We get a lot of calls about business card design and printing. Since the same issues and questions come up all the time, we thought we’d outline some of the more common ones. Here are some things you will find helpful when it comes time to get business cards designed and/or printed, as well as information about business card design and printing in DC generally.
You’ll need to choose a size for your business card. A standard U.S. business card is 2 inches by 3.5 inches, but yours can be whatever size you want it to be. Some of the neatest cards we’ve seen over the years aren’t standard size, but it really depends on your purpose whether to go against the grain and choose a different size.
You’ll need to decide on a paper stock. Our “basic” stock is a white 80lb smooth cover (216gsm), but we keep many different cover stocks on hand. If you want a card with texture, we have laid, linen and wove covers. We also carry gloss and matte coated cover stocks in various weights. The lightest cover stock we carry is 65lb (176gsm). The heaviest is 130lb (350gsm). My favorite? 100lb Cougar white smooth. It’s simple, attractive and sturdy. As far as colors go, we stock mostly white and off-white papers (there are many different off-white colors) but can quickly get our hands on whatever color and weight you may need. Many people are surprised to learn that full bleed cards with solid backgrounds are often printed on white cover stock, not colored paper.
Color vs. black
You’ll need to decide on color or black printing. If your art is to be printed in any color other than black, even the tiniest bit of color, it is considered full color at our shop. And pricing is higher for color vs. black & white. For 2 sided cards you can do both sides in color, both in black, or have one sided printed in color and the other black.
Single vs. double sided cards
Whether your cards are single or double sided affects pricing. If you’re on a tight budget, go with single sided printing. If you’ve got a lot of information to convey, you may need both sides.
Flat vs. raised
Most people prefer flat printing, but we also offer raised printing (thermography). With raised printing you are more limited with respect to colors as well as the detail of your imagery on the final product. It also takes a little longer to print with raised ink.
If your business cards have bleeds, this affects pricing because it affects how much paper is used as well as the amount of time and effort needed to cut them. Our bleed settings are .125″ for bleed and trim areas — please add 1/8″ extensions and keep important elements 1/8″ away from the trim area. Not sure what I’m talking about or how to set up your file? Call us.
Business cards are usually a 1-day turnaround (2-3 days for raised printing), but when necessary we can speed up the process. If you need business cards printed on the same day as you order them, you’ll want to send us your art as early in the day as possible. If you need cards designed and printed, it is even more important to get started right away.
Business card design costs
If you need your business card designed, our fee for setting up a basic business card (text layout) is $30. For more complicated design work our hourly graphics rate is $120.
Since there are a lot of variables, it is best to call us or submit an estimate request form with your project details. We’ll need answers to all of the above issues! Generally speaking, the more business cards you buy, the less you pay. And there are price breaks as you buy more cards. We can print as few as 100 but for your best pricing, order more than that — try 250/500/1000+.