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Article: 12 Tips to Design a Business Card Professionally

12 Tips to Design a Business Card Professionally

Created by Cristie Stevens |

People may need to consult a professional designer to help them design business card that isn’t only professional, but also unique and one-of-a-kind. We are in the era of digital technology where paperless environment and offices are common, but it doesn’t mean that you should neglect the importance – and the function – of a (business) card. This is the type of card that will represent yourself or your business as an entity. Knowing the right kind of layout and design won’t only make the card looks fresh and exciting, but it will also bring a new perspective to the ones getting the card.


The Importance and Functions of a Business Card

Not many people realize that a business card be an effective marketing key which gives you opportunities – in business and networking. A lot of people think that such a card is no longer needed in this modern and digital era, but that’s not true. Even amidst the buzz of technology and digital stuff, you still need the card to represent yourself – and to remind others of your presence. It speaks volumes of yourself and your business. It can make you – or break you. Make a lousy design, and you may not be able to impress anyone. Create an appealing and catchy design, and you make others interested in you – and want to know you more.

You should realize that there are so many types of business and professional cards out there.  They aren’t designed and created equally. Some may have poor quality, while some have impressive design. Don’t be tempted to choose the low quality print or lame design – it won’t last long and it won’t impress anyone. You also need to remember that low quality material have inferior weight which is obviously felt when you hold on to them. This is also one thing to avoid when you design business card and want it to look professional. 

Created by Tevin Bloise |


Designing Like a Pro

There are several things that you can do if you want to create and design business card on your own. It takes longer time and more efforts, but the results would be fruitful.

1. Don’t Forget the Basic Principles in Designing

Designing a proper card is basically general. If you are familiar with the paper-based design principles and concepts, then you should know that such things also apply to designing a professional business card.

In case you don’t, though, here are some of the basic principles:

  • Use at least 300 dpi for the best and clearest image reproduction
  • Maintain the entire key copy around 5mm (at least) from the trim edge
  • Make sure to keep typography’s minimum size. It will be useful to maintain good result and legibility
  • It is a good idea to work in CMYK, but you may not want to do it if you deal with spot colors exclusively.
  • If you are struggling with overall design, it would be helpful to make use of the grid. This would be helpful to lay the cards out. With this layout and design, you should be able to get the proper informational hierarchy while making sure that the alignment is proper and okay at the same time.

In the event that you aren’t familiar with these things, ask for a help. You can always hire a professional designer for the creation and the process.

Created by Griselda Marti |


2. Use Your Creativity and Imagination

For some people, the processing to design business card can be overwhelming. The challenges are many: You must jam in all the crucial information in a credit card-size paper. As if it weren’t enough, you still need to make your card look appealing, attractive, and engaging – without making it cheesy or lame.

That’s why you should use your creativity and imagination. There’s no limit to them. Sure, you can always use the standard sizes and also the standard design, but you can actually tweak the contents. The general size for a card would be 85 x 55 mm, but it is also possible that you work with other sizes. Make sure that you don’t overdo it – such as making it too big or too small. Be creative of how you can make use of the space. The space may not seem much to hold a lot of information, so you need to choose which one to include. The common information includes your name, the name of the business, phone number, social links, and email address. This kind of information should be included in your business card, so make sure that the design is around that detailed info in such creative, informative, and engaging way.

Created by Lorik Khodaverdian |


3. Beware of Common Pitfalls

You probably have seen an old business card design with (straightforward) border around the card entirely. It would be a bad idea to design business card today with similar method. Such border will only highlight the misalignment issue, especially if the card hasn’t been cut perfectly or symmetrically. Basically, not only such a design is lousy, lame, and old-school, but it will also enhance the cutting error.

Use a clean-free layout and design. There is no need to use any bordering lines or such a thing alike to produce a professional-looking result. It’s so old-school! If you have a thing about vintage style, you will see that current designs no longer use such line. Instead of thinking that you know what is trendy and what’s not, you can always check around some free card templates. You can draw inspirations from there and then tweak them to fit your personalities and design preferences. That’s how you can come up with good business card while preventing making common mistakes at the same time. It is also important to note that the same principles of clean and borderless design apply to e-cards as well, as too much clutter or a rigid border can make them appear unprofessional and outdated.

Created by Tomomi Maezawa |


4. Proper Typeface

If you want to create a professional overall impression on your business, it would be just right to use the proper typeface. One simple tip to design business card is to use the similar font you have implemented on the site (or other marketing materials) to your card. If you use Comic Sans MS for the website, for instance, then you can consider using the same font.

Here are some of the simplest and greatest tips about the typeface consideration:

  • The font size for the text should never be smaller than 8pt. For company or business name, it can be bigger than 12pt. In general, the size is between 8pt and 12pt
  • To stress out or enhance a certain aspect, you can print it in bold or with different typeface. You can also use bigger size.
  • Make sure that those texts are easy to read. There is no point of using very elegant and artistic font if no one can read it.
  • Functionality should come first before design and layout. Yes, it would be nice to have artistic and appealing business card, but if the card isn’t informational or functional at all, then what’s the point?
Created by Bureau Glyzerin |


5. Double Duty

Often times, people only use one side when they design business card. In reality, if you want to make a positive impression, make use of the two sides. Let it works its charm for the business – and let it work twice as hard. Make the other side functional to represent the business or yourself. For instance, if you have a cocktail bar, write a short recipe for your signature drink or dish. If you sell handmade stuff or goods, you can also use it for tags – which people can use for accessories, clothing tag, or jewelries. If you run a bookshop, your card can also function as a book marker. Quite catchy, huh?

The idea to repurpose your business card is basically limitless and endless. Feel free to have a magnet stuck on the other side, so people can stick it on the fridge. This is handy for recurring services, such as car services, hairdressing, pet sitting, babysitting, gardening, plumbing, and such thing alike. If you can come up with a solution that can make it functional (not just for decoration), it will make a stronger and longer impression, so you can get further acknowledgement.

Created by Foreign Policy Design |


6. Special Finishes

Some people may add special finishes when they design business card. Some of the unique and not-so-common finishes include metallic inks, spot-UV, and foil blocking. Those finishes will make your card different from the others, which is great when you have especially unique business too. Special finish will lead to memorable effect and visually impressive outcome.

However, you should keep in mind that those finishes may affect the printing process – and the printing quality. Not all printers can accommodate such a thing, so before you make hasty decision about which finish to choose, consult it with the professional and the expert. They should be able to provide you with assistance and guidance of which finish that will be best for your needs.

Created by Gintarė Kvedarauskaitė |


7. Use Die-Cut

If you want to create a unique business card, there are many possible ways possible. One way to achieve it is to use a die-cut process. The process will leave a void or a hollow space (because the process is about removing elements), but such a thing can be effective in making your card stand out among the others. There are options to do this. You can cut the shapes out (of the paper’s center) or you can use the special die, so you can change the card’s shape.

Many people avoid this method because dies are quite costly – at least at first. Moreover, not all printers support this feature. Regular and common household printers, for instance, won’t be able to accommodate such an activity. However, if you don’t mind spending extra for high-quality professional printing, then there are commercial and industrial grade printers out there to help you with your activity. If you are about to choose a professional service to design business card and print it altogether, make sure that they support laser-cut options.

Created by Placebo Studio |


8. Choose Unusual Materials

It doesn’t hurt to try unusual materials, especially if paper is too common. Whereas most cards are generally printed on thick card stock, you can be more creative in trying other methods. There are so many different materials for stylish and artistic business card, such as slate, wood, metals, and even transparent plastic.

Using a different kind of material will give your card an advantage. It will be different from other types of (business) cards, and your card will leave a memorable impression. You need to remember, though, that cards should be easily stored or kept in a briefcase or pocket. The card should be portable. It mustn’t be dangerous or potentially harming. Choose a material that isn’t risky – it won’t cut you, scratch you, or hurt you.

Created by Julia Gusar |


9. Leave (Enough) White Space

Cluttered business card won’t be impressive – on the contrary, it will be lousy and lame. Too much text will create messy clutter on the card, and it’s not good for first impression. You want the card to have enough information – not too much and not too little either. Too many elements (on the card) will create disturbance because they are all ‘competing’ for the readers’ attention. As a result, nothing will stand out and leave a memorable impressive. That’s why you need just enough white space to draw the attention to the important details. There is no need to have abundant of them – just a little would be sufficient.

Check some of the attractive and popular card designs. You will see that they have just enough white space that helps with the overall design and layout. Leaving the white space is also handy when you have to leave a little note before handing out the card. Who knows that such a small (white) space can have many functions and benefits, right? In short, the fewer the elements you include, the better impact it will make. When you design business card, remove and clear out the clutter to make memorable impression.

Created by Veronika DesignLoockStudio |


10. Consider the Font and Shape

When designing a business card, the orientation and size would affect the size of the text. Thus; it will also affect the amount of info to include. Do you know that this kind of factor can ‘deliver’ a certain kind of message about your business and yourself? From the design of the card, people can see whether you are a brave non-conformist, a no nonsense enterprise, or a conventional business owner. Whereas most cards are rectangular in about the size of a debit or credit card (and with horizontal layout), it doesn’t mean that you can’t create a card with vertical orientation, rounded corners, square shape or other geometrical shapes.

Don’t forget about tweaking the font either. Be wise about it – not ALL fonts would be ideal for your card. Some fonts may create elegant atmosphere and classic feel. Some may be whimsical, playful, and adorable. Different kinds of fonts can evoke different vibes and feel. If you have the time, change your design with various types of fonts and see which one fits your card just perfectly. Again, if you are clueless of which to use, and you are kind of in a hurry, then it would be a good idea to hire a professional to help you design business card correctly.

Created by Carosello Lab |


11. Check for Typo and Errors

The last thing you want to do when making a business professional card is to realize that there are errors – and you have done printing a bulk of them. Now you end up with piles of cards that you can’t use, and you just waste quite a lot of money for making them. You don’t really want that to happen to you, right? That’s why you need to consider a lot of things before you can finally say, “I’m done. Let’s print all of these cards!”

Don’t forget to double check your work. Even when you use a professional business service to create the design, you need to make sure that the final result if flawless and perfect. Are all of those words spelled out correctly? What about the designs and images – are they properly aligned and created? Have you included the email address correctly? Have you input all of the crucial information in the business card? Is the color arrangement correct? Is the layout just the way you like it? Are the size and design correct? Check twice (or even three to four times) and print once. That’s the right way to do it.

Created by Paprika Design |


12. Consult the Pro

Who says you need to design business card on your own? If you are short on the budgets, designing your own card can save you a lot of money for your budgets. However, if you have extra money to spend for professional outcome, it doesn’t hurt to consult a professional designer – especially if you aren’t so good in designing. 

The benefit of consulting a professional service is that you get the assistance you need. Simply convey your ideas of what your card should look like and the designer will help. The only downside is that you will have to spend extra. It’s not bad, considering that you are actually investing for long term. Know your limit. You can start by trying on your own, but if it all fail, then you know where to turn to.

Created by Alexia ROUX |



Designing a professional card for business isn’t easy. That’s why you shouldn’t rush things. Do it slowly and explore your options. Don’t be shy to ask for a help from the expert to design business card that will create good impression for long lasting effect.

So, which business card design above you like the most? Tell us your comments by writing them down in the section below. We hope you enjoy this article, have a good day, and cheers!

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