In the course of rebranding projects, we occasionally recommend redesigning the firm’s logo, which means developing new stationery as well.
We typically suggest printing on both sides of the business cards to convey the firm’s information, perhaps the tag line or website URL. Other times it’s a list of the office cities or some treatment of the logo. There are many options, obviously. Printing on the back is just slightly more expensive, and we think it makes a nice impression. Doing things that are a little more costly subtly conveys that you are successful enough to afford it.
Of course, this can be more difficult when engraving the logo or other information on the front of the card, because it creates indentations on the reverse.
One thing we do NOT recommend is a full bleed of color, because we want to leave plenty of room on the back for the cards’ recipients to take notes. (In the NALP collection, see, e.g. the green card in the second row or the red “SLS” card in the fifth row.)
Lawyers who have not been through this type of project previously inevitably ask, “How many other firms print on the back?” In my experience, roughly 2/3 of professional-services firms print on the reverse.
As a non-scientific survey, here are two representative examples. In the past two weeks, I have spoken at the Legal Marketing Association (LMA) and National Association of Law Placement (NALP) annual conferences. In each instance, I offered to send a .pdf of the PPT slides to anyone who dropped off a card. Below are photos of the back of each collection of cards.
Regarding the handwritten scrawls on the NALP cards — it was just my second time speaking at NALP, so I conducted a quick two-word survey to see how I did. I asked attendees to provide a single adjective and a 1-5 evaluation (from terrible to terrific).
So, if you want to show your lawyers that it’s OK to print on the back of a business card, here’s your evidence — 22 out of 50 NALP cards, and 19 out of 63 LMA cards: