A bad business card is worse than no business card. Despite technological advancements, business cards are still irreplaceable. The business card represents your company’s brand and is the first exposure to the overall image of the business. Having a well-designed business card with impressive print finishes suggests the quality of products or services. According to a study, 72% of people judge a company or person based on the quality of their business card and 39% of people would choose not to do business with someone if they had a “cheap looking” business card. Trust us, you do not want your business associated with cheap and a memorable business card does a lot more than just pass on an email address or phone number.
Specialty business cards offer a great first impression but also act as a great icebreaker. A unique business card can actually fuel the conversation even further. A great example of this are the Seed Business Cards we outsourced for our good friend Billy Brown at Eat, Learn, Grow. Billy specializes in Veggie Garden/Foodscape installation and Management. He also offers workshops and holistic lifestyle consulting. While we could have printed on a Kraft or recycled paper for his business cards, we took it a step further by sourcing seed paper material that his potential customers can plant in their gardens or a planter at a later date to grow a variety of wildflowers. The idea of seed paper business cards sit well with his audience because they can repurpose his card and witness the results from their efforts. This creates a lot of trust between him and the customer since they can see the results first hand.
Not every customer needs their business card to grow wildflowers but what they do need is to stand out from the rest. Corry Ticknor from Epic Luxury Vacations wanted something stylish to promote her luxury travel business. She was first interested in foil but pink foil is not a standard colour that could be offered with foil stamping. We ended up recommending a printing technique called Akuafoil as her brand is in Magenta (hot pink) and with this technique the pink would be bright metallic and would catch the eye instantly. In addition to the Akuafoil, we printed a portion of her logo in Spot UV. This allowed for a striking and luxurious affect that was sure to impress customers wanting the vacation of their dreams.
On the same note, business card customs around the world and good business etiquette involves the presentation of your business card. In Japan, clients will judge the paper quality which implies how efficiently you run your business and conduct yourself. You should always carry your cards in a professional manor, never in your pocket, but in a card holder. This is drastically different from our exchanges here, where even writing your personal cell within the empty space of a card makes your potential client feel appreciated.
The point of the matter is that business cards are still highly regarded, even when there has been an increase in virtual meetings. They have retained their significance by establishing a warm personal relationship with clients. Once you digitally hand out your contact information, it is likely that the connection will end there, unlike a unique business card that can be easily filed as it is easily shared amongst others for a referral. Creative business cards also get shared more often which continues your own marketing reach beyond the initial exchange. If a customer likes your design, they will show it to others for its quality and uniqueness which in the end creates more referrals for you.
Julian Langiano from Royal Lepage went with these striking painted edge business cards that are ultra-thick and sturdy, great for passing around and to keep on hand for future referrals. It’s also a nice feature that the ultra-thickness implies that Julian is a capable and reliable agent.
Shannon Hunter from Royal Lepage Signature Realty and Sheila Haidon from KW Realty Experience went with 16PT Silk laminated cards with silver foil. These cards have a high end feel with a silky finish that is laminated on both sides. The silver foil contrasts nicely on a vibrant background that emulates professionalism and experience in the real estate industry.
Business cards are the marketing tool to create trust, establish brand, and convey a message to the potential customers. If you want to create better leads and entice potential clients but don’t know where to start – you should look into upgrading your business card!
Here are a few types of printing and finishing processes that can help you!
Silky smooth to the touch with a matte appearance, Silk cards are laminated on both sides giving them a supple texture and added durability. Long lasting water and tear resistant, they bring sophistication to your business card. This business card stock is mostly offered with Foil Stamping and Spot UV and are thicker than your normal business card stock. Silk cards are also your most affordable if you want to upgrade your cards appearance.
Suede Business Cards
Business cards with a velvety finish – they have a tactile feel that results in a truly unique experience for those who receive them. It is possible to add Spot UV/Raised Spot UV for the extra wow factor. While they may feel thicker than silk business cards, the tactile feel does not make the card visually appear thicker and the suede lamination does not impact readability or clarity.
Spot UV (Also referred as Spot Gloss or Spot Varnish)
The “Spot” part refers to the ability to apply this technique to only parts of the page if desired; “UV” portion refers to using UV light for curing a varnish placed on the printed material.
Spot UV is very versatile, has great visual impact and is one of the more affordable finishes for business cards or print material. It is not necessarily a printing technique but rather a method for coating printed products. This process works best on coloured papers/printed colour products to enhance the shine, protect the colour and to keep moisture out. Spot UV is also environmentally friendly because little or no varnish becomes a gas that can escape into the open air.
Graphic Designers can create interesting patters or designs for a decorative affect or use Spot UV to highlight the logo on your business card. There is an additional option to have Raised Spot UV where there is a clear height difference between the surface of the card and varnish. Not only can you spot the varnish, but it can be felt.
Foil stamping is a special printing process that uses metal dies, heat, pressure and foil film. Prominent foil colours are gold, rose gold, silver and copper but are also available in black foil, blue and red.
The process involves the application of foil to paper by a heated die that is then stamped onto the surface – each colour must be applied separately and would create multiple press runs to create the final design. Most printers only offer 1-colour foil per order to keep costs down. Foil stamping can also be combined with embossing to create a more striking 3D affect however at a more economical price point, raised foil has a similar affect and can be achieved at the same time as stamping the foil.
Generally fine lines and small text can be foil stamped but there are some limits. To yield better results it is best not to get too intricate with the design as it will be harder to replicate or have the foil stick in small areas. As a rule, designers avoid using fine lines and small typefaces as well as making sure line spacing isn’t too narrow. Designers also should note that there may be up to 1/16th shift on the placement of the foil.
Akuafoil is a great option for designers to utilize the foil affect but with many different colours. You can turn any CMYK color into a metallic looking foil. The process uses a silver foil system that is applied under the 4-colour printing process to create an array of foil colours. It’s much simpler than foil stamping, and more affordable. It also makes your business card stand out from the crowd.
This affect works best with bright colours as the darker the CMYK colour, the less vibrant the foil turns out. Designers can also use half-tones and gradient colours which make customizations endless.
In addition to Akuafoil, Spot UV is also offered in combination however cannot be applied in spots where the Akuafoil has been applied.
Painted Edge Cards
Painted edge cards offer an ultra-thick and sturdy paper stock unlike any other business card. Due to the extra thickness, this allows printers to paint the edge in a solid or metallic vibrant colour. These business cards have an uncoated stock so there is a texture to the feel that is noticeably different from the standard. These cards work great for Realtors or anyone that needs a durable card that won’t bend under pressure.
Seed Paper Cards
While these cards have a unique and very special printing process, they are novelty and a biodegradable product that is meant to be memorable. Wildflowers MAY grow from these cards, however they are not meant to be an efficient way to grow wildflowers. Printing on organic material may cause variances in print colours and details and large type is recommended as these cards feel more like material than paper. Despite the limitations of Seed paper business cards, they are valued for their environmental impact, uniqueness and are a memorable way to connect with your customer.