How to Make a Business Card: Top Business Card Templates, Tips & Design Trends

A good business card is essential for connecting with potential customers and making a good first impression. Here's how to design a business card that stands out from the crowd.

How to Make a Business Card: Top Business Card Templates, Tips & Design Trends
Portrait for Yauhen ZarembaBy Yauhen Zaremba  |  Updated July 27, 2023

As a freelancer, getting your name out there and bringing in business can be challenging. Chances are, you’re spending a lot of time at trade fairs and networking events – places where business cards are essential. A physical reminder of your networking plays to your advantage, especially if it’s unique and well-designed. 

In this article, we’ll show you how to design a business card that suits your brand, as well as the latest branding trends and design styles.

Why Freelancers Need a Business Card

You may wonder if you need business cards as a freelance creative or small business. The answer is yes, you do. Because freelancers can get business from anywhere, business cards are essential. After all, you never know when you’ll bump into someone needing your services. But before designing your card, consider its purpose and how you can achieve it. 

“Before considering the design, it’s essential to understand why business cards are used. Short answer: to share contact information,” says Rebecca Balagia, Content Marketing Manager at UPrinting. “In a world without cell phones and the internet (hard to imagine, right?), these tangible items were an easy and convenient way to exchange contact information. Today, business cards have evolved into a multitasking marketing tool, making it even more important to stand out from the stacks of others.”

A striking business card can be an invaluable marketing tool for your business, helping you to connect with clients and secure future leads. Your business cards act as your first impression, a conversation starter, and a lasting lasting reminder of you and your services. 

How to Make a Business Card

When you set out to design and create your business card, the first step is determining what details you want to put front and center.

“The first step in creating a business card is to determine what information you must include,” says Rebecca. “Avoid putting too much information that will clutter your business card design. Too much information can be distracting and overwhelming. Stick to the essentials: your contact information, maybe a call to action, or your slogan — just enough to keep it interesting.

The good news is you don’t need to be a graphic designer to create high-quality business cards. Much like you would find a marketing agency proposal template to showcase your marketing services, there are a wide variety of business card templates available online as well as plenty of free self-serve design platforms and design apps.

Using your chosen software, you can upload your logo, identify your brand colors, and choose impactful color combinations with complementary fonts to bring your brand to life. You can even add images, icons, and illustrations to customize your business card design further. 

“If you’re just starting out with brand design, work with your marketing team to develop a strong brand strategy,” Rebecca continues. “A clear brand vision will guide you as you create your visual identity. Having a cohesive brand presence across different channels helps you build awareness and credibility for your business.”

A key part of the process is choosing the size of your cards. Here are some standard business card sizes worth considering:

  • North American Standard: 3.5 × 2 in (88.9 × 50.8 mm)
  • Oceania Standard: 3.54 × 2.165 in (90 × 55 mm)
  • European Standard: 3.346 × 2.165 in (85 × 55 mm)

After creating your business card design, print them at home using quality cardstock, or take them to a professional printing service. The industry standard is 14 pt cardstock, as it’s considered a thicker and more durable quality paper. 

How to Design a Business Card

1. Experiment with Color

As long as your brand colors allow it, you can unleash your creative side by getting imaginative with color. Current color trends include pastels, gradients, color blocks, and retro color palettes

If you’re looking for color inspo, try out the Pantone Color of the Year 2023 – Viva Magenta. A nuanced crimson red that presents a balance between warm and cool, Viva Magenta is described as “vibrating with vim and vigor”: perfect for an eye-catching business card! 

2. Promote Your Authenticity

As a small business or freelancer, it’s vital to show prospective customers what your brand is all about. This can be your purpose or mission, your personality, or the face of the brand.

Whatever your style, take the time to create a business card design that expresses your business’s values and appeals to people’s emotions. 

3. Be Inclusive & Accessible

Accessible design shows your customers that your business is progressive, which can make your brand more inclusive and ultimately help you win new customers.

To make your business cards accessible, consider adding braille with your contact information. Braille is equal to a 29 pt font, which will affect the volume of text you can add to your business cards. 

In addition, cater to color blindness by being considerate in your color combinations. With that in mind, some color combinations to avoid are:

  • Green and red
  • Green and blue
  • Green and brown
  • Blue and purple  

4. Consider Sustainability 

When you’re printing your business cards, keep sustainability in mind. There are plenty of options for recycled paper textures and materials, such as cork, recycled paper, and seeded paper. This is essential if your small business values sustainability and is committed to reducing its environmental impact.

5. Add a QR Code

QR codes are fun, innovative features to add to your business cards. There are many benefits to including QR codes on your business cards. Used alongside other innovative tech designs that boost efficiency, such as using a digital signature online it shows that your business is adaptable and tech-savvy. If boosting your social media following is one of your aims, including QR codes that link to your social platforms is a great way to go about this. Including a QR code on your business cards also means you can keep your design clean and minimal if that fits your brand. 

In addition, QR codes are super easy to track. This means you’ll know exactly where your audience originated, which can influence your future marketing campaigns.  

Business Card Design Guidelines

When it comes to creating your business cards, there are some basic design guidelines to keep in mind:

  • Leave 5 mm around the trim edge of the card. 
  • Always use high-resolution images (300 dpi).
  • Where possible, design in CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, black). 
  • Don’t enlarge images.
  • Use a text size that is easy to read, and avoid italics, shading, and underlining. 
  • Avoid printing cards on glossy paper, which can look low-quality.
  • Don’t place text over images for accessibility purposes.
  • Always proofread your finished design!

Lastly, include only important contact information on your business card. All you need is your name, business name, job title (if relevant), and contact details. The latter could include your email, website, and social media handles.

Business Card Design Trends for 2023

Want to ensure your business card design is on trend? Here are some of the latest trends and design styles in the business card world.

1. High-Contrast Colors

Implementing a high-contrast design to your business cards is a surefire way to make them stand out against the crowd. Think black background with pops of bright color. You could also use contrast with typography. 

2. Gradients

Gradients are another bold approach for business cards. Whether used as a background or a design accent, gradients are eye-catching, creative, and leave a great first impression. 

3. Wrapping

A hot business card trend right now is wrapped business cards. The idea is that you have a continuous design or pattern across the sides, using both sides of the card. A wrapped business card concept differs from the norm and will make your business stand out. 

If you choose a wrapped design, ensure that both sides of the card are coherent and flow properly. 

4. Big and Bold

Using bold fonts to make your business card pop is a common trend across all design streams. Business cards with experimental or creative typography make brand names stand out. However, if you go for oversized lettering, you’ll be limited to only a few words. 

Consider adding usual business contact details in a standard font and making your business or brand name super bold. Explore bold typefaces that pair well with your brand colors when looking for the perfect font

Featuring expressive typography on the unused side of your business card helps to maximize space, capture attention, and ensure stronger brand recall.

5. Artistic Designs

If your business is creative, an artistic business card design is the way to go. An artistic business card can encompass techniques such as handmade illustrations, holographic foil, and line drawings. 

This business card trend works perfectly for small businesses and freelancers specializing in photography and artistry services. 

6. Square Business Cards

Square business cards are super hot right now. They’re cool, modern and a little bit different. Slightly smaller than a regular business card, square business cards are easy for customers or clients to fit in their pocket, phone case, or palm – plus, they look super sleek.

You can even round the corners of your square card for an extra unique flair.

Design Your Eye-Catching Business Card Today

Yes, business cards make it easy for people to contact you, but they also create more opportunities for your business to stand out. Your business card can have a lasting effect on how potential customers view you and your business, especially if it’s your first impression.

The key to designing an impactful business card is incorporating current trends while remaining mindful of your small business’s ethos and appearance. 

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