How to design a print-ready business card

Designing your business card is one of the most exciting things about setting up your new venture.

Somehow, it makes everything “official” as you layout your business’ name and proudly add in the details.

But there’s more to designing a business card than meets the eye. To make it suitable for print, you’ll need to check off a few essential steps so that your artwork is primed to print and ready for success! Read on to know more.

Size matters!

The first thing to know is that size really does matter when it comes to business cards.

The standard business card size is 90 x 55 mm but there is a number of other standard sizes available if you want to achieve a slightly different look. These are:

  • 90 x 54 mm
  • 88 x 53 mm
  • 55 x 55 mm

On the margin

You need to retain a margin of at least 3 mm around your business card and confine any text, images or logos within the reserved space so that they don’t get lost when your cards are trimmed.

Include bleeds

Make sure your artwork includes bleeds. A bleed is a border around the card that is trimmed when it’s cut down to size, a bit like an outer margin. You can add a bleed to a PDF by following this sequence:

  • File
  • Document setup
  • More options
  • Bleed: here you should add a bleed of at least 3 mm

Bring your background or border up to the bleed

Make sure your borders or background go right up to the bleed to prevent a white border on the edge of your business card.

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How to design a print-ready business card

Check your resolution

It’s vital that any images used on your business card are at a high enough resolution to prevent a pixelated look. This should be at least 300 dpi. You can check this in your Image Properties tab or simply zoom into your document to 100% to preview the finished product and its clarity.

Select the right colour mode

Ensure that your document is in CMYK mode. CMYK stands for cyan, magenta, yellow and key (black) and refers to the colours used in the standard printing process. If your document is set to RGB (red, green, blue) mode, it won’t be print-ready. In Photoshop, go to Image then Mode to switch modes.

Don’t forget to embed fonts

It’s important to embed fonts to ensure that your document is seen exactly as you intended. Embedding fonts in your PDF file means that the information around them is stored correctly. Look for the “PDF/A Compliant” option when saving your document.

More design tips…

Here are a few more tips to help you design an impactful card for your business:

  • Simple designs are usually the best. Choose one where the recipient knows straight away what your business is about and which contains easy-to-read contact info.
  • Keep it minimal: there’s not a lot of space on a business card, so don’t overload it with graphics or text.
  • If in any doubt about your skills, get a professional design and print company to produce the artwork for you.

We’re on hand to help!

Whether you’re confident about designing your own print-ready business card or would like a little extra help, Baileys Print Co is on hand.

We have decades of business printing experience to offer, making us the natural choice for printing needs, from business cardsbannerspull up and roll up banners to posters and flyers.

We also offer design services so you can hand over the production of your artwork safe in the knowledge that your business card will look professional and be print-ready!

Contact our friendly team to know more!

Baileys Print Co.

Baileys Print Co. is a family run printing business based in Melbourne. We’ve been getting inky fingers for over 19 years.