Business owners underestimate the potential of good traditional business cards. But did you know that 39% of people wouldn’t do business with a company with cheap-looking business cards?
A traditional business card is the most effective tool for offline marketing. In addition, these cards are affordable and highly convenient as they are portable offline marketing tools.
You can always carry a handful of business cards to give them out to people after business conferences, trade fairs, and meetings. But business cards represent your brand’s professionalism. Therefore, they must have a personal touch.
You should work on your creative skills to print affordable cards at home for personalised business cards. So let us learn how to design and print your business cards at home.
Designing Your Business Card at Home
Printing your business cards is cost-efficient and also adds a personalised touch. But when you design your business cards at home, you must remember that a thoughtfully designed card is a perfect combination of information, logo, and an attractive look.
You must know basic printing and designing skills to design a professional business card. Besides this, you need to be familiar with some designing software.
Firstly, you must decide what you want to put on your card. For example, traditional business cards have your name, mobile number, address, email, and fax.
Most modern business cards contain contact info with LinkedIn or QR codes for social business profiles. Here’s how to make your business cards at home.
Design a Logo
Whether you’re an entrepreneur or work somewhere, your business card must have a well-designed logo. A logo represents your brand image as it is closely associated with business dealings. Therefore, when you create your brand identity, you must add your logo to your business card.
Ideally, a business logo should not be complicated. Next, you must choose a decent colour scheme. You should choose something simple yet memorable with basic colour contrasts as it is easier to render at home.
Also, your colour scheme must match the other content on your card. For example, if you choose a simple layout, it’s best to pick an attractive and bold colour scheme. However, if you have a complicated layout, choose neutral colour schemes.
Moreover, your colour schemes should match your website, letterhead, brochures, etc. You can choose from various colour schemes when you design your cards from software.
The card designing software also has plenty of backgrounds to choose from. However, you should always opt for white or cream backgrounds for business cards as they look more professional.
When you design your logo, you must understand your printer’s limitations. More complex logos are difficult for printers to render. For example, professional cards use various printing processes such as metallic foil stamps, engraved printing, carving, gradation, etc.
These printing techniques are not possible with your computer printer. Therefore, you must design a minimalist card that requires basic computer printing.
Choose the Content for Your Business Card
Besides the logo, you need to look into other information you want to include on your business card. Here are some common ideas for information you should include.
- Your name
- Company’s name
- Contact info
- Email address
- Job title
- Office address
- QR code
- Social media handles
Business Card Designing Programs
Once you have the basic concept of your business card, it is time to design it on a card designing program. Here are a few ways to design your card.
Canva is a free tool for making presentations, designing cards, etc. This marketing tool lets you print materials such as letterheads, brochures, and business cards. You can also access a paid version of Canva to use premium tools.
But even without premium tools, Canva has excellent free tools with decent colour schemes for marketing materials.
Canva’s business card measures 3.5 inches by 2 inches. If you want to change the default size of the business card, you need to input the specific measurements.
Once you choose the card’s dimensions, canva lets you pick a template. It has various free layouts, but you can also design your own.
When you have created your business card, download the file and print it. You can also place an order for the cards on Canva.
Adobe Express is similar to Photoshop. It has thousands of professional card templates with tons of customisation options. If you have Adobe’s premium plan, you can insert some branded elements to design and print the card more quickly.
Microsoft Word and Publisher Template
Microsoft Word and Publisher Template both feature business card templates. MS Word features a ‘tools’ tab that contains ‘letters and mailings’ in the drop-down menu.
You can select ‘labels’ from the dialogue box and select a business card sheet.
In MS Word 2007 or newer versions, you can simply click on the mailings tab to select the ‘labels’ icon in the upper left corner. Then select the ‘options’ button in the dialogue box. Finally, choose the printer option, product number, and business card sheet vendor.
Microsoft Publisher Template also has various templates available for business cards. First, you must choose a template matching your computer’s layout.
Most templates offer ten cards, but they’re not arranged properly. If you want to avoid misprinting, you must adjust the layout of your computer screen.
Besides this, you can also download Avery templates and import them into the software. But if you have bought the business card paper, you must ensure that the templates match the paper.
When you choose a suitable template, all you have to do is write down your contact information. Next, you have to choose the paper for the business cards.
Business Card Paper Template
To save time, you can choose pre-perforated traditional business card papers. This way, you won’t have to cut the paper after printing the cards. Business card paper templates include paper colour, stock, thickness, and finish.
The most common colours for traditional business cards are white, cream, and beige.
Regular paper stock is available for you to buy. You can also purchase premium card stock, which is relatively thicker than regular stock.
You can also use a coating on the premium cardstock to make it more sturdy. Besides this, you can choose plastic which is uncommon. But whichever paper stock you choose, ensure that your printer is compatible.
The thicker your business card is, the sturdier it is. Most traditional business cards are 14 to 20 points. One point equals 1/1000 of an inch.
If you want extra thick cards, they are up to 30-32 points. You should use 14-20 point business card stock for conventional cards.
Several types of paper finish are available. First, you can choose a gloss finish with a slightly shiny look. Matte finishes are relatively plain. You should opt for the glossy finish if your card has a vibrant colour contrast.
However, the matte finish looks more decent for black text and cream/beige backgrounds. You can also look for free card designing software that has templates. These templates match your paper type.
You can choose one template that suits your paper finishes to make a decent professional business card.
Print Your Business Cards
When you print your cards, you must ensure that the printer has taken the printing task. First, check your printer’s maximum paper weight. Then look into the specifications.
If your printer does not support your business card’s specifications, you’ll have to tweak the layout and measurements to enable the printer to print your card.
Some specific printers support heavy cardstock. These are suitable for printing professional business cards as they are compatible with various paper types.
Before you start printing the cards, you should do a test. First, print your card’s design on regular paper to ensure your printer’s ink works properly. If the design looks neat on regular paper, you can test the print on the cardstock.
If you choose perforated paper for your business cards, you must ensure that the layout and content line up rectangularly. Then, if your test samples come out good, you can start printing multiple sheets of business cards.
However, when you print more cards, your printer’s ink will be low, which results in lower-quality printouts. Therefore, you must refill the ink cartridge after printing a handful of cards.
Sometimes, the cardstock paper also clumps together in your printer, which causes a paper jam. Due to this, you should print only a handful of business cards at a time to avoid low-quality prints and paper jams.
Printing your own business cards at home is effortless and affordable. You can design a personalised business card with little creativity and print several sheets at once.
For good results, you can put in more effort and time. If the results satisfy you, then you can proceed with designing various logos and start experimenting with what looks best.
But make sure that the information you add on your business card does not contain typos. It must also be free of printing errors if you want your business cards to look professional and neat.