If an observer was permitted to peek into the wallets and purses of the great British public, he would no doubt find the predominant material within them to be plastic. Without doubt, plastic – not cash – is what makes the world go round for Brits in the twenty-first century.
The reason for this is simple enough: printed plastic cards, be they membership cards, gift cards, hotel cards, or loyalty cards, provide consumers with supreme convenience, easy access to products and services, and – more often than not – a compelling incentive to get involved in discount schemes, membership offerings, promotions, and special offers.
Needless to say, offering a suitably impressive plastic card, alongside a high quality product or service, is now seen as being a key way for commercial companies to form strong and lasting relationships with their customers.
So what makes a card ‘suitably impressive’?
Well, like many other things involved in marketing and promotion, the key lies very much in a card’s design. To be sure a well designed plastic card can make all the difference when it comes to impressing potential customers. Therefore it is absolutely vital that any company or enterprise that is thinking of investing in plastic cards devotes some time and resources to designing an effective and attractive card which will appeal to their existing customers as well as attract new ones.
Typically, an effective design process will include:
Developing a message
This is the ‘bread and butter’ of the design process. Companies looking to create a winning card design must think about what the card will be used for, what they want to accomplish by having it, and how they want their customers to use it. The best way to address concerns like these is to carry out some consumer research, source information about the target audience and form an accurate picture of what they will want out of ‘their’ card. This information can be invaluable so it is important to keep it in mind all throughout the design process.
Including artwork and graphics
It should go without saying that custom plastic cards need to be eye-catching i.e. existing/potential customers must perceive them to be attractive, valuable, and beautiful. As well as including a logo (a given) companies should look into other visual design concepts which may be used to promote their brand. Bold, high resolution images that have complementary colours and are easy for customers to recognise often yield the best results. You can even make use of professional companies like Megridigitizing for vector artwork or graphic work.
Checking for errors and getting impartial feedback
Once a card design is complete it needs to be checked – and double-checked – for errors. Inconsistencies with language or images which might be negatively interpreted are some of the most commonly overlooked mistakes. Getting impartial feedback from people who have no links with the company designing the card can also be beneficial as an objective eye is likely to pick up on things which those involved in the design process will not think to address.