Business card design tips

Printernational offers a set of tips and guidelines to help you while designing a business card. Keep in mind that these are guidelines only, not rules.

Graphic design is not an exact science and todays standards might not be there anymore tomorrow. If you have any feedback or questions on the following information dont hesitate tocontact us.

The most important element on business cards are text sizes. If your text is too small, clients might struggle to read information on the cards. There should be a visual balance between the size and position of the address and the name and title.

For determining the sizes of your typography keep the following tips in mind. Font sizes are indicated in points.

Address and Phone contact elements should be 7 to 8 point

Name should be 1 point bigger or set in a bold typeface

The title could be the size point size as your address details or 1 point smaller

If needed the Company Name should have a minimum of 12 point

Like any other design you might make a business card will look messy and untidy if you would go with a different text sizes for everything. Try to go for a typographic consistent design. If the logo you are using has a tag line or payoff try working around that font size in your details.

Different font weights and sizes on business cards.

The address information should not be smaller then 6 points, or 5 point if you are setting in capitals. Anything below this will be hard to read. Add 1 point if you are setting your typography inverted (light typography on a dark background).

Its common to see professionals – such as doctors, lawyers and architects – using smaller type sizes for contact information.

An example of inverted typography on a business card.

While its logical to look at the typeface suggested in the corporate identity (if available) those can be header-only fonts. Be sure to work with a font on the business card thats designed for print.

Some fonts tend to print smaller in the same point then others. The font Copperplate for example will look like 6 point while set in 7 point. Keep this in mind while testing your card (see the next chapter).

Be sure to print your business card a couple of times while designing it. Even take some effort to cut away the rest of the paper to see if the layout balances well.

A business card surrounded by a lot of white space (e.a. your printing paper) may seem different to the eye then the design cut out off actual size cards.

The following is a list of information commonly found on business cards:

When display telephone and fax numbers its useful to start them with Tel (or T) and Fax (or F) to indicate what the number is for. Its common to see the same done with the email (E) and Internet address (I). The latter is not exactly needed but done with constancy in mind.

Telephone numbers are usually broken up with spaces to increase readability. Take the following phone number for example:

Broken up in pieces that would look something like these examples:

In international phone numbers you can replace the 00 for a + symbol (the example above is a random number in Germany). If your client is working overseas its a good idea to use a international phone number. In Europe its common to see international number notations.

Example of a phone number broken up in pieces.

Please refer to our overview ofbusiness card sizesfor the common business card sizes in your country.

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Hi there! My name is Damien. Im a designer & developer. Ive got a passion for awesome code and I love tea with lots of milk. Im currently located in lovely Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Questions, comments or just want to talk? Im happy to get in touch with you. Dont hesitate toemail meor contact me on twitter:@damienvanholten.

Printernational is a project byDamien van Holten.

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