Business cards are part of your brand. They serve both as an inexpensive marketing tool and a way for you to provide your contact information to potential clients. When doing business overseas, this can be an opportunity to revamp your existing English business card into a new design that serves both your brand and your needs in China, Japan, Korea, etc. When having your business cards translated for Asia, there are additional items to consider which may or may not be unique to bilingual business cards.
Below is a list of tips to guide you when having your business cards translated:
1. Shape – For Asia, avoid using modern or highly unusual die cut business cards. It’s best to stick to the traditional rectangle shape and size.
2. Never hand write anything on your business card. All information should be printed, clean and legible.
3. Keep all information, (address, city, state) current and up to date on your business card.
4. For international use, do not forget to include the country on your mailing address. For example, always include “USA” at the end of your mailing address if you are located in the states, etc.
5. Always have your business cards professionally printed. Never print them at home, and never use pre-perforated business card templates. They are unprofessional.
6. You can lower your per-card costs by ordering large quantities of translated business cards at the time of printing.
7. Always have your business cards professionally translated. (Never use someone in the office who “knows a little Chinese” for example.) The translation is just one part of the process. A crucial, and often overlooked portion of the process, is professional typesetting.
8. For branding, stick with a clean and professional logo for your company. Never use unprofessional clip art.
9. Consider adding a QR code that links back to your company website. This is especially helpful to use on Japanese business cards.
10. For business card translation, it’s ideal to use two-sided business cards with English on one side and your target language on the back. Trying to add too much information on one side will be busy and/or make font sizes too small to be read.
11. Avoid trying to add multiple target languages on the same card. For example, if you’re traveling to Asia on business and will be heading to China and Japan, it’s not wise to include Japanese and Chinese on the same business card. Create separate translated business cards for each region you are visiting.
12. Glossy or UV coated cards can make a good impression based on certain card layouts.
13. For Chinese business cards, know your target language. If you are visiting China, you will want to use Simplified Chinese. If you are visiting Taiwan, you will want Traditional Chinese. Each are different for their particular regions. If you are visiting a region overseas and you are unsure of the correct target language, ask your professional translation agency doing your cards. They can assist you.
14. For Chinese business cards, you cannot use Mandarin or Cantonese for printing. These are the spokenversions of Chinese, not the written. See Tip #13 for more information.
15. Never fold or crease your business cards when distributing them in Asia. Ensure your cards are clean, crisp and professional, never folded.
16. If you desire specialized card stocks or inks, like linen stocks or raised ink, your professional translation agency translating and typesetting your business cards can often supply you with a press-ready PDF file of the Japanese, Chinese or Korean business card layout. Then you can submit this file to any specialized local printer.
17. For branding purposes, if your logo contains English text (for example, your company’s name) this text should not be translated. You can always add an additional line of text under the logo with the translated company name. But for branding, the logo should stay as-is.
18. Free email addresses should not be printed on your business card. It’s wise to invest in a professional web site and vanity URL for your business.
19. Always include your company’s web site URL on your business card. Email addresses and web site URLs are never “translated” they are listed as-is.
20. Any telephone numbers on your business card for Asia should be included as-is as Western numerals. For example, it’s not wise to “translate” telephone numbers into Chinese numerals or Japanese numerals. Always leave them as-is.
21. Keep fonts clear and concise to be read at smaller sizes.
22. Font selection is extremely important. The typography on your business card should match your business profession. If you are a graphic designer, then you are allowed some flexibility in using more whimsical fonts. However, if you are an attorney, your font selection should be a professional serif font choice, etc.
23. When translating business cards, a professional agency should match your fonts on the translated side of the card. For example, if fonts are bold on the English side, they should be bold on the Chinese side, and so on. This also applies to matching serifs and sans-serif fonts for the translated side of the card, etc.
24. Avoid using multiple fonts on your business card. For variations, it’s best to use multiple font weights within the same font family. For example, using Helvetica Light, Helvetica Bold, etc., is perfectly fine. However, it’s not wise to include multiple font families (different font names, etc.) on the same business card.
25. Double-check the spelling on your business card. A spelling mistake will be disastrous.
26. Always include social media links on your business card if you use them. This can be your company’s Facebook page, Twitter account, etc.
27. Don’t forget to add your Skype username on your business card if you need to connect with Asian clients overseas via Skype.
28. For international business cards, don’t forget to include the international country code in front of all telephone numbers. For example, (212) 555-1234 should read +1 (212) 555-1234 for a telephone number located in the USA. (The USA country code to add is always +1 in front of the area code.)
29. Decide whether you would like your company name translated at all on your card. For branding purposes, it’s often wise to leave this as-is in English. This is especially true for Chinese business cards which use characters that have both a phonetic and literal meaning.
30. Decide whether you would like your mailing address translated on your business cards. If you’re doing dual-sided Chinese business cards, for example, the translated mailing address on the Chinese side will allow your Chinese customers to quickly recognize the city/state in Chinese characters, and the English side can be used for actual mailing, etc.
For more information, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions page for ordering translated business cards.
You can also use our express FREE Asian Business Card Translation Quote Request Form to select your options and receive a detailed quote for your exact order.
Japanese, Chinese & Korean Business Card Translation, Typesetting & Printing Experts