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Printing your own business cards

Even though most of the world communicates largely through the internet these days, business cards still play an integral part in the business world, especially for small business owners. You can hand them out wherever you go – appointments, networking events, or trade shows, or even add them in with mailings. They are often the first point of contact a potential customer has with your business.

Whether you are making your first business card or redesigning your old one, doing them yourself is very easy and cost effective.

  1. Designing your cards

When designing your business card, you should select design elements with your target audience and industry in mind. Make sure your design relates to your business. A colourful, floral card might be great for a florist, but would be a poor choice for someone in finance. Use simple, classic fonts in a text size that makes them easy to read. When deciding what to include on your card, less is more. It is not meant to be an advertisement for everything you do. Use a lot of white space on your card to help draw attention to the important information. Things you do want to include on your card are your company’s logo, company name, your name and job title, and your contact information (phone number, email address, mailing address). You can even include your website address and relevant social media links if appropriate.

You can design your cards with whatever program you want. Popular choices are Microsoft Word and Adobe Illustrator. You can even download templates for Microsoft Word. If you don’t use a template, keep in mind that the standard business card size is 3.5” x 2”, or 85mm x 55mm. You can design them to be either horizontal or vertical. For best quality, work in CMYK color, at 300dpi.

  1. Printing your cards
    Once the design is done, it’s time to print your cards. You should avoid printing on regular printer paper, as the quality will not be the same, and the cards won’t last very long. You’ll want to print on cardstock, which will give you a more durable card and good print quality. You can choose matte or glossy, whichever suits your design better. Glossy cardstock is more durable than matte because of its protective coating, but matte cards can be written on more easily, such as cards used to write appointments on. Most business cards are printed on 14pt cardstock, 14pt being equal to 0.014” thick. This thickness is also known as 300 GSM (grams per square meter) cardstock. You can use heavier cardstock if you like, such as 400 or 450 GSM.


  1. Separating your cards
    Unless you used perforated paper, you’ll need to separate your cards. You should avoid using scissors for this, as it’s hard to produce perfectly straight lines this way. More professional options include:


  • Rotary trimmers
    Rotary trimmers will give you professional, straight lines, and is a great choice if you don’t have too many cards to cut.
  • Guillotine paper cutters
    Blades on guillotine cutters are made from self-sharpening, hardened steel blades, and produce clean straight lines every time. This is a better option if you’re cutting many sheets at once as they can take more sheets at a time than rotary trimmers.
  • Business card slitters
    A card slitter might be the right investment for you if you plan on producing a lot of business cards on a regular basis, and they are super simple to operate. Martin Yale’s 10-Up and 12-Up business card slitters can accommodate 50 sheets at a time, and can cut 300 and 375 cards per minute, respectively.

3 simple steps, and you’re all done! You should keep some in a card holder on your desk to hand them out during appointments, and carry some in your wallet so you can network wherever you go.

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