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Choosing Business Card Graphics, Photos, Text & Logos

How to Choose Photos, Logos and Graphics for Your Business Cards

by Diana Ratliff

One of the most critical decisions you'll make as you design your card is whether or not to add non-text elements such as a photo, your logo or additional clipart or graphics. How do you decide whether words or pictures are more effective use of the limited space on a business card?

The first step is to decide how your business cards will be used

  • Where will your cards be distributed?
  • When will you be handing them out?
  • Who will be receiving them?
For example, some entrepreneurs find it effective to prospect for new customers by plastering their business card on every bulletin board they can find. The business card is actually functioning as a miniature billboard. There's no personal contact involved and the reader may have little (if any) knowledge of the featured business. Such a card needs to be colorful, easy to read, and very clear about the primary service and benefit of the business.

On the other hand, if you're designing business cards that will primarily be given to existing customers or to colleagues, you don't need to waste precious space telling them what you do. They already know. Instead, they're probably more interested in expanded contact information (maybe after-hours customer support), additional store locations or complementary products.

So - photos, logos and graphics need to be chosen according to the response you want from the typical person who'll receive your card. Does the photo, logo or graphic you have in mind help or hinder the purpose of your card? Will it be worth the space that it consumes on the card?

Here are some factors to consider about photos, logos, clipart and colorful backgrounds in general.

The Advantages of Photos:

1) Build trust

Photos ("headshots") are typically included on business cards in "relationship" businesses such as real estate, counseling and public speaking. They give prospects a non-threatening way to begin getting acquainted with you, which is especially helpful if you're in a business that requires a great deal of trust or confidentiality.

2) Name/Face recognition

Additionally, a business card with your photo on it will help a new contact find you in a meeting. If you often make initial contact with someone on the phone or via email, sending them a card with your photo on it before you meet in person is a thoughtful gesture. A business card with a photo is also helpful if you have a unisex name (such as "Pat" or "Chris") or a name that would be completely unfamiliar to the recipient.

3) Add color and interest to an otherwise boring card.

And don't forget that a photo can be more than a headshot; you can show how your product/service works, or give a "before-and-after" illustration.

The Disadvantages of Photos:

1) It's human nature to pre-judge

Unfortunately, people make judgments based on the way we look. Your race, gender, age, attire and even the expression on your face may influence someone's choice to contact you. Perhaps negatively. It's human nature to judge other people, be it consciously or subconsciously.

2) Your photo "dates" you

Your hairdo, your clothing, those doggoned wrinkles (or lack thereof) ... If you don't make new cards often, with updated photos, you can actually hurt your business.

Old photo = Cards not given out very often = Not much demand for your business = Maybe they ought to go elsewhere.

3) Photography is expensive

If you plan to include your picture, don't skimp on this one. The quality of the photograph can make or break your design no matter how trustworthy or attractive you look. Check your local yellow pages for professional photography services and determine which offers the best value.

Logos and Other Graphics

A professionally designed logo adds distinction, eye appeal, and can effectively "make" or "break" an otherwise ho-hum business card. A good logo helps a customer both relate to your business and to build trust. Generic clipart may actually hurt your business. Prospects might wonder why you can't afford quality artwork and may question if you're in business for the long haul.

Meaningless graphics (such as monogrammed initials) may add distinction to your card, but they don't convey information or give prospects a reason to call you. Which would be more important to you -- fluff or valuable information?

Colorful Backgrounds and Business Card Design

Have you ever heard the saying "A doctor is a fool who diagnoses himself." Unless you're a professional graphic designer, it's best to hire someone who has your best interests at heart. It may not be what you want, but what's best for your business from a branding & marketing point of view. Adding color is probably the single most effective way to add appeal to your card, but you don't want the text and the background to compete with each other. Learn more about how colors affect human emotions

Balance is the key. Choose a design with a smaller or less complex image when you have a lot of words to include on your card. When you can safely use a larger or more colorful image without reducing legibility, do that instead.

By following these guidelines you will be well on your way to creating a business card that not only looks good, but fulfills it's purpose of effectively advertising your company.

Contact LB Printery today to discuss your full color printing needs.

Business Card Pricing

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How to Organize Business Cards for Effective Contact Management

8 Ways to Use Business Cards to Network and Market Your Business

5 Ideas for Keeping Business Cards Handy

Exchanging Business Cards: Do's and Dont's of Business Introductions

How to Mind Your Business Card Manners for Swapping Success

How to Add Value to Your Business Cards

Power Words for Business Cards

Alternative Uses for Business Cards

How to Beat Your Competition Outside the Phone Book with Magnetic Business Cards

How to Choose Photos, Logos and Graphics for Your Business Cards

8 Reasons Why People Retain Business Cards... How to Get Them to Keep Yours

Double Sales Potential with Double-Sided Business Cards



Printing for you commercial offset needs


LB Printery offers you quality services at cost-effective prices for all your business and personal printing needs — from a simple business card to a full color brochure to a complete marketing collateral package. We're much more than "just a printery."

Business Printing Services

LB Printery, professional printing company, offers affordable online color printing products and services, including offset, short run color or black and white solutions.

We print color business cards on white or colored paper stock in short run or 4-color offset printing as well as brochures, booklets, calendars, catalogs, door hangers, labels, envelopes, flyers, greeting cards, letterhead, newsletters, postcards, posters, presentation folders, rack cards, stickers, vinyl banners, and more. We also offer print services such as die cutting, foil stamping, custom graphic design solutions and support, and mailing services.

We work closely with you to design the most eye-appealing, consistent image that reflects your brand and your specific marketing needs—a printed product that portrays the quality and creativity that helps you grow your business!

Browse the list of customized commercial offset full color printing services to check out what we can do for you. If you don't see what you're looking for listed, please contact us to discuss your particular printing need. Remember, we offer single to four color process printing as well as a wide selection of paper to choose from. In addition, we offer embossed items such as letterheads, business cards and envelopes. Request a quote today to discuss your business's printed collateral needs.

Short-run Digital Label Printing Services

We'll print your custom labels and stickers in high quality color in quantities from 1 to 1000. We'll use your digital files or we'll design the label for you. Advertise your business with labels and stickers at affordable prices. Use labels for retail packaging, wine bottles, gourmet & specialty foods, plastic water bottles, jars, plants, barcodes...just about anything! Who can use labels and stickers? Schools, gourmet and specialty food businesses, wine makers, personal care & cosmetics, artists and for personal home use - baking, canning and more! Personalized labels can also be printed on demand for corporate gifts, events, gift baskets and weddings. Simply add wedding names and dates, corporate logos with holiday greetings, anniversary photos or design a label for limited edition or seasonal products. Need a bumper sticker or decal? No problem. We'll create your sticker / decal idea in the quantities you need. Contact us today to discuss your label, decal & sticker needs.

Personalize your Wedding & Specialty Invitations, Greeting Cards, Memorabilia & Gifts

LB Printery's Social Division, offers easy to order online personalized holiday greeting cards, birth announcements, stationary, engraved invitations, graduation announcements, anniversary announcements, special occasion invitations, and announcements, and personalized address labels. Take a moment to browse our extensive line of quality specialty printing products.

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