Does My Business Card Really Need to Match My Web Site?

by Kate.
(Montana, USA)

Kind of embarrassing to admit this since I’ve actually got several years of graphic design experience under my belt, but… my existing business card is a premade cheapie from VistaPrint.

And I’m torn on whether to redo it. Again.

Honestly, I just loved this card layout as it was. It was quick, pretty and simple and I didn’t have to spend much time on it other than customizing fonts and colors.

The message we wanted to put out there was that we were running a design company, not just a jewelry company, and I think it does that.

I’m well known locally as a photographer, so the film image didn’t seem to be a problem at the time.

This is my second card already, so I don’t want to get too carried away and confuse people.

I started with a partner (we’ve since gone different directions).

We picked cocoa brown and burgundy as our signature colors – colors which are still in my packaging, and colors we established in our first two web sites (yeah I’ve built several trying to get the right one going).

The new web page has brown and robin’s egg blue as the primary colors, so now my cards and packaging don’t match the site.

I still have a ton of them and don’t want to waste materials.

I’ve spent forever getting the web page to look decent, though, so I really don’t want to redo that again.

How important do you think it is for an artist’s site, packaging and cards to match?

Kate
Desiderio Gallery

Comments:

Matching your Website
by: Anonymous

Could you insert a photo of your business card on the opening page of your website?

On my monitor, it seems you wouldn’t have to tweak the colors, at least much, and anyone who already had your business card would see a consistent theme on your website.

Branding
by: zoraida

Hi Kate,

I’ve had three business card designs (from Vistaprint, in fact).

The first one was a sort of emergency card and it was obviously not a reflection of my style. The second was better showing a photo my jewelry but the third card was the best. I finally found a look that I feel is mine alone.

It is important for me to have matching cards, packaging, labels, stationery. I think it makes your brand/image more recognizable when it is consistent.

My older cards just nagged at me because they didn’t match. I even changed the banners on my websites/shops to match.

I feel so much better about my business image now. I even wrote a blog post about my new cards titled “I love my new business cards”.

I’m still working on the stationery and will be ordering those little address labels to mimic my cards (I stick them on boxes and bags).

Zoraida
http://artzjewelry.wordpress.com
http://zoraida.artfire.com

Business Card and Web Site
by: JoAnne Green

I have ordered vista print BC’s in a variety of designs and always come back to my own because I don’t want a duplicate of someone else’s. Since I am in the middle of redoing my web site I don’t really have your problem. That said, I am using the same background picture and incorporating my 2 logos.

As part of the branding I think that the basic color scheme and logo are the important things. would stick with your site design but incorporate the film element from your BC using your new color. That way you maintain a coordinated look.

The idea of placing a copy of your card in your site is also good. It will emphasize the coordination of both even with the different colors

Brand Recognition
by: Atomic Swag -Michelle

I try to match everything the same. If I can’t do exactly the same, then I at least put my logo on it that’s the same on everything.

My picture watermark is the same as on my invoices, letter head, email signatures, jewelry cards and any advertising for easier brand recognition.

My business cards, vendor booth sign, hang tags and website match exactly the same. Black background with retro diamond shapes and vintage lady. Which random people just email me and compliment the image. I guess I picked a winner.

I’ve rebuilt my website and I’ve redone my business cards twice. But now that they match, when I hand a business card to someone, a lot of people say “Oh, I’ve been on your website, I bought the…..!” because it’s the same image over and over again it really helps build that brand image.

FYI:
If anyone is looking for inexpensive but quality vinyl signs for their booths, I got a 2′ x 4′ sign for $20.00 at esigns.com. They’re really nice quality, they ship the same week you order and shipping is only $7.00 The 2×4 foot sign fits perfectly displayed under your table. They come with eyelets as well so you can hang them easily too.

Making your brand
by: Carol

Think about how you might react if you went to a store’s website, then saw the owner who gave you a business card that didn’t match the website. Would you wonder for a bit if she was really the owner? Your website and your business cards are part of your brand. Your brand announces who you are and should make it easy for customers to recognize who you are and what you are selling. I would strongly suggest maintaining one design or another so potential customers aren’t confused as to whom they are doing business.

Brand Recognition
by: Raven Cheyenne

I agree with some of the people who have posted. By having your business card, stationery, etc the same or as near as you can get it, establishes your brand, so that when people see it, they recognize it. When you see a light blue box, you know it’s from Tiffany. They may do something a little different around the holidays, but they have established their brand.

Branding
by: Linda

As a small business we do not have the marketing dollars that the Pepsi, Nike, Starbucks, etc. brands have. However, we should follow the same branding rules, which do not cost a fortune. And by following these rules, it makes it so much easier to execute your marketing materials.

Here’s a perfect example of why not to use an on-line printer’s graphic layout. I attend lots of networking meetings and receive lots of business cards. I have 2 business cards that are exactly the same, but they are two totally different businesses. I use them as show and tell when I do marketing presentations.

Think about when you go to the store to buy mac and cheese – the box is blue. If you want a coke, the can is red if you buy Coca Cola. Look at Target; they run a commercial with only their logo. They don’t even mention the company name (except in the legal line/web address at the bottom of the screen). But their customer knows their bullseye logo. Consumers look for consistency. They spend seconds looking at shelves or products.

You are building a brand, even if that brand is only you, the person.

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