Remember your basic design principles
Business Card To maintain legibility, you should keep your typography at a minimum size. Keep your key copy at least 5mm away from the trim edge. Unless you are working with spot colours, 300dpi is the ideal resolution for image reproduction.
A grid is also a good choice for designing business cards. This can ensure that the information is in the correct order and hierarchy. (See our guide to grid theory).
Be creative within the constraints
Business cards can be very creative. You can make your business cards stand out by playing with texture and colour. But, the standard sizes are there for a reason. It is important that a business card can be easily stored in a wallet, pocket or organizer. Cards of different sizes and formats are more likely to get lost, or to be thrown away.
There are a few sizes that are standard, depending on where you live in the world. The standard size for business cards is 55x85mm. However, you will see other sizes on the internet – ask your printers. There are standards for the content that you should include. Although an image or name can be bold enough, people won’t be able to contact you if they don’t know how. It is a good idea to include at minimum a business name, telephone number, and email address. Depending on the type of business you have, you might want to include a physical address, a website address, and social media handles.
Although the card’s size limits you, you still have the freedom to be creative. You can design your business card around the presentation of the most important information. For an attractive design, you will likely place the information on one side and leave the other open for the eye.
Avoid these common mistakes when designing business cards. Your printer will specify a bleed. This is usually 3mm. However, it can be as high as 5mm. Make sure you check. Avoid using a straight border across the entire card. This will highlight any misalignment in your trim if the card hasn’t been cut perfectly.
Use a quality support
Low quality business cards are easy to throw away because of their low quality. They soon lose their color and crease quickly, so they end up in the trash. Card stock made from quality heavyweight paper is stronger and more comfortable to hold. This makes it more professional.
Card stock is the most economical option for printing business cards. If you are looking for something more creative, and you have the funds, you can print on a variety of materials, including metals, wood, and even slate. Remember that business cards should be easily stored in your pocket or briefcase. Print your business cards by yourself. There are letterpress kits available on eBay for a reasonable price. These allow you to easily convert any card stock into your business cards.
A special finish is another way to instantly increase the impact of your business cards. You can use special finishes such as spot-UV, foil blocking and metallic inks. They can be costly, but they will make your print stand out visually and more memorable. There are many options available for finishing, and different printers have different capabilities. Ask around to see what they can offer you. If your printer offers only four-colour printing, don’t be afraid of going to a specialist.
Make it tactile
You can make your business cards more tactile by using quality supports and special finishes. A die-cut is a great way to make your card stand out and ensure that potential clients receive it more often. Either you can use a die or cut shapes from the center to alter the shape of your card.
While dies can be expensive to make the first time, laser-cutting options are becoming more popular. You can find some really creative examples online, such as this die-cut letterpress stationery (opens in new window). Combining creasing with die-cut letterpress stationery can create architectural features in your cards design. Take a look at this example.
Use your business card
Paper is everywhere. Some people keep all the paper they get, building up a paper mountain. Others are more careful and try to recycle everything. It can be helpful to give your business cards a second purpose in order to avoid being recycled.
You must be careful when designing a business card that serves a purpose. It should relate to your business and your clients. If you make something useful that is too different from the standard business card size and shape, your card may not be kept. We’ve seen many clever uses for business cards. These include phone holders, seed packets, and bottle openers.
While you don’t want your idea to be copied, sometimes it’s worth incorporating form and function into business cards. This will ensure that prospective clients keep your cards and that they are more likely to refer to them when hiring someone.
Double-check the design of your business cards
This tip is applicable to all print work, but it’s so important that it’s worth repeating when designing business cards. Make sure that you double- and triple-check every detail before you send your business cards to the printer.
You should ensure that all details are correct and you have included everything you need. Name, position, phone number, and email address are all essential details in almost every case. It is a good idea to have someone else review your design. We have seen many business cards with Instagram icons or Facebook icons but no username. Finally, make sure you spell check! There is nothing worse than receiving your cards back and finding a typo in your email address or name. This wise saying is “Check twice, print once.”