Marketing & Promotions

Winning Business Card Designs

The finalists in our Better Business Card contest prove that with a little creativity and innovation, anyone can create a great-looking business card. Not only are they nice to look at, cards can also help boost business when they contain all the necessary information.

When it comes to your salon’s image, we can’t emphasize enough the importance of carrying it through to all aspects of your business. So if your salon has a tropical theme, then your salon menu, maybe a few services, and your salon’s logo should follow suit. And of course, you can’t forget about the all-important business card. After all, what is a business without a business card?

Simply put, a business card allows you to put your name and services right into your client’s hand. Cards are small and convenient, so clients are more likely to keep them instead of tossing them in the trash like they might do with a flyer. And if it looks great and clearly stands out from the rest, then a card can do wonders when it comes to attracting new clients.

The winners in this year’s Better Business Card contest all prove that they have what it takes for an outstanding promotional piece: great graphics and all the vital stats—phone number with area code, address, services offered, and hours of operation. Our panel of judges included the NAILS editorial and graphics staff and Joni Rae Russell, president of Joni Rae & Associates, a Los Angeles- based marketing and creative services firm.

If you don’t think your business card is as up to date as you’d like it to be, take some inspiration from the cards on the following pages. They prove that a little creativity mixed in with useful information goes a long way.

Winner: The Oasis Hand & Foot Spa

Owner: Chelsa Swaser

Thematic and attractive with clear communication is what prompted us to crown The Oasis our winner. The logo is unique, the phone number stands out, and the paper stock is a calming green shade. That, coupled with the logo style, a water icon running under the logo, and soothing typeface and copy create a memorable and comforting image of the services the salon offers. We also like the fact that the nail artist can be reached by e-mail, furthering her customer service to her client.

Helpful hint: Although this card is clearly a standout, it could also perform double duty if it contained spaces for appointments on the back.

First Runner-Up: Claws

Owner: Erin Boone

Impactful and cleverly designed, we liked the striking graphics and strong logo treatment on this card. The back of the card even features space to schedule appointments, the salon’s cancellation policy, and business-building information: “Refer a new client and receive $5 off your next service!”

Helpful hint: This card would look even better if it were printed on thick paper stock. Also, Boone might consider listing some of the services she offers somewhere on her card.

Second Runner-Up: The Nail Fetish

Owner: Janet Smith

When you pick up this card, it’s immediately evident that the business is a nail salon, thanks to the brightly colored nail illustrations. It even goes the extra mile by itemizing the services provided, thereby cross-selling and maybe even creating additional interest in sister services. Clients will also appreciate the “State of the Art Sterilization” statement listed on the bottom of the card. Plus, the card offers two phone numbers, increasing the convenience for clients.

Helpful hint: Although the card does a good job of listing two phone numbers, they are a bit small. Making them a little larger would make them more visible, especially since the card contains so much text. Smith might also consider putting more of an emphasis on the fact that she offers high-quality sterilization.

Honourable Mention: Digits

Owner: April Franks

This card is well designed and is an image-building visual. We liked the fun logo and the way it incorporates an abstract polish bottle in the design. The colour contrast also gives it a whimsical retro look.

Helpful hint: The independent consultant logo at the bottom left of the card is a little confusing. Most clients might not be familiar with the organization. Also, it’s a little small and hard to read.

Honourable Mention: The Nail Garden

Owner: Laureen Fitch

The combination of the green background and vines along with the line “a place to feel pampered” provides a simple and cohesive image for the salon. The vines also tie in with the salon’s name, and the colour scheme Fitch chose gives the card a garden-like look. Helpful hint: This card already has a simple, calming design. It would look even better if it were printed on heavier, professional-type paper. Also, the phone number gets lost in the design. Making it bold would make it stand out from the rest of the information on the card.

Business Card Dos and Don’ts

So you’re thinking of updating your business card or creating a new one? Before you order a batch of cards, read these tips. It might mean the difference between a nice card and a great-looking one that makes a statement.

Do include the salon’s logo, icon, and image in every way possible. Use graphics, colour, and shape to make an impact.

Do include an area code, website, e-mail, and toll-free information. The phone number should be a larger or colour-broken typeface.

Don’t print a dark colour on a dark paper stock. It just doesn’t read.

Do ask your distributor about manufacturer co-op policies. Some manufacturers may share costs of printing or Yellow Pages costs with you for being a loyal client.

Don’t assume that it has to cost a fortune to make an attractive card. Sometimes simple is best. Remember that your business card positions your salon and you should have one that you will be proud to hand out.

Do proof and re-proof carefully. If your find that your cards contain typos, toss them out, and reprint.

Don’t make the typeface too small or fussy Remember, you want the client to be able to read the information on your card.

Do use upgraded paper. Sense of touch is important and says a lot about your image.

Do go to a professional printer and design firm if your budget allows. Get printing costs for various quantities. You may be surprised that a large quantity costs a few dollars more than the smaller batch.

Do use creative techniques to make your card a standout. Make the corners round, use multiple colours, bleed the colours off the edge, etc.

Source: Joni Rae & Associates

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