This guest post was written by Phil Boyd, of InDesignTemplate.Com.
The business card is one of the most important ways for young designers and entrepreneurs to locally promote themselves.
If you have already started doing freelance work or are thinking about doing it in the near future, I highly suggest having a business card to hand to potential clients.
For a young professional, having a business card adds a ton of credibility to your cause.
If you claim to be a designer-for-hire but cannot easily give a business card to your client, it will seem unprofessional and you will probably be forgotten.
However, if you can back up your claim by giving them a card, it will give the impression that you are professional and dedicated.
Nobody wants an inexperienced kid working for them. Show them that you are serious about your work. It goes a long way, trust me!
Ease of Contact
Your business card holds all of the most important ways to contact you. Your phone number, e-mail address, and anything else which is important to you.
The business card lets you give all of this information to somebody directly and easily. No more searching for a pen and a napkin when you see the opportunity for work.
Your potential client will be much more inclined to contact you if you make it easy for them.
Remember – if you give a personal phone number, answer the phone professionally! No “Hey”s and “Yo”s!
To Showcase your Talents
If you are a designer, why not incorporate your design skills into your business card?
Your business card is often moulds your client’s first impression of you, so take the opportunity to win them over on the spot by showing them your work.
Are you a graphic designer? Create a personal logo for your card! Web designer? Make it look like a website!
Keep it creative yet professional.
Creating a business card
For this exercise, we will be creating a simple business card using Adobe InDesign. This is the best program for bringing together text and images, as well as preparing your document for professional print.
Go to File -> New -> Document
Make the document 1 page. Width 3.5 in, Height 2 in. Make the margins 1/8″ (0.125 in), as well as the bleed.
2. Create your text.
Click on the text tool or press “T” on your keyboard. Draw a text box.
Write in your name, position, and essential contact information.
This should be created as a vector image in Illustrator, however a 300 PPI jpeg will be sufficient.
Click on the ractangle frame tool or press “F” on your keyboard. Draw a frame.
Go to File -> Place or hit Ctrl+D (Command+D on Mac). Browse for your image, and hit OK.
Right click, and go to Fitting Options -> Fit Content Proportionally. Your image should now fit your frame.
You can adjust the frame size and keep fitting your content proportionally, or you can adjust the image inside the frame by hitting the direct selection tool (A).
I want my image to appear to continue off the business card, so I will ensure the graphic continues until the red bleed line.
4. Choose your color theme.
Do you want the background to be white or colored? White will generally be cheaper to print, however professional printers should have different colored stock – check ahead.
For this card I will use a lightly stained background, and use the two shades of green from my image for consistency.
First, use the rectangle tool to draw a rectangle that fills the entire bleed area. Next choose your background color. Right-click, go to Arrange -> Send to Back.
I chose a brown, which complements the green of the image, and turned the opacity down to 30%.
Next, I highlighted my name, chose the eyedropper tool, and clicked on the darker green color.
5. Perfect your layout
I selected the line tool and drew a green line from the bleed margin up to the tree stump. I right-justified my name and position (using the text bar at the top).
This symbolizes me, chopping down a tree. Suitable for a lumberjack, no?
I highlighted my contact information and made it 8 pt, to give focus to my name.
Finally, I added in the (fake) company name at the top, and gave it the light green color from my image.
Now that the layout is complete, print your business cards!
I suggest using a professional printer, especially if you are using colors and images that bleed out of your document.
Trying to print out a large amount of these yourself will be a huge headache, and will cause more problems than good.
Invest the money for professional printing!
As you can see, it is relatively simple to create a professional business card using InDesign. All it takes is a little patience to learn the program!