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November 15, 2010

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There are many options available to those who want to create their own business cards, ranging from the "do-it-yourself" method of printing designs out at home with an inkjet printer, to using a business card printer to print from a selection of set designs.  There are also business card template websites which can be found online and allow you to create your own designs in a form of online studio before they are delivered straight to your door.

The cheapest option available is to design and print
the business cards using perforated business cards sheets which can be found in stationers.  Trying to feed card through a printer can be tricky though, depending on what thickness of card it is compatible with.  Most inbuilt computer software programs will not give a professional finish and the design layouts can tend to look a little uninspired, so (Depending on your level of artistic flair) scanning in your own hand-drawn images which, used along with word-processed text can be a way of producing some very effective designs.  Alignment and printing are just some of the problems you can encounter when using perforated business cards and a computer, but if you are willing to let your cards look a little messy (In the right way), they can serve as cards to promote your band with.

There are card cutters available to make your own business cards with, but they really do take practice using.  Another way to create your own business cards is to look online for websites which provide you with a range of business card templates which you can then alter, or you can create your very own business card templates.  Once the design is finished, you simply save and pay, and the cards are delivered to your door.  This is a good option for those who are short on time, as the business cards or business card templates can be designed from home, the office, or just anywhere you take a laptop which has internet connectivity.  These online business card design companies tend to vary in the quality of designs, so it is advisable to shop around.
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Another way to design and create your own business card templates is to use a business card printer.  These allow you to choose your own business card template
, however design options can be quite limited and there is a lot of waiting involved while the business card printer prints out your business

Regardless of whether you decide to make your own business cards from scratch, use business card templates online or you are using a business card printer, weigh up how you want your finished card to look against your budget.  You may wish to economize if you want to avoid overspending on costly business cards which look very effective, but which leave the very thing you're trying to promote short of cash.

In today's business environment, the need to obtain a competitive edge is paramount.  In this spirited arena, business entities (regardless of size) compete for the attention of consumers. The resulting advertising expenses continue to mount, representing a costly price for exposure.  However, there is one means of exposure that businesses have begun to take increased advantage of in recent years that does not require an expensive advertising budget: the business card.  A good business card will be noticed, and product/service awareness is a key endeavor for any business entity desires to achieve.

In fact, what many businesses have discovered is that the business card allows for both a creative, flexible and inexpensive form of direct advertising.  A business card is handed directly to the consumers who are most likely to be interested in the services or products of the company.  Company representatives can simply provide any party that is interested a card that contains relevant information about a business, service or product.  With a little creative ingenuity, a business card will not only promote a business entity, service or product; but also provide a medium to convey the very principles a company wants to espouse (a catchy phrase that highlights a company's professionalism, for example).

For certain, a creative touch is more likely to draw the attention of business card holders, necessitating a good design.  Indeed, one of the very functions of the business card is to help consumers and clients to remember the services and products that are being offered.  While the average business card is usually found in 3 ½' X 2" dimensions; many card dispensers have taken to set themselves (and their cards) apart from all the rest. As such, it is not unheard of for business cards to feature eye-opening design formats or even unorthodox shapes in order to capture the attention of card holders.

In addition to the creative aspects of business cards; one thing is for certain and that is the positive effect that a good card has.  Simply, the dispensing of well designed business cards can directly correlate to an increase in sales/business.  Advertising is the key and the business card is a direct link to the consumer.  In essence, with a great business card, a company is assured that information about itself and/or its product is in the hand of a consumer.  This is a measure of product exposure accountability that cannot be duplicated in any other form of media advertising.  There is no guarantee, for example, of how many people will watch a television advertisement or read a print ad.

It is for this very reason that business cards should be designed and produced with care.  After all, the very image of a business entity is represented in the card that is presented.  A business card, therefore, should be of the highest quality possible.  Quality presentation equates in the mind of the card holder with a quality product or service.  Because business cards are small, it is important that every care be taken to convey a sense of professionalism and competence.  This is accomplished in a number of ways: 

1.Card Stock.  The stock of the card is important for a couple of reasons.  First, a thicker card stock implies a higher quality material.  A card holder will notice and immediately understand that no expense has been spared with a thicker card stock.  The idea is that the company represents quality across the board.  Additionally, a thicker card stock 1.will insure that the card is more durable and therefore, more likely to be passed on from one consumer to another.

2.Information Arrangement.  A business card should convey professionalism.  Therefore, the information that is contained on a business card should be succinct and neatly presented.  There should not be an overabundance of information.  Details such as names, titles, addresses, phone numbers and logos should be present.

3.Visual Presentation.  The business card should stand out – not in a garish or outlandish manner, but in a way that is noticed.  This could be with very stylized lettering; especially printing that is engraved or raised above the material.  Colors should be complementary and not bright.  The card itself should not be overly large – and easily fit into a pocket, wallet or purse.

In short, the business card represents a small measure of the company, service or product that it features.  The business card that is competently designed, utilizing quality materials, and professionally presented; will provide the consumer with the desired inclination to assume the same about whatever the card itself represents.  On the other hand, a card that fails to follow this structure is courting with failure.  Remember, consumers are very keen to equate product value with the quality of the medium that presents it.  Poor quality business card presentation (such as using card stock that easily falls apart) will speak negatively for the any business endeavor.

Without question, it is in the best interest of any business venture to employ the use of well designed business cards.  The advantages serve to provide a business with a competitive advantage that translates well with the bottom line.