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We off 7 types of business cards.

Your business card is not just a piece of cardstock with your basics on it. Yes, it is a primary way to communicate your contact information, but it’s so much more than that. The design you choose says a lot about who you are as a person and as a professional in any given industry. Making a great first impression so that the recipient holds onto your card and doesn’t dump it into the trash as soon as you turn around starts and ends with a great design. We’re here to help.


Size and Shape

Standard U.S. specifications for the standard business card size is 2.0” x 3.5”. Acceptable variations include the fold-over card: 4.0” x 3.5”, but folded to 2” x 3.5”. Another option is to select a mini-card, which can be as small as 1.75” x 2” and as large as 2.5” x 2.5”. Before going with a non-standard size, though, be mindful of who will be receiving your business cards. While unusual shapes may be perfect for an artistic audience, business people generally keep cards in organizers or apps specifically designed for 2” x 3.5”.

You could go the middle of the road route with rounded corners, which include radii of 1/8”, ¼”, 3/8” or ½”.

Materials

Card stock is by far the most popular material, but we have done some plastic business cards in the past, such as gold foil on a translucent red plastic. Plastic cards come in a variety of colors now and can easily be made to match your corporate logo.

Another interesting variation of the plastic card is a lenticular business card, created by imposing two images on a single side. One image is viewed when you hold the card at a certain angle, while the other image is seen when the angle is changed.

In terms of paper cards, consider that paper weights (thickness) are expressed in points and 1 point equals .001 inch. So 10 points = .01”. The least expensive cards are generally printed on .009” (also called “80# cover”) stock. The next heavier stock commonly used is .011” (also called “100# cover”) and can be acceptable, especially if you just need a small quantity and want to keep costs low.

The minimum is 14 pts. If you like something even heavier, consider 16 pts. Paper stock is available in either gloss or matte finish. Additional finishes include Varnish, AQ (Aqueous) and UV (Ultra Violet).

Another unique option is to print your business card on magnetic materials. This option is ideal for real estate agents, plumbers, veterinarians and local restaurants who want their numbers stuck to the side of a refrigerator.

Extras

For a little extra edge, why not add different inks and foils to your business cards? Most business cards are printed in the standard CMYK process consisting of Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black inks. Even more colors are available as foils.

We achieve this by creating a die to stamp the foil onto your business cards. Using inks and foils can really make your business cards stand out. However, because it’s an additional process, it requires an additional design and additional cost.

One cool technique is called thermography, a process where resinous powder is added to an ink and then fused. When the business cards are sent through a heat tunnel, the powder reacts with the heat to slightly raise the ink, creating a texture in the print.

Considerations

Check out these helpful tips to coming up with a compelling design for your business cards.

Fonts: Stick to one, at most two, fonts for your business cards, and always stay within the same font families.
Readability: Keep the age and interests of your audience in mind before selecting the size and type of font.
Graphics: Keep them to a minimum so they don’t overwhelm the card. Zebra stripes may seem cool, but they can really overwhelm the print.
Extras: If you are a doctor, therapist or other similar professional, add something like “Your next appointment is on ______ at _______” on the back for the convenience of your patients.
• “Bleed”: When a color continues to the very edge of paper that is called a “bleed” and it looks more professional than a white border. But a printing press cannot apply ink to the edge of a paper, so we have to print oversize and then trim back. The most common bleed size is .125”. In order to print a finished business card that is 2.0” x 3.5” with color running to the edges (“full bleed”), the card must be originally designed at 2.25” x 3.75”. After printing, that 1/8” will be trimmed off to the correct size.
Text: Be sure to include name, full address, telephone number including extension, email address, cell number, website, logo and professional license number when appropriate. Optional: fax number, Skype number, social media, etc.
Photo: This really isn’t necessary unless you are a real estate agent or some other professional where your appearance is vital to clients recognizing you. If you include your photo, it must be in high resolution, 300 DPI (“dots per inch”).

Need more advice? Don’t hesitate to ask us here at Your Market Stuff. We’re the business card experts!