Business cards

01/09/2008

An effective business card is a card that looks great, feels great and clearly defines what its owner’s business does so that is easily remembered by the person to whom is given.

Abstract business card

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Things to consider:

  • Size – use one of the international standard sizes.
  • Bleed – add bleed area
  • Resolution – use high resolution images.
  • Font size – not too big and not too small
  • Looks – make it visually appealing.

Read the nine most common business card blunders in this article by Patricia Schaefer.

Size

Different regions of the world have accepted different business card dimensions but the most common size is 89mm × 51mm (3,5″ × 2″).

Standard Dimensions (mm) Dimensions (in)
ISO 7810 ID-1 Credit card sized 85.60 × 53.98 3.370 × 2.125
ISO 216 A8 sized 74 × 52 2.913 × 2.047
Australia, New Zealand 90 × 55 3.54 × 2.165
Canada, United States, The Netherlands 89 × 51 3.5 × 2
Japan 91 × 55 3.582 × 2.165
IT, UK, FR, DE, ES 85 × 55 3.346 × 2.165
Czech Republic, Hungary 90 × 50 3.543 × 1.968
People’s Republic of China 90 × 54 3.543 × 2.125

Bleed area

Add a bleed area. Business cards are printed in large number of copies with a digital press or offset. This process requires trimming the edges of the paper after it’s printed. The standard bleed size can vary from one printing company to the other but generally is 3mm (0.125 inches). Read more about bleed here.

Font size

Depends on the font you’re using but a good guideline is to use a type size no smaller than 7-8 point. The name / title point can be a little larger; i.e. 9 point, and the company name usually looks good at about 12-15 point.

Color space

In order for the colors on the final printed product to look as close as possible to the colors you chose on your PC display, you should work in 4 color CMYK mode. RGB color space may print off-color, which may be unacceptable for the customer. Spot colors are OK if they can be converted to CMYK or are absolutely required for the design.

Image quality

Just like in most templates for printing purposes, the image placeholders should have high 300 DPI of resolution.

Content

The most common features of a web-to-print business card template are:

  • Text fields for the card owner’s name and title (position) in the company
  • Multiline text fields for the postal adress
  • Text fields for the email address and website URL
  • Text fields for the Phone/Fax/Mobile numbers (some may need to be optional). Learn how to do that here.
  • Replaceable images for the owner’s photo and company logo. Learn how to do that here.

Other usefull articles on this subject

You can view some more guides and articles about designing business cards at:

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