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How to Choose the Right Business Card Paper

Many details get forgotten in a rush to get your small business started. Sadly, these small details can have serious repercussions on how your business performs in the long term. Even if you think it’s something negligible.

One example of this is your business cards. Most companies spend most of their time, energy, and resources designing their cards. However, the business card paper you choose to use can hold equal importance.

How and why can the type of paper or cardstock you use for your business cards affect your bottom line? Here’s what you need to know about this often-overlooked detail.

Getting Finicky About Finishes

One thing to keep in mind when looking for the right business card paper is the finish. The finish that you choose when making business cards can determine whether your brilliant design draws attention for the right reason or all the wrong ones. Some finishing options you might consider include:

What Is an Uncoated Finish?

The uncoated finish is, as the name would suggest, a business card without any coating on it. While this takes away the appealing gloss that many businesses enjoy, it also makes the cards easier to write on. If you’re not too fussed about durability and need something textured and easier to write on, then an uncoated finish might be best.

What Is a Matte Finish?

A matte finish offers the sealing benefits of coating but without the shine or gloss added by some other sealants. They’re smoother and more elegant but can make the overall design of the card look bland and flat. Especially if you rely on neutral tones for your business card’s design.

What Is a Satin Finish?

The satin finish acts as a middle ground between matte and gloss. It gives your business cards a bit of subtle shine. It can add a bit of visual interest to an otherwise simple business card. This type of finish works best for businesses that wish to convey a sense of understated elegance like jewelry stores or law offices.

What Is a Gloss Finish?

A glossy finish offers a gorgeous shine and can give business cards with bright colors a vibrancy that they otherwise wouldn’t have. Glossy paper or cardstock makes your cards look more modern. So, if you like catering to a younger crowd or have a quirkier design, gloss finishes might be the best choice.

Understanding Business Card Paper Thickness

Another key piece of discovering the best paper for business cards would be the thickness of the cards themselves. Certain thicknesses work well for display but won’t hold up when handed out. Others will hold up in purses and wallets but could prove more expensive to produce.

Some of the card weight and thickness options you may use include:

Lightweight Cards: 100 lb. Gloss Cover

This is by far the most common type of business card paper, used by almost every printing company on the market. These cards work well when you need a lot of cards produced for display. They’re thin, bendable, and easy to mass-produce.

They don’t look or feel cheap but fold and tear easily. If you want your business cards to hold up, then you should upgrade to one of the thicker options. However, these are perfectly fine business cards for freelancers or a small business that’s just getting off the ground.

14-pt and 16-pt Cardstock: Industry Standards

14-pt and 16-pt cardstock cards tend to be considered the industry standard. They’re lightweight, easy to hand out for marketing purposes and sit well on display. They may not leave a lasting impression, but they’re great when you want to make a splash at a major business meetup.

30-pt or Higher Thickness Gives Greater Durability

30-pt thickness cardstock is about as thick as the average credit card. Everyone knows how difficult it is to break or shred a credit card without proper tools. As such, this thickness will ensure that your business cards can transfer hands many times over.

What’s even better: Since thicker cards tend to be more expensive, they give your business an air of class and sophistication. This works well if you cater to high-end clientele (or want to break into that demographic).

Making Business Cards With Luxury Materials

While cardstock is the most common type of business card paper, there are other materials you can use. In fact, for certain types of businesses, it might be better to use these materials.

Linen Business Cards

Linen cardstock business cards have a textured feel and stand out from the crowd at a glance. The woven texture can provide feelings of comfort and welcome, as well as mimic the feel of fabrics. So, if you work with textiles, you might consider using linen business cards.

Plastic Business Cards

Let’s leave the realm of paper for a moment to discuss the most durable type of business card: Plastic. While these cards resist water and other forms of damage, they only come in semi-gloss finishes.

Kraft Business Cards

The last of the business card paper types you should consider is kraft paper. This natural, brown-toned paper gives your cards a rustic, unprocessed sort of look. This makes them work exceptionally well with eco-friendly or “natural” businesses.

Don’t Forget, Size Matters!

Last but not least, don’t forget that the size of your business card paper matters. You want something that fits easily in someone’s hand or wallet. That’s why you don’t use something like a4 paper, but palm-sized slices of cardstock or other materials.

Looking for More Tips to Choose the Right Business Card Paper?

Choosing the right business card paper can determine whether your cards end up in the trash or bring you more customers. We hope that this guide gave you some guidance on what type of paper might work best for your business. If you want more tips to get your startup started, check out the Business section of our blog.


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