Discover How Easy Making Business Cards Can Be

Whether you are a freelance graphic designer or you own your own design firm, it is crucial to have business cards for your graphic design business. The most obvious reason is to be able to easily provide your contact information to potential clients and employers. Another reason, of equal importance, is that it can act as a first glimpse at your design work ─ serving as the door to your portfolio.

Advantages of Making Business Cards

The following are just a few of the many reasons why making business cards are important for graphic designers:

  • They are excellent tools for showing off your design skills and offer potential clients a snapshot of your sense of design aesthetic.
  • Establishes credibility and makes you look professional and legitimate.
  • Having your business card on you at all times ensures that you are providing people with clear and accurate information.

Elements to Consider when Making Business Cards

Before working on the actual design of the card, decide what you want to include on it. Most commonly, it may include any of the following:

  • Company Name
  • Logo
  • Slogan
  • Your Name (if different from company name)
  • Title
  • Phone Number
  • Fax Number
  • Email Address
  • Website Portfolio Address
  • Mailing Address

Be sure to include only the essential elements as you don’t want to make it overwhelming or appear crowded.

Design Process behind Making Business Cards

A graphic designer’s card should be intriguing and impressive enough to act as a glimpse into your design aesthetic. That is not to say that your graphic design business card must be flashy or over-the-top; a simple, clear cut design with artistic touches may also work well.

There are no quick and easy instructions to walk you step-by-step through making business cards but keep these points in mind:

  • Remember that it is a reflection of your personal style and based on that your card should be trendy, glamorous, classic, modern, or however it is you want to represent yourself as a designer.
  • Whatever the design style, if you don’t suitably impress prospective clients with a striking design on your card, there is little chance they’ll trust you with their graphic designing jobs. The design, and message, of the card itself can make it stick in people’s minds and convince them to contact you for their next big project.

Step 1: Choose the content elements to include

See “Elements to Consider when Making Business Cards.”

Step 2: Choose the right printer, size, and paper

It may be helpful to choose a printer at this point so you can see the size, paper, and other printing options early on in the design process. Cost may affect your decision so it is a good idea to do some research to determine where/how you will print. Often, online printers offer low-cost options for business card printing. Online printing companies may also offer free samples and/or templates for popular graphics software.

As far as size goes, most cards measure at 2 inches tall by 3.5 inches wide. This is often the best choice when making business cards, as it will fit in holders and match up with other cards, and will often have the lowest printing cost.

At this point, you should also decide if the card will be one or two-sided. It is possible to get a full-color, two-sided card at a good rate.

Next, you will also have to choose a paper. This decision is often be limited by what your printer provides. Common choices are glossy and matte finish. If possible, get samples of the paper to help with this decision.

Step 3: Start sketching your ideas

Once you have decided what elements to include on your business card, you can start some preliminary sketches. Determine where you want to place certain elements. For example, where should your logo go? And contact information? Sketch out your ideas for making business cards to help make these important decisions.

Step 4: Create the actual design

Once you have a few concepts that you like, you can create the actual design from your sketches. Adobe Illustrator comes highly recommended for business card design. Check with your printer to see what file formats it accepts, and use the printer’s templates whenever possible to ensure the process goes smoothly.

Step 5: Print and share them with others

Once the design is complete, the files must be delivered to your printer. Before printing, you may want to order a proof of your design to view the final product before going ahead with the full print job.

Once you print your business cards, don’t forget to give them out and market yourself.