How To: Make an Effective Business Card
It only takes seven ingredients to whip up your own fantastic business card.

Numbers Wizard

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When you are starting a new business, one of the first things you will need is a business card. If your budget is tight, you can save money by creating your own. There are a variety of programs that make it easy to create a professional business card, such as Microsoft Publisher or Adobe InDesign. For this tutorial, I will be using Adobe Photoshop CS5.


You can buy paper specifically for business cards at most office supply stores or online.

TIP: Get good quality card stock. The quality of the paper can communicate a message of professionalism about your company. Flimsy paper might make you seem unprofessional or flaky, while sturdy card stock may give an impression of legitimacy.

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The paper you purchase will indicate the dimensions you need to use and how to set up your document. Here I am setting up a 3.5” x 2” business card.

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If you are making a double-sided card, start with the back side here. Choose a background color, if desired, and insert your logo.

TIP: Use contrasting colors and make the logo large enough to be easily seen.

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On the front of your card, use a different background color to make the text easy to read. Also, be sure to include all relevant contact information. Use a legible font that represents your brand.

TIP: Don’t forget social media. If you have social media pages for your business, refer to them on the card.

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Play with sizes, fonts, and colors to give your card visual interest.

TIP: The style changes shouldn’t overwhelm the card and should keep with the brand of your business.

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You may want to add some type of background or graphic that adds style to your business card. Create your own or search the Web for a good stock image or vector.

TIP: You can also purchase business card templates online to save you some time designing.

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Print a test page on plain paper to be sure everything turns out as planned. When you are ready to print on your business card paper, be sure the settings are in the best quality and full color.

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You may have to make adjustments after printing a test page. Be sure you are aligning the front and back. Your business card will be most effective if it’s professional-looking, visually interesting, printed on good quality paper, and includes easy-to-read contact information. You get one shot to make an impression with your business card–you don’t want to lose the chance to make it a good one. Consider using a professional printing service for best results.

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About the Author
Harold Fishman is the resident numbers man, specializing in calculating print values, costs, shipping times, along with great deals and savings.
Harold and the team order print jobs from every major printer to test quality, value, customer service, and more. See their reviews here:

4 Comments

  1. tried printing a few business cards at home for a conference i was attending last month. the paper stock was not the problem, the ink consistency on our work printer was terrible. would highly recommend a professional.

    • Harold Fishman (Printaholic.com)

      I agree, keno. Printing professionally online is surprisingly cost effective, and we feel that it is worth going through to ensure that you receive the best quality of cards possible.

  2. i tried to make my own and using the online design tool is much easier…

    • Harold Fishman (Printaholic.com)

      Depending on the experience with design programs and business card formatting a person has, creating your own card at home might be the way to go. However, for people without that experience, the online design tools that printers provide are wonderfully effective and easy to use!