Friday, February 17, 2017

"Business Cards Must Be Functional First"

Our business cards must be functional first. Then they can be pretty, dramatic, and possess other qualities. If they can't serve their primary funtion, there really aren't that useful.

As aging in place providers, we have to remember that many of our clients are going to be older - many or our strategic partners and others we are attempting to connect with are as well.

While 6 point type (or even smaller) gets a lot more copy on the card, it is asking a lot to expect the recipient of the card to get out a magnifying glass to read the information. People under the age of 25 or 30 may find small print to be fine, but the older people get, the more challenging tiny print becomes. Eyeglasses and cheaters (reading glasses) only do so much.

Let's back up for a moment to see how size of type really matters.

One of the issues affecting the size of the type may have to do with the amount of information being printed on the card. Unless the card is over-sized - and this isn't recommended - standard size business cards are 2" by 3½". It shouldn't have so much copy on it that it looks like a page out of a book.

What is the most important piece of information we can show on our business card? There might be a few different answers here, but I'm going with the phine number - including the area code. Even if most of the calls we get are local, still put the area code on the card.

The phone number needs to be large print or bold - or both. Make it stand out - use a different color even. The first thing someone should see on our card - more so than the name of the business or our name is our phone number.

The second most important piece of information we want to convey on our card is our email address. Email and phone (for voice and text) are the two ways we expect to be contacted the most. Therefore, they need to be the most obvious and the most easily read on our cards.

Along with that, we need to choose a very simple type style. There are certain numbers that become hard to read and become easily confused when the type faces become a little more ornate. Let's make it easy for people to see, read, and use our phone numbers to contact us.

If we have a physical location where we expect people to visit us, that street address needs to be easy to read also. If it's just a mailing address (P.O. Box, for instance), it needs to be clear but not as large.

After we have conveyed the two most important pieces of information - our primary phone (cell or office, whichever we are the most likely to answer) and our email address - we can begin including other essential information such as our name, the name of our business (if we use one other than just our name), and our physical or mailing address.

We can add titles, professional designations, taglines, slogans, logos, affiliations, and a couple of essential services, and these can be a little smaller in type.

The rest of the advertising copy that we might like to include but doesn't really fit without making the card look cluttered, tight, or hard to read, can be omitted.

A business card has just one primary function - to pass along essential contact information to the person getting the card. Anything else is a plus as long as it doesn't detract from that major function.


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Steve HoffackerCAPS, CEAC, SHSS, is a licensed Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist-Instructor and best-selling author of universal design books. To learn about this and other programs for aging-in-place or universal design, visit stevehoffacker.com or call 561-685-5555.