SQUEEZE August 2007
Your business card is an extension of you. When two people exchange business cards in Japan or South Korea, they receive the other’s card with two hands and make a show of examining it carefully. Business cards are closely linked to personal identity, so it would be thoughtless to casually receive a card and shove it in a back pocket. While in the U.S. business cards do not carry the same cultural significance, the lesson is the same. Your business card reflects your identity. It needs to be designed carefully, so that it accurately expresses how you want your clients, customers, and contacts to perceive your business.

Sure, your business card carries all your humdrum contact info—your phone numbers, e-mail address, and so on—but with business cards, it’s important to read between the lines... and to look around the lines, too. A smart business card turns routine information into a leave-behind marketing tool. Simply through its design, the card will indicate your positioning in your field. It will encourage the right people to contact you.

From the color palette to the typography, from the size of your logo to the placement of the contact lines, the visual presentation is what is most essential. Unique cuts and sizes give your card a special flair, and tactile elements can also come into play. Different card stocks, innovative printing techniques, and carefully chosen finishes can set your card apart from the crowd. Snazzy techniques, however, should be used judiciously. What works for a French Quarter hair stylist wouldn’t work for a Metairie insurance agent. The key question to ask is, “What does the design of my card tell others about my business?”

Look at your Letterhead. A close cousin to your business card, your letterhead lends your business credibility while helping to reinforce your brand. Certain legal documents are required to be printed on letterhead to be considered legitimate. But even for day-to-day correspondence like invoices, cover letters, and project updates, well-designed letterhead will communicate to the recipients who you are and what you do. Of course, the design elements should be consistent across your business cards, letterhead, envelopes, and other materials, so your identity will be emphasized at every touchpoint of professional communication.

“I started out with homemade business cards, and I used to be ashamed to pass them out at networking events. I knew they didn’t represent the value I delivered to clients. After Creative Zumo designed my new cards, I felt proud to showcase what I could do for prospects. The cards capture more than a visible identity; they carry an emotional impact. They stimulate conversations which lead to meetings. The cards Creative Zumo designed for me have literally reduced the time and words needed to communicate what I do. And they represent my value perfectly.”
Desirée H. Young
Chief Entrepreneurial Officer
VentureWalk Business Partners
TO BE SQUEEZED (in our next issue)  
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Creative Zumo develops powerful and effective visual identities for businesses ranging from start-ups to million-dollar entities. Branding work includes visual identity, logo design, website design, print advertisements, brochures, and much more. Contact us to see how we can help your business stand out from the competition. www.creativezumo.com