Polyspiral's Guide to Designing your Business Cards
6th October 2015
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Abbie Thom's Top Tips for designing your business card

  • Use both sides
    What if your business card, after being collected at a networking event, has been placed down on a desk, white side up? Will the person whose card it is remember that it’s yours? Probably not. I also feel a bit disappointed when I see a blank side, a bit let down that there isn’t something existing on the back. So why not have your logo and some bullet points of what you do on the reverse, or have it the same on both sides.

  • Full colour
    It doesn’t cost more to print, so why not use full colour (not just one or black and grey) to spice up your business card. Don’t over do it and make it look too busy or confusing. Colour can be a powerful tool to get you read our blog on colour theory to find out more.

  • Paper stock, make it thick and firm
    Imagine you’re handed a business card on something as thin as a piece of paper, how would you feel? It wouldn’t be great would it. I’m always impressed by business cards on thick pieces of card, feels really posh and shows the person who owns the card to be someone who has thought about it. Texture can be nice to, there are lots of different types of card you can print on, find a local printer who can help you decide or graphic design company who can show you some examples so you can find what fits you as a person and business.

  • Glossy or matt laminate?
    Glossy can be nice, if not too overdone, think of those takeaway flyers that come through your front door, you don’t want to look like one of those. Matt laminate can feel classy and smooth, but be careful you get a good quality printer that will mean it won’t peal from the edges.

  • Portrait v Landscape
    Totally up to you. It might work best with a long logo to have a landscape layout. Portrait can work well in a wallet when it’s pulled out, so if you do go down the portrait root, make sure you logo and name is at the top.

  • Logo
    Have your logo on both sides - ALWAYS! It’s important to. You want your business to be recognised from a distance so keep reminding people of who you are and your identity this is called brand awareness.

  • Image quality
    You want your business card to be sharp and top quality. Your logo needs to be vectorised as an EPS or PDF without embedded bitmaps. Bitmaps blur when enlarged these are files like JPGs, TIFFs, GIFs and PNGs and will never be as sharp as a vectorised image which will be sharp large and small. If you have photographs make sure they are TIFFS which print the best. 300dpi or 300 dots per inch is the resolution which is imperative for a photograph to not look grainy or blurry. DO NOT take your photographs from your website, or the web in general, they will be only 72dpi which will look fine on most screens but very low quality in print. Be careful taking photographs from the web that you have permission to use them. Use CMYK colour format, printing is a four colour process, RGB or three colour process is used on computer screens and other forms of light, again see our blog on colour theory for a full explanation. Printing straight from RGB to CMYK will have undesirable colour result and look very odd. So be sure to get this right.

  • Bleed
    Not as horrid as it sounds. Make sure there is enough padding around the edges to help focus the eye on the information but also when your cards are cropped it can sway by about 3mm each way, so make sure you have at least 8mm of padding within your cards design to allow for space around the edge and cropping.


  • Get it professionally designed
  OK, you want to do it yourself and save money. But are you sure you have the right software, experience and        expertise to do all of the above? Remember first impressions count and although your business card may not be  the first impression people get but it will be the lasting one they take away with them.

If you want to discuss how Polyspiral can help designing your business cards, then please get in touch for an informal chat
About the Author

Penny W

Member since: 17th March 2014

Hello! I'm Penny from thebestof Sudbury, shouting about the best local businesses from Hadleigh through the Clare. When I'm not doing that, you'll find me knitting socks or tending to my 6 chickens

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