. Don’t waste your efforts in designing a business card. Take note of some tips that will help you design a professional and effective business card.

2. Vital Contents of a Business Card. What are the important things to be included in a business card? Check out this post so you will know what these are.

3. How to Choose the Right Colors for Business Card Design. Colors are important to draw the eyes of the receiver of your card into the important contents of it. Don’t fail with color combinations. Read on this post to know more about colors in business cards.

4. Tips in Using Type for Business Card Design for Easy Reading. Aside from colors, font and type is also important for your business card’s information will be relayed through it. Learn how to make use of type well.

5. 10 Reasons Why Business Card Size Matters. Business card size is significant. Read ten reasons why it really matters.

A business card is important for your business but if it has unreadable types, missed contact information and is poorly designed, your card will be pointless. So, avoid the above mentioned mistakes and let your business card work well for you. Do you know of other business card design mistakes? Do you think we missed something in the list above? Would you like to add some?

Kareen Liez

About the author: A Civil Engineer who has a construction business and a youth volunteer for a civic organization. She also contributes for a local newspaper due to her unwavering passion to write.


  1. AARGH! I’m slapping myself in the face! My card only says “Graphic Designer”, I should have included my Video and Audio production skills as well! I’ve also been sitting on my cards for ages! I took a corporate job, have no time to freelance, and pass out my official “Marketing Department” card the company provides these days.

    Lessons for the future I guess.

  2. It’s nice that you gave the other articles that could help the designers to be more guided in making an effective business cards.

  3. For me it’s okay to use poor color in making a business card,it’s up to the creativeness of designer..

  4. Impressive suggestion Kareen,I’ll try to share it to my friend and I hope it will effective.

  5. idea is simple but it is necesary for all of businessmen. business cards very important because they are all your brand what you want to show to partner

  6. IN my view if you want to attract local community then business card is
    effective platform and it really helps to get more lead for your
    business. Keep Posting.

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