I’ll show you what my business card would look like if I emulated some of the terrible designs I’ve seen. I’d like to show the actual cards, but I don’t want to be sued.
Special Note: I’m going to focus on traditional card designs here. I think they will apply to a wider audience. So, no cards made from metal today!
Most Important Concept in Design
I personally think that the most important part of designing anything is alignment. If you make sure everything is aligned properly, I don’t think you can go wrong.
Unless you space everything an equal distance apart, or center your text. Here is an example:
You’ll commonly see people use this layout in yellow pages ad’s. Here is what is wrong with this design:
Ok, I could go on and on. Let’s look at an actual business card design, with my information replacing the original owner.
This guy fell prey to thinking he had to fill every square inch of his card. This is very common. Leave lots of white space. Also don’t:
Here is another card I’ve received. It’s simple and gets the client the exact information they are looking for, but alignment (AND ALL CAPS) ruin the look. Notice how the address is not aligned with the name at the top? Actually nothing is really aligned and that is why it looks like the text is going to fall to the right.
Here is an OK Business Card Design
If you look at a business card and something seems off just a bit, it’s probably alignment. When I received this card something bothered me. You might not notice it, but it drove me mad.
In general, the alignment is pretty nice and the overall layout is ok, except for one thing. Do you notice how the space between the name and the website stuff doesn’t look right? You’re taught in design school that you should align text this way:
Notice the difference?
If I apply all of the rules I’ve shown you above, I’m left with a card that looks like this:
Everything is aligned to be 1/8th an inch apart, or a multiple there of. However, something just seems a bit off. Normally when something seems a bit off, I look for a way to re-enforce my alignment. The easiest way to do that is with a simple line.
Sure enough that simple line brings the whole design together. Our eyes desire patterns and if you don’t provide them in your design people won’t like it.
I hope this helps you improve your graphic designs. If you’re a professional artist I know I didn’t state anything you haven’t heard before. Non-designers don’t understand the importance of alignment however.
If you have any questions or comments, leave them below.
Till Next Time