10 Tips On How to Design Your Own Business Card

by admin on 08/06/2008

by admin  |  August 6, 2008  |  Design

Designing your own card is no easy task and that is why we created this guide on how to design your own business card. If you decided to have a designer create your cards be sure that the tips below are applied to the design. If you are looking for Business Card Printing check out UPrinting.com.

They offer awesome full color business card printing and have business card templates ready for you if you want to just modify a design and get your cards printed in a matter of minutes.

1. Choosing a Size

The standard size for business cards is 2” x 3.5” and this is used more often than not because this size will fit in wallets, is easily filed and is very affordable to print. While the standard size is perfect for most situations UPrinting.com does offer custom sized printing for affordable prices in case you are looking to stand out from the others a bit more!

2. Choosing a Finish

The two most common finishes for business cards are matte and gloss. A gloss finish is a shiny coating added to your card to give it a glossy appearance. Its slick feeling and tends to protect the card better against smudges and every day wear and tear. A matte finish is a more classic finish, has a soft textured feeling and is a great choice for most business card designs.

3. The Design

Business card designs like logo designs and website designs are representations of yourself and your business. If your budget allows you should hire a professional designer to design your cards. Hierarchy of text, positing of elements, font choice, colors and choice of images all play a vital role in the overall outcome of your business card.

If you don’t want to hire a professional business card designer consider using professional designed business card templates, which can be modified to fit your business and contact information.

4. Consistency

Consistency in branding is key for all business and many large companies spend millions of dollars a year on branding. This is just important for small business and personal use. The roots of your branding should be your logo design. Use the style, concept and message of your logo design in your business card design, letterhead design, website and so on. Being consistent with your corporate identity system is essential to long term success and growth!

5. Using both sides

There is a common misconception tat printing on both sides is way more expensive, when in reality is not much more expensive and by using both sides you could have a much better return on investment.
The front side is often used to display a name or logo prominently for branding and the back is usually the home to contact information such as name, title, address and numbers. Don’t be afraid to use both sides and print in full color in both sides, use all the space given to you to your advantage!

6. Copy

A business card is meant to serve as a reminder to people of what services you offer and how you can be contacted if those services are required, so its essential you have all the information necessary to make your card work.

Elements you should consider including:

  • Your business logo
  • A tag line or very brief description of your business
  • Your name
  • Your title
  • Your phone number (home, office, personal and or fax)
  • Your email address
  • Your website URL

7. Images

Images can be very powerful and can clearly convey the message of your business, but its important to use high quality high-resolution images in your business card design. Although tempting, you should not use low 72dpi web resolution images in your design. Blowing them up will make the images look pixilated and horrible.
Either have your own photography done or purchase affordable stock photography from sites such as www.istockphoto.com. The image should be 300 dpi and big enough so you do not have to blow it up much to display as needed on the card.

8. Bleed Size

If you are going to have any color or images run all the way to the edge of your business card design then you will want to extend the canvas size of the card to include a bleed area. This means the design will run farther out then the trim size so when the cards are cut it wont leave any white edges it will run the color or images perfectly to the edge without any mistakes.
The typical bleed size is: 2.25 x 3.759 inches (1⁄8 inches bleeds) or 2 x 3.5 inches without a bleed.

9. Borders

Borders can be very tricky for most print designs if they run close to the edges. The problem with using borders in your design is the way the cards are cut at the printer. Its impossible to get the cuts perfectly even so if the borders are to close to the edge it will highlight the slight unevenness of the cards which would otherwise be unnoticeable, so be careful using borders on business cards!

10. The Safety Area

The safety is an area on the business card design designated as safe from being accidentally trimmed off.
Always be Prepared!

Lastly, always your business cards on hand. There is no point in printing business cards if you are not going to give them out! You should always keep at least half a dozen in your wallet, a few in your car and a cardholder full of your business cards at your office or studio.

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8 comments

PrintRobot August 7, 2008 at 4:52 am

Very good list, the last paragraph should be tip number 11. “Lastly, always your business cards on hand. There is no point in printing business cards if you are not going to give them out! You should always keep at least half a dozen in your wallet, a few in your car and a cardholder full of your business cards at your office or studio.”

Nilson Saavedra August 11, 2008 at 10:04 pm

a very complete guide to card design

Xavier Paz August 31, 2008 at 1:27 am

I disagree with tip nr 5, “using both sides”. When someone (a businessman) attends an exhibition, a convention, etc. lots of contacts are made which need to be followed up. People write the interesting details of the contact on the back of the card. If this is already written, printed in a dark colour, or the card is made of a non-writable material such as plastic, very important information may be lost.

So, my alternative rule for tip nr 5 is, “always ensure that the back of the card is writable.”

Diseño Gráfico September 18, 2010 at 10:24 pm

thanks for the tips, very useful

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