Business Cards: 6 Reasons “Standard” is not Good Enough

Cynthia Bartz • January 18, 2017

Business cards are an essential part of any business. And even though we don’t know what to do with the massive stack of business cards we collect, we all know that we need them to get the word out about our business. We need something tangible to leave a prospect with so they know how to get in touch with us. So, even in the digital age, business cards still have a very strong place in business. I would argue they they are one of the most important printed pieces we purchase.

standard layout and design for business cards

Standard Business Card

Standard business cards contain only basic information. They also generally follow a standard organization: logo or business name, your name, your title, contact information. They are most often printed in black text on a white or linen background. All text is typically aligned to the left side of the card and the card is read horizontally. You can see this in the example above. It is not unusual for a standard business card to only be printed on one side.

This standard format for business cards may have been more than sufficient 10 years ago, but times have changed. And using a business card that looks like the one above may put you behind the curve.

Reason 1: First Impressions

If you are doing a lot of networking, you are handing out a lot of business cards. Sometimes you will have an opportunity to stand and chat with the person about what you do and why it’s awesome. But, more often than not, you are giving a 30 second pitch and handing them a card. This is especially true at big networking events.

When you give a short pitch, or just leave a card behind, your business card is the only tangible impression of your business. Your prospect will walk away. And they might remember your conversation, or they might not. But what they will have in their hand (or wallet or pocket or drawer in their desk) is your business card.

That card carries a lot of weight. If they can’t remember the name of your business, will they be able to pick your card out of a stack? If they stumble across the card three months later, will they know what you do? What will they think of your business?

Are you willing to risk that first impression on a standard looking business card?

Reason 2: Quality Equals Quality

Think of that tiny piece of paper as the only impression someone has of your business. If your business cards were printed at home on thin paper in all black ink, it’s not high quality. And, when that little card is all someone has to hold and identify you, they will walk away thinking your business is not high quality either. People equate quality design and quality paper to quality service. 

Your business is high quality, thoughtful, and high-caliber, so don’t let your business cards tell your prospects that you are anything less.

Reason 3: Anti-Camouflage

If you have a standard looking business card then you can bet it is going in a stack with other standard business cards. It is very easy for your card to get lost among the sea of left-aligned, logo-name-title-phone business cards. Because so many business owners opt for the standard looking business card, you have an opportunity to standout. But, if your business card looks like everyone else’s, then you are less likely to be picked out of the bunch when a decision is being made.

Reason 4: Bold is Memorable

If you hand someone a really impressive looking business card during a short pitch, they are more likely to remember you and your conversation. Business cards that are bold not only standout in a stack, but they standout in your mind, too. I have a few business cards that I have held onto for years, just because they were interesting.

You don’t have to go crazy and get a metal stamped card plated in gold to get people’s attention. Any exception from the norm makes people perk up.

Reason 5: Keep It

People are more likely to keep a card that is interesting. A standard, boring business card, for a business they can’t remember talking to, is going to end up in the trash. But, if your business cards are printed on thicker paper, and are colorful, well designed and engaging, your prospect is more likely to keep that card. And, thereby, more likely to call you back when they are ready to buy.

Reason 6: Advertising

Standard business cards rarely include anything beyond contact information. When you have a custom designed card you can include additional information about the services you offer. This is a critical piece of marketing that many people miss out on, especially if it is the only marketing piece you give them. Your space might be limited, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t advertise what makes your business awesome to every single person who receives your business card.


Having a high quality business card makes a good impression on your prospects. Professionally designed cards stand out, are less likely to be thrown away, and are more memorable. Your business card can also include more than just your contact information, to let people know what all your business has to offer.

I Want Impressive Business Cards!

If you aren’t happy with your business cards, I will work with you and design business cards that make a positive impression on your prospects.

Want to save 40% off your business card design? Sign up for my email list before January 31st to get a subscriber exclusive offer.



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