How to design a business card: the ultimate guide

It’s the importance of business cards if American Psycho has actually taught us absolutely nothing else.

These business multi-tools satisfy many of the expert’s basic needs: advertising, brand recognition, call-to-action, and naturally contact information. When designed right, these pocket-sized signboards can leave a long lasting impression and develop life-long customers from passing complete strangers.
A business card is a little, printed, normally credit-card-sized paper card that holds your service information, such as name, contact information and brand name logo design. Your business card design is a crucial part of your branding and should function as a visual extension of your brand design.
In this guide, we’ll go through everything you require to learn about business card design so you can tell your designer precisely what you desire. Business cards ought to above all be individual, so this guide explains what your choices are for the card that’s most … you.
Before we get into the 8 steps of service card style, let’s talk a little about what you’ll need prior to you start.

Prior to you begin …

Whether you’re an individual freelancer, creator of a young start-up, or part of a recognized business, there are two vital style components you need finalized prior to you even begin considering business cards:

  • Finished logo
  • Brand color scheme

Logos and color pattern are the two most important visual choices for branding. Not just will these aspects play a huge part in creating your business card, they’ll also help affect other locations like design and identity.
We do not have time to do these topics justice here, but refer to our previous guides:

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

Know thyself

There’s one other initial activity that makes the rest of the business card design procedure run more efficiently. What do you desire your service card to state, not just with words, but with the style?
This is likewise a subject worthwhile of its own conversation, so if you wish to dive much deeper, here’s a shortlist of concerns to ask yourself for identifying your individual brand name identity. Taking a few minutes of reflection about your personal brand name will assist with some business card design questions down the line, especially when it concerns showing your character.

How to create a business card in 8 steps

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

You can skip ahead to the second action if you’ve currently chosen on a traditional rectangle-shaped service card. If, however, you wish to learn more about all your choices, even outside-the-box methods, keep reading.
As printing techniques grow more inexpensive and innovative, specialists have more room to check out alternative shapes. The printing method of die-cutting permits you to eliminate any shape you desire and still print wholesale.
On the conservative end of the spectrum, you could merely round the corners for a friendlier business card.
If you really want to be spirited or stand-out, you can utilize virtually any shape: animal mascots, details of products your sell, or a shape that’s completely initial.
You can even build your whole business card theme around clever cutting. Cireson business card style utilizes shape to really highlight the staff member image, providing a more for that reason friendly and personalized feel.
Whether to utilize imaginative shapes depends on the image you want to convey. Unique shapes make you appear more fun and assist you make an impression, however can have an adverse result on more official industries. You’ll likewise want to remember logistics, such as how the card fits in a wallet.
You may want to revisit the option of die-cutting after settling your style in step 6. For example, 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 primarily depends on the standard of the country, so that’s a great place to start. Even if you prepare to stick out, you have to understand what everybody else is doing to break it.

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

No matter the size, you always want to think about three aspects when developing:.

  • Bleed location: the outermost part of the card most likely to be eliminated.
  • Trim line: the target line for cutting cards.
  • Security line: anything outside this line is subject to cutting mistakes. Do not let essential elements like text or logos fall outside this line.

While these locations differ depending on the size and printer, a sure thing is to set the trim line at 0.125 in. (3 mm) from the edge. From there, set the safety line at 0.125 in. (3 mm) from the trim line. That’s 0.250 in (6 mm) total from the edge of the bleed location to the inside of the safety location.

3. Add your logo design and other graphics.

Now we start plotting the visual elements of your business card design, primary and first the logo. Your logo design needs to take center stage on your business card, although other flourishes and secondary graphics can sometimes be useful as well.
Do not forget that you have two sides at your disposal. One method is to dedicate one side of business card solely to the logo design, while the opposite showcases the contact details of the individual. Nevertheless, it’s also good to have the logo on both sides, so frequently you’ll see a smaller sized, far-off logo design on the side with contact info, similar to Omni above.
This is just one technique of lots of, however, so do not hesitate to experiment with logo positioning till you find one for your tastes.
While minimalism is a popular choice for business cards, if that empty space does not suit you, you can fill it with extra graphics. In an industry like kids’s clothing, Londees wishes to take its adorable style as far as it will go: they expand on their sheep mascot by positioning sheep doodles all over, and use a faded background to prevent mess (also discover making use of soft blue, a kid-friendly and playful color). Even if your logo design is basic or text just, any associated imagery serves the exact same ends.
Additional graphics work well for showing off your brand name identity. Without explicitly saying it, you can communicate your or your brand’s character through visuals, consisting of colors. If you want to seem friendly or casual, an adorable animation and some intense colors would do the trick.
Another increasingly popular pattern is to instill interest and interest by leaving a little secret. Typically, brands put a wordless visual with a URL on one side, and after that all the necessary description (including brand name and worker’s name) on the other.

4. Include necessary text.

What your business card in fact says depends on you. Work-from-home freelancers may have no requirement for a postal address, while professions that seek advice from face-to-face require it. Or maybe it’s a tactical option, such as drawing attention to your excellent social media following. The point is, various people 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 typical choices, so you can choose which to omit and include.

  • Name— An offered. Every card needs a name.
  • Business name— Another given, except for personal brand names, in which case your personal name is your company name.
  • Task title— For standard cards, include your job title. This also helps remind the holder of who you are, what you do, and even how your met.
  • Phone number— Even if phone is not your favored technique of communication, it is to some individuals.
  • Email— A business card staple; email is the brand-new norm for non-urgent organization interactions, partly because it enables sending out documents as attachments.
  • Site URL Including your website URL is a non-aggressive invitation for sees.
  • Social media If social media relates to your field, or you just want to show a little bit of your personality, include social media links.
  • Address— Required for drawing clients into your workplace or store place.
  • QR code— While not as popular as years past, a QR code is still a viable shortcut to moving whatever data you desire.
  • Slogan— Entirely optional, a motto assists with brand name identity and includes a little personality.

Bear in mind that business cards aren’t almost offering info but likewise maintaining it. Individuals may currently know your url, address, or number, but keep your card handy in case they forget it.

5. Select your typography.

As soon as you understand what you wish to say, you can choose how it looks. While typography is always important, it’s especially relevant to business cards given that you need to make text totally readable and have only a small area to deal with.
Let’s separate typography into three main categories:.
You desire your most crucial elements (like your name) to stand out, so feel free to vary the text sizes. Think about empty space– you don’t want to mess your card, so leave your text small enough that there’s plenty of breathing space around each element.
Font style. We’ve already spoken at length about font styles and how they influence your brand name identity, so do not hesitate to check out The 5 kinds of typefaces and how to use them for a more in-depth treatment. Just keep in mind to select a typeface that represents the personality you’re choosing. A modern-day and clean sans-serif, an individualistic and sophisticated script or a traditional and classic serif font? Below are some examples of what different font designs give the table.
Color. Here’s where a pre-existing brand color design comes in convenient. Staying on-brand, pick text colors that go well with the background color of your card, which must also be a brand color. Similar colors might look nice together but can be tough to check out, so experiment with contrasts for legibility.
The golden rule for typography is to prioritize legibility over all else. If no one can read what it states, it doesn’t matter how creative your typeface is.

6. Think about special finishes.

Now that you’re reaching the final stretch, it’s time to begin considering printers– especially in regards to what they can offer. Certain printers provide unique finishes that can go a long way in making a lasting impression. See if any of these “special impacts” can benefit your business card style technique.
Embossing. This strategy creates three-dimensional reliefs, ensuring locations “pop out.” Like area UV finish, you can use it to accentuate specific elements of your card, even words.
The result is something like an engravement, typically with unique ink to draw further attention. Specifically useful for letters, offering your words an increased gravitas.
Foil marking. You can use foil marking to images or even simply parts of images if you want something glossy and reflective like tin foil. This also works for accentuating text, if you’ve selected a vibrant enough typeface.
Spot UV coating. A lot of cards have a smooth varnish to produce a sheen and smooth texture. Spot UV coating is the same thing, except only applied to certain locations. That indicates you can use a gloss on just your logo, specific graphics, or even a word or phrase. Use it when you wish to accent specific locations over others, however bear in mind how it affects the total structure when only a part is glossy.

7. Select a designer.

It’s an excellent idea to discover a professional designer who can create the perfect card for you if you really desire an outstanding service card. You can try to find a regional freelance designer or search on a platform like Alpha Print for a designer with the ideal style and experience. Make sure to check out their portfolio to see if they’re an excellent fit for your brand name.
Once you’ve found the right individual, try to interact clearly what your company is all about and what style and vibe you are searching for, so your designer can turn your vision into truth.
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8. Finalize your style.

With all the elements in place and an accurate forecast of your last color choices and special finishes, you can reassess your style to make certain everything works.
Examine the visual circulation: how does your eye relocation when looking at the card. An excellent visual circulation ought to start with the logo design, then the name, and then the secondary info, finishing on any secondary images if they’re there.
You likewise wish to clear out as much clutter as you can. Is all the details essential? The fewer the staying components, the more effect each makes.
Double-check to make certain you didn’t fall under any typical risks. Is the text legible? Do the colors clash? Are any elements too close to the edge?
Don’t forget to have your designer send you the finished item as a vector file and a vector-based PDF. You wish to utilize vector images in case you require to alter the size, and PDFs are readable by almost every printer.

Advanced techniques

These eight steps are all you need to develop a totally practical business card, but if you want to go above and beyond, consider these advanced pointers:.
Stand apart with a smart concept. If your market enables 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. :.

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

That last trend we’re seeing a lot of lately, and for good factor. There’s a lot you can do with a see-through card, like Remote Pilot’s mock pilot scope.
Avoid borders. Borders might look like a smart aesthetic choice to frame the material of your card– and they are, in theory– however the frequency of cutting errors means borders do more damage than great. Cutting every card perfectly in a bulk order is pretty much a fantasy, and that’s why it’s best to design with bleed and security areas. With borders, small errors in cutting are exaggerated and lower the whole style.
You can cut out a chunk of the expense simply by utilizing only one or two colors. The more colors you include, the more the price goes up, and a smart designer will understand how to make one or 2 colors look just as great.

Takeaway: a modern-day coat of arms.

Your card is more than just your contact details– it’s a representation of you and your brand name. Do not cut corners with designing your service card.
There’s one other preliminary activity that makes the rest of the company card style procedure run more smoothly. What do you desire your business card to say, not simply with words, however with the design?
See if any of these “special impacts” can benefit your company card style technique.
If you truly want an outstanding service card, it’s a great idea to find a professional designer who can create the ideal card for you. Don’t cut corners with designing your business card.

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