What Not to Put on Your Business Card

Posted by: Michael Wittmeyer on Dec. 11th, 2010
Embarrassed Face

As a follow up to our previous article, What Information To Include on Your Business Card, below we explain what information should not be included on your business card.

This information is equally as valuable, because having too much information on your business card can be just as confusing as having too little information.

Your Home Phone Number

Depending on the nature of a business, it may or may not be acceptable to call a home phone to conduct business. Even if you are willing to go the extra mile at home for big clients, you may regret providing your home phone number on your business card. Consider this carefully when you are designing your business cards.

Your Home Address

It is rare that you should need your home address on your business cards, unless you work from your home and clients need to locate you there. Additionally, given identity theft in today’s virtual world, it may lead to a security issue. Do not include your home address on your business card unless you run a storefront from your home.

Quotations

Unless you are adding your company’s tagline or a quotation that is extremely relevant to what you do, there is no need to place quotations on your business card. Although it may seem special to have a motivational quote on your business card, it takes away from the true focus of your business card, which is you and your information.

Inconsequential Personal Details

There is no need to include your personal information on a business card. These personal details to avoid are height, weight, date of birth, hometown, favorite food, best color, or any other random information. There may be an exception if one of these details actually pertains to your work. For example, an actor/actress or model might put his/her measurements and date of birth on a business card because it pertains to his/her work.

Outdated Technology

When you design your business card, keep in mind how technology is changing. Unless your business calls for it, you may not want to include a pager number or other outdated equipment on your business card.

Financial Information

No matter how proud you are of personal or company successes, it is inappropriate (and possibly in violation of company policy) to place any financial numbers on your business card. Some examples include your company’s profit numbers or your personal sales numbers. There are no exceptions—it is tacky and classless.

Too Much Color/Too Many Graphics

Most professionals benefit from using color on their business cards, but for some industries too much color may be a no-no. For example, most lawyers, doctors, and CEOs would do best with a simple black/white raised print business card as opposed to a flashy colorful business card. A little color is fine, but too much color can convey a lack of professionalism/seriousness.

Inappropriate Pictures/Caricatures

Although a nice headshot or an interesting caricature can greatly enhance a business card, you should avoid a picture that may be misconstrued as inappropriate. A good rule of thumb: if you have to think about whether or not the picture is appropriate, it probably isn't.