A Case for White Space

I’ve talked before here about business cards and business card design — in particular, our feelings on expensive design trends & why we think they’re a waste of your money.

But regardless of anything else you may do with your business card design — ink colors, horizontal versus vertical layout, fancy or not fancy finishes, paper thickness, etc. — one thing that I think should be universally incorporated into all business cards is white space.

Why white space?

For starters, it’s more visually interesting & helps direct your eye to the most important parts of a business card’s content. (Or any document, for that matter!) A cluttered design is hard to follow, and gives the viewer no direction as to what is most important. In this case, white space is used as a critical design element.

white-spaceBut there’s a much more practical reason to use white space on your business cards — and in this case, I do mean specifically white space (not just negative space).

Picture this. You’re at a networking event. You meet a potential client or business connection. You exchange cards. You want to make a note about what you discussed with that person, or something to remember them by. You grab a pen & look for a place to jot down a note.

The most logical place to make that note is on their business card. But if a card is lacking white space, you can’t do that.

You also can’t do that if their card is printed on a coated stock, or has a glossy varnish.

A little creativity can go a long way when it comes to your business card design. Sure, you want it to look good — but don’t forget about the functionality — which is really the card’s main purpose. To convey your information cleanly and clearly to business contacts. Giving them room to make a note or two just helps reinforce your relationship, because chances are they’ll be more likely to remember you and follow-up with you after that initial meeting.

Take, for example, how we incorporated our jaguar logo on the back of our business cards to combine a creative design & the functionality of white space (all printed on an uncoated stock):

jag biz cards

We didn’t leave the back of our cards blank — but we did leave ample room inside the white jaguar knockout to jot a couple quick notes.

(Shout-out to Brian Gundell Graphic Design for his work on our logo & these cards.)

In conclusion, remember these two things for the best business card possible:

  1. White space — actual, white space — on your business cards
  2. Uncoated stock

For the comments: What do you like best in a business card design?

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