So, you need a business card for your small business or blog and you are determined to go the DIY route. Where do you start? Check out my tips below to see how you can design your very own business card.
Before you even start designing anything, you need to get an idea first of what you are going to do. Staring at a blank canvas can be very intimidating if you don’t have an idea what you are going to do. My favourite place to find inspiration is Pinterest. Check out my print design inspiration board here. You can sign up for a Pinterest account to gather all your ideas or you can just save some photos to your computer.
Use the right software
Your printers won’t be very happy if you send them your business card in a Microsoft Word document. You need to use the industry standard software that printers use. I recommend using either Adobe Illustrator or InDesign. Photoshop is fine too if that is the only program you have. But Photoshop Elements won’t cut it, since it doesn’t offer a way to work in print mode.
Here in South Africa (and other developing countries) CorelDraw is also a very popular choice since it is much more affordable than Illustrator.
If you don’t have access to any of these programs you can try a free online app called Canva.
Set up your business card correctly
The size of a business card differs from country to country or from printer to printer. Try googling “business card size country” replacing country with your own. Or check with your printer. Some online printers allow you to download free templates from their website, so you don’t have to worry about setting up the document yourself.
You also need to make sure you are working in CMYK mode, and at a resolution of 300 ppi.
If you plan to have any elements extend over the edge over the card, you need to setup bleed. A bleed of 3 mm should be sufficient.
You can see here the red line where the bleed extends to. It is also recommended to keep any important information like text at least 5 mm from the edge of the card or it might get cut off.
Lay out your text and graphics correctly
Now we can finally start designing! Here are some tips for designing a great looking card:
- Stick to one or two fonts to avoid it looking busy
- Use fonts that are easy to read
- Use contrasting colours
- Allow white space and let the design breathe. Don’t cram too much information on the card
Stay tuned for the next post in this series where we will prepare the business card for print! Read part 2 here.
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