Open your visiting card album and try to find the one that you had not had the occasion to see for quite some time. You will suddenly realize that it is so difficult to find the one that you are looking for. All the cards look so frighteningly similar. Not one stands out. There are times when you will find that it so hard to decipher the phone numbers and the email ids on the cards. They are written in such small types! Sometimes the entire text is practically illegible as the font colors are faint or the card dazzles and reflects light.
It is not difficult to design a visiting card badly. Any printer can do it. And the printers who offer economical rates mess up even more. But at times the fault lies somewhere else. The professionals who order for the cards fail to appreciate that designing visiting cards also is a professional job and one who is not trained appropriately should not try it.
A visiting card is a very economical and effective way of advertising. A badly made visiting card succeeds only in wasting money. It achieves no other purpose. Some of the tips to make good and effective visiting cards are given below.
Most of the time many students of computer arts misunderstand the concept of designing visiting card. The space is limited and the matter too. People think it is easy but from the designing point of view, card designing is the most difficult part of DTP. In the good old days, PageMaker was the first preference. It is still going strong. Maximum potential of software is utilized while designing visiting card if it is really designed with proper care. Here are some tips useful to design proper visiting card.
Dimensions: Generally visiting cards comes in two standard sizes. American size and Business size. American size is 92 X 54. Both the cards can be designed either horizontally or vertically according to the choice of the user. 2-3 mm space is left for the margin from the border of the card.
Impressions: Using colors depends upon the type of the card and the cost. More the colors more the cost is the rule of thumb. Formal cards need less color. It can be single color card or maximum two colors. The type of processing is also important. If the photograph is used for the card then it goes for offset printing. If it is more of a text with no continuous toned graphic it goes for screen-printing. The cost of the card is decided on the basis of color impressions. It is generally impression per thousand cards.
Fonts: The choice of font depends upon the type of the card. If it is very formal card like the card of lawyer, doctor etc. Times New Roman is the best choice. Arial also can be used. If you want to use some script font, the distance between the characters has to be properly adjusted by loosing the tracks. Bold and thick font can be used for company title. Address font is generally the smallest of size and at the bottom of the card.
Spacing: As a rule, you should keep good amount of white space in the card. It can become too crowded if lots and lots of things are added. The matter has to be chosen very carefully. It has to be short and precise. Since the sight travels from left to right, the most important things have to be aligned left if the card is not center aligned. Sometimes short cuts can be used to save the space i.e. Rd for Road etc. Horizontal line can be drawn above the address if you desire. It creates prominent impression. If you are using more than one address it can be separated with the vertical line.
Graphics: Designers use the combination of page layout and vector and/or raster packages to design visiting cards. Use of graphics is little tricky area and requires experience. The balance of the card should be properly taken care of while using graphics. Generally people want to print company logo on the card. It is fixed and nothing can be changed. Not even color. At this stage you can try out something by changing the size of the logo uniformly.
Backgrounds: You can get the ready-made colored or textured cards. There are no. of types available in the market from simple card to plastic coated and pearl finished stuff. Everything depends upon customer's choice. Designer can suggest the proper combination of the color, which can stand out with particular background. He can actually create the card with specific colors and show it to customer. For screen printing you need to have B/W output.
Prof. P. Guha
(Globsyn Business School)
(Globsyn Business School)