First impressions matter in business relationships, and when it comes to branding, business card and tag designs are an opportunity to make a strong one. When your customer or client goes home after a meeting with you or shopping in your store, those small branded promotional items are your last way to make a memorable, physical connection. To make your tags and business cards effective, you need a striking design, but what if this is not in your wheelhouse? If you're making your own and need some beginner tips, then this round up is for you. Make functional business card and tag designs using these do's and don'ts: 1. DO: Get creative with paper type, size, and cut Your recipient will notice what your business cards and tags are printed on first. Going with a unique paper option is a simple way to look innovative. For example, seed paper is textured and speckled, which looks different from other paper types. Another way you can customize is with shape and cut. For example, house-shaped business cards are perfect for real estate or home-improvement businesses. 2. DO: Use white space Give your design room to breath. Leave space between your logo, contact information, and other text. Empty areas guide the eyes towards the most important elements. Without white space, readers might get distracted, not knowing where to look. 3. DO: Focus on your logo and call-to-action Who are you? What's your name? How do people reach out to you? Answer these questions first, then if there's any room left, include a call to action. For example, add a QR code that leads to your website or text that says "contact us here." 4. DO: Focus on typography Creating a hierarchy with your fonts helps guide the reader's eye through your piece. You can do this with contrasting size, weight, or even color. Also, be sure to avoid using too many different fonts (max 2-3) and make sure that when you are using more than one font, they complement each other. 5. DO: Spellcheck & proofread Mistakes happen, just don't let them go to print! Read your text backwards. Point at each word as you check for errors. These tricks will help you along the way so you don't miss common grammar mistakes such as a "their" that should be a "there." Source: Found on Pinterest via madebrave.com, mysubscriptionaddiction.com 1. DON'T: Overcrowd text & visuals Too much text or graphic elements will be overwhelming to the eye. Use your available space wisely! For example, your brand's entire backstory will likely be too much unless your business card or tag is large. Even then, it's safer to air on the side of less is more. 2. DON'T: Forget color theory All you need is one brand color that represents your personality. If you're going for a clean look, this is the way to go. If you're looking for a more creative color palette, use tools such as Adobe Color to find color pairings that are attractive to the eye. Keep in mind the personality of colors as well. For example, darker colors are more serious, while brighter shades are more light-hearted in tone. 3. DON'T: Use tiny, hard-to-read fonts An easy rule of thumb is don't go smaller than 8 pt font for body text, and make your business name larger than 12pt. Some font types are also easier on the eye, such as Avenir, while others are a little harder to scan, such as Comic Sans Italicized. 4. DON'T: Add graphics beyond bleed lines Remember to leave room on the edge of your design. These outside areas are called the bleed, trim, and safety lines. Any graphics on these areas may be cut or trimmed out in the assembly process. Many printers have artwork guidelines, so reach out if you're unsure. 5. DON’T: Forget to use margins and guides Margins will help you make sure your text doesn't go too close to the edge of the paper. Guides can help you align text boxes and other elements. Thinking of ordering plantable business cards from Botanical PaperWorks? If you're considering choosing eco-friendly seed paper for your business cards or tags, there are a few considerations to keep in mind. Take a look at this video below for artwork set-up tips: Making your business cards and tags without a lot of graphic design experience is achievable, especially when you know the basics. We hope these tips help you show off your brand's personality in a way that makes a lasting impression! Learn more about how you can incorporate eco-friendly seed paper into your next corporate promotion by subscribing to our newsletter and downloading our full Seed Paper Promotions Catalog.