Did you just get a big promotion at work? Trying to get your small business off the ground? When it comes to networking and getting your name out there, the traditional business card still works wonders. While modern technology has brought us options for creating business websites and LinkedIn profiles, being able to hand out a tangible card in person sets you apart from the competition and provides a more personalized form of marketing that you just can't replicate online.
But in order to really make your mark as a professional, it's important to understand some of the common business card conventions, including size.
In this guide, we'll cover the typical business card dimensions along with other key facets you'll need to consider when coming up with a design, including layout and logos. Plus, you'll get the inside scoop on how to use Namecheap's Business Card Maker to create a stunning and effective design in minutes.
Why is the standard business card size so important to your design?
While it might be tempting to stand out with non-traditional card shapes or dimensions, there are practical reasons to prioritize this default size when creating custom business cards, including:
Beyond these everyday applications, consistent sizing makes business cards more recognizable and familiar. And when it comes to your bottom line, you'll appreciate that standard-sized business cards are typically cheaper to print.
In the United States, the traditional business card size is 3.5" x 2" (89 mm × 51 mm). This comes out to a size that's slightly smaller than the average credit card. These same dimensions are also used widely across Canada.
When you venture outside the U.S. or Canada for business purposes, you'll find that there are different conventions regarding normal business card size.
In many parts of Western Europe, including the United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, and Switzerland, the standard dimensions for business cards are 3.346” × 2.165” (85 mm × 55 mm), which actually lines up almost exactly with the size of a credit card.
In Japan, the standard business card size has the same width as the European countries listed above, but it stands just a bit taller at 3.582” × 2.165” (91 mm × 55 mm). China, Singapore, Malaysia, and Hong Kong use a standard business card size that's quite close to Japan's dimensions at 3.543” × 2.125” (90 mm × 54 mm). A 3.54” × 2.165” (90 mm × 55 mm) business card size is used in a number of other countries, including Australia, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Colombia, Taiwan, Vietnam, and India.
|Countries||Dimensions in inches||Dimensions in millimeters|
|The United States and Canada||3.5” x 2”||89mm x 51mm|
|United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, Ireland, France, Austria, Netherlands, Slovenia, and Turkey||3.346” x 2.165”||85mm x 55mm|
|Japan||3.582” × 2.165”||91mm x 55mm|
|China, Singapore, Malaysia, and Hong Kong||3.543” x 2.125”||90mm x 54mm|
|Australia, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Colombia, Taiwan, Vietnam, and India||3.54” x 2.165”||90mm x 55mm|
|South Korea, Sri Lanka, Russia, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Montenegro, Slovakia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Bulgaria, Latvia, Bosnia, Hungary, Herzegovina, Czech Republic, Croatia, Estonia, Israel, Finland, South Africa, Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, and Mexico||3.543” x 1.968”||90mm x 50mm|
|Iran||3.346” x 1.889”||85mm x 48mm|
Now that you know what size is right for your business, it's time to start working on the design. When putting your layout together, it helps to understand how the design will be interpreted by the printer.
When designing your business card layout, the trim line represents the final size of your business card. As a reminder, this is 3.5" x 2" for the standard U.S. business card.
The bleed area is the part of the design that measures just slightly larger the actual size of the card.
For U.S. business cards, it measures 3.61" x 2.11". Any colors, prints, or other design elements which touch the edge of the card should extend into this bleed zone to ensure that there isn't a white border along the side if the cards are cut slightly off center.
The safe printing area, on the other hand, is slightly smaller than the actual business card size (3.36" x 1.86" for U.S. cards). Any text or logo that must be shown on the card needs to fall within this area or it may be at risk of getting cut off during the printing process.
If you're designing your business card in a program like Adobe Photoshop, InDesign, or Illustrator, it may help to have pixel sizes to work with rather than inches or millimeters. Here are some of the key dimensions in terms of pixel size at 300 DPI:
While the classic rectangular business card is the gold standard, there are certain situations in which a non-traditional card shape could work in your favor. Some business owners choose to have these cards made for special events, such as conferences or trade shows, to help their brand stand out. They can also work from a graphic design standpoint if it suits your logo or branding better than the familiar business card size.
The even dimensions of a square card can work well for a number of designs. In some industries, such as artistic ventures, the square business card option is becoming more commonplace. Typically, this card is sized at 2.51" x 2.51" (63.7 mm x 63.7 mm).
This type of business card offers additional space to display information and designs when the card is opened up. For example, the inside could show your business hours or directions to your store location. A folded business card can also be "tented" to stand up on a tabletop. This style usually has similar dimensions to a standard business card when folded.
A custom die-cut card design can come in essentially any shape you want. You can design a record company's business card like a guitar pick or your pet supply store business card like a dog bone, for example. This option is very unconventional, but it can be effective at grabbing the attention of potential customers and clients.
You can switch up your card style while maintaining the standard dimensions by aligning your design vertically instead of horizontally. This option may be particularly fitting for companies with a long and narrow logo format.
Almost any card shape, including the standard rectangular size, can be customized with rounded corners. This adds a softer touch compared to the familiar squared off corners.
Your logo is one of the most important parts of your business card, regardless of the shape or orientation that you use. In most cases, it's the logo that makes the first impression when someone looks at a business card. It needs to communicate what your company or brand is all about in a single glance.
Use the following tips when selecting a logo for your business card design:
Most established companies already have a logo they can upload for their cards. If you don't have one, just use Namecheap's Free Logo Maker and follow the step-by-step tutorial to create one. It's completely free and offers plenty of options for designing a completely unique, eye-catching business logo.
If juggling the various shapes, dimensions, and other design options seems overwhelming, don't worry. There's an easy solution that lets you create a custom business card design in just minutes.
The Namecheap Business Card Maker is a simple, streamlined tool for making business cards online. The process couldn't be simpler:
Namecheap business cards look undeniably sleek and professional. Each one is printed on high-quality 350gsm, coated silk paper, which is the equivalent to most companies’ premium quality paper stock. You can also choose from matte or glossy protective finishes. Namecheap makes it easy to order only as many cards as you need, starting at just 25 cards and going all the way up to 1,000 cards or more. You'll even have the option to purchase a PDF proof if you prefer.
Have more questions about making your own business cards? Find answers to your FAQs or check out these helpful guides:
For more information or to get assistance making your business cards with Namecheap, get in touch with us today. Our friendly Customer Service Support is available to help you anytime via live chat.