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Five Tips For Designing Professional-Looking Business Cards

written by: Thursday Bram•edited by: Daniel P. McGoldrick•updated: 2/8/2010

Printers can charge hundreds of dollars for even a small run of good business cards — and that doesn’t even include the cost of designing them. But you can create business cards with just a little bit of desktop publishing know-how.

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    1. Collect samples.

    Before you start designing your new business cards, you’ll want to see how other people have put together theirs. You may already have a pile of business cards you have collected from your contacts. Just look through and see what you do and don’t like. Keep the cards you like at hand as you put together your card — you can recreate those elements in your own business card.

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    2. Start with a template

    Even if you don’t like the look of a particular business card template, it can be a good starting point for your own design. If you start with a template, you don’t have to worry about getting the size of your business card right, or deciding how big your text should be. You can add logos, change fonts and generally make your card after following the templates basics.

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    3. Focus on one job title

    You may have a number of job titles, but your business card should focus on only one. You can always create another set of cards for your other title. Think about your job title: how can you reflect what you do with just a little text and perhaps an image?

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    4. Make legibility a priority

    As you design your business card, make sure that your name and contact information are easy to read. Some fonts are visually appealing but make actually reading the text very difficult. You hand out business cards to help people find you; you don’t want your design getting in the way.

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    5. Skip the perforated stock

    One of the easiest ways to tell if a person made their own business cards is the fuzzy edges left over from separating perforated business card stock. Instead, print off a sheet of business cards on card stock and use a paper cutter to separate them. You’ll have a lot more options in the way of paper, as well as a more professional appearance.