When it comes to designing business cards, we get a lot of questions about the ideal size for a business card template. If you are in the market to update your business cards, let’s talk about what works best when it comes to your business card setup. It is important to have the results you want in mind so you can impress new clients at your next networking function.
One of the most common questions we get is, “Is there a standard business card size or dimensions I need to use?” We could simply tell you “yes” but you also need to know the reasons behind the “yes.” This blog contains guidelines that will walk you through standard template sizes for business cards. In addition, we will share some of the ways you can make your business cards and leave a lasting impression.
Business Card Size and Setup
In general, the standard dimensions of a printed business card are 3.5 x 2 inches. (FYI: These card dimensions will also be the finished size of the card.)
Keep in mind that many printed designs will include a “bleed area” which is an extra 1/8-inch of space that is there to account for any design elements or backgrounds on the card that extend beyond the finished edges. A business card template design (with bleed) is printed to be slightly oversized so it can easily be cut down to size. This technique gives the appearance that the printing is “bleeding” off the edge of the card instead of having plain (boring) white borders on the card.
Tips to keep in mind when designing business cards:
- Make sure the size of the document page is equal to the card size plus the bleed area, or 3.75″ x 2.25″, in order to be correctly trimmed down to the finished size after printing. Planning to include bleeds? Set the document size to the finished size, 3.5” x 2”.
- Want to design a vertical card with the long size up? Easy! Just switch the page width and height. This means you won’t have to rotate the card in order to see the intended design.
- FYI: The standard business card size in the metric system is 8.9 x 5.1 cm or 88.9 x 50.8 mm.
Play it Safe
The area you want to cut, and your ability to accurately cut, may vary so keep your valuable text and logo information within the “safe zone” of the design (the 1/8-inch around the margin of your card). Keeping the text within the 3.25” x 1.75” area of the card ensures you won’t have any valuable information trimmed off!
The act of designing a business card with borders is not always easy. Thin borders that are outside the safe zone, and have less than 1/8th-inches of thickness, may not trim evenly. Avoid an “off-center” look by keeping the thin lines/border lines away from the edge of your business card.
Now that you know the size considerations of a business card setup, let’s talk about some design considerations.
Other Types of Business Card Design Considerations
Double-sided business cards give you more space to work with when you need to include an offer or additional info about your company or product. Be sure and choose a separate page in your file for the back side of the card (while still keeping each page within the size specifications discussed earlier). Some of the options you can use for printing business cards include rounded corners and custom printing effects.
You can also choose to print a custom folded or tent card. These cards contain twice the printable area of a standard business card. Think of them as a mini-brochure or greeting card. Folded business cards need the file size set to 3.75” x 4.25” with bleed, or 3.5” x 4” without bleed. Then, you will need to create two pages in your file. The first page is for the front and back (outside area) of the card while the second page is for the inside.
If you want to use vertical or horizontal cards with either short, long, or offset fold layout specifications, standard sizes include:
- 3.5″ x 4″ flat, even folded to 3.5″ x 2″
- 3.5″ x 3.75″, offset folded to 3.5″ x 2″
- 7″ x 2″, vertical folded to 2″ x 3.5″
Let our team of print experts at Driftwood Printing help you create business cards that meet your design and size specifications.