How to make business cards

Business Cards are a tradition dating back hundreds of years and still to this day perform as an essential as a marketing tool. It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there when it comes to business, so you need to stand out and make a fantastic first impression!

Business cards are personally given out, often in social circumstances, so when it comes to design, we need to give it a lot of thought. This article will guide you on a fun and enlightening journey into creating your very own amazing business card, clearing the design process of any obstacles, and letting you focus on the task at hand.

How to design a business card?

Let’s put you in the driving seat and name you the visionary. You already have a logo for your business; you know the colors and the feel on which your design will be based. It’s good practice to imagine what it could look like before we start the design process.

After all, you will, in all likelihood, know the audience you are trying to reach and so envisioning what they desire is a great starting point. Having a prototype vision in your mind will also give you a goal to work towards. If you’re struggling with inspiration then perhaps looking at existing business cards will help find that spark.

For a business card to last long through the first few years of your start-up company, relevance and longevity are a key factor to bear in mind from the inception of your design concept. Check out this interesting article on business card relevance to get thinking a little more about its impact on your business.

What to include on your business cards

How to make business cards

We can make the design process fluid and risk-free if we plan properly first. It’s important to have all the design material and the information you’d like on the card ready and available before we start.

  • Logo
  • Tagline
  • Visual Content
  • Information
  • Contact details
  • Social media icons
  • Something extra?

Now we have everything in one place we can start the design process.

How to make a business card

 Choose your size

How to design a business card

First of all let’s take into consideration the business card size, shape, and orientation. European business cards are cut to a size of 85 x 55mm, and American business cards are sized at 89 x 51mm, roughly the same size as a credit card. This will fit as snug as a bug into your potential customers’ wallets!

Ask yourself, what orientation suits the look of your design? Landscape or portrait, with landscape being the most common. However, you might see people turning their heads when they notice a portrait business card, making a stand against the norm can sometimes create ripples!

 Choose your shape

The shape of the card is another factor. You are not restricted to straight edges, you can round them off to show playfulness or do something more extravagant to stand out. However, it’s important to keep in mind, the more complex the shape, the more likely your card could get damaged.

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.

 Choose your template

Template business card

Picking a business card template is very important as this will give you the framework for your design and perhaps it will lead to inspiration. Templates are more often than not created by a designer with experience in this field of design, so it leaves you with minimal things to worry about.

However, it doesn’t restrain you from your creative input, as a template is designed as a supportive tool. You can have a lot of fun trying different styles until you are content. Remember the vision you had at the start, and then make a strategic decision based on your branding and the information you’d like placed on the front and back of the card. Leave room for creativity later on.

 Choose your Safety line, cut line and bleed line

Safety line business cards

It is important to understand the boundaries of your design before we start adding our elements. Since this is a printing project there are practicalities that the uneducated will be oblivious to, however, are very important to understand if you are leading the design project.

  • The safety line indicates the limit to where any readable information should be placed.
  • The cut line is there to indicate where the card will be cut to size.
  • The bleed line is there as a run-off of any design elements leaving the card cut line, making for a flush finish to your overall card design.


Logo business cards

Add you logo

Your logo is the most important brand asset you have so make it stand out clearly! Start off with your logo centralized and enlarged enough for your contacts to see from a distance, yet give enough room to avoid suppression.

If you’re after a more minimal or personal look, maybe keep the logo a smaller size with some white space for that purist feel. For added effect, it is good practice to have a smaller version of the logo on the backside of the card, tucked away on either side of the bottom corners. Some businesses will have guidelines to aid you in this process but in cases where it is up to you alone, it is wise to set your own design rules.

Your color palette

Your color palette is important, creating the atmosphere needed for a functional business card. Your logo is a good place to start and then expand on, thinking of ways to incorporate your fresh color palette to sync with your branding. It is good practice to use up to three colors which compliment each other.

A simple black and white is perfectly acceptable, cost-effective, and can even look strikingly contemporary.

Visual Content

You may want to spice things up a bit with some visual aids. Pictures and graphics can speak a thousand words, halving the time it takes the reader to understand what it is your business is about. If you are selling a product, maybe feature it on your card?

Free stock images, vector designs, and patterns can be found on freepik, where you can simply search your desired content. It is important to keep all these visual elements in balance, prioritizing the important information on your card.


The font you use will give the card its character and will depend on the business or service you are promoting. The font should be clear and readable, to give the reader an instant idea of who you are and what you do. You should stick to using this font throughout the card to demonstrate consistency and professionalism.

There are plenty of fonts out there and trial and error is the best method of finding the perfect fit for your design.


Most commonly seen underneath the logo, the tagline is there to keep the reader hooked and communicate more information. A typical tagline consists of a bolder version of your chosen font or, in some cases, an entirely different font all together. It is important to keep what we call a hierarchy in order that the reader focuses on the more important information.

Contact Information

There are so many ways to get in contact these days. On the one hand, you have traditional contact information which is your email and website addresses plus phone numbers and, in some cases, your employee’s name. On the other hand, you have your social media.

Social media information tends to be in an icon format for the reader to then search manually. All this information should be clear to read and the font no smaller than 8pt. Remember that there are 2 sides to your card and so information can be placed according to your preferences.

Adjustments and check for spelling

We are now coming to the end of the design process and it’s now time to align and adjust until you are 100% satisfied. But the biggest and most important tasks for you now are… Check for spelling!!!