What You Need To Know Before Buying Business Cards

Save 20% off your first order! Custom orders do not apply. Enter promo code FIRSTORDER at checkout! Free shipping for orders over $75.

What You Need To Know Before Buying Business Cards

Card size and orientation

The standard size for business cards is 3.5 x 2 inches, and this is the most common size. However, there are also other sizes available, such as slim cards or square cards. When it comes to orientation, there are two options: landscape and portrait. The orientation you choose will depend on your design and how you want to display your information. Different sizes and orientations may impact the printing process, so it’s important to discuss this with your print shop to ensure that you get the desired outcome. We are happy to answer any questions you may have regarding card size and orientation.

Cardstock options

Cardstock refers to the type of paper that the business card is printed on. Cardstocks are heavier, more rigid, and more durable than lightweight text stock. There are several different options available, including:


Gloss-coated coverstock is the most popular and commonly used finish for business cards. The cardstock has a smooth, glossy finish which increases the vibrancy and a reflective surface to enhance the colours and imagery on the card. The finish is durable and holds up to everyday wear and tear, making it ideal for cards that are frequently handled. The smooth surface of the glossy finish also makes the cards easy to clean.


The uncoated finish is a natural paper texture finish that provides a classic and traditional look to the business card. It has a more porous surface, which makes it easier to write on with pens and pencils. The texture of the uncoated finish can also add a tactile quality to the card, making it more memorable.


Linen is a textured surface finish that resembles linen fabric. It gives the business card an elegant and sophisticated look. The texture of the linen finish can help to mask fingerprints and minor scratches. Linen finish cards are perfect for industries such as law, finance, and real estate.


A recycled finish is made from recycled materials and is environmentally friendly. It gives the business card a unique look and communicates the company's values of sustainability and eco-friendliness. Recycled finish cards are perfect for companies in the environmental or non-profit sector.

Specialty finishing options

Each finish has its own unique features and benefits, and the one you choose will depend on your design and personal preference. It’s important to note that different finishes may have different costs and production times, so be sure to discuss this with your print shop.

High gloss UV

An ultra-shiny and reflective finish that enhances the colours and images on the card. The finish is highly durable and water-resistant, making it perfect for cards that will be frequently handled. High gloss finish adds a high-end and professional look to the card and is perfect for luxury brands.

Spot gloss UV

A glossy finish that is applied to specific areas of the card, such as the logo or text, to create a high-contrast and visibility effect. The glossy areas on the card will stand out and catch the eye, making the card more visually interesting and memorable. Spot gloss is perfect for cards with simple designs or those with a lot of white space.

Matte laminated

A non-glossy, smooth finish that lends a modern or minimalist look to the business card. It's great for cards that require a subdued look or those with a lot of text as the matte finish reduces glare and prevents fingerprints. A matte finish is also ideal for cards with lighter colours as it prevents them from appearing too bright or overpowering.

Silk laminated

A thin, plastic coating that adds a silky and smooth texture to the card. This finish is highly durable, scratch-resistant, and water-resistant, making it perfect for cards that might take some abuse. Silk laminated cards have a professional and high-end appearance and are great for luxury brands.

Velvet laminated

A luxurious finish that adds a soft and velvety texture to the card. The finish is highly durable, resistant to wear and tear, and water-resistant, so they aren't as prone to being worn out. Velvet laminated cards have a tactile quality that makes them memorable and great for high-end brands.

Colour options

Business cards can be printed in full colour or black and white. Full colour allows for the use of a wide range of colours and can make your design more eye-catching. Black and white is more cost-effective and can still look professional and sleek. However, even if the imagery is just black, you may want to consider using full colour printing. In these scenarios we recommend using a rich black CMYK mixture to get the best outcome. If you choose to print in colour, it’s important to discuss the colour accuracy and matching with your print shop to ensure that your design looks as intended.

Single or double-sided printing

Single-sided printing means that your design is printed on one side of the card, while double-sided printing means that your design is printed on both sides. Double-sided printing allows for more information to be displayed, such as a tagline or a list of services. It’s important to consider the amount of information you want to display and how it will be presented when choosing between single or double-sided printing.

Design options

When it comes to designing your business card, you have two options: choose from pre-designed templates or upload your own design. Pre-designed templates can save time and are great for those who don’t have design experience. Uploading your own design allows for more customization and creativity. Make sure that your design meets the printing requirements of your print shop for an optimal outcome.

At this time Redleaf Print Shop offers you the ability to upload your print-ready business cards. We can help with graphic design if you need assistance. Soon, Redleaf Print shop will have predesigned templates that provide easy customization. In the meantime, if you want to design your own business card we recommend using a free design software like Canva.

Customization options

Adding your logo, choosing fonts, and selecting colours are all customization options that can make your cards stand out. Ensure that your logo is high-quality and in the correct format for best results. Choosing fonts and colours that align with your brand help create a cohesive look and make your business cards more memorable.

Not everything should be trimmed to the edge though! For items you do not want to be trimmed at the edge, we recommend keeping a ⅛” safety margin away from the trimmed edges.

Turnaround time

Turnaround time refers to how long it takes for your cards to be printed and shipped. This will vary depending on the print shop you choose and the quantity and complexity of your order. It’s important to discuss the turnaround. Here at Redleaf, we have most business card orders ready to ship in 3 business days.

We hope you found this guide helpful, but if you have any questions you are welcome to contact us through email, and we’ll be happy to help you order your business cards online.