Graphic design is a very spirited thing. The smallest things can make a difference. Often the wrong color, the wrong font and even the wrong font size can influence or damage a design. The real difference between a very professional looking business card and a card that looks like it was designed by your 5 year old son is very subtle. So many people try to design their own business cards with computers and graphics software that are freely available and easy to use, but in reality they shouldn't. Chances are they don't even realize how bad it looks, but their potential customers do, and it can even damage their company's image.
If you really can't afford a graphic designer, I would encourage you to do some research. You have to understand color and composition and although this is not the beginning and end of a good business card, it makes a big difference. Here are a few simple tips to get you started.
– Use a white background.
If you are unfamiliar with graphic design, stick to white paper. If you really have to, you can use black, but be careful. White is safe, simple, and works most of the time.
– No funny fonts.
Nothing says as much about "amateur" as a poor font choice. Never use funny looking fonts. it never works and it always looks amateurish. Only the best graphic designers can do it. Instead, stick to the most basic fonts like Ariel and Roman.
– No crazy colors.
Nothing says "amateur" as much as crazy colors and crazy color combinations. Never use more than 3 colors and stick to black on white as much as possible. If you want to use color, try to limit it as much as possible.
– Don't be brave.
One of the biggest problems with composition is trying to be brave. Remember that it is always better to try to get the message across. Make sure that everything is legible, that there are enough spaces and that the different elements of your business card are summarized.