Who should have business cards

Create business card: design, trends, tips

Business Cards are of central importance in business life: They show who is facing you and what this person does professionally, i.e. what position they hold in the company. Quite a few hold them Visiting card Today, however, it is superfluous: We network on Xing or LinkedIn, are friends online on Facebook or Twitter, maintain profile pages and our own blogs including legal information ... Who needs one? Card made of paper? Far from it: the business card is far from obsolete, but it works on other levels ...

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

Why business cards remain important in business life

According to stories, the use of business cards took in France their beginning. The term is derived from the French word visit for visit.

During the lifetime of Louis XIV, a noble visitor left the landlord a playing card with his name on when he did not find him in his domicile. This started a trend. Business cards quickly became a part of good form. If you wanted to pay a visit to a noble person, you left a card with your name on the servant and registered with the house owner.

How much truth there is in this story is difficult to verify. One thing is certain, however: business cards are an indispensable part of business life today. Even more: the idea of ​​either / or (either map or online profile) leads on the wrong track. Rather, it is a As well ... as.

Even if we have ours contact details can now easily exchange information by email or smartphone, the feeling and the encounter always remain latently virtual. Quite different with a business card:

  • Personally

    It starts with the exchange: You don't send a business card - you give it face to face, always in person. The relationship and its start get a completely different closeness.

  • Haptic

    You can't touch data, but business cards can. Especially when they are made from high-quality paper or cardboard, they leave a tactile experience. This has two effects: We immediately associate positive feelings with so-called hand flatterers. Because this also stimulates several senses (sense of touch, optics, paper smell, the voice of the handover), there is a high probability that we will always remember the face for the business card. Especially when the person made such a positive first impression.

    Reading on paper feels better

    Not only that a business card made of high-quality paper expresses a certain value per se: according to studies, we instinctively appreciate haptic objects more. In addition, the “feel-good factor” is higher when reading on paper than on the screen. This is what researchers working with neurolinguist Matthias Schelensky from Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz found out.

  • Creative

    Contact data - especially when we transfer them to smartphones with standardized programs - always have the same structure, after all, they have to match the database. But that leaves you zero scope for creativity and individuality. A business card is completely different: It is something like a stage for your business, maybe even a kind of first work sample. Your design represents and visualizes you and your company, your requirements, your values. Because that's the way it is, you shouldn't be too stingy at this point. Cheap tickets always look like: “Because I have it Not am worth it. "

  • status

    And last but not least, business cards signal your own status - including the one you give yourself. In business life in particular, some card givers express their personality and their aspirations in this way.

And of course it leaves you in some circles unprofessional impressionwhen asked for your business card and directed to your online profile or website instead. The likelihood that the other person will not remember you or the link is high.

The little card is literally your figurehead. Accordingly, business cards have at least six functions:

  • Yourself known and make it accessible.
  • Yourself as expert or recommend service providers.
  • His Competencies get to the point.
  • curiosity produce.
  • professionalism radiate.
  • Reminder aid to be for a person you've met.

The challenge, however, is to use the standardized credit card format of 85 by 54 millimeters showcase…

Knigge: How to correctly hand over a business card

Ultimately, this is a Exchange ritualwhich is subject to country-specific customs. So please never take your card out of the back pocket of your suit. Nobody wants to hold something in their hands that you've been sitting on before. And don't distribute your cards like an ordinary deck of cards - that devalues ​​you and the business cards.

Important when handing over: give the business card always first to the most senior present a business meeting. Present it like something valuable - a piece of your company (or personality).

Conversely: if you also get a card - please never put it away straight away, just appreciate it. Putting the card away immediately is grossly impolite in Asia, for example. This would indicate a lack of appreciation. In Asia, instead, the business card is respectfully handed over with both hands and with the written side facing the business partner, received and appraised with approval. Quite some time.

For meetings or business appointments, the cards can be used for this length of time stay on the tableuntil the meeting ends. exception Poland: With our neighbors, business cards are traditionally only given at the end of a meeting - never directly at the negotiating table.

Tips for business card design

  • format

    You can save your cards in Portrait or landscape design, square or foldable - but if possible never exceed the local standard dimensions (85 x 54 mm). Anyone who deviates from this size will fall out of the frame: Whether wallet, Rolodex or jacket pocket - they are all designed for credit card format. Larger cards are noticeable, but are impractical and appear latently cocky to arrogant.

    Exception: In Finland, Australia and Japan, business cards (or "Meishi" as they are called in Japan) are around 90 millimeters wider than ours.

  • content

    Not only is the format of a business card standardized, this information on the card is also a must:

    • First and Last Name
    • Job title, Position
    • Company name & Logo (mostly top right)
    • (Mobile-)Phone number
    • Fax number (if available)
    • address
    • E-mail address
    • Website, blog or online profile

    The viewer should never have to search for this bold information between the design, but rather at a glance detect. In case of doubt, these alone are sufficient. The address of the website can usually be derived from the ending of the email address, where the address and fax number can also be found in the footer or imprint.

    Surveys once revealed that now only 52 percent of the self-employed state the postal address on their business card. Even if your customers do not visit you personally, for example because you offer online services, many still want to know where the company is Seat Has. In addition, the postal address creates trust and eliminates the suspicion that it is a windy letterbox company.

  • Job title

    Beware of cryptic, fancy Job titles. Maybe no one knows what he is Manager of First Impression (Reception) really does. So if you have a job that others cannot imagine, then at least integrate it (for example on the Back of card) a Explanatory line, a slogan, or anything that explains what you do (and thus the benefit to the recipient).

    The company name doesn't always tell what the Business activity includes. With a company like “Mediterranean Living”, the business card reader doesn't necessarily think that it is “furniture and interior design”. The company "Meier Consulting", for example, would do well to add an explanation: "Meier Consulting - Executive Search". Or: "Karrieresprung GmbH - job exchange & application coaching". A copywriter, on the other hand, could write on the back: "Because your products deserve good copy." slogan so can help so that you are better remembered. But please don't overload the card.

    Incidentally, titles play an important role in France and Austria. They are positioned accordingly impressively on the business cards. Anyone who travels a lot on business in these countries should therefore pay more attention to academic degrees when designing their business cards. In Italy, on the other hand, there are two types of business cards: personal and business, and the two should not be mixed up.

  • bilingualism

    Anyone who works internationally should have one bilingual business card to have. It has become generally accepted that the second language English is. However, it is much more appreciative if you hand over a card for the respective country in the corresponding national language.

  • paper

    The most common material used in business cards is paper. If matt or glossy is a matter of taste. Matt design looks more elegant, but it gets dirty quickly. That is why many use the "painted matt" variant. The paper is finer-pored than normal paper, has a smoother surface and repels annoying (greasy) fingerprints better. The paper thickness should be at least 300 grams lie. For comparison: normal printing paper (also from the business card machine) usually only weighs 80 grams.

  • to shape

    Ultimately, the business card should be subordinate to your core message or your corporate design. Too much creativity can quickly turn into playful Frills look and question the seriousness of your own aspirations. Restless, patterned backgrounds, ornaments or even passport photos are now considered dusty.

    There are, however, exceptions (see below): A cook who hands over a card from which a piece has been “bitten off” immediately makes it clear what he is about. The same goes for the hairdresser, whose card is reminiscent of a comb. Of course, this does not work in every profession. But at least thinking about it is worth it.

    If you want to attract attention, you should above all know about this Carrier material think about it: there are now business cards made of chocolate, wood, leather, fabric, plexiglass, metal, rubber; Cards that look like playing cards, theater tickets, coupons, stickers or trading cards that make you want to get all versions. Ultimately, however, the shape has to match the respective business.

  • font

    The font can serve as a mirror of personality. For Fonts On the other hand, the form follows function maxim applies to the menu: Never more than a maximum of two types use. Otherwise, the letters appear too restless and are hardly legible. The fonts shouldn't be too small either. Be aware that people over the age of 40 can easily have reading problems if the fonts are too small. There is no room for experiments here, perfect legibility is the guideline for layout and font.

  • Topicality

    Always keep the map information up to date. The hint may sound obvious, but for some it is not: A card on which handwritten the cell phone number or email address has been corrected is a no-go. In doing so, the over-richer discredits himself as being out of date or even sloppy.

We have summarized the most important points for you in the form of a checklist, which you can use easily HERE as a free PDF document can download.

10 business cards you won't forget

The next ten Business card examples do not necessarily adhere to the above recommendations. Accordingly, they also have some disadvantages. And yet: The funny and clever examples are good either way inspiration:

How could a fitness trainer explain what she's doing to your customers better than with this business card? The fitness trainer Zohra Mouhetta uses this business card to advertise your service in a funny and charming way. You instinctively think about your own stomach and feel the need to get fitter.

A hairdresser from Zagreb hands out colorful business cards from which small figures can be formed. You can then cut your hair as you wish. For a moment, the customer becomes a hairdresser himself. This card satisfies the human instinct to play.

A Canadian bicycle mechanic draws attention to himself by giving his customers a tool. His business card is a small, handy tool that you can use to tighten the nuts on your bike, for example. A real asset for bike enthusiasts because it is useful and handy.

The providers of survival training use this business card to prepare their customers for the wilderness. The card consists of jerky meat, in which the information of the supplier has been engraved by laser. You always have your emergency provisions with you.

Yaletown Plumbing, a Canadian plumbing company, uses a plunger to advertise its services. This is designed in the company color and contains only the most important information: the telephone number and the website. You visualize your work with the symbol that comes to mind when thinking of a plumber. Simple but effective.

The Brazilian cheese dairy "Bon Vivant" gives its customers a business card in the form of a cheese grater. This gives the customer a giveaway that they can use immediately after purchasing the cheese.

MODhair is a Roman hairdressing salon that styles its customers' hair as it did in the 1950s and 60s. Your business card should match your concept. It's a comb that sounds a rocking melody when you run your fingernail over it.

The Brazilian tennis school "Denia Salu Tennis Academy" wanted a business card that speaks for itself. They had a business card designed that turns into a tennis court when you open it. Those interested can find contact information on the inside.

A Canadian investment company wants to prove its own trustworthiness with its business card. It's a double-sided. They ensure that stocks are sold before the price falls and bought before the price rises. That is why one side is designed as a red falling price and the other as a black rising price.

The Italian designer Dario Monetini designed a business card for himself, which should encourage you to take funny photos with her. His business card is made of transparent plastic with brightly colored glasses and mustaches painted on it.

Business card for applicants

A business card can also have advantages in the application process. Surely you shouldn't overdo it with your own marketing, especially with Career starters it works quickly. Thanks to the standardized use in everyday business, applicants can - for example on Job and career fairs - use such cards in a targeted manner:

For example, use the front of the business card for ...

  • Name & contact details
  • Degree or degree
  • photo

The back of the business card can be printed with ...

  • Highlights from the résumé (international experience, language skills, internships)
  • Links to your professionally relevant blog or Twitter profile
  • QR codes - which lead to your online profile or an applicant video

The most important tip: Do not save money at the wrong end. The business card is your figurehead, a kind of litmus test for your self-worth. So don't skimp on paper quality or design. If you hand over a cheap card from the machine, you may not be delivering any other added value.

Business card trend: NFC business cards

A current trend in the creation of business cards are so-called NFC cards (NFC stands for Near Field Communication). The technology in it enables data transmission via radio technology over distances of a few centimeters. Using an integrated microchip, data can be transmitted to receiving devices such as smartphones. First, content and functions are stored on the chip via various NFC apps.

As soon as you get the Holding business card to the smartphone, the previously specified data is visualized. However, since the storage space of NFC chips is limited, direct links are available.

The following are equivalent Possible uses for NFC business cards conceivable:

  • Digital business card

    Any number of numbers and addresses can be displayed via the link to a digital business card, which can be saved directly in the smartphone's address book with a simple click. This minimizes the risk of loss and at the same time makes it easier to remember. A direct connection to social media profiles is also possible. An additional plus: The functions eliminate the laborious task of typing in the information.

  • Digital information brochure

    A digital information brochure can also be integrated in this way, for example to convey detailed information about the company or the product range. In this way you can present your services, highlight current offers or demonstrate your creativity. There are almost no limits. Images, graphics and company logos can be used to present individual designs and thus create unique selling points. Links to websites or advertising videos also open the door to further information media.

  • Digital signpost

    The integration of a signpost to the nearest company location can also make it easier for your customers to get there. Anyone who also adds opening times and service specials, such as daily menus in restaurants or product offers in specialist shops, provides their counterparts with a comprehensive information package and creates further contact points.

  • Flexible updating:

    If certain information is no longer up-to-date or if there is a need for other redesign, changes can be made with the NFC app without much effort. This gives you the chance to keep your business partners up to date about new developments and to inform them about current offers. In this way, NFC business cards can be continuously and dynamically developed.

The range of application options for NFC business cards extends beyond mere contact details.

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[Photo credit: SFIO CRACHO by Shutterstock.com, boredpanda.com]
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October 16, 2019Author: Jochen Mai

Jochen Mai is the founder and editor-in-chief of the career bible. The author of several books lectures at the TH Köln and is a sought-after keynote speaker, coach and consultant.

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