How to design a business card: the ultimate guide

If American Psycho has actually taught us nothing else, it’s the significance of business cards.

These organization multi-tools satisfy a lot of the professional’s fundamental requirements: advertising, brand name acknowledgment, call-to-action, and of course contact information. When developed right, these pocket-sized signboards can leave a lasting impression and produce life-long customers from passing strangers.
A business card is a little, printed, generally credit-card-sized paper card that holds your organization information, such as name, contact details and brand name logo. Your business card design is a crucial part of your branding and need to function as a visual extension of your brand style.
In this guide, we’ll run through everything you require to know about business card style so you can inform your designer exactly what you want. Business cards should above all be individual, so this guide discusses what your options are for the card that’s most … you.
Before we get into the 8 steps of company card design, let’s talk a little about what you’ll require prior to you begin.

Prior to you begin …

Whether you’re a specific freelancer, creator of a young start-up, or part of a recognized enterprise, there are two vital style elements you require finalized before you even begin considering business cards:

  • Finished logo design
  • Brand color pattern

Logo designs and color design are the two crucial visual choices for branding. Not only will these elements play a huge part in producing your business card, they’ll also assist influence other areas like design and identity.
We don’t have time to do these subjects justice here, however refer to our previous guides:

  • How to design a logo: the supreme guide
  • Branding colors: whatever you require to pick your brand name’s perfect pigments

Know thyself

There’s one other initial activity that makes the remainder of the business card style process run more efficiently. You need to know what you wish to interact. What sort of brand name are you, as a private or company? What do you desire your business card to say, not just with words, however with the style?
This is likewise a topic worthwhile of its own discussion, so if you wish to dive deeper, here’s a shortlist of questions to ask yourself for determining your individual brand name identity. Taking a couple of minutes of reflection about your individual brand name will aid with some business card style questions down the line, especially when it comes to showing your personality.

How to design a business card in 8 steps

When you have your logo design, brand name color design, and an excellent idea of what you want your card to say about you, you’re ready to start. Simply follow the 8 actions below to identify which business card design would work best for you.
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1. Select your shape.

If you’ve already picked a traditional rectangle-shaped business card, you can skip ahead to the 2nd action. If, nevertheless, you wish to learn about all your alternatives, even outside-the-box methods, keep reading.
As printing strategies grow more sophisticated and budget friendly, professionals have more room to explore alternative shapes. The printing strategy of die-cutting enables you to eliminate any shape you want and still print in bulk.
On the conservative end of the spectrum, you might merely round the corners for a friendlier business card.
But if you actually wish to be playful or noteworthy, you can utilize essentially any shape: animal mascots, lays out of products your sell, or a shape that’s completely original.
You can even construct your whole business card theme around smart cutting. Cireson business card style uses shape to truly highlight the staff member image, giving them a more for that reason friendly and personable feel.
Whether or not to use imaginative shapes depends on the image you wish to convey. Special shapes make you appear more fun and help you make an impression, however can have an adverse effect on more formal markets. You’ll also want to remember logistics, such as how the card fits in a wallet.
You might want to review the alternative of die-cutting after finalizing your design in step 6. Some companies such as STIR above like to die-cut areas of their logo design.

2. Choose your size.

Your next choice is the size of the card. This mainly depends on the standard of the nation, so that’s an excellent place to start. Even if you prepare to stand out, you need to know what everybody else is doing to break it.

  • North American Standard: 3.5 × 2 in. (88.9 × 50.8 mm).
  • European Requirement: 3.346 × 2.165 in. (85 × 55 mm).
  • Oceania Standard: 3.54 × 2.165 in. (90 × 55 mm).

No matter the size, you constantly want to think about 3 elements when developing:.

  • Bleed location: the outermost part of the card likely to be eliminated.
  • Cut line: the target line for cutting cards.
  • Safety line: anything outside this line goes through cutting mistakes. Don’t let essential elements like text or logos fall outside this line.

While these locations vary depending on the size and printer, a safe bet is to set the trim line at 0.125 in. That’s 0.250 in (6 mm) overall from the edge of the bleed location to the within of the security area.

3. Include your logo design and other graphics.

Now we begin plotting the visual elements of your business card style, primary and very first the logo. Your logo design ought to take center stage on your business card, although other flourishes and secondary graphics can in some cases be useful too.
Don’t forget that you have 2 sides at your disposal. One method is to commit one side of business card solely to the logo design, while the opposite showcases the contact details of the individual. However, it’s likewise excellent to have the logo design on both sides, so often you’ll see a smaller sized, out-of-the-way logo design on the side with contact information, similar to Omni above.
This is just one strategy of many, though, so feel free to experiment with logo positioning till you discover one for your tastes.
While minimalism is a popular option for business cards, if that empty space does not suit you, you can fill it with additional graphics. In an industry like kids’s clothes, Londees wants to take its adorable style as far as it will go: they broaden on their sheep mascot by positioning sheep doodles all over, and utilize a faded background to avoid clutter (likewise see using soft blue, a lively and kid-friendly color). Even if your logo design is easy or text just, any related images serves the exact same ends.
Additional graphics work well for showing off your brand name identity. Without clearly saying it, you can interact your or your brand name’s character through visuals, consisting of colors. If you desire to seem casual or approachable, an adorable animation and some bright colors would do the technique.
Another significantly popular pattern is to impart interest and interest by leaving a little secret. Usually, brands place a wordless visual with a URL on one side, and after that all the necessary description (including brand and worker’s name) on the other.

4. Add needed text.

What your business card really states depends on you. Work-from-home freelancers might have no need for a postal address, while occupations that consult in person require it. Or possibly it’s a tactical option, such as drawing attention to your outstanding social networks following. The point is, different individuals benefit from various text on their business cards.
So the next action is for you to choose what to put on your business card. Below is a list of some common options, so you can decide which to omit and include.

  • Name— A given. Every card requires a name.
  • Company name— Another given, except for individual brands, in which case your personal name is your company name.
  • Task title— For conventional cards, include your task title. This likewise assists advise the holder of who you are, what you do, and even how your met.
  • Contact number— Even if phone is not your favored method of communication, it is to some people.
  • Email— A business card staple; e-mail is the new standard for non-urgent business communications, partially because it permits sending files as accessories.
  • Website URL Including your website URL is a non-aggressive invitation for sees.
  • Social media If social networks relates to your field, or you just want to reveal a little bit of your character, consist of social networks links.
  • Address— Needed for drawing consumers into your office or shop location.
  • QR code— While not as popular as years past, a QR code is still a viable faster way to moving whatever information you desire.
  • Motto— Completely optional, a slogan aids with brand identity and adds a little personality.

Bear in mind that business cards aren’t almost giving details but also retaining it. Individuals may already know your number, address, or URL, but keep your card convenient in case they forget it.

5. Choose your typography.

You can choose how it looks once you know what you want to state. While typography is always crucial, it’s especially pertinent to business cards because you have to make text totally readable and have only a small space to deal with.
Let’s break up typography into 3 primary classifications:.
You desire your most important aspects (like your name) to stand out, so feel complimentary to differ the text sizes. Consider empty space– you don’t want to clutter your card, so leave your text small enough that there’s plenty of breathing room around each aspect.
We’ve currently spoken at length about fonts and how they affect your brand identity, so feel totally free to check out The 5 types of fonts and how to utilize them for a more in-depth treatment. Just remember to pick a font style that represents the character you’re going for.
Color. Here’s where a pre-existing brand color scheme can be found in helpful. Remaining on-brand, choose text colors that complement the background color of your card, which must also be a brand color. Similar colors may look great together however can be tough to read, so try out contrasts for legibility.
The principle for typography is to focus on legibility over all else. It doesn’t matter how creative your font is if nobody can read what it says.

6. Consider special finishes.

Now that you’re reaching the last stretch, it’s time to begin thinking about printers– specifically in regards to what they can provide. Certain printers offer unique surfaces that can go a long way in making an enduring impression. See if any of these “unique results” can benefit your business card style method.
Embossing. This strategy develops three-dimensional reliefs, making certain areas “pop out.” Like area UV covering, you can use it to accentuate specific elements of your card, even words.
Letterpressing. Instead of raising the paper, letterpress printing presses the paper down while inking it. The result is something like an engravement, generally with unique ink to draw additional attention. Particularly useful for letters, providing your words an increased gravitas.
Foil stamping. If you want something glossy and reflective like tin foil, you can apply foil stamping to images or perhaps simply parts of images. This also works for accenting text, if you have actually picked a bold enough typeface.
Spot UV covering. A great deal of cards have a streamlined varnish to produce a shine and smooth texture. Area UV covering is the same thing, except just applied to certain locations. That indicates you can use a gloss on just your logo, particular graphics, or even a word or phrase. Use it when you want to accent particular locations over others, but bear in mind how it affects the total composition when only a portion is shiny.

7. Select a designer.

It’s an excellent concept to discover an expert designer who can develop the perfect card for you if you actually want an excellent business card. You can search for a regional freelance designer or search on a platform like Alpha Print for a designer with the ideal design and experience. Make certain to check out their portfolio to see if they’re a good fit for your brand name.
As soon as you have actually found the best individual, try to interact clearly what your service is all about and what style and ambiance you are looking for, so your designer can turn your vision into truth.
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8. Settle your design.

With all the components in place and an accurate prediction of your final color options and unique finishes, you can reassess your design to make certain whatever works.
Initially, examine the visual flow: how does your eye move when looking at the card. What do you discover first? Last? An excellent visual circulation ought to begin with the logo, then the name, and then the secondary details, completing on any secondary images if they’re there. You can always alter and enhance the visual flows by altering a component’s size and location.
You also want to clean out as much mess as you can. Is all the info essential? The fewer the remaining aspects, the more impact each makes.
Double-check to ensure you didn’t fall into any common pitfalls. Is the text readable? Do the colors clash? Are any components too near to the edge?
Don’t forget to have your designer send you the completed product as a vector file and a vector-based PDF. You want to use vector images in case you need to change the size, and PDFs are understandable by practically every printer.

Advanced methods

These 8 actions are all you need to produce a fully practical business card, however if you want to go above and beyond, think about these advanced ideas:.
Stick out with a smart concept. If your industry permits some whimsy, you can use more experimental techniques for separating yourself.
This could be something thematic, like Saleular’s iPhone cards, or something more complex. :.

  • scented inks.
  • triplexing and duplexing (tripling the card or doubling’s width to make it thicker).
  • utilizing alternate materials (metal, plastic, rubber, and so on).
  • folded cards.
  • transparent cards.

That last trend we’re seeing a great deal of recently, and for good reason. There’s a lot you can do with a see-through card, like Remote Pilot’s mock pilot scope.
Avoid borders. Borders may seem like a wise visual choice to frame the material of your card– and they are, in theory– but the frequency of cutting errors implies borders do more damage than great. Cutting each and every single card perfectly in a bulk order is basically a dream, and that’s why it’s best to design with bleed and safety areas. With borders, small errors in cutting are overstated and bring down the entire style.
You can cut out a chunk of the expense just by utilizing just one or two colors. The more colors you add, the more the rate goes up, and a wise designer will know how to make one or two colors look simply as great.

Takeaway: a modern-day coat of arms.

Your card is more than just your contact info– it’s a representation of you and your brand. Don’t cut corners with developing your business card.
There’s one other initial activity that makes the rest of the organization card style process run more efficiently. What do you want your organization card to state, not simply with words, however with the design?
See if any of these “unique effects” can benefit your business card style technique.
If you truly desire a stellar service card, it’s a good idea to find a professional designer who can create the ideal card for you. Do not cut corners with developing your business card.

An organization card normally includes the provider’s name, company or business affiliation (usually with a logo) and contact details such as street addresses, telephone number(s), fax number, e-mail addresses and site. Before the arrival of electronic interaction business cards might likewise consist of telex information. Traditionally, many cards were simple black text on white stock, and the distinctive look and feel of cards printed from an etched plate was a desirable indication of professionalism.

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