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The ultimate guide to business cards: From etiquette to shape and size

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The psychology of colours is a topic many talk about yet completely ignore. But let’s face it, we’re drawn to colour, and as it affects the type of products we buy, so too does it impact whether or not someone will hold on to your card.

In fact, it’s been said that prospects will hold on to a colour card ten times longer than a standard one.

The most important factor to remember is that each colour subliminally effects us in different ways. So its crucial to get the right response from your customers, while still representing what your business is all about.

For example, in most of Jaguar’s marketing material, the colours black and silver feature heavily. The black is meant to represent sophistication while silver suggests prestige, and they’ve certainly done a great job considering their high income target audience.

According to Karen Haller, a colour and branding expert, red means power and passion, and can often times be linked with energy and excitement. The Virgin Group and Coca Cola are great examples of famous companies using the colour for their image. There’s also the red trademarked soles of Christian Louboutin’s shoes.

Haller suggests that green often attracts youngsters and those who love life alike. It is the colour of money, universal love and Mother Earth. These were some of the reasons why Starbucks chose its green logo colours, in order to appear young and Earth-friendly. Another example is Garnier Fruits, whose natural shampoo’s are cased in green bottles.

Blue is the colour of trust, integrity, and communication,” said Haller. But she warns firms that it’s important to pick the right kind of blue. Apparently, picking the wrong tone can make you appear cold, aloof and unapproachable . As it is also seen to be the colour of logic and communication, it is perhaps unsurprising that most major social media sites, such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, have blue as their primary branding colours.

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Quality, luxury, royalty, and decadance all comes hand-in-hand with the colour purple. But this is a tricky colour, according to Haller. If done wrong, you can come across as tacky. Cadbury is a major example of purple done right.

The yellow used by McDonalds, for example, is the most visible colour in daylight, suggests Haller. This often makes it difficult to overlook. And much like the ‘M’ stands out against the sky, using this colour will surely make your card stand out from the rest.
More importantly, however, yellow represents happiness, optimism and friendliness .

It’s a fun colour, suggesting that you can gain a happy experience from the company.
Orange, in much the same light, suggests fun and games. It signifies playfulness, which is why it was the colour of choice for TV network Nickelodeon.

Brown is the colour of warmth, reliability and dependability. This is why, more often than not, several delivery companies use the colour.

If you’re going for sweet or sexy, the most lingerie companies try to portray, then pink is your colour. Of course, pink goes hand-in-hand with femininity, including love, nurture and care . Haller explains that light pink is often targeted at young girls.

Essential facts to include

Of course, when it comes to business cards, you want your company name to somehow stand out. And if you have a logo, now’s the time to add it in as well. This will get people associating brand name with brand image. But always keep it subtle, unless the point is for a it to be a key feature at the back.

But remember that you’re the one representing the company. Yours will be the face they remember when they first think of contacting your business. That means your details need to be on there, not the general company details. This could very well make people feel like they’ve been duped.

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Add your name and role within the company. You could, instead of title, briefly describe what you do there. Your work number should also never be forgotten, even if it’s in a minuscule font size. If you’re going to list a number, however, make sure that the phone in question is voicemail-enabled.

In terms of email, nothing is as unprofessional as adding your own gmail or hotmail account. You know the ones I mean, the ‘peanutbutt@gmail’ kind you created in high school or because your name was already taken and you didn’t want to type in all those dreaded numbers. Nowadays its easy to get your own custom URL.

Some even add their website address. In fact, it should be recommended. Don’t have one Add a social network handle so you become easier to find. Add your LinkedIn account instead, but Twitter handles do well too. This does, however, mean that you can’t be lazy on social media. You don’t want to have them follow you online only to find that you’re inactive.

Read more about how to get people to keep you business card.


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