Designing Your Business Card With Psychology In Mind

Designing Your Business Card With Psychology In MindThink about all the different business cards you’ve given and received. Now consider which ones have been the most appealing. Have you ever thought about what makes certain business cards more attention-getting that others?

While the obvious answer is design, the real answer goes deeper. There are documented and accepted psychological reasons why people respond to specific design features.

Here are some crucial design elements along with tips for gaining a psychological edge in your business card design:

White space

The tried-and-true expression “less is more” definitely applies here. If your card is filled with text and pictures, it creates a cluttered effect. The overload of information is overwhelming to your customer, whose eyes and brain don’t know where to focus. As a result, your message is lost.

Generous use of white space packs another psychological punch. It creates a simple but elegant look that’s interpreted as sophistication and good taste, whereas lack of white space is viewed as cheap and tasteless.


Use of appropriate fonts is obviously a matter of readability. For maximum legibility, stick with one or two fonts only. Make sure one is sans-serif, which is traditionally used for titles, and the other is serif, generally found in bodies of text. Pairing fonts from the same family upsets the visual balance.

Fonts also have their own “personality” that communicates particular traits to your customer. A trick of the trade is to type out your desired characteristics in several different fonts. Which ones say “creative” or “energetic” or “quality” to you? They will speak the same way to your customers.


Color is the most psychologically influential element of your business card, so choose with care. Countless studies have been centered around the mental and emotional impact that colors carry. While some variations will arise from individual personalities, there are specific and proven psychological effects of color. Select shades that are consistent with your brand and image.


Business cards are no longer confined to the classic rectangular shape. Thanks to modern printing methods, your card can be created in nearly any shape you can think of. A square card or other offbeat shape can indicate creativity, or you could use a shape that literally communicates your business, such as a camera for a photographer.

While shape can be a highly effective element, don’t use it just for its own sake. An unusual business card shape should be one that makes sense for your brand. Otherwise, it can come off as pretentious and confusing.

Card stock and finish

Sight is not the only sense that can be affected psychologically. If your business card is pleasing to the touch as well as the eyes, you and your brand will stand out from your competition. Think about how your card feels in your hand. A sturdy card with thick card stock and a smooth, glossy finish is easier and more pleasing to hold than one printed on thinner, flimsier card stock.

Your business card carries your brand’s message on a small piece of real estate. Take advantage of these key psychological concepts to make the most of it.  A good commercial printer can offer additional suggestions for business card design that engages the brain as well as the eye.


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