Designing Your Business Cards

Business Card Paper & Material Options: Take Your Card to the Next Level

When it comes to paper and material options for your business card, the choices are virtually limitless. From different weights, finishes, coatings and types of paper, you'll want to pick the best look and feel for your business and personal aesthetic.

Business Card Paper Types
The first step in designing your business card is choosing the type of paper it will be printed on.

  • Regular card stock — The standard business card option. Cost effective and typically used by companies that are printing cards in bulk.
  • Premium card stock — A little thicker than regular card stock, premium card stock can be coated or uncoated, giving it a more substantial feel.
  • Plastic — To really stand out, some professionals opt for thicker plastic versions of business cards. This level of customization isn't always available, but it certainly makes a statement.

Business Card Paper Weight & Thickness
You wouldn't wear a wrinkled suit to your interview, so why would you hand out a creased business card? That's why paper weight and thickness are so important when designing your card. A sturdy card that's resistant to accidental bending and creasing will help you project a clean, polished image.

  • Business card paper thickness is typically measured in points. The higher the point value the thicker the card. One point (pt.) is equal to 1/1000 of an inch. 14 pt. card stock is roughly equal to 104 lb. paper weight.
  • Most business cards range from 14­–20 pts. Premium, ultra-thick cards can be up to 32 pts.
  • Thickness is a personal preference, but you shouldn't print on anything less than 14 card stock.

Gloss vs. Matte Business Cards
Gloss-finish cards have a slight sheen to them and reflect light. If your business card uses a lot of color or includes a photo, a glossy finish may be the most attractive option.

Matte-finish cards have a smooth surface, but lack the shiny, reflective patina of a glossy card. If your card has a lot of text and very little color, a classic matte finish may be the best choice.

Special Paper Card Options
Here are a few unique, less-commonly used paper options for business cards that can really help you stand out.

  • Textured ­— These cards offer a tactile feel and may feature cross-hatching in the weave of the paper, or a “corduroy” finish with subtle raised lines on the surface when touched. Print can be raised as well.
  • Linen — A type of textured business card, this elegant special finish mimics the look and feel of linen fabric.
  • UV Coating — Made from a compound dried under ultraviolet light, UV coating helps prevent your business cards from fading.
  • Painted Edge — For a special touch, some cards can have colored or foiled edges, giving them a distinctive look when viewed from the side.

Ready to create your own eye-catching business cards?