A set of three uniquely sized letterpress business cards.
One of the most popular questions we get from clients is, what size should I make my business cards? Here’s usually what we tell people. A majority of the cards we print are standard size: 3.5″ x 2″ (U.S.) and 55mm x 85mm (European), and 55mm x 91mm (Japanese). That being said we print more than our fair share of small/mini and square business cards.
Probably one of the most popular non-standard size is 3.5″ x 1.5″ like these cards we’ve printed for Gustavo (Photo (video) graphers ♥ Letterpress). If square cards are more your style check out these cards we printed for Randy Schmidt (Letterpress pupCards). Read more about the Do’s and Dont’s of business card sizes after the break.
How do I know if a unique size will work for me? Well here’s the thing, if you’re asking this question then it may not be for you. If you work in a traditional field like finance or law it might be best to stick with a standard size and get a creative with the design. If on the other hand you work in a creative field, like graphic design, photography, or culinary arts, people enjoy breaking the rules when it comes to style and size.
That being said, don’t feel the need to conform to what everyone else is doing. Business cards are all about expressing your image or brand so if a unique size fits with that, then embrace it.
The first letterpress cards in the set of three were printed for graphic designer Anne Mao (debu-hamu.com). Anne’s cards were printed on 110# lettra with a finished size of just 1″ x 3″. We used a custom metallic blue ink and printed them using magnesium instead of photopolymer. Anne gave us the design for the cards.
So what does a custom size cost? With all of our
newfangled antique newfangled equipment from Vandercooks to Windmills we rarely print business cards to size. That means that generally there is no difference in cost to print a card with different dimensions.
All of the cards shown here, even anne’s mini business cards, were cut down on our hydraulic cutter instead of die-cutting them. Eliminating the need for a die helps reduce the cost of a custom business card. Quotes are free, so get yours today by emailing us at email@example.com! 😉
The next business cards were printed for Mia Ponce, a pastry chef. These card measured in at 1.5″ x 3.25″ and again were cut down on the paper cutter, not using a die. Since the cards were double sided, Mia opted for the thicker 220lb stock with light gray on the front/back and blind on the front.
How do I know what size is right? We tell every client to print out their PDF proof on an inkjet or laser printer prior to approval. Why? Well most people design their business cards on big screens. In our studio the computer of choice is a 30″ iMac and business cards look pretty big at 6400%.
By printing the proof and cutting it out you’ll get a feel for what the card feels like in real life. It also helps you confirm that all of the type is the right size.
The last business card is this square card we printed for photographer Amanda Doublin (amandadoublin.com). Amanda’s cards were 2.5″ square and printed on 220lb lettra. The use of the thicker stock was an obvious choice because the cards had decent coverage on both sides. Amanda designed the cards with the same graphics used on her website.
How should I lay out the design for a custom size? If you’re going to be doing the design, make sure to specify the right size of the artboard. Always lay out the card at 100% its true size. Also, when you email for a quote, let us know the dimensions of the final piece so we can confirm that the design is correct.
Please post questions about custom business cards in the comments section below.
Contact us to get a quote on a custom business card.