5 common mistakes people make when designing business cards

Minuteman Press Clarkson Clients' Business Card Samples

Choosing Fonts that are too small: When designing a business card we recommend a minimum font size of at least 8 pt is size. Anything smaller may become difficult to read. Many designers use a large computer monitor when designing a set of cards and smaller font sizes look very readable on screen. Remember that the final size of this printed product is 3.5”x2”. So that oversized business card you see on the screen will get shrunk down and that 5 pt font simply becomes unreadable.

Putting too much information on your card: The objective of your business card is to provide contact information and a sense as to what your company does. There is simply not enough room for a long list of products and services. Do you really need to include every phone # your company has? Too much info forces the designer to use a small font. And this tends to make the card difficult to read.

Poor Colour Selection for fonts: When choosing a font colour make sure there is an adequate contrast from the background. This rule is especially true when using thin fonts such as Helvetica Light. Colour such as a medium grey or yellow on a white background will not stand out. Better to use maximum contrast for thin fonts. On the thicker bolded fonts colour contrast is not quiet as critical.

Text is too close to the edge: A business card looks much better if you leave at least a 1/8” (3 mm) margin around the edge of a card. When a printer cuts the business cards down to size from a large sheet there is always a bit of variation (approximately 0-0.5 mm). When the text is situated near the edge of the card, any cutter variation will become very noticeable. Many times we need to fix artwork and shrink artwork down a little to make the final product look professional.

Pictures, Images and Logos are Low Resolution. Taking a 72 dpi image off the web is not going to look good on your business card. The final product will look pixilated and grainy. We recommend using at least a 300 dpi image resolution, preferably 400 dpi+. At this resolution the image will look crisp and clear.

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