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How Thick Should My Business Cards Be?

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.

At this point you might be wondering how thick can we go? The simple answer is that we can go as thick as you want, but it wouldn’t make sense to go thicker than a certain weight in most cases. The fact is, once you have the equipment to do something called mounting, you can pretty much make cards indefinitely thick. Mounting essentially means gluing 2 or more sheets of paper together. We have done cards as thick as #300lbs, which is very excessive. As a matter of fact, they were not even business cards. They were for clothing tags for a small clothing company in NYC. The truth is, once you exceed #200lbs, its very difficult to carry the cards in a wallet or purse. Just stacking 7-8 business cards is about half of an inch tall. So, the takeaway here is that the cards are very presentable, but not very practical. You would need to weigh out your priorities and determine what is best for you.

From my experience, I find that the optimal weight for most situations would be either #130-165lb business cards. I would probably lean toward #165lb personally, though my cards are actually #220lbs (I have to impress people in this business, haha). I like the #165lb stock because its heavy enough to be noticeable, yet it still has the utility and practicality to allow you to carry a lot of them. Again, this is just my opinion and I’m not factoring in specific cases where thinner or thicker cards may be useful.

At the end of the day, I would recommend considering the following few things. First, pick a business card stock that makes you feel confident when you give them out. Secondly, consider your industry and what is most appropriate and likely to impress. Lastly, make sure that you can carry enough. This sounds like a joke, but its really difficult to carry my business cards because they are so thick. I can’t put them in my wallet, so I carry a card holder. Even if I fill my card holder to its capacity, it will only carry about 10-12 business cards. The thing is thicker than an iPhone for crying out loud! So utility does matter too.

Frame 6 | Japan Printing and Graphics | Business Card In NYC
Japan Printing and Graphics