Creating business cards simple enough, but there’s a lot to consider when it comes to your design, branding, and so on. One of the most important parts of designing business cards actually has nothing to do with the colors, fonts, or logos. We’re talking about your business card size.
Whether you’re a business owner or you’re launching a nonprofit, your business card size is an important part of the process. You have to pay close attention to the size, setup, and other intricate details of print design to make sure your design is ready for print.
Are you in the process of making your own business cards? While sending your finished design to the printer is the easy part, here’s the ultimate business card size guide to get you started strong.
What Is the Standard Business Card Size?
The standard dimension for a printed business card is 3.5 x 2 inches. This is what you’re more familiar with when it comes to business cards.
However, your standard business card design also includes what’s known as a bleed. The bleed or bleed area is an extra 1/8 inch of space included in the design. What’s the purpose of this? It’s to allow the background elements to expand beyond the finished edge of your business card size.
When your business card is cut down to size by your printer, there won’t be any white border. Using a professional business card design or a graphic designer is the best way to make sure your bleed size is correct for your individual size.
In the example below, you can see the bleed area in comparison to the standard size. The thick line between the bleed area and the finished card is what’s called the safe zone. You should avoid putting any text or essential elements here that might get cut off by the printer.
Alternative Business Cards Sizes
While the standard size of 3.5″ x 2″ is by far the most common, that’s not the only size available. There are many business card alternatives becoming increasingly popular. Some ideas are:
- Rounded corners: These business cards have no harsh, sharp edges. The corners are rounded, giving it a smooth appearance.
- Double-sided business cards: Why waste real estate on your business card? Double-sided cards are perfect for adding any extra information on both sides.
- Popup cards: While less common, sometimes businesses use a die-cut process to create a pop-up on their cards, adding a 3D element.
- Folded business cards: A folded business card, also known as a tent card, is twice the printable area of a standard card. They can become small brochures, greeting cards, or just stand-up business cards.
- Square cards: These trendier cards are 2.56″ x 2.56″ and they’re in the shape of a square vs. a rectangle.
- Mini cards: Miniature business cards are trendier, and they’re often used to share your branding or just your essential contact information. These are typically 2.75″ x 1.10″.
There is no such thing as one-size-fits-all when it comes to your business card design. With 10 billion cards printed each year, it’s important to stand out with your business card size.
Business Card Sizing Tips
Because choosing the right business card size is difficult, here are some tips to simplify the process. Whether you’re designing your cards yourself or with a professional, keep these things in mind:
- Play it safe with borders: Near the borders of the business card, it’s a good idea to play it safe with the margins. Keep your text, logos, and essential information within the safe area to avoid the bleed cut off.
- Informative: What information do you need to include on your card? If you’re just listing your logo, name, and role, a smaller design might be a good fit. Otherwise, you might need to pay attention to getting enough space.
- Trends: Remember that trends come and go. Choosing a trendier style might look great now, but how will it age? This is something to consider.
- Industry: Last but not least, some industries allow more room for creativity than others. Consider your audience and how you can market directly to them with your business card size. Will they appreciate something new and unique or do they like tried and true?
Design the Perfect Business Cards
There’s an art to business card design that isn’t always obvious at first. No matter whether you’re a budding business owner or a professional, pay close attention to your business card size. It matters more than you think.
When every second counts, make sure you’re creating a real impression with your business cards. This is sometimes your only opportunity to be recognized.