How to design a business card: the ultimate guide

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

These company multi-tools meet a number of the specialist’s basic requirements: advertising, brand name acknowledgment, call-to-action, and naturally contact details. When developed right, these pocket-sized billboards can leave a long lasting impression and develop life-long consumers from passing complete strangers.
A business card is a little, printed, generally credit-card-sized paper card that holds your service information, such as name, contact details and brand name logo. Your business card design is an essential part of your branding and must serve as a visual extension of your brand name design.
In this guide, we’ll go through whatever you need to learn about business card design so you can tell your designer precisely what you want. Business cards must above all be personal, so this guide explains what your alternatives are for the card that’s most … you.
However prior to we enter into the 8 steps of business card style, let’s talk a little about what you’ll need before you begin.

Prior to you start …

Whether you’re a private freelancer, creator of a young startup, or part of a recognized business, there are two important style components you require finalized prior to you even begin thinking of business cards:

  • Finished logo
  • Brand name color pattern

Logo designs and color pattern are the two most important visual options for branding. Not just will these aspects play a big part in producing your business card, they’ll also assist affect other locations like layout and identity.
We do not have time to do these topics justice here, however describe our previous guides:

  • How to develop a logo design: the ultimate guide
  • Branding colors: whatever you need to choose your brand name’s best pigments

Know thyself

There’s another initial activity that makes the rest of the business card style process run more smoothly. You require to know what you want to communicate. What kind of brand are you, as a private or organization? What do you desire your business card to say, not simply with words, however with the style?
This is likewise a subject deserving of its own discussion, so if you want to dive deeper, here’s a shortlist of questions to ask yourself for identifying your personal brand identity. Taking a couple of minutes of reflection about your personal brand name will aid with some business card design concerns down the line, especially when it comes to displaying your personality.

How to design a business card in 8 steps

Once you have your logo design, brand color design, and an excellent concept of what you want your card to state about you, you’re ready to start. Simply follow the 8 actions listed below to figure out which business card style would work best for you.
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1. Pick your shape.

You can skip ahead to the second step if you have actually currently decided on a conventional rectangular company card. If, however, you wish to discover all your choices, even outside-the-box methods, keep reading.
As printing techniques grow more budget-friendly and sophisticated, experts have more room to check out alternative shapes. The printing strategy of die-cutting allows you to cut out any shape you desire and still print wholesale.
On the conservative end of the spectrum, you might just round the corners for a friendlier business card.
If you actually want to be lively or stand-out, you can use virtually any shape: animal mascots, lays out of products your sell, or a shape that’s completely initial.
You can even build your entire business card theme around smart cutting. Cireson business card style uses shape to actually highlight the staff member picture, giving them a more therefore approachable and personalized feel.
Whether to utilize innovative shapes depends upon the image you wish to communicate. Special shapes make you seem more enjoyable and help you make an impression, but can have a negative effect on more formal markets. You’ll likewise wish to remember logistics, such as how the card suits a wallet.
You might wish to review the option of die-cutting after completing your design in step 6. For example, some business such as STIR above like to die-cut locations of their logo.

2. Pick your size.

Your next choice is the size of the card. This primarily depends on the requirement of the country, so that’s a great place to begin. Even if you prepare to stick out, you need to know what everyone else is doing to go against it.

  • North American Requirement: 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 constantly wish to consider 3 elements when designing:.

  • Bleed location: the outermost part of the card likely to be gotten rid of.
  • Trim line: the target line for cutting cards.
  • Safety line: anything outside this line goes through cutting errors. Do not 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 area to the inside of the security location.

3. Include your logo and other graphics.

Now we begin outlining the visual elements of your business card style, most importantly the logo. Your logo design should take spotlight on your business card, although secondary graphics and other flourishes can in some cases be useful too.
Do not forget that you have two sides at your disposal. One technique is to dedicate one side of the business card specifically to the logo, while the other side showcases the contact information of the person. Nevertheless, it’s also great to have the logo design on both sides, so frequently you’ll see a smaller, far-off logo design on the side with contact details, just like Omni above.
This is simply one method of numerous, however, so feel free to experiment with logo placement till you find one for your tastes.
While minimalism is a popular choice for business cards, if that empty space does not match you, you can fill it with additional graphics. In an industry like kids’s clothing, Londees wishes to take its charming 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 kid-friendly and playful color). Even if your logo design is basic or text only, any associated images serves the very same ends.
Extra graphics work well for showing off your brand name identity. Without explicitly stating it, you can communicate your or your brand name’s personality through visuals, including colors. For example, if you wish to seem casual or approachable, a charming cartoon and some brilliant colors would do the trick.
Another progressively popular trend is to instill interest and interest by leaving a little mystery. Generally, brand names put a wordless visual with a URL on one side, and after that all the required explanation (consisting of brand and staff member’s name) on the other.

4. Add necessary text.

What your organization card actually says depends on you. The point is, various individuals benefit from different text on their business cards.
The next step is for you to choose what to put on your business card. Below is a list of some typical options, so you can choose which to consist of and omit.

  • Name— A given. Every card requires a name.
  • Business name— Another given, except for individual brands, in which case your personal name is your business name.
  • Task title— For traditional cards, include your task title. This also assists advise the holder of who you are, what you do, and even how your met.
  • Phone number— Even if phone is not your favored method of interaction, it is to some people.
  • Email— A business card staple; e-mail is the new standard for non-urgent service interactions, partly because it enables sending documents as attachments.
  • Website URL Including your website URL is a non-aggressive invitation for sees.
  • Social media If social networks is relevant to your field, or you simply wish to show a little your personality, include social media links.
  • Address— Needed for drawing customers into your office or store place.
  • QR code— While not as popular as years past, a QR code is still a practical faster way to transferring whatever information you want.
  • Slogan— Completely optional, a slogan aids with brand name identity and adds a little personality.

Remember that business cards aren’t practically providing information but likewise maintaining it. Individuals may already understand your number, address, or URL, but keep your card helpful in case they forget it.

5. Choose your typography.

You can choose how it looks when you understand what you want to say. While typography is always crucial, it’s specifically essential to business cards given that you need to make text entirely clear and have just a small space to deal with.
Let’s separate typography into three primary categories:.
Size. To keep readability, you want all your text to be at least 8 pts. Nevertheless, you want your most important elements (like your name) to stick out, so feel free to vary the text sizes. Also think about void– you do not wish to mess your card, so leave your text little enough that there’s a lot of breathing room around each aspect.
We have actually currently spoken at length about typefaces and how they affect your brand name identity, so feel complimentary to examine out The 5 types of font styles and how to utilize them for a more thorough treatment. Simply keep in mind to pick a font that represents the personality you’re going for.
Color. Here’s where a pre-existing brand name color scheme can be found in convenient. Staying on-brand, choose text colors that match the background color of your card, which ought to likewise be a brand name color. Similar colors may look great together but can be hard 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 does not matter how artistic your typeface is.

6. Consider unique finishes.

Now that you’re reaching the last stretch, it’s time to start thinking about printers– specifically in terms of what they can offer. Certain printers provide special finishes that can go a long way in making a long lasting impression. See if any of these “unique effects” can benefit your business card style method.
Embossing. This technique develops three-dimensional reliefs, making sure areas “pop out.” Like area UV coating, you can utilize it to draw attention to particular aspects of your card, even words.
The result is something like an engravement, normally with unique ink to draw further attention. Specifically useful for letters, giving your words a heightened gravitas.
Foil marking. 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 accentuating text, if you’ve selected a vibrant enough typeface.
A lot of cards have a smooth varnish to smooth and create a sheen texture. Utilize it when you desire to accent certain locations over others, but be conscious of how it impacts the overall structure when only a portion is glossy.

7. Choose a designer.

If you actually desire a stellar business card, it’s an excellent concept to find a professional designer who can develop the ideal card for you. You can look 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 an excellent suitable for your brand name.
Once you have actually found the ideal person, try to communicate plainly what your organization is everything about and what design and ambiance you are trying to find, so your designer can turn your vision into reality.
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8. Complete your style.

With all the components in place and a precise prediction of your last color options and special surfaces, you can reevaluate your style to ensure everything works.
First, analyze the visual flow: how does your eye relocation when looking at the card. What do you notice? Last? A great visual circulation needs to start with the logo design, then the name, and after that the secondary information, finishing on any secondary images if they exist. You can always alter and enhance the visual flows by altering an element’s size and area.
You likewise want to clean out as much mess as you can. Is all the details necessary? The less the staying aspects, the more impact each makes.
Double-check to make sure you didn’t fall into any common mistakes. Is the text readable? Do the colors clash? Are any components too near the edge?
Don’t forget to have your designer send you the finished item as a vector file and a vector-based PDF. You want to use vector images in case you require to change the size, and PDFs are legible by almost every printer.

Advanced strategies

These 8 actions are all you require to create a completely functional business card, however if you want to go above and beyond, think about these advanced ideas:.
Stand apart with a smart idea. You can use more speculative techniques for separating yourself if your industry allows some whimsy.
This could be something thematic, like Saleular’s iPhone cards, or something more complicated. :.

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

That last pattern we’re seeing a great deal of lately, and for good factor. There’s a lot you can do with a transparent card, like Remote Pilot’s mock pilot scope.
Avoid borders. Borders may look like a wise visual choice to frame the material of your card– and they are, in theory– however the occurrence of cutting mistakes means borders do more damage than excellent. Cutting each and every single card perfectly in a bulk order is pretty much a fantasy, and that’s why it’s best to create with bleed and security areas. With borders, small mistakes in cutting are exaggerated and reduce the entire design.
Conserve money on colors. Do not cut corners on materials or the amount if you’re working on a budget plan. You can cut out a piece of the cost just by using only one or 2 colors. The more colors you include, the more the price goes up, and a clever designer will understand how to make one or more colors look just as good.

Takeaway: a contemporary coat of arms.

Your card is more than just your contact info– it’s a representation of you and your brand name. Some individuals are handed cards every day, so you require yours to both stand out and paint you in a beneficial light. Do not cut corners with developing your business card. Invest sufficient time coming up with the ideal design and then discover an experienced designer to turn your vision into a reality.
There’s one other preliminary activity that makes the rest of the service card style process run more smoothly. What do you want your service card to state, not just with words, however with the design?
See if any of these “unique results” can benefit your organization card design strategy.
If you really desire an outstanding service card, it’s a good concept to discover an expert designer who can produce the perfect card for you. Don’t cut corners with designing your organization card.

A service card typically consists of the provider’s business, organization or name affiliation (usually with a logo design) and contact details such as street addresses, telephone number(s), fax number, e-mail addresses and site. Before the introduction of electronic interaction business cards might also include telex details. Typically, numerous cards were basic black text on white stock, and the distinctive appearance and feel of cards printed from an engraved plate was a preferable sign of professionalism.

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