The option to print free business cards is available these days. You can find free templates online, have them edited a little bit, and print them out to have copies of your business card almost instantaneously. But there is a price to pay. The disadvantages will be discussed in this article.
Design and layout
One of the most obvious disadvantages is evident on the design and layout. Cards that are free often have limited options available and you can only choose among templates that are already pre-designed. No matter how many templates are offered on the site, there is still a tendency that someone has already downloaded the same design you did. Worst, you may even share the same template with your competition. Thus, it is still better to create a unique and all-original one even if you have to pay for it.
Paper and material used
Aside from the design and layout, paper and material used also matter when it comes to the effectiveness. Free cards are often printed on a low quality type of paper or material. These are easily soiled and crumpled. In some instances, high quality material may be used but you won’t expect exceptional finishing. Only professional printing services can items with matte, glossy, and smooth finish. You can also apply foil, spot, raised print embossing, and UV coating.
Text and content
As much as the design and layout are limited, the same applies to text and content. Predesigned layout only allows you to edit the text and content which are already pre-defined in the order and arrangement as they appear on the card. You can’t create your own set of textual content according to what your profession or brand needs. You can’t rearrange the layout as well.
Professional and paid cards at least allow you the liberty to choose where specific text will be placed. These include your personal or company information, products or services offered, contact details, and more.
Most users have the impression that using free materials is more cost effective since most printing services only charge you for shipping and handling. In some cases, it can even be offered completely free. But since the material used are of lesser quality, they may not even last long enough for you to distribute them. You may have to spend money again, whether it is for shipping and handling only, in order to have a new set at your disposal.
In terms of distribution, there’s still no denying of the fact that free products are of lesser quality. As mentioned earlier, they get soiled or crumpled easily. This leaves an unfavorable impression on you or your company. You or your brand will soon be forgotten the moment that the cards are disposed of.
Thus, it is still more cost effective to shell out money for original, professionally designed business cards made of high quality material. You’ll discover that the long term result will be worth your money.
Impression and attention
When it comes to first impressions, free items are not competitive enough when compared with high quality prints. Obviously, any potential customer will be impressed and will become more attentive towards cards printed with the best quality over those which are cheaply printed out.
Most are not actually completely free. There is a corresponding cost which is often an advertisement at the back of the card. Your possible clients will be distracted by the printing company’s logo or slogan. Their attention will be diverted from the card’s actual content or the message you want to convey.
Brand and profession
In relation to impression, free business cards do not offer a professional look for a personal card. Neither do they promote brand awareness for a company card since they are co-branded. High quality cards on the other hand can provide a professionally looking card with your personal brand or company’s logo, slogan, mission, and other details prominently displayed.
Business cards represent who you are as a professional or what your company is all about as a brand. Thus, it is important to make an impression by presenting only professional looking business cards made of high quality material, with original and attractive design, and enticing content which promotes your personal or company brand. All these advantages will prove that spending money over highly effective business cards will be worth it.