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Design tips for effective business cards

In Japan, business cards are viewed as an extension of one's personality. By disrespecting a card – i.e. shoving it in a pocket or even receiving it with one hand – you are disrespecting the professional who gave it to you.

In the U.S., there is not as much value placed on business cards, but they are certainly representative of an individual and command a degree of etiquette.

That being said, business men and women should pull out all the stops to ensure they have a business card that will stand out and serve as a symbol of their professional value.

One of the first rules of business card design is simplicity. Do not overwhelm the card with information; stick to the bare essentials – name, email, phone number, company/profession and maybe a website. Some colors may also stick out more than others, and even those colors will evoke different emotions. Accordingly, the color scheme should reflect the business you are in.

Lastly, be creative. As beautifully designed as a card may be, it is nothing if it is not unique.

"Who says a card has to be a card?" asks Scott Ginsberg in for "After all, the first rule of creativity is 'break all the rules!' I've seen million dollar bill cards, coin cards, even a banker in Boston who uses business cards that are actually miniature checks he tears off of a pad each time he gives one out! The possibilities are endless."

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