I recently went online to compare different options for purchasing some new business cards for our company and when I did a search i could not believe how many different suppliers come up! What made it even harder to make a decision was they all offered so many different options when it comes to laminate, stock, shape and even material, how on earth was I to know if what I am selecting is really the optimal choice for my business? The following info is a bit of a guideline for how to tell the difference between premium and cheap business cards and how to know which option is the best for your organisation.
Obviously the first decision you should make is do you require premium or cheap lower quality cards? You can usually work this out by understanding what the primary purpose of the business cards are; Will they be used as a promo card and distributed by the handful? Or will the be a key marketing tool that will help you stand out and make a lasting impression on your potential clients?
Once you have worked this out you need to understand what it is that makes a card high or low quality. Firstly you should consider the stock that the business cards are printed on. As a general rule, the heavier the stock the higher the quality of the card. Thin, light stocks can feel flimsy and you can even see the artwork from the reverse side when held in the light. This can give an instant indication of low quality. If looking for a premium business card you should aim for around 400GSM. This thick, heavy stock not only is more durable and less likely to tear or crease, the weight oozes quality.
Your next decision is what laminate option is best for you. You will normally have a selection of gloss or matt laminate on one side or front and back as well as an un-laminated option. The use of the card is what you will have to think about here. You should definitely go for an un-laminated or single sided laminated card if you will be writing or stamping the card as laminates can make this a bit difficult. Although if your design is suitable for a double sided laminated option, get these for sure as they will make your card look better. If your cards are only going to be used to be handed out to the masses as a promotional tool you could easily get away with an un-laminated option. now when making a choice between matt or gloss I would definitely recommend checking with your graphic designer. They should have the knowledge and experience to tell you what will work best for the specific design.
Many printers offer a Spot UV finishing option that will allow you to highlight areas of the design. If you use this technique correctly it will really add an element to the cards that will make them standout. Having an experienced graphic designer work on this is key to making it work.
Finally, selecting the size and the shape can really add to how the cards turn out. Most printers in Australia will have standard dimensions of either 90x55mm or 86x54mm although they will also offer the option to trim the cards to sizes as small as 55x55mm. Irregular sizes and shapes can give definitely make your card stand out from others that are the standard size so this is an option you could consider.
Now to put it all together, If you have worked out that you are going to need some premium, high quality business cards, get your designer to make you some artwork that is slimmer than the standard size and get them to incorporate some Spot UV to highlight some important areas. Make sure you go with a 400GSM stock and if your design will allow for it go with a double sided laminate. If you put all this together I guarantee you will have a premium looking business card!
If you still are undecided about whether to print premium or cheap business cards you should visit www.spaceprint.com.au/business-cards.html. They have heaps of information that can make it easier. You can also contact them on there website to speak to an experienced designer.