How to design an effective business card?

Business cards can become a great ally to make our work known. If we talk about personal business cards, the most important thing is that they connect with our personality because, after all, the cards are “that first impression” that people will take away from us. And you know what they say about first impressions …

The first thing you have to do is look for inspiration and see different models of cards, because in the field of design everything is allowed. In this post, we want to give you some keys on how to design an effective business card although, without a doubt, the best advice is to let your imagination fly.

1. Shape and size

The form is very important, so much that it will mark the axis of our design. In terms of forms we can classify the cards in two models:

Traditional card. Mostly,  the traditional card is usually horizontal, although there is a tendency to choose rounded edges to give a touch of renewal. The design is usually minimalist, using colors like white, black, blue or green. They are more corporate designs that are usually related to fields such as finance or advocacy, among others Ideal to keep in portfolios.

As for their dimensions, they vary depending on each country. Therefore, in Europe the standard size is 85 X 55 mm while in the United States and Canada advocate cards with dimensions ranging from 89 x 50 mm. Being larger in the countries of Latin America (90 x 50 mm) and Asia (90 x 54 mm).






Creative card. No predefined dimensions or colors. Unlike the traditional card, the creative card seeks to impact and leave a mark. In vertical or horizontal, star shaped, square, round or book. Everything is fine here, as long as you know what you want to convey. Cards of great tendency are made through the technique of punching or in 3D. The only drawback of this type of card is the price, since any more original design its price will always be higher. But … It’s worth it to get that differentiation, right?


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2. Color

Choosing the color palette for our business cards is essential. The truth is that we can not get carried away by our favorite colors, unless it is part of our personal brand, then ok. As for the combination of colors, it is ideal to not mix more than three different colors and whenever they complement each other.

Although as we said at the beginning of this post, the important thing is that your business card reflects your personality, and if you find yourself comfortable with a card with black background and yellow letters, why not? The essential thing is that you defend your designs and everything revolves around the same concept: you and your work.

For following some kind of guide, we will quickly review the ‘Psychology of Color’:



3. Typography

Typography is another essential element in the design of these cards, because once again they are part of the concept that we want to convey. Do not leave it for the end, investigate type of sources and apply them to your design. The trial-error process is essential. In this section, we recommend the post ‘Power of psychology typography’ , where you can go deeper into this topic.  

For following some guidelines do not forget:

  • Generates contrast with mix of Serif and Sans Serif letters.
  • Opting for the use of two different fonts at most, we do not want our work to become a typographical catalog.
  • Helvetica is cool, Comic Sans…no words!

4. Material

The most common is to use cardstock for business cards. This material is available in various thicknesses, the heaviest being associated with a higher quality. We have to keep in mind that a point (pt) is the thickness of a sheet are thousandths in an inch. Thus, the thickness most used ranges between 12 and 14 points. If the thickness was less than 12 points, the card would be very brittle and could be considered non-professional.

However, there is a current trend of using eco materials such as recycled paper or bamboo. Also used are transparent plastic, metals or fabrics. Once again: your imagination is the only limit. Well, and also your wallet, because this type of material is more expensive.

Although a good solution, is to have two types of business cards, that is to say a print run made with normal paper and a smaller print run with other more unusual material that you can reserve for events or important interviews.

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5. Information

And after the form, we come to the content. We should not confuse the business card with the CV, that is, do not dwell on it. The information should be clear and concise and not forget that less is more. Since infoxication can make the recipient feel overwhelmed and throw it to the trash. Here are the essential elements of a business card:


And finally, before sending them to the printing do not forget to ….

  • The personal data must be correct and up to date.
  • Eye with possible spelling mistakes.
  • The color, which is the one you have chosen and not another.
  • Images and logos that are readable and not pixelated.