A Business Card for Every Occasion

Business Cards continue to be one of a number of methods of consolidating connections in real life. A physical object handed personally communicates something more than just the contact information. It communicates something of the value you place in your brand. So Business Card design and choice of print material need your attention to make the most of this little branding opportunity.

A Business Card for Every Occassion Mock-Up showing Design Advocate Cards
They’re hovering because of the advanced antigravity NFC I installed.

For me I like a business card because it gives you chance to show off your branding and style. It’s like a little selfie snapshot that says something about you and your business. A quick look at print shops and you’ll see plenty of innovation bringing a new twist to an enduring classic. The business card offerings from moo.com show some lovely detailing and finishes that can easily set you apart.

Innovation in Business Card printing

One of the things I really like about moo.com is their Printfinity option because it allows you to print any number of back images to your business card. An ideal opportunity to showcase your best products or highlight what makes your business unique in a variety of ways. Each card becomes an individual statement. I use them at the moment to highlight different quotes from my landing page.

The Business Card design process relies on you having a clear branding style so you can make sure your message on all channels you communicate through is cohesive. Hopefully you’ve also considered brand colours that work well in digital and print media. There’s nothing more disappointing than seeing a design that looks stella in digital fade into obscurity when printed. Sometimes you just can’t print that colour!

Using templates

Print shops let you upload your design and most provide guidance about the file requirements in terms of colour space, resolution and exact pixel dimensions. A good example of this is the moo.com card design process for the mock-up above.

The first step is to download an Illustrator template file that gives you a couple of card artboards, one for the front and one for the back. It’s already set up to be the right color space, resolution and dimensions.

Template for standard Business Card from moo.com
It’s just waiting for design …

The standard UK size for a Business Card design is 84mm x 55mm. The template is sized a little larger than this at 88mm x 59mm because it will be printed and then trimmed to size. Consequently you see an area coloured pink around the edge of the card template . It’s known as the bleed area and any printed design you want to go to the edge needs to bleed or extend into this area. This can however give a false impression of your design sitting with plenty of space around it. So try imagining that pink box isn’t there or use a clipping mask to preview the final look. The dotted line is the safe area for text and you’ll need to keep any essential text or graphical elements inside this. This matters because it ensures your essential text remains visible if the cut moves .

Template stages

The next image shows the stages from created templates with all the guide lines on them to the final business card front and back trimmed to size.

Business Card Template samples showing various stages of the process
What is it with printing and all the bleeding?

If you want to add extra flourishes like metallic foil or spot gloss then these require additional templates that identify the area for special treatment with a black shape.

I hope you’ve got a business card to be proud of and haven’t resorted to ‘forgetting’ them! If you’re getting that sinking feeling related to your brand then perhaps it’s time for a brand makeover. It’s not unusual for a business to outgrow its original branding and logo especially if your start-up required you to do everything. Prioritising your time and finding help you can trust is one of those positive growth points in any business.

You’re welcome to see more of my portfolio or get in touch if you’d like to work together on your next project.

A Business Card for Every Occasion - A look behind the template. Created by Design Advocate.
I love creating these focussed branding points.

How do you use your Business Cards? Sharing is caring, so please comment, share or like.

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