11 Factors to Consider When Designing Your Professional Note Cards

an array of personalised note cards from Pemberly fox

With trust in social media platforms falling it's time to rethink your marketing strategy. Now, more than ever is a great time to invest in print marketing materials such as note cards.

You might be thinking, "wait, note cards?" You've read it right…notecards!

Note cards, or correspondence cards, are primarily created as a tool for writing down messages and information. Yet, they can also double as an analogue form of social networking material. In addition, they can be used as an indirect business card because you put contact information on them as well.

However, a note card's success as a marketing tool lies in excellent design.  Whether you opt for something highly original, or a classic look with an emphasis on discretion – get the design right and you’ll make a good impression. 

Read on to learn about 11 essential factors to consider when designing your professional note card today!

1. Consider Your Brand Reputation

It's crucial to consider your business brand identity before you start designing. Take, for instance, the clothing brand Nike. Since Nike is a sportswear line, its brand resonates with athletic lifestyles.

Hence, Nike maintains a consistent brand voice, from vibrant colours to bold fonts. This brand voice is thoughtfully reflected in Nike's marketing and social networking materials.

For instance, their note cards feature a white front and reddish-orange back.  It mirrors their brand ethos – simple, but bold and active. 

Similarly, we recommend professional note cards match your brand. From logo, typography, and even colour scheme, your brand will set the style and layout of your note card design.

You might ask, what if I work alone and don't have a logo or organized heading? First, decide what concept best represents your work ethic or reputation you want to spread. Then, build your design concept around that.

For instance, you're a freelance architect with expertise in designing sustainable commercial and residential structures. Why not base your note card ideas on the concept of sustainability. You can do this simply by using a green or woody texture backdrop as your theme colour.

2. Choose the Right Backdrop for Your Professional Note Cards

Will your professional personalised note cards feature a plain or patterned background? Or is a textured background image more appealing? This is your first decision to make.

If you're going for a plain coloured card, you can add graphic images or logos to bring the notecard to life.  Or maybe you want to mix two shades together in a colour gradient?

If you opt for a textured or patterned background, you need to have a clear idea of additional elements like font style and colours to ensure any text you add can be easily read.

3. What Colour Scheme Should You Use?

Colour is one of the best ways to add interest and emphasis to your professional note cards. The primary reason for this is that colour evokes emotions from audiences.

If you want to make your note card fun and cheery, favour bright colours. Yellow best represents warmth and optimism. Orange is friendly and cheerful and can exude confidence.

Meanwhile, red is an exciting colour that projects boldness and youthfulness. Lilac is perfect for dreamy and creative concepts if you want to try a pastel colour.

In comparison, blue represents strength and trust. Finally, green offers a peaceful feeling suggesting calmness, health, and growth.

When you do use colours in your correspondence card, make sure your colour tones match. For instance, if your logo is brightly coloured pick a dark background colour, whilst monotone is the way to go if you want to use muted or pastel hues.

It's also essential that you don't go overboard with the colour. Ideally use no more than three or four. You may also choose to use different shades of the same colour.

4. Consider What Size You Want Your Note Card To Be

The most popular note card size is A6 – 105 x 148.4mm – which means your note card is small enough to fit your bag easily. Yet, at the same time, you are able to write a great deal of information on one notecard.

If this size doesn’t suit, then you can have bespoke note cards made.  First you must give proper consideration to your note card's purpose and the amount of printed content you want it to feature. This will help you decide.

5. Consider Your Note Card's Orientation: Landscape vs. Portrait?

Aside from size, it's also worth taking note of the orientation you prefer. Orientation refers to the fixed physical direction you want your printed information to appear on your note card. 

There is only two choices when it comes to orientation: landscape or portrait.  Landscape, or horizontal, is usual, as you can accommodate longer sentences.  Portrait notecards are vertical.  They emphasise height over width.

6. What Shape Do You Want Your Note Cards to Be?

Note cards often come in rectangular forms and follow a horizontal orientation. This is especially true for corporate and legal businesses. However, this doesn't have to be the case for you.

For instance, if you're in the fishing industry, your note cards can take the form of a fish. At the same time, the note cards of architects can be in the form of a simple house structure. Of course, if you don't want to be so professional and generic, you can opt to use any geometrical shape you like.

Your note card can take several shapes. From geometrical shapes to even foldable origami, the possibilities are endless!

Note, however, that note cards that take a more intricate shape can limit your writing space. Hence, you should find a balance between creativity and functionality.

7. Lined, Dotted, or Plain Note Cards?

Before you start adding design elements, decide whether you want to have line guides. Although for standard and smaller sized note cards, it's recommended to make them guide-free.

If you’ve chosen large note cards it's okay to add guides in the form of a horizontal line or dots. This feature serves as a guide for illustrations and making calligraphy.

The downside to dot guides is they can hamper your plan to include intricate border lines. This is because your note card may look too crowded when taken as a whole.

8. Consider What Information You Want to Include on Your Note Cards

While coming up with note card ideas, ask yourself what you want your card to say. What information should be visible on the card? How should you phrase such information?

Remember to resist the urge to fill your professional note card with information. Instead, include only necessary information that can help grow your business.

Generally, professional note cards consist of the company name, logo, or both. Including your contact information on your professional note card is also possible.

Your contact information includes your address, phone or mobile number, and e-mail address. You can also integrate a QR Code to make your note card more modern. In addition, you can personalise the code to lead your audiences to your website and more.

You may include a positioning statement or a tagline if you have more space. A positioning statement is a short statement that outlines your brand and its values. Examples include Nike's "Just do it" and Adidas's "Impossible is nothing."

However, a full-on view of the company name and logo, contact information, and a tagline is only recommended for larger-sized note cards. While you may add them on small note cards, it's at the expense of the writing space.

Also, remember to proofread all the texts on your professional note cards. There's nothing more damaging to your brand's reputation than misspelled words and incorrect contact info. Hence triple check everything thoroughly before sending your note card designs to your stationery provider.

9. Should You Incorporate Graphic Images on Your Note Cards?

This goes hand-in-hand with factor number two, which is the backdrop. If you're considering including graphics, decide on what type you want to include.  That could be your brand logo, representative clipart, or a photo of your work.

After deciding, plan out where to put your graphic and what size it should be. This will make the layout and formatting of your note card more straightforward.

10. Font Size, Style, and Colour: Which is Appropriate?

It will help if you consider what fonts you want to use. Note that while professional note cards don't serve the sole purpose of forwarding contact detail, they do play an integral part in social networking. Thus, you want to ensure that information, such as contact details, is readable.

Choose a font style with care. As much as possible, only use easy-to-read fonts. Yet be careful to avoid using generic fonts such as Ariel and Courier.

Using one or two font types is wise. Raised lettering, embossing, or foil stamping can also give your finished note card a touch of elegance.

Further, if you use specific fonts in your branding, it's wise to use them for consistency. However, edit out decorative and script fonts for names and contact info. Although you want to put your creativity to work, your main priority is to make your text legible.

Don't forget to apply the contrast rule when choosing colours for your fonts. For example, don't use light colours that are difficult to read. Also, don't have a dark image in the background, as it might obscure your text.

Lastly, pay attention to your texts' alignment. If you have a lot of content, centering it can make your note card look cluttered. Instead, for easier reading, you might want to think about aligning the text to the left-hand margin.

11. Consider the Type of Paper You'll Use

Printed materials such as note cards should be able to withstand the physical demands of their use. Therefore, the paper should be thick enough so that it doesn't easily tear but not too much so that it becomes bulky. More importantly, it should be compatible with all types of pens.

What note card isn't compatible with pens, you might ask. Today, transparent note cards are becoming more and more popular. The downside of filmy note cards like these is that water-based ink pens don't stick to them.

Moreover, these types of unusual, bespoke paper choices are hard to customise, not to mention expensive. Hence, it's best to stick with 100% cotton or linen note cards. These are perfect for writing on, with whatever pen or pencil you choose.

Pemberly Fox: A Trusted Stationary Provider

Perhaps one of the most critical factors to consider when designing your professional note cards is where to have them made. It’s best to work with a stationery provider that offers experience, creativity and flexibility.

Moreover, you want someone whose craftsmanship you trust. Yet above all, a stationary master whose passion for stationary pushes them to produce nothing but quality items.

At Pemberly Fox, we like to think we offer all this and more!  With creative minds and a passionate heart, we produce nothing but quality note cards. Contact us today for information on professional note cards.

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