Guide to Business Cards
Why have a Business Card?
Despite the exponential rise in digital and smartphones, business cards are still a vital tool for business and networking. Every marketing meeting, every business encounter and even many casual get togethers include and exchange of business cards. Every business owner needs a decent business card to hand out at all times. Business cards need to be easily recognisable as part of your brand, with the same feel and mood of your business. It may not seem like much, but these small, compact little cards are marketing gems when done right. If you have a business card that stands out with professional graphics and bold designs, people will notice. Even if they’re not looking for what you have to offer right now, they’re going to remember you and your business, and maybe even pass along that little business card to someone that is your ideal client. A catchy business card can even sell itself if placed in a local business or shop that you co-op with.
Your first step is to use your company’s brand guidelines to ensure the look and tone of the cards match other collateral in your business. Feel free to design the cards in portrait or landscape – both work as long as you keep the design clean and simple. The usual format for business cards will see the logo on one side followed by a person’s and / or business details on the reverse. Don’t forget key information such as job title, business address, mobile and office phone numbers, website address, email address and any social media links. Some cards have QR codes on them, although we don’t feel these are very useful. We’ve picked some examples from our clients as well as others we have found –
Artwork Setup for Business Cards
The standard UK size for a business card is 85mm x 55mm, this can be portrait or landscape. When you design your card in software such as Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop you need to consider the bleed, trim and safe zones. In the diagram above the black line around the outer edge represents the bleed line. Bleed is the portion of the product that will be trimmed off when it is cut to the final size. Since we print your product on an oversized sheet that gets trimmed down, we require that the images extend beyond the trim zone/line. That extra margin is what we refer to as the bleed, and is used to guarantee that you don’t have white edges on your product when it is trimmed to size. The pink line is the trim line, this will be the size of the finished product. The blue line is known as the safe zone, Text and other important elements should be placed within this line, this will ensure that no text is cut off due to variation in the trimming process. When sending business card artwork for print to Leeds Printing Company, please send with a 2mm bleed and crop marks.
It is important to know the difference between colour modes when designing for print, RGB vs CMYK. The RGB colour model is made up of three colours Red, Green and Blue, when displayed together they produce a wide range of colours. This is an additive colour model as it uses the addition of light to produce more colours. RGB is used for reproducing colour using electronic devices like LED televisions, computer screens, video projectors, mobile phones, etc. Creating your artwork in RGB mode is not good for printing as a lot of the colours you create in RGB mode are not achievable using standard four-colour process printing. CMYK is a subtractive colour model and stands for the four colours of inks used by the printer: cyan, magenta, yellow, and key (black). This four color process begins on a white surface, layers of the cyan, magenta, yellow, and black are added in various degrees. This masks the white underneath and thus reduces the amount of light reflected by the white. CMYK is the choice colour model for print designs.
Resolution is also known as dpi (dots per inch) or ppi (pixels per inch). It indicates the number of coloured dots or pixels that make up one image. The higher the dots per inch/pixels per inch, the greater the resolution and the clearer the resulting final print will be. A printed image requires a much higher resolution than an on-screen image (4 times greater to be precise). Therefore, just because your image looks sharp and crisp when viewed on-screen, it doesn’t mean it will reproduce correctly when printed. Most printers recommend you design to 300dpi to produce the best quality final product.
We also offer various finishes to business cards to make them stand out even more. You can get a custom quote on spot gloss, embossing, die-cutting and others. See below for some examples. For our standard prices visit our business cards page. For more custom business cards, please contact us for a custom quote. We are the most reliable and affordable printers in Leeds.