How to pick the right business card size, shape, and orientation?

If you run a business or are looking to have professional business cards is a must. Business cards present a polished, credible image, but it is easy for people to contact you after meeting you in person. With so many options for sizes, shapes, paper stocks, and more, picking the right business card design is overwhelming. 

Standard card sizes

The most common and widely used business card size is 3.5 x 2 inches. Referred to as the “standard” size, these cards are accepted by cardholders, easily fit in wallets, and work for most branding purposes. The standard size is a safe bet for most businesses.   If you want a card that stands out more, you may consider larger or smaller sizes. 

  1. 2 x 3.5 inches – A vertically oriented card that is slightly narrower than the standard size.
  2. 4 x 2 inches – A compact but wide format that fits well in card wallets. The unusual shape helps your card be more memorable.

Keep in mind when veering from standard sizes that oddly sized cards may not fit as neatly into card organizers and wallets. Make sure to get samples before ordering a full stack.

Shape and orientation

The most popular card shape by far is the square corner rectangular card. However, custom shapes enable you to stand out, align with your brand, and look more modern. Some examples:

  • Rounded corners – Make cards feel softer and more approachable.
  • Circular – Give cards an artsy vibe. Circular cards may need custom storage.
  • Die cut – Cards with custom shapes on the corners or edges add flair.
  • Embossed edges – Add dimension and texture with debossed or raised lines and patterns.

Paper types & weights

Business cards can be printed on a wide array of paper types, including:

  1. Matte – Matte paper has a classic linen-like appearance. It looks prestigious but avoids glare.
  2. Glossy – Glossy coats give vibrant color and visual pop. 
  3. Linen – Textured paper provides an elegant old-world feel.
  4. Recycled – For eco-friendly cards with a browned natural fiber appearance.  

Paper weight for business cards generally ranges from 14 pt (thicker) to 28 pt (thinner). At 14-16 pt, cards handled but feel overly stiff. 18-28 pt paper has a perfect balance of durability and flexibility for most purposes.

Using Two-Sided Printing

Another way to maximize your business card real estate is by using two-sided printing. With two-sided cards, you put basic info like name, company, and phone number on one side…and additional details like email, social media, QR code, or branding images and colors on the reverse. Since people tend to gaze at the front initially, make sure to put important info there. More minor details go on back printthatnow .

Coordinating with other brand collateral 

Business card design should visually match your other brand materials like letterhead, website, brochures, product packaging, etc. Maintaining the same look, feel, colors, and fonts across assets helps reinforce brand recognition. 

  • Use the same logo across all assets
  • Maintain color scheme consistency  
  • Reuse signature patterns or icons if applicable
  • Keep font choices the same

So when developing business cards (or any other materials), do a quick audit of your current branded items and identify ways to card printing.

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