Saturday, August 27, 2011

Ultimate Guide to Business Cards: Infographics and Other Resources | You The Designer

Ultimate Guide to Business Cards: Infographics and Other Resources | You The Designer

Link to You the Designer

Ultimate Guide to Business Cards: Infographics and Other Resources

Posted: 26 Aug 2011 08:30 AM PDT

We were about to scrape the title off but didn’t. It’s much of a claim on our end, but after a year of blogging about business cards, we’ve decided to try writing such article. Anyway, we trust that you’ll help us make this post more comprehensive by commenting below.

So much has changed in the years since business cards have first been used and it is amazing how people have shifted from one particular style to another. Designers for one, always have an excuse to have a new batch of cards printed out. Business cards, after all, are indispensable tools in finding new clients or expanding one’s network. Professionals from all fields of interest think so, too.

To start off, here is an infographic we did:



Business Card Designs

The design on your business card can either make or break you, and sometimes proving your skills to a prospective client starts with your introduction…and your business card.

Its design should be well thought of and executed. From the text and font to the colors and logo, you should be able to communicate your brand straight on. You should also consider the type of card that you’d like to use. Here are some samples:

Standard Size


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Rounded Corner


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Circles and Squares


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Other Die Cut Shapes


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Usability: Adding Features to Your Business Card

Designing your business card well is important and you must make certain that your design in itself drives a point. It should also help your prospective clients get the best from your card, this way, they’ll remember you more easily and hopefully even hire you when the need for your service arise.

You must consider what to do with your content. Should you put all your details or should you include only a few? Should you use the back panel of your card or should you leave it blank for note taking?

Or maybe you should shy away from the conventional card.

First off, consider what your industry is and how you want to be identified. The back panel of the business card can be printed with a copy of your recent work. You could add a mini calendar or perhaps a QR code of your details.

So maybe you’ll ask, “what’s the difference between a standard card to other kinds of business cards? Which is best for me?” Here’s a short overview:




Here are some stuff you should consider:

QR Codes

QR codes are a form of 2D bar codes that make it easier to save contact numbers from business cards to phone and PC.

Add a valuable feature on your card by adding a QR code or two. Generating these codes are also easy and many sites online offer it for free. Check Kerem Erkan’s QR Code Generator, SPARQCode  and Jeff Korhan’s site; they’re really helpful. Also visit SquareCode and 2DCode for reviews and lists of QR Code Generators respectively.

Here are 3 samples of business cards that have made use of QR codes:



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Out of the Box

If you want to be unique, you might have considered using an altogether different material for your card. Here are 3 samples:



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Printing Business Cards

There is so much to printing that designers (and everybody else who wishes to design their own cards) ought to know. However, printing is such a vast topic that a whole book is necessary to be able to discuss it properly. But here are the basic things you should take note of:





The colors you see on the monitor and a final print is not exactly the same. It’s because the colors are created by 2 different processes. For computer monitors, colors are created through RGB, when light mixes together. On the other hand, color on print are produced by adding inks and pigments. Usually through CMYK, inks of different color: Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black are printed on top of one another to create the final print.

To be able to adjust to this discrepancy, you need to ask what color model your printer use. You can convert your file to their color model of choice, but it’ll save time if you design your business card using that model from the start.

Make sure to select the correct color mode upon creating a new document.





Likewise, size between computer screens and actual print are different. Prior to designing, you must create your file in the right size. 72 pixel per inch is appropriate for the web; however, that will be too small for print. Thus, you must use at least 300 ppi to make sure that the images will not be pixelated upon printing.



Printing can be complicated at times. In fact, printing can be considered an inexact science. For one, your business cards can be cut a few millimeters sideways. To make sure that there are no unwanted white space around your final print, you should make an allowance of at least 1/8 of an inch from each corner. We call this bleed.

Below is a sample template:




The above areas around the main design helps you position the most important details away from being cut; it also gives you an idea how much space you have from the border.


Learn More About Designing for Print:

Bleed from Prepressure

RGB vs CMYK from Print International

PPI and Print Size from Digicam Guides

Display, Printing, DPI and PPI by Bob Atkins

The Truth on Offset Printing–Read Before You Print by Arthur

Create Print Ready Business Card Design in Illustrator by Chris Spooner

What’s the Catch with Free Business Cards by Taylor Thomas


Business Cards: Beyond the Aesthetics

Business cards are, indeed, very important. In some areas around the globe, its significance is emphasized more by the ‘rituals’ people observe. It is then a must to know what these unspoken rules are, especially if you’re doing business outside of your country.

Here are a few interesting facts:




We hope that you guys have enjoyed this article. If there is anything that you wish to add to the information we have listed here, feel free to leave a quick message on the comments below.


For Inspiration You Can Also Check:

Design Inspirations from the History of Business Cards

Rounded Corner Business Cards Designs

Sophisticated and Stylish UV Coated Business Cards

11 Round Die Cut Business Card Designs

5 Business Card Photography Tips



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