Printed business cards on a table showing the size of business cards

Ultimate Size Guide: Standard Business Card Size and Dimensions

Mastering the Standard Business Card Size: A Comprehensive Guide to Business Card Dimensions

In the business world, first impressions are crucial; often, your business card is the first tangible interaction someone has with your brand. Choosing the right business card size is an important decision that can impact the card’s effectiveness and your professional image. This blog will guide you through our standard business card dimensions & sizes, considerations for choosing the right visiting card size, and some tips for designing an impactful business card.


Standard Business Card Size

While business card sizing can be down to personal preference, several sizes are widely recognised and frequently used for marketing and networking. Take a look at the below size guide for more information on our standard sizes:

Dimensions in mmDimensions in inches
United Kingdom Standard85 x 553.35 x 2.17
Slim Business Card85 x 403.35 x 1.57
Square Business Card55 x 552.17 x 2.17
Maxi / Oversized Business Card95 x 653.74 x 2.56
Short Edge Folded 4 Page170 x 556.69 x 2.17
Long Edge Folded 4 Page110 x 854.33 x 3.35
Short Edge Folded 6 Page255 x 5510.04 x 2.17
Long Edge Folded 6 Page165 x 856.50 x 3.35

Business Card Sizes, Choosing the Right Size

When deciding on the size of your business card, consider the following factors:

Portability and Compatibility

There’s a reason 88x55mm has become an industry standard for business cards: portability! Your business card should be easy to carry and store for you and the person you are giving it to. Given that credit cards are practically the same size, the standard business card is the perfect size to fit in wallets and cardholders, making it convenient for recipients to keep and use.

Design and Layout

The size of your card will influence its design. Larger cards offer more space for contact information, email addresses, and creative design elements, while smaller cards are more compact and easier to handle. Ensure your design is clean and not overly crowded (regardless of the card size) and that it accurately represents your brand.


Cultural Considerations

If you’re doing business internationally, it’s wise to consider the standard business card size in the regions you’re targeting. Using a size familiar to your audience can make a positive impression and show attention to detail.

Here is a list of a few international standard sizes:

  • Canada / US                            –           88.9mm x 50.8mm (3.5 x 2 inches)
  • Singapore / China / Japan       –           90mm x 54mm (3.54 x 2.13 inches)
  • European                                –          85mm x 55mm (3.35 x 2.17 inches)

Printing and Cost

Standard sizes are typically more cost-effective to print as they use standard paper dimensions and require less customisation. Non-standard sizes may incur additional costs for custom printing and cutting.


Pros & Cons of Standard Business Cards vs Folded Business Cards

Choosing the right business card style is essential for making a solid impression. Here’s a quick comparison of two popular options: standard and folded business cards.

Standard Business Cards

Standard business card dimensions are 85 x 55mm. This type of business card is printed on a 350-400gsm paper stock. It is widely recognised, easy to carry, and stored, making it a professional choice for many industries.

Pros: 

Cons:

 

Compact and easy to distributeLimited space for information
Simple and professional styleLess unique compared to other designs
Widely accepted
Cost efficient

 

Folded Business Cards

Folded business card dimensions can vary depending on the number of panels required and whether they are folded on the long or short edge. Either way, they provide extra space for more detailed information and creative designs. You could even add a perforation so the additional panels can be torn off and include one-off discounts, price lists, or appointment cards.

Pros: 

Cons:

 

More space for additional informationBulkier and may not fit easily in a wallet
Unique and memorableMore expensive to print
Can include promotional offers or appointment cards as tear-off panelMay be seen as less traditional in some industries

Is it necessary to include a bleed area for Business Cards?

Bleed is a critical concept in print design that refers to the area of your design that extends beyond the actual dimensions of the finished product. Typically, this extra margin is about 3 mm on each design side.

The most important reason to include a bleed area is to ensure that your design seamlessly extends to the edge of the paper. During the cutting process, slight shifts can occur, so bleed prevents unwanted white edges on the finished piece.

When preparing your print files, if any design touches the edge, whether an image, text or a solid background colour, always include bleed. Bleed is not required if the design is contained within a safe area.

For example, if your business card has a white background on both sides and all the information and images are within the safe zone, bleeding is not necessary. Getting this correct will ensure your final product looks sharp and professional.

image showing bleed vs no bleed when looking at business card size


Design Tips For an Impactful Business Card

Simplicity is Key

Keep the design simple and uncluttered. Include only essential information such as your name, title, company name, contact details, and logo. Avoid overcrowding the card with too much text or graphics.

Use High-Quality Materials

The quality of the paper and print can significantly impact the perception of your card. Opt for high-quality paper stock and professional printing services to ensure a polished look.

Incorporate Branding Elements

Ensure your business card reflects your brand identity. Use consistent colours, fonts, and logos that align with your overall branding to create a cohesive and professional appearance.

Include a Call to Action

Include a call to action to encourage recipients to take the next step. This could be a website address, a special offer, or an invitation to connect on social media.

Consider Unique Finishes

Consider using special finishes such as die cutting, embossing, foil stamping, or spot UV to help your card stand out. These elements may cost a little extra, but they can add tactile and visual appeal, making your card more memorable.

If every business card you see is a straight-cut rectangle, having yours cut to a unique shape (relevant to your brand) is bound to keep yours at the forefront of people’s minds.


Paper Stocks, Finishes, Die Cutting, and Print Techniques

Paper Stocks:

Multiple types of paper can be used for printing business cards, so it is important to choose the one that is best for you and your branding.

Types of Paper Stock

  • Coated Paper, Available in gloss or silk finishes, enhances the appearance of images and colours. It is used for magazines, brochures, and high-quality prints.
  • Uncoated / Bond Paper: This paper has a natural feel and a matte finish. It is suitable for writing and everyday printing. It is used for letterheads and notepads.
  • Recycled Paper: Eco-friendly option, available in various weights and finishes, made from recycled materials.
  • Kraft Paper: a brown-based recycled paper that is unbleached and therefore gives a more natural & eco-friendly vibe

Paper Weights

GSM (Grams per Square Meter) is the unit used to measure the weight of paper, indicating its thickness and sturdiness. Common choices include:

  • 80-100 GSM: Lightweight, often used for everyday printing like letters and simple flyers.
  • 120-200 GSM: Medium weight, ideal for brochures, posters, and high-quality flyers.
  • 250-300 GSM: Heavyweight, perfect for business cards, postcards, and covers for booklets.
  • 350+ GSM: Extra heavy, used for premium business cards and invitations, providing a luxurious feel.

Finishes:

A satin finish is the industry standard for most items, including business cards. It is considered the middle ground of finishes and offers a slight sheen to the final product.

Below are the other two options and what they offer in terms of visual difference

  • Matte: Smooth, non-glossy finish that reduces glare.
  • Glossy: Shiny finish that enhances colours and images.

Die Cutting:

This technique involves cutting paper into unique shapes and designs, adding a distinctive look to your printed items. It’s commonly used for custom business cards, flyers, invitations, and packaging. It can include simple shapes like rounded corners to more intricate designs such as a puzzle piece or a vehicle.

Print Techniques:

  • Offset / Litho Printing: High-quality, cost-effective for large runs.
  • Digital Printing: Ideal for short runs and quick turnarounds.

Choosing the right combination of paper stock, finishes, die-cutting, and print techniques can significantly enhance the appeal and effectiveness of your printed business cards.


Business Card Size Conclusion

So, while choosing the right size for your business card may be crucial, it is not the only thing you have to consider when trying to create a professional and memorable first impression.

Remember: A well-thought-out business card design can be a powerful tool in your networking arsenal and open doors to new opportunities.

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