“Inspiration can be a fickle thing,” says Cameron Chapman of Smashing Magazine. Like any creative process, inspiration doesn’t solely come from within. Sometime it takes exterior sources to spark an idea. There is a lot more to designing a business card than what meets the eye. What do you want your business card to say about your company both literally and metaphorically? What color scheme best captures your audience? How funky can you be without crossing the line of unprofessional? Are they easy to read?
How does one make these decisions?
When people order business cards from our NYC print shop, there are some requests that almost everyone seems to want. Some of these common requests include printing on a nice material and adding some sort of effect such as spot gloss or raised ink. Of all the requests that we encounter, having a thick and sturdy business card is by far the most popular.
To some degree, I am not surprised that people would want thicker, more substantial business cards. However, I didn’t expect to see just how thick people wanted them. This unexpected demand has caused us to alter our production strategy and cater to a different set of priorities. Printing on heavyweight stock is not easy, and I’m not kidding when I say that. That being said, its worth the effort. We are one of only a handful of business card suppliers who can do things like that.
First of all, lets look at what the average business card thickness is. Most business cards are printed on #100-110lb stock, which is equivelent to 12pt cover for those who use the point system. Although you will never be criticized for using the standard weight, those business cards are not exactly memorable (unless they have a great design). We’ve found that it doesn’t make much sense for us to offer the standard weight because our customers never order them after seeing heavier business cards. We start at #130lb or 16pt cover, and go up from there.
There are many finishes that you can opt for on your business cards and I’ve covered some of the possible options in an earlier blog post. This topic is actually brought up quite often when people are shopping for business cards in NYC, and I presume its probably the case for most parts of the country. Though this may surprise some people, it doesn’t surprise me at all. The texture of a business card is an excellent way to differentiate your card from many others, not to mention the appeal that some textured stocks offer.
When people approach us about printing textured business cards, its usually over the phone. This presents a very fundamental problem in that a texture needs to be seen and felt in person in order to be fully aware of its characteristics. We are a small print shop in NYC specializing in business cards, and we don’t have other locations outside of New York City. We do however receive regular inquiries from outside of NYC. So we are tasked with the challenge of trying to educate our potential customers about the subtle characteristics of the numerous textures that we can print on. Needless to say, its really tough. So I figured I’d blog about it. Maybe this writing can help answer a few questions that people might have.