How To: Make a Vertical Business Card
Stand up to traditional business card design!

Design Master

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Rectangular business cards are everywhere. Even if it’s true they are easier to design, most people simply go with the horizontally-oriented card without thinking of other possibilities just because it is the norm.

However, if you are looking to stand out from the crowd, even the most subtle change against a traditional style could reap major rewards.

Introducing the simple, vertical business card!

With a vertical-oriented design, not only will you find the difference your creative side is craving, but you also will be rewarded with creative possibilities that are hard to achieve if you use your space in the customary way.

Even though vertical cards are not as common as the usual horizontal ones, choosing this format won’t represent a drastic change  for you or the people you hand them out to.

Because the measurements are the exact same as for horizontal cards, it will be convenient for you to produce them and recipient to store the cards normally.

A vertical design does a wonderful job or creating a subtle yet distinct difference in appearance without having to change the shape, texture or material that some other cards require.

Vertical Business Card - Step 1

Choosing vertical over horizontal is not just a matter of rotating your piece of card stock. It is a matter of thinking about the card differently as a whole.

In the preliminary stages of your card’s creation, you will need to determine your ideal card’s visual strength to maximize it’s effectiveness. Make sketches to visualize the style you’re after and try various layout solutions.

Going through this preparatory step will provide you with all the needed guidelines. Making changes when you already have too much going on and too many elements to handle will be harder and more time consuming.

Vertical Business Card - Step 2

Making a good vertical card is a matter of creating a layout that will match the shape of the card and of arranging all your elements, like graphics and text, to go with the style of your preference.

You can pick your graphics to follow the shape of the card, finding creative possibilities for images and white space that would be hard to achieve as effectively within the horizontal layout.

Vertical Business Card - Step 3

For all cards, good text placement and alignment are essential tools for proper communication. In a vertical card, it’s particularly important to break the text in shorter strings, spacing each string adequately and choosing clutter-free type.

It’s easier to make a vertical card look messy than a horizontal one, but the vertical orientation has its strong points, too.

Given the way of scanning written content we are normally used to, readers will be facilitated following the vertical flow of the strings of text. Make sure to keep the text brief and to the point for maximum impact.

Vertical Business Card - Step 4

The standard measurements for rectangular cards is 3.5 inches by 2 inches. If you are looking for an additional way to stand out, vertical business cards allow many possibilities for you can choose different sizes.

Consider giving the card a slimmer look by altering its original width or increasing its length to incorporate even more vertical spacing.

Before you make your changes, make sure you will be able to print on stock that is slightly different from the standard, or you can simply look for a professional printer that will offer this type of customization.

Vertical Business Card - Step 5


Although they present a few slight design challenges, vertical cards allow for possibilities and creative approaches that horizontal oriented cards cannot. To make a great design, do your best to make the most of the advantages offered by vertical space and create a style that will bring out the best in a vertical layout.

About the Author
Kristi Maddox is a master of graphic design, on-site design and ordering, and is the go-to for template and design tool usage.
Kristi and the team order print jobs from every major printer to test quality, value, customer service, and more. See their reviews here:


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