How-to Guide for Business Card Sizes and Designs (2024)

Learn all about business card sizes, standards, bleed areas, different business card designs, card shapes, business card templates to use, and other best practices.

However old-timey and surrounded by new means of promotion and networking, the common business card outlived and outshined everything and is still a staple of sharing contact information, and leaving a good first impression.

You can create the most stellar LinkedIn profile, most engaging social media and build the best website, but nothing beats a high-quality business card.

But, before you go on and design one for your small business and present yourself as a respectable business owner, there are some tips and standards you need to know about.

Standard business card sizes and aspect ratios for making a custom business card

Before we delve deeper into the technical details of designing your own business card, you need to know a few things:

  • The size of a business card is not the same in every country.
  • You have to take into account the bleed area of a business card.
  • You also need to leave a safe zone around the business card.
  • It might be hard to translate pixels, inches, centimeters and millimeters if you’re designing a business card from scratch.
  • You can also use templates or blank business cards with the right aspect ratio and build onto them.

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Standard sizes in different countries

How and why exactly it came to be for different countries to stick to different dimensions, it’s hard to explain. Similar to European-cut and US-standard clothes, business cards also have their differences. You’ll find the dimensions in both the imperial and metric systems.

  • In the United States and Canada, the standard size business card has these dimensions:

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  • Belgium, France, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and other European countries:

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  • Argentina, Brazil, Czech Republic, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Slovakia, South Africa, South Korea, Ukraine

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If you didn’t find the country you need information for, here is a complete sheet of business card dimensions by country.

Also, don’t forget that when converting between pixels, millimeters and inches, there is a big chance that you will get decimal numbers that are hard to round off. So, before you definitely agree on the graphic design and send the business cards for print, make sure you check a reliable source about the correct dimensions and ratio.

Best practices for business card printing

Apart from the size of your business card and the aspect ratio, there are plenty of smaller details that you might not even think about before sending them for print. Here’s what you have to double-check.

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Format

When you or your designer work on a business card, the best format to save it in is the PDF format. The reason for that is because working with PDF formats allows editing, sharing, collaborating on a file and higher security with digital documents. It is also much easier to edit a PDF file as a non-designer than in Photoshop or Indesign, for example, and that will make it possible for you to make small tweaks without calling a designer.

Safe area

The safe area of a business card is the margins around the main design elements that you have to add in order to make sure you won’t cut anything important in the process of printing and separating the cards. In a standard US business card, the safety margins are one-eighth of an inch from the cutting edge. Keep logos and text safe within a 3.34” by 1.84” area.

Bleed area

If your business card has background color or elements that spread all the way to the ends, you need to add a bleed area around the finished size to prevent white lines after trimming it. It is a one-eighth of an inch zone beyond the trim area that will ensure that your business card doesn’t have white borders after full-color printing or being die-cut.

Colors

As is the standard in printing, it is best to use a CMYK color scheme. CMYK stands for cyan, magenta, yellow, and black (or key color). The reason we use CMYK for printing is that it CMY covers the largest number of light color ranges in comparison to using an RGB color scheme (red, green, blue). K or key color is added to the scheme because it doesn’t cover very deep dark colors. The full color palette under CMYK has a much wider range.

Text

When it comes to typography, our advice isn’t so much about what kind of font you should use, but it’s more focused on leaving the text live and editable, not outlined or locked for editing. The reason is similar to why you should use a PDF format: you’ll maybe need to edit the text in the future.

Different designs

If you want to create a unique business card for custom printing, or something that is conventional, but out of the ordinary, consider safe areas and bleed areas. Other designs you could consider are: rounded corners, square business cards, folded business cards, matte color business cards, etc. Keep in mind that only standard-size cards fit in business cardholders.

Business card design templates

If all of this information is too much to handle and you’d like a simpler, quicker way, we have good news for you: there’s plenty of good business card templates out there.

We have 13 free professional business card templates that you can easily edit and are already preset with the right dimensions, ratio, color schemes and safe and bleed areas. Of course, if these 13 designs aren’t your cup of tea, you can find many templates on platforms like Behance, Dribbble, Canva, Pinterest, etc.

Unique business cards to inspire you

If you are a person who wants people to remember you for the extra flair even from your first meeting, take a look at these epic, quirky and endlessly creative business cards.

This, of course, takes a lot of graphic design knowledge and probably hiring a design studio, and templates rarely offer this value. But you never know when a eureka is going to hit!

Broke Bike Alley bike repair shop has an ingenious and useful business card: it’s not just a means of sharing information, but also a tool for quick repairs of bikes!

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Or this metal business card that doubles as a bass guitar tuner with pitch indicators, from the organizer of the Music Tech Festival.

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This divorce attorney split his business card in two equal halves, one for each divorcee.

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And this cool photographer’s business card, that mimics a camera lens view.

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We hope this guide helped you learn the logistics of creating a business card or find yourself a useful template. If you’re still unsure of how to make one yourself, our designers at ManyPixels will be the perfect solution for you. Learn more about how it works.

Insights, advice, suggestions, feedback and comments from experts

I am an expert in the topic of business cards and can provide you with comprehensive information on various concepts related to business card design and best practices. I have a deep understanding of the different business card sizes, standards, bleed areas, designs, shapes, templates, and other important considerations.

Business Card Sizes and Standards

When designing a business card, it's crucial to consider the size and aspect ratio. However, it's important to note that the size of a business card varies from country to country. Here are the standard sizes for different countries:

  • United States and Canada: 3.5 inches by 2 inches
  • Belgium, France, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and other European countries: 85mm by 55mm
  • Australia, Colombia, India, New Zealand, Taiwan, Vietnam: 90mm by 55mm
  • Argentina, Brazil, Czech Republic, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Slovakia, South Africa, South Korea, Ukraine: 90mm by 50mm
  • China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore: 90mm by 54mm
  • Japan: 91mm by 55mm

If you need information about the standard size for a country not listed here, you can refer to a complete sheet of business card dimensions by country.

Bleed Area and Safe Zone

When designing a business card, it's important to consider the bleed area and safe zone. The bleed area is an extra space added around the finished size of the card to prevent white lines after trimming. It is typically one-eighth of an inch beyond the trim area. The safe zone, on the other hand, is the margin around the main design elements that ensures important information won't be cut off during the printing and cutting process. In a standard US business card, the safety margins are one-eighth of an inch from the cutting edge.

Best Practices for Business Card Printing

In addition to size and aspect ratio, there are other important details to consider when printing business cards:

  • Format: It is recommended to save your business card design in PDF format. PDF files are easily editable, shareable, and offer higher security with digital documents. They also allow for easier editing compared to other formats like Photoshop or InDesign.
  • Colors: It is best to use a CMYK color scheme for printing. CMYK stands for cyan, magenta, yellow, and black, and it covers a wider range of light color ranges compared to RGB (red, green, blue) for printing purposes.
  • Text: Leave the text live and editable, rather than outlining or locking it for editing. This allows for future edits without the need for a designer.
  • Different Designs: Consider adding unique elements to your business card design, such as rounded corners, square cards, folded cards, or matte colors. However, keep in mind that only standard-size cards fit in business cardholders.

Business Card Design Templates

If you find all this information overwhelming, there are plenty of business card templates available that can simplify the design process. Platforms like Behance, Dribbble, Canva, and Pinterest offer a wide range of templates that are already preset with the correct dimensions, ratio, color schemes, and safe and bleed areas. Additionally, you can find 13 free professional business card templates on our website that you can easily edit to suit your needs.

Unique Business Card Examples

If you want to make a memorable impression, consider unique and creative business card designs. Here are a few examples to inspire you:

  • Broke Bike Alley, a bike repair shop, has a business card that doubles as a tool for quick bike repairs.
  • A metal business card doubles as a bass guitar tuner with pitch indicators.
  • A divorce attorney's business card is split in two equal halves, representing each divorcee.
  • A photographer's business card mimics a camera lens view.

Remember, creating a unique business card may require graphic design knowledge or the assistance of a design studio.

I hope this comprehensive guide has provided you with the necessary information to create a business card that meets your needs. If you require further assistance or would like to learn more about our design services, our team at ManyPixels is here to help.

How-to Guide for Business Card Sizes and Designs (2024)

FAQs

How-to Guide for Business Card Sizes and Designs? ›

The US standard size of a business card is 3.5" x 2.0", whereas the business cards dimensions in the UK are 3.35" x 2.17". If you're looking for different shapes, like thin rectangles, or squares, you'll most commonly want to invest in business cards with dimensions of 3.5" x 1.25", 2.5" x 2.5", or 3" x 3".

What size should I design a business card? ›

Business Card Size and Setup

The standard dimensions of a printed business card are 3.5 x 2 inches. That's the finished card size.

What is the proper layout for business cards? ›

Most business cards are rectangular, about the size of a credit card, and laid out horizontally. People are familiar with this format, so it's a safe choice, but if you want your business card to stand out, consider using a square shape, rounded corners or vertical orientation.

What is the modern business card design size? ›

Standard business cards are 3.5″x 2″ – but have you ever thought about why most cards are exactly that size and shape? You may have noticed that they generally all fit nicely into a wallet, purse or pocket. Credit cards, appointment cards and licenses are roughly the same size for just that reason.

What is the most popular business card size? ›

In North America, the de facto standard size is 3.5” x 2”, approximately 51 mm x 89 mm, or a 1.75 ratio. This is the most common size for rectangular business cards as well as leaf, oval, single-rounded corner, and half-circle side cards.

Are Square business cards a good idea? ›

A: Rounded and square business cards can help you create a memorable first impression and differentiate your brand from others. If you want a unique and modern business card design, investing in rounded or square cards can be beneficial.

What are 5 tips to designing a business card? ›

10 tips for creating an effective business card
  1. Target your audience. The first rule of creating an effective business card is to target your audience and industry. ...
  2. Make it easy to read. Ensure the fonts you choose are simple and easy to read. ...
  3. Be creative. ...
  4. Communicate effectively. ...
  5. Proofread. ...
  6. Hire a professional printer.
Feb 3, 2023

What information you should not put on your business card? ›

Personal information: Exclude personal information, such as your home address, social security number, or personal phone number. Use your business contact information instead. Confidential information: Leave out confidential information, such as trade secrets, financial information, or client details.

What makes business card design minimalist style? ›

Minimalist business card design emphasizes simplicity, clean lines, and ease of reading. The goal is to minimize the number of colors, fonts, and images on the card. It is important to make sure that all the information provided on the card is clear and concise.

What size is the bleed on a business card? ›

US Business Card Size

Bleed is 1/8th of an inch. Make sure you keep all your important information well within the bleed zone to ensure it isn't snipped off after printing. Your finished artwork size with bleed will be 3.75” x 2.25”. Standard business card sizes in Canada are the same as in the US.

What size is a vertical business card design? ›

Vertical business cards are generally 2.0” x 3.5”. Keep your important details (like text or logos) toward the center of your business card design so that nothing gets cut off in the printing process.

How much bleed is on a business card? ›

The standard business card size is 2" x 3.5”.

If you want to include bleeds, the dimensions should be 2.25” x 3.75”. A bleed is an extra 1/8-inch space added to the actual dimension of the card, which acts as a safety measure for designs that may extend beyond the final size of the card.

What 3 principles of design are the most important for designing a business card? ›

The most effective business cards follow the basic principles of design. Take into consideration design principles such as emphasis, hierarchy, pattern, white space, and unity. These all work in tandem to create functional, visually appealing designs.

What is the most appealing color for business cards? ›

White and dark blue is one of the most classic and popular color combinations, which is fitting for almost any profession. On the other hand, adding simple, colorful elements to your white business card can make it look very hip. or, gold or silver foil stamping on white business cards can create a sense of authority.

What color combo looks best on a business card? ›

Green and white: Usually associated with nature, growth, and freshness, this combination is ideal for eco-friendly businesses. Red and black: This is a powerful and bold combination that evokes energy, passion, and authority. Purple and silver: This combination of luxury and sophistication is perfect for luxury brands.

What is the size ratio for a business card? ›

The standard business card size is 3.5” x 2” in the United States and Canada. If you're a designer from outside the US and want to create standard American business cards, the close approximate would be 51 mm x 89 mm or a 1.75 ratio. To be clear, 3.5” x 2” is the standard finished size.

What is the standard business card ratio size? ›

Standard business card sizes around the globe
RegionInchesAspect Ratio
US and Canada3.5 x 21.75
UK3.35 x 2.171.75
Japan3.58 x 2.171.65
South America3.54 x 1.971.8
2 more rows
Mar 18, 2020

What size logo is best for business card? ›

Usually the logo on a business card is 0.75” x 0.75.” If you design your logo at 1” x 1” which is 350 x 350 dpi, then you can size it more easily to fit the business card, and the resolution should be high enough for a quality outcome when printing.

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