When you’re printing materials for your business — brochures, flyers, business cards — the devil is in the details. Yes, a great design and informative copy can go a long way, but you must also consider the little things: are the colours attractive enough to catch the eye? Do your font choices convey the company image appropriately? And, perhaps most importantly, are you using the right kind of paper?
This final question is especially important when it comes time to print your business cards. Your cards should be durable, legible, and attractive — and achieving that goal means choosing the right paper type.
The Business Card: Your First Impression
Your business card is essentially your emissary in the business world. This little card is the key to making a lasting impression in your industry, helping you build relationships with new clients, score promotions or better jobs with other companies, or simply get your name out there for colleagues to see.
What kind of impression will you make on your colleagues, clients, and others? The answer depends entirely on the type of card you have. Your business card should be small enough to fit comfortably enough in a wallet slot (85 mm wide and 55 mm high is the standard in the UK), durable enough to outlast spills or careless handling, and luxuriant enough to give it — and you — an air of professionalism and sophistication.
Printing a business card that meets this criteria is possible… as long as you print them on paper that’s right for the job.
Your Guide to Business Card Paper
There is no one specific brand or paper type that’s considered the official paper for business cards. High quality business card paper can be any style or any brand — provided it meets certain requirements. Here are the things you should be looking for when you select your business card paper.
Most business cards are printed on 14 Pt cardstock, which is a thicker and more durable form of paper than the stuff you might have in your home printer. However, there are variations between different types of cardstock, most of which come down to the paper’s weight.
In the printing world, a paper’s “weight” determines how thick and durable it is. Weight is measured in grams per square meter (GSM); paper with a higher GSM tends to be thicker and less flexible — in other words, great paper for business cards.
Most professionals print their business cards on 300 GSM paper. This paper is 14 Pt, or 0.014 inches thick, which makes it feel “weighty” and durable, but still gives it a little give and flexibility. However, the best paper for business cards is 400 to 450 GSM. The thickness of this paper makes the card — and by extension, your company — feel especially classy.
Whether you’re printing on 300 GSM cardstock or another type of paper, you also need to consider the finish you’re putting over the paper. This finish will take your cards to the next level, either adding special details to highlight different parts of your copy (for example, your logo or your phone number) or simply giving your card an extra feel of luxury and refinement.
These are most common for business cards today. The matte coating gives your card a smoother feel (similar to plastic), which makes the card feel more expensive and luxuriant. The finish also reduces glare, which means customers can read your card no matter where they are.
However, if you want a card that’s going to last a long time, a Glossy Finish might be better for your business. Gloss is a more protective coating than the matte finish, and as such your card is likely to be more durable with this finish type. Gloss is also particularly great for colorful cards, as it makes the hues appear more vibrant.
Spot UV Coating
Thisis a method that combines the best of both finishing worlds. In spot UV coating, printers apply a UV-cured glossy coating to specific parts of the business card, like your logo or specific words you want to highlight. This coating creates a glossy, raised section of the card, which is sure to stand out from the rest of your card. You can put spot UV coating over a matte finish to create a card that feels elegant and looks high-quality.
Different Paper for Different Industries
We would be remiss if we didn’t point out that the suggestions above are just that: suggestions. Business cards serve different purposes from one job to the next (although their primary purpose — introducing a worker and a company to others — is the same). This means that different industries might have different requirements for their business cards.
Do you work in the medical field? You might want to opt for 400 GSM paper and no finish at all: the thick paper won’t tear over time, and the lack of coating makes it easier to write appointment times on the card itself.
Are you in the graphic design business? A glossy finish and a slightly lighter paper might be a great way to demonstrate your design abilities on a surface that resembles a magazine page.
The best paper for business cards is the paper that best conveys the message you want to get across. Make sure you consider these details when you choose the paper for your project.
Print Your Own Professional Business Cards
No matter what you do for a living, you can easily print your own great-looking business cards online with Banana Print. We offer 400 and 450 GSM business cards that you can print with a custom template or your very own printed design. Our team will print and ship your cards within 24 hours of placing your order — all for the fixed price of £4.95 per order!