Your business card is one of your most important marketing tools. As such, it needs to stand out, be informative and represent you and your company. Include key information — your name, title, company name and contact information — on your card, but make sure keep good design in mind, too. You can only put so much data on the standard 3.5-by-2 inch card without it looking cluttered and unprofessional.

Who You Are

The single most important thing on your business card is your name. This is the focal point of your card, so consider carefully the size, color and style of the font you use. Use your first and last name, including a middle name or initial only if you routinely use them in your business dealings. Center your name on the card and print it in a bolder typeface than other elements on the card. Include degrees or certifications only if they are directly relevant to your business. A medical professional would include M.D. after his name, but a sales rep or media consultant, for example, might not include the Ph.D. he earned in English literature.

Your Title

The second required element of your card helps tell your story. It explains the role you play in your company, as indicated by your title. Your official company title goes immediately below your name, using the same type style, but in a slightly smaller or less bold version.

Who You Represent

The name of your company is the third important item on your card. If you're using a company logo on your card, it typically goes on the left side, often in the upper corner. When you use the company's name without a logo, center it under your name and title, positioned a line or two below.

How to Reach You

Fourth, include your telephone numbers. This information can go directly below the other information already on the card, but it is commonly placed in the lower left corner. Use a font size slightly smaller than that used for your name, but be sure to choose a font that is crisp and legible. Include both an office number and your cell number, unless you only use the cell.

Online Contacts

Put your business email address and company website just under the phone number, or in the right corner for a balanced, uncluttered look. It should be in the same font as the phone numbers.

Beyond the Basics

Business cards traditionally include a street address, but for a small business that operates primarily online, you can omit this item. If you have room, err on the side of inclusion. Perhaps your company has a tag line — "The Midwest's Premier Widget Makers" or "Offering Quality Design Services Since 2008," for example. If this helps explain what your company does or is something you want prospective clients to remember, include it under the company name on the card.

Important Considerations

Unless you're in an artistic career field, stick to the standard shape and size, but differentiate it with crisp, bold fonts, selective use of color and a small company logo. Most importantly, don't scrimp on your business cards. The goal is to leave a strong, positive impression with your card, so use heavy card stock with quality printing and clean-cut edges.