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The Most Important Tips for Designing a Business Card

designing a business card

Designing a business card requires some unique attention. Utilizing the small design space while including necessary information about your business can be tricky. For this reason, we have compiled the most important tips for effectively designing a business card that leaves a lasting impression.

Basic design principles apply

In some ways, designing a business card is like designing anything else. It requires an understanding of basic principles, it utilizes typography and colors, and visuals are used strategically to get your message across. Therefore, these basic design principles apply:

  • Key copy should be at least 5mm from the trim edge
  • 300 dpi is best for image reproduction
  • In general, design in CMYK unless you are only working with spot colors


Readability is a priority.

With so much information to include in one tiny card, it may be tempting to make the text size smaller. However, by doing this you are risking the legibility of your business card. Even if it looks readable on a computer screen, printed text that is too small can come out as an indistinguishable smudge. In general, do not use a size smaller than 8 pt. and the font should be simple and professional.


Work well within space confines.

Business cards can range slightly in size, but ultimately it is a very small space to create a design. Designing a business card goes beyond just including all of the necessary information, logo, and graphics. It still needs to be incorporated strategically and cohesively in a way that people will remember. Even though the design space is small, it’s still possible to get creative on the handheld canvas. Implement this through thoughtful color use, visuals, or even switching up the shape of the card. When choosing colors and visuals for your business card, it is best to use colors and imagery that go with the rest of your company’s brand. Materials and finish are also part of the design. Instantly add more impact to your business card with a special card finish or changing up the material from basic cardstock.


Keep printing in mind.

Designing a business card does not end on a computer screen. Printing the cards is a crucial part of the process. Mainly, be sure to provide bleed room as indicated by your printer. While it is often 3mm, it can also be 5mm, so be sure to confirm that. Additionally, utilize the center of your card for important information. Known as the “safe area”, placing information there ensures that it will not be cut off in the printing process.


Double-check all of your work.

A good business card design is useless if there’s a typo or misinformation included after it’s been printed. Double-checking your work is crucial in everything you do, but it especially applies to business card design and printing. To avoid the headache of spending more time, money, and effort on reprinting business cards due to a mistake, check everything over before it is printed the first time.


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