Business Card Design Modern Print

Personal Business Card Designs

I recently made some new, modern personal business cards featuring my new logo. I thought it would be nice to make a few variations (5 in total), with the background of the back being different artwork that I've created over the years. I wanted to keep the front – where my name, phone and email address is – nice and clean. Legibility and cleanliness are two big factors, for me, for this particular side of the card.

These cards are printed on a 300gsm substrate in a standard size for Australia. I went for a gloss finish, with a laminate over the top. It allows the colours to appear rich and vibrant, even though they're generally monotone looking for the most part.

A special thanks to Simprint Digital in Dingley, Victoria, Australia for getting these printed or me. They always do a fantastic job and I'd definitely recommend them.

Print Modern Business Card Design

Above: 'Day 7' business card design featuring artwork created in Adobe Illustrator.

Business Card Design Modern Print

Above: United business card design featuring the artwork created for Desktopography.

Modern, Clean Business Card Design

Above: Heights business card design featuring the artwork from the Depths / Heights series.

Abstract Business Card Design

Above: Inifinite business card design featuring artwork created in an isometric, 3D style in Illustrator.

Gloss Laminate Business Card Design

Above: Flow business card design featuring artwork created for EvokeOne Digital Art Group.


hotel business card

Print finishes and techniques

The possibilities of print design are almost endless these days, with technology moving so fast, you can nearly produce whatever your imagination suggests. A lot of print techniques and finishes come down to what your budget may be for the project and also what sort of finish best represents your company. So, while it might be great to have a wooden business card for example, the costs are going to be monumental. Also, does it paint a  Furthermore, different cultures and countries have different specifications. I'll try and run through them all without too much jargon to make it as easy as possible to understand.

I'm going to use a business card as an example, but the guidelines are applicable to any type of print based output.

Here we go...!

Matte / Gloss Finish

The first and most common decision is whether or not the substrate should be a matte or gloss finish. Both types of finish have pros and cons associated to them, as they both alter the output in terms of colour, touch and business representation.

A gloss finish typically allows the colours of the print to lift off the page more. So, more vivid colours, darker blacks and whiter whites.

On the other hand, a matte finish will appear to absorb the colours and therefore give the product a duller, more subtle finish.

It can be argued either way as to which finish has the more 'professional' look associated to it. And, it's probably best discussed on a case by case situation.

Gloss Business Card ExampleMatte Business Card Example

Diecutting

A die cut is essentially a 'template' of the substrate (the material being printed on). So, for example, a business card is typically a rectangular shape, but if you wanted the business card to be cut out like a leaf or a heart, you would need a custom die cut. This can be useful to help customers remind you of your brand because of it's unique properties. A custom die cut can be used for more than just business cards, including banners, brochures, stickers and decals, labels and so on.

custom-die-cut-business-card-example

Rounded Corners

Typically used purely in business card design, rounded corners is a type of die cut, usually to add a touch of elegance (debatable!) to the card. They do give the card as a whole a softer look, though.

Rounded and squared off business card

Spot UV Varnishing / Spot Varnish

Spot varnishing is relatively popular when it comes to printing. It can come in different methods including matte, silk or gloss varnish. It can be used to protect the paper for a longer and also enhance the look and feel of the design as a whole.

Spot UV is a more advanced type of varnish where it protects the cards from ultra-violet rays.

spot-uv-varnish-business-card-example

Embossing

The effect which raises or indents a particular part of the substrate is called embossing. This can be elegant, as it changes the nature of the card significantly from what is considered 'normal'. It does have one significant drawback, which if not typically desired, is that effects both sides of the substrate. Depending on the intention, this can mean that one side of the substrate isn't as usable as you'd like it to be. In turn, you've got wasted paper real estate space.

embossed-business-card-example


Different Business Card Sizes Around the World

A business card is a great first impression and while the purpose of a business card has evolved slightly, it's now a very common distribution tool. Many business owners and employees use it as a networking tool and gone are the days of simple, one sided cards being the normal approach to the design.

While many people can't get enough of digital and online information, the business card, along with other print material is still a very commonly printed asset in many countries. And, amazingly enough, standard business card sizes are different all around the world.

So, let's have a look at the standard sizing of business cards. While the differences are only minor, it may effect your job for many reasons. Initially, it's the most important step for business card creation.

Business Card Standard Sizes around the world

I've created a table of standard business card dimensions for different countries around the world, including dimensions (width x height) and bleed dimensions – important for keeping your business card information safely within the card boundaries.

Country Dimensions (Width x Height) Dimensions with Bleed
Australia and New Zealand 90mm x 55mm 96mm x 61mm
Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and Venezuela 90mm x 50mm 96mm x 56mm
Cambodia, Laos and Bangladesh 90mm x 55mm 96mm x 61mm
Canada 88.9mm x 50.8mm
3.5in x 2in
95.25mm x 57.15mm
3.5in x 2in
China, Hong Kong and Singapore 90mm x 54mm 96mm x 60mm
Colombia 90mm x 50mm 96mm x 56mm
Eastern Europe 90mm x 55mm 96mm x 61mm
Egypt 87mm x 57mm 93mm x 63mm
Iceland 85mm x 55mm 91mm x 61mm
India, Taiwan, Vietname and Thailand 90mm x 55mm 96mm x 61mm
Iran 85mm x 48mm 91mm x 54mm
Israel 90mm x 50mm 96mm x 56mm
Japan 91mm x 55mm 97mm x 61mm
Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan 90mm x 55mm 96mm x 61mm
Mongolia and Malaysia 90mm x 54mm 96mm x 60mm
Russia 90mm x 55mm 96mm x 61mm
Sri Lanka and South Korea 90mm x 55mm 96mm x 61mm
Scandinavia and Greece 90mm x 55mm 96mm x 61mm
Turkey 85mm x 50mm 91mm x 56mm
United Kingdom 85mm x 55mm 91mm x 61mm
United States 88.9mm x 50.8mm
3.5in x 2in
95.25mm x 57.15mm
3.5in x 2in

Common bleed sizes are 1/8th inch for North America, while the rest of the world is a 3mm bleed.

That should give you a better insight as to what dimensions you would like your card to be. Sometimes the standard size isn't necessarily, so it's best to discuss your job before deciding on your sizing.

If you have any further questions about business cards, please feel free to contact me for more information.