Make your foreign
business card a winner
In most cases, a multilingual one-sided layout looks
much better than a two-sided version. There are a
number of advantages with one-sided layouts.
1. Notes can be taken on the back.
2. Embossing, color and logos are maintained. (They are
often omitted when a card is two-sided)
3. Information is clearly visible at fi rst glance.
4. Sometimes the layout of the translated side is
stylistically inferior when compared to the “front” of
5. Lower printing costs.
One-sided cards vs. Two-sided
In many cultures, your business card and the way
you present it has even more of an impact then your
appearance or the way you greet your foreign hosts. Once
memories of your face and well-chosen words fade, your
business card becomes all that is left of your identity.
Don’t gamble on your
fi rst impression
Occasionally, there is a legitimate need to develop a
two-sided card (due to the amount of information it must
convey, regional and US contact information, etc.).
Consistency and branding are very important. Once the
format is set, whether one-sided or two-sided, it must be
consistently maintained throughout. Below is an example
of a Russian/English, one-sided business card.
Russian – English, one sided layout
To help Russian business associates pronounce Mr. Pickard’s name
properly, his fi rst and last name were transliterated into
In Russia, as in some other countries, the middle initial represents a
patronym (derived from the father’s name). Therefore, it is best to
eliminate middle names and initials.
Job title: “Secretary of Commerce” is translated as “Minister of
Foreign Trade,” the equivalent level of responsibility in Russia.
To assure proper mail delivery, the address is left in English.
To the left of the address, the following appears in Russian: “State of
Pennsylvania, Ministry of Foreign Trade.” This helps Russian readers
to better underst