The Huge Potential of the Humble Business Card

For such a tiny item of print, the humble business card can punch well above its weight as a business marketing tool. However, it can only do that if it’s designed and printed exceptionally well, then handed over in tip-top condition. First impressions really count.

Despite being such an important promotional item, business cards can be extremely economical to print – even with extra finishes and embellishments (we’ll come to those shortly). So, it makes sense to ensure that business cards are well designed in the first place, printed professionally with high-end printing machines and then protected at all times before hand-over. Keep them safe when storing them or transporting them so they are pristine and at their most impressive when delivered to your prospects and contacts. Going that small extra mile for a relatively modest price, together with a little bit of care, is really a no-brainer — there is absolutely no need to spoil that all-important first impression for the sake of just a few pennies per card and a little care.

Business Card Sizes & Shapes

The ‘standard’ size for business cards is ‘credit card’ size, usually being about 85mm x 55mm, however, sizes aren’t carved in stone so your card can actually be any size you like. Also, you don’t necessarily have to limit yourself to a rectangular card with standard ‘square cut’ corners — shapes are also possible.

  • You can have rounded corners on all, or just some, of the corners –  in fact opposing corners with curves can look rather funky (see example on the bottom row, on the right).
  • You can get us to die-cut the business cards to a totally bespoke shape. These can be geometric, circular, square or lozenge-shaped cards or totally irregular shapes to follow the graphics or image printed, for those who want to be a little different.

Lamination Options

Any kind of lamination, including matt, gloss or ‘soft touch’ options, can give business cards a nice feel as well as adding a protective layer to help limit the effects of wear, fingerprints and moisture. Lamination can also affect the colours printed underneath, with matt and soft-touch lamination flattening the contrast to give a modern, fresh feel, and gloss lamination deepening contrast in images and photographs at the same time as making the colours look more deep and saturated.


Spot UV Varnish

Spot UV varnish is also very popular on business cards. This clear, highly glossy varnish can really make particular features on your business card stand out. That’s particularly true when the remainder of the card is designed and finished so as to be very matt. So, if the card is printed on uncoated card or if it’s matt laminated, for example, that would work beautifully when juxtaposed against a glossy, UV varnished spot-printed area. A glossy spot UV varnished logo, for instance, can really make the logo stand out and draw attention to your brand, making it a focal point of the card, catching the light at certain angles and adding a feel of real high quality to boot. We can also gloss varnish with a range of surface textures – just ask for details.

Card Stock

The base card used can also make a big difference to the final impact of your business card. Standard business cards might use a ‘coated’ card base (matt, silk or gloss card with a special surface coating which lifts colours) or an ‘uncoated’ card for those who want their cards to look a little more ‘natural’ and don’t mind the lower contrast colours which result.

Within those core card types, there are also many more sub-types of card. These include recycled card for those who wish to be as eco-friendly as they can, partly recycled for those who wish to be eco-friendly but perhaps get some of the benefits of non-recycled card (e.g. brighter whites), tinted card stock (e.g. cream, ivory, pale colours and various whites) and finally textured cards. We can supply business cards with flat surfaces, a linen type texture, an ‘onion skin’ texture, ‘laid’ textures (small stripes in the make-up of the card stock) and many other kinds of texture. Technical note: while the ‘flat’ standard card types might be laminated, the textured variety would not usually be laminated otherwise the process of lamination tends to flatten any inherent texture to a degree, due to the pressure applied during the lamination process.

Attention to detail

Your business card doesn’t need to be single-sided – why not print it double-sided at the very least! Even printing a flat colour on the backs of your cards will usually give them a design ‘lift’ and create a better impression. Or enhance that further with your logo, web address, phone number or even a photo.

We know of several companies who never hand out just one card. Some graphic designers, for example, print several versions of their business cards, e.g. each version showing a different image on the front and/or back. They either get the customer or prospect to select their favourite, or hand them a few different versions. Either way it’s a great marketing ploy because with one way you know the client has chosen their favoured design (so will have, to them, the most attractive reminder of you possible) and, with the other route, they will end up with spare cards that they can then hand out, when asked, to anyone who is looking for your services.

Some clients also take business cards to the next level. We have produced “4 page” business cards (i.e. cards which fold over) and even 6 page roll-fold business cards. With this approach the card ends up being the same ‘credit card’ size when folded down, so is convenient, yet it can now contain much more information about you and your services. We’ve even seen it taken further with business card-sized multi-page booklets which are almost like mini-catalogues – genius!

So, all in all, there are quite a few different ways to make your business card stand out from the many run-of-the-mill business cards out there. It’s all worth carefully considering if you are to make a good first impression and then a useful reminder of your services further down the line.

Printing & Design Services in London Bridge SE1

It goes without saying, of course, that Southside Print would be very happy to help you with the graphic design and/or printing of your business cards. We’re brimming full of ideas and can make your business cards look highly special and that little bit different to your competition. Printing is also extremely high quality, fast and competitively priced. Ask for a quote here, upload your artwork here, send us a message or enquiry here or call us on 020 7378 6754 for any queries and more information. We’ll be delighted to hear from you. For customers nearby, do feel free to drop in; we’re based in Tabard Street, SE1, so we’re just a short walk from London Bridge station and Borough High Street tube (map).

Business card examples