Seven Things to Consider for Making Effective Business Cards
What Makes an Impressive Business Card?
Business cards are a fundamental part of any working person’s arsenal: they help introduce you and your company to others and help make a strong first impression with the people you’re interacting with. But for this to happen, you need to, so to speak, play your cards right.
Good business cards aren’t just a matter of stamping your name and contact details on a slip of cardboard. There are several points of consideration where paying attention to aesthetic and structural details can spell the difference between a mediocre card and one with plenty of visual impact.
Key Points of Consideration
- Concept What’s the concept behind your business card? It’s not enough that you have your details printed on, but what it looks like also matters. Think about your design and consider your target market: how do you want potential clients, customers, or business partners to see your company and/or brand? A well-thought-out visual concept matters in this case and a striking image leads to heightened recall.
- Materials Cardstock or linen paper have long been the materials of choice for the production of business cards, but modern technology has led to the use of alternative materials such as plastic, wood, metal foil, and even magnetic boards. These can be pricier than cardstock, but the use of unconventional materials can make a stronger impression on the people you give your cards to. A key caveat here is to match your material with your line of work: thin wooden cards work well for interior design or architectural firms; metallic or magnetic stock, on the other hand, would be perfect for automotive companies, mechanical engineering firms, or even heavy industry establishments. For those who would rather go the traditional route, note that thicker cardstock or vellum boards are more durable and add a touch of elegance and gravitas to a card.
- Laminated Finishes The coating you choose to finish your cards also has an impact on the final design. Glossy laminates work well with cards made for creative companies such as advertising agencies or artists’ ateliers: colors are more vibrant and images become more vivid to look at. Matte laminates, on the other hand, are a more traditional choice for the corporate sector. Finishes also determine the textural feel of the card in one’s hand, so be sure to choose one that feels good to your fingertips.
- Colors While your colors are a key design point when it comes to creating your business cards, the hues and shades you choose should be relevant to your brand or reflect your corporate personality. Likewise, if you’re using your company logo or brand image on your card, be sure to choose complimentary colors to set it off beautifully. Your company’s personality also needs to be taken into consideration: staid hues and neutrals may work for financial institutions, but they may not work as well for Also consider the color mode you want to use for printing as your design may look different on paper than it does onscreen. It would be best to preview your design in CMYK mode (four colors) as this is the standard used in printing.
- Font and Typefaces Legibility is one of the most important points to consider when it comes to designing business cards. Font points should not be so large as to occupy about 70% of the printable surface, but they shouldn’t be so small as to have anyone receiving your card to resort to wearing glasses just to read it. Likewise, the typeface you use matters: serif-type is a popular choice for formal-looking cards while sans-serif type is used for personal cards or cards for businesses where formality isn’t usually expected. In the case of the latter, overly whimsical or playful-looking fonts may be detrimental to the overall design.
- Images and Patterns Most of the time, companies do not usually include images on their cards except for their logos or brand devices. Freelancers and those producing artisanal goods may opt to place a picture of their products at the back of their cards; in doing so, these do not detract from the information presented in front. Patterns are easier to place on a card, but, as with all other elements, these need to be thought of carefully and reflect the brand’s personality.
- Shapes Rectangular 2” x 3.5” cards have long been de rigueur, but the development of die-cutting has given rise to cards in a diverse array of shapes, so it’s not surprising to see oval, square, and even circular cards. These are particularly striking and may even bolster recall for some businesses.
- Size As stated above, the average business card is usually 2” x 3.5”, but some people may want a slightly larger card. The rule of thumb, however, is that – as a marketing or brand promotion tool – a business card should still be smaller than a standard flyer.
Frequently Asked Questions
What kinds of cards are available?
We offer an extensive array of card options. Our most popular items include:
- Standard Business Cards
- Square Cards
- Die-cut Business Cards
- Foil-stamped Business Cards
What sizes would be best for my cards?
- Standard (2" x 3.5") or US standard business card size which easily fits easily into most wallets or card cases
- Slim (1.75" x 3.5"), a sleek and slightly smaller option
- Square (2" x 2", 2.5" x 2.5" and 3" x 3") for an unusual and modern look
Can I get full-color printing for my cards?
Yes, we offer full-color printing for our business cards. Options include the following:
- Color printing on both sides of the card
- Color printing on the front only
- Color printing in front, black and white at the back
What sort of paper stock do you offer for business cards?
We offer the following choices:
- Uncoated paper stock
- Matte-laminated stock for a non-reflective surface
- Silk-laminated stock for a satiny surface
- Glossy-laminated stock for vivid colors
- High-gloss UV laminate for a reflective surface
What does “printing turnaround” mean?
Printing turnaround is the number of days allotted to print your order but does not include weekends and holidays. Shipping transit time is not included in the turnaround time.
How quickly will I receive my order?
Click on "Get Delivery Estimate” below “Printing Turnaround” on the online calculator to determine how soon you can get your cards. This will show the available delivery dates and total transit time based on your ZIP code.