Bentacos Printmedia : How to design a Business Card
1.Remember basic design principles the basic principle of paper based design apply to business cards. – It might seem obvious but it’s worth reiterating that a business card is a piece of printed material like any other.
Because of this, the basic principles of paper-based design apply to business cards:
Keep all your key copy at least 5mm from the trim edge
Work at 300dpi for best image reproduction
Ensure you maintain a minimum size for your typography to maintain legibility
Design in CMYK unless you’re working exclusively with spot colours
Many designers also find it helps to use a grid to lay out their cards, as this can help you to achieve the right hierarchy of information as well as ensure your alignment is sound (if you need a reminder, take a look at our guide.
2. Get creative within the contraits – There are a couple of ‘standard’ sizes for business cards, depending on where you are in the world (perhaps because wallet sizes also vary slightly from country to country). One typical business card size is 55 x 85mm, although you’ll see many other sizes quoted on the web. Even though you only have a tiny canvas, you can still get creative with the space. Start by considering the key information you want to include, which will typically be a name, phone number and email address/social handles, then work your design around presenting this information in a creative way.
3. Avoid common pitfalls – There are some common pitfalls to designing business cards that it helps to be aware of. The first and most obvious is to ensure you provide a bleed as specified by your printer.Just as important is to avoid using a straightforward border around the entire of the card, as this will show up any misalignment in the trim if the card isn’t perfectly cut.
4. Use special finishes – An instant way to add impact to your business card is to use a special finish. Special finishes include the likes of foil blocking, spot-UV and metallic inks, and can add significant cost to your print. What they offer, however, is the opportunity to make your card more tactile, visually impressive and memorable. If you’re not sure how to approach this, take a look at our guide to creating special print design. Different printers offer different options for finishes, so speak to them to find out what they can do for you, and don’t be afraid to go to a specialist if your usual printer only offers straight four-colour print.
5. Cut into your card – A great way to make your card unique is to use a die-cut process to remove elements from the card stock, leaving a void. You can either use a die to change the shape of your card (by rounding the corners, for example), or you can cut shapes out of the centre. Dies are expensive to create the first time, although increasingly printers are offering laser-cut options that make it economical to create a die-cut look on shorter print-runs. There are some amazingly creative examples on the web, like this die cut letter press stationary and when combined with creasing you can use the process to create architectural features in your card design.