Although not always the first software choice for designing business cards, Microsoft Powerpoint has the ability to create high quality cards. Most people only think about the Microsoft Office program for presentations. However, Powerpoint offers you a certain amount of creativity that can be appealing to users, especially those familiar with the program. When working with Powerpoint, here are a few key points to remember.
Remember the Basics
One of the first things to do, even before you start designing your business card in Microsoft Powerpoint, is to know what information should be included and what dimensions are required. The key point of a business card is to provide potential clients, employers, or other networking potentials with a way to contact you and remember you by. Choose only pertinent information, such as contact information, company name or logo. Dimensions for business cards are traditionally around 90 mm by 55 mm. However, it is best to check with the printing company to find out the exact measurements required. Standards can vary, especially when it comes to margins.
Margins and Bleeds
Some of the most important information to remember when designing has nothing to do with the design itself. Whether you are printing your business cards at home or outsourcing them to a printing company, you need to make sure you are creating your design using the correct dimensions. Make sure to include the additional safety margins when setting your dimensions. Safety margins are used to help prevent text from being too close to the border, but these safety margins also include an extra area called the bleed section. Adelphi Design and Print for instance, requires a 6 mm safety margin, 3 mm safety margin and 3 mm of bleed. This necessary section is created to allow for both issues with trimming machines or ink. When creating your business cards it is vital to stay within the appropriate margins in order for your entire design to print correctly.
Business cards can often be about first impressions. Due to this, you want the best quality work you can provide. During an interview, opinions can first form on how you’re dressed and how you act. The same can be said about a business card. Opinions can start forming even before the content is read. Think about the quality of the images or the type of paper stock used. Avoid using weird or thin materials that can cheapen the look of your business cards.
Visual content is very important to a business card. There is limited space, and everything can either make or break the design. Remember the saying “A picture speaks louder than words.” If your image is unfocused it can ruin a good design. Therefore, all images should be saved in at least 300 dpi. It is also best to avoid using clip art.
An important element to avoid is the use of borders around your business card. Although trimming machines are fairly accurate, they are not perfect. Thus, even the slightest imperfect cut (think 1 mm to 2 mm or more) will cause the business cards to be off. This is especially true if you are printing the cards yourself.
One of the biggest visual content aspects of the business card is font. Font can change the look and overall feel of the design. However, make sure the font is legible and easy to read. Plus there are plenty of online websites offering free fonts for personal or commercial use.
The process used to create business cards using Powerpoint is fairly easy. It is important to remember these are basic steps and can be slightly different depending upon the version of Microsoft Powerpoint being used.
- Open a New Document.
- Click on the View tab and in the Show/Hide group, select the Ruler check box.
- Click on the Rectangle located in the Drawing toolbar.
- Draw your dimensions. Traditionally this is 90 mm by 55 mm with proper safety margins.
- Use the Format tab to set your Fill to your preferred color and the Line to black.
- Insert Text and Images.
- Zoom in on the page and edit.
- Print to PDF.
There is another option you can use by creating a table instead of using the draw tool. However, the process is slightly longer.
Microsoft Powerpoint is a great software program that many people overlook when designing business cards. Make sure to use clear visual content and quality materials. Use the correct dimensions and remember to add in the safety margins. Following these key points will help to ensure a more professional appearance for your business card design.