Getting a Business Card Designed
October 4, 2009 5:10 AM   Subscribe

My blog is starting to do well and I'd like to get to get some business cards to hand out at a trade show in a few months. I've looked into the do-it-yourself approach but I haven't been happy with the templates I've found or the designs I've made myself. Even though I don't really want to spend a lot of money, I'm thinking it might be worthwhile to invest in a professionally designed card. So, can anyone recommend a business card designer and give me some idea of what it might cost? I also want someone who can print the cards and do it right.

I'm a little concerned about the copyright to the design. I don't even know if it will be an issue, but I would like to own the rights so I'm not forever trapped into having it printed by the same company.

BTW, my web site has a crisp, clean, minimalist design and I'll probably want the same kind of look for my card.
posted by 14580 to Shopping (10 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I would just go to my local independent print shop to have this done. I always advocate doing business locally, and establishing a relationship with craftsmen that you might want to use in the future....

Take him your logo and tell him what you want on the card.
posted by HuronBob at 5:47 AM on October 4, 2009

Most local print shops will do this for a (relative) song. There are also a ton of web shops working at cut-rate, but don't expect great customer service. For what it's worth, I've always loved MOO, although it may not fit your needs
posted by GilloD at 6:57 AM on October 4, 2009

If you have a logo you'll need to provide that on a disc. Also, any kind of font you are using on your site include on that disc. Don't get the designer to grab it off the website because the files will be too small for him to use, and will look shitty. I am guessing that you had a separate web designer do your site. Try to get it so they can talk, so the card designer can get the site designer to send him some files. There likely won't be a copyright on the specific design of the card, but you should negotiate this in advance - what you'll want are the source files to your business card - probably it'll be an InDesign document with a few other files that are imported into that InDesign doc., like the aforementioned font and logo. That way you can bring that InDesign file to your local print shop and print more off if you want. Myself, I usually charge 50 CDN per hour for design work, and I'm guessing this would take a couple hours. If you brought me a disc with everything on it and we could sit down and lay the thing right out, probably it would take 2 hours. Expect to pay about a hundred bucks is my guess.
posted by Sully at 8:10 AM on October 4, 2009

Vistaprint actually does a decent job and has lots of designs to choose from. It's cheap enough to give it a test run to see if you'd like it. For premium cards you'll probably spend less than $20 for 250. Tip: google Vistaprint and free shipping or free premium business cards to find the best deals.
posted by hipersons at 9:28 AM on October 4, 2009

We print and design letterpress business cards. Your average 2-color set of 1000 letterpress business cards sells for about $400 (or more, depending upon the paper stock), plus design charges.
posted by pantsonfire at 10:49 AM on October 4, 2009

Seconding Vistaprint -- if you're Web-savvy, you can upload the design and edit it in minutes. I'm very happy with my four-color cards from them. They're on decent card stock, and the design is crisp.

They are cheap, but you'll end up paying more if you want rush delivery (standard shipping seems to be 10-14 days). The other bonus is that if you like the cards, you'll get constant emails from Vistaprint offering to reprint you another 250 for free.
posted by vickyverky at 1:27 PM on October 4, 2009

I liked HuronBob and GilloD's suggestions but I searched and was surprised to find that there are few printers around me, aside from Staples, who advertise they do business cards. If there are more then they're not Internet savvy.

While searching I came across Vistaprint, which I somehow missed before. They have some designs I like and they make it easier than the other's I've tried to edit and move text around. I'm going to give them a try because of vivkyverky's recommendation. I could actually use two set's of cards - a traditional one with my name on it and another with just my web site name on it.

Thanks for all your help.
posted by 14580 at 1:45 PM on October 4, 2009

You might consider posting your job on and have a contest for it. It will probably run you around $100 or so but you'll get many designs from different designers and can pick the ones you want.

In terms of printing, I just had an awful experience with the local Kinkos and decided to order from since my girlfriend got cards from there and the quality was great.

Cost me about $65 for 500 cards (which nobody local could come even CLOSE to matching) on a really good stock with a matte finish that has a very slight gloss so it looks really professional but you can still write on it.

I highly recommend them to ANYBODY and the process for submitting the job online was painless (although you might want to give them a call just to confirm some things).

Just a word of caution about designers...if you have a local one design your card, make sure that whatever cost they quote you gives you full ownership of the rights to the design and make sure they provide the native files to you on completion. I know someone who had a nightmare of an experience with a designer that tried to extort her into paying her every time she wanted to change or print more business cards because she claimed that the initial services were for usage of the design only, not the full rights which is absolutely ridiculous. Not to mention that this lady INSISTED that she only get them printed with her printer whom she was obviously getting a kickback from.
posted by Elminster24 at 2:12 PM on October 4, 2009

As a corporate designer myself, I would *highly* recommend taking your idea to a professional designer. You don't exactly have to get a thousand-dollar/hour consultation fee from a design shop, but it is a craft, and there are certain aspects like typography that your average "Jiffy Print Store" won't be able to handle properly.

We're talking about maybe four-hundred to five for a complete set of business cards designed and process printed. If you get an intern or less experienced designer, you can probably get a better deal (and maybe some die-cut or embossing thrown in). Considering these cards are supposed to represent you and your company at a glance, it's probably worth eating macaroni and cheese for a week to get them done well...

If you already have a logo/identity created that is working for you (since you're established as a blog already, that might be an issue) then follow the online/printshop route. Otherwise, go into a professional print shop (i.e. NOT Staples) and get them to make you a snappy card.

Maybe I'm too late...but the "recessive" economy has opened up the design market and prices are lower than usual.
posted by Khazk at 7:37 PM on October 4, 2009

You might be interested in stock template sites like GraphicRiver. I've used them quite a few times for stuff like this. They have a business card template section with quite a nice selection which you can edit (or pretty affordably get someone else to edit) with basic Photoshop/Illustrator knowledge. Plus, then you just take in the file to your local print shop whenever you want to get them printed. (I've even gotten decent ones done on the home printer or at Kinko's)
posted by ninjakins at 6:35 AM on October 5, 2009

« Older Diagnose Strange Eating Malady   |   How to write to someone who's dying? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.