The thriller film ‘American Psycho’ taught us: if anything matters in a company, it’s a business card. It also taught us a few other lessons, but we’re going to focus on the one that doesn’t circle back to murder. There is a grain of truth in Patrick Bateman’s obsession with the business card: people pay more attention to you when you have one which stands out. There are entire companies who specialize in designing and printing unique business cards, but they often require excess costs that aren’t necessary. Having a gorgeous, one of a kind business card that effortlessly advertises your services does not have to cost you any extra than a few sheets of paper and a bit of time. This is how you print the perfect business card on specialized paper at home.
The fundamentals of a good business card come down to three things: design, information, and paper. All three are crucial to a client’s decision to either keep or trash your card, and each should have special care. Beginning with the design, your first step should be to conceptualize what you feel would best represent your company. A business which sells art could get away with a business card with a piece of art as it’s background, but one who sells houses would look odd with the same background. Perhaps you network market often? Many companies swear by including a picture of the sales representative on the card to trigger memories of meeting the person. Choose a design that works with your company and your goals, but keep in mind not to be overbearing with artistic flair.
Once you have an idea of what design direction you’re heading in, consider the information you put down. Direct sales often focus on contact information, as they want their representatives to be reachable by clients. A company that only has online sales (such as a clothing store without a brick and mortar face) might want to put their website address on all business cards. Like the overall design, the information on a business card should be clear and concise while tailored to your company. Always put your name and at least one form of contact information, and keep the remainder as simple as possible to avoid being overwhelming.
With the design and information out of the way, you get to have fun with the printing! Printing on specialized paper is as easy as 1-2-3, and you have a seemingly endless variety on the market to choose from. Referred to in the printing world as card stock, or cover stock, you can choose from basic white perforated cards to stunning full-color photo finish cards. Color is only the tip of the iceberg because once you’ve picked your color, you move into whether to go glossy or matte. Gloss is great for a high-impact impression, and gloss card stock is more resistant to damage than matte. Matte is better for direct marketing, as it’s easy to write on with a pen if needed. Buy a few sample pages and run them through your home printer as tests to find what works best for your needs before you commit to a certain stock.
If the paper has been chosen, a design has been finalized, and information has been triple-checked, it’s time for you to print! Most home printers handle perforated card stock with no issues whatsoever, but it never hurts to check with your manufacturer or printer supply company to make sure you’re equipped for the job. Use a program like Microsoft Word to set all of your card information into a template and run a few test pages to make sure that spacing is good and no information is cut off. If test pages come through well, run the remainder of your job slowly. Remember that not all paper is equal, and running it slowly means that there’s less of a chance for smearing or unclear print. Once you have all your copies, pop them out from the perforation and get your name out there!