We’ve printed hundreds of thousand, if not millions, of business cards. Some have been outstanding, most are nice and some have been truly terrible. Since we can’t make you a graphic designer on this website we’ll do our best with giving you some of the best tips to consider when designing your business card.
Fonts – You may have a hundred fonts to choose from. That is not a challenge to use as many as you can. Stick to one, at most two fonts for your business cards. Certain fonts play well with others. Search the Internet for font families. Remember, you can achieve a clean look with judicious use of bold , italics and different sizes while using the same font.
Readability – Part of your font choice should be respect for the person who will receive your business card. An older audience may appreciate a simple font in a larger size rather than that great Gothic font you found on the Internet. Then again, if your business card is for your band, “The Modern Goths”, go for it.
Graphics – Your personal choice. Some people prefer only text, some prefer text with logos, other like full background graphics. Again, remember that your business card may represent you, but you’re giving it to someone else to read. Unless your business has something to do with zebras, realize that black and white stripes on a card may wreck havoc with the print.
Design hint #1: If appointments are a part of your business (Dentist, Chiropractor) use the back of your card as an appointment calendar. “Your next appointment is on ______ at _______”
“Bleed” – Now we need to get slightly technical. 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 how do we do it? By printing oversize and trimming 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.
Design Hint #2: Keep all important text and graphics (such as logos) within 1/8” of the final trim lines.
Text – What information should be on your business card? Name, full address, telephone number including extension, email address , website, logo and professional license number when appropriate Optional: Fax number, Skype number, mobile number.
The question we are asked more than any other regarding a business card is, “Should I add my photo?” Frankly, it doesn’t make any difference to us. That said, it does seem that realtors are the only professionals who almost always include their photo.
This is important. If you include your photo – or for that matter a logo or any graphic – it must be in high resolution, 300 DPI (“dots per inch”). And you will probably not be able to take an image from the Internet. Images on the web appear the same regardless of whether they are 72 dpi or 300 dpi. The only difference will be in the time it takes to load the image. So a professional web designer will reduce all images to 72 dpi to save loading time, and simultaneously make those images unacceptable for printing. Please don’t blame us – we had nothing to do with it.