In an era when everyone and their grandmother connects with others via social media and digital devices, printed paper business cards might seem like a perfect victim just waiting for millennials to kill it.
But this universal marker of professionalism is too simple, too useful, and too important to die.
Printing high-quality business cards makes a powerful first impression that digital networking and online marketing simply can’t replace.
From inside sales agents to musicians, web designers to yoga teachers, Forbes 500 executives to small business owners, business cards are a hallmark of legitimacy for professionals from all backgrounds. Not to mention, business cards are a quick and easy way to share contact information.
Business card printing
While standard business card dimensions haven’t changed much over the last few decades, standards for professionalism in business card design have. Many industries have embraced out-of-the-box business card shapes, designs, and materials as a way to stand out from the crowd.
Whether you opt for a classic or creative business card format, it’s best to know what the standard business card dimensions are. This way, your finished business cards will fit nicely in the hands of your clients, customers, and colleagues.
Standard business card sizes
In the United States, the standard business card size is 3.5 inches long by 2 inches tall. Sounds simple enough, right?
Well, sort of. Confusion about business card sizing can arise because:
- Standard business card dimensions are different around the world
- Converting between inches, millimeters, and pixels is a real pain
- The design template needs to include a safe zone around the perimeter (between 0.125″ to 0.25″), which is part of the finished size of the business card but contains no important design elements
- The design template also needs to include a bleed area around the safe zone (an additional 0.125″ to 0.25″), which isn’t part of the finished size of the business card
Here is an overview of standard business card sizes in many countries around the world, as well as ISO’s suggestions for business cards in internationally available paper dimensions:
Standard Business Card Size by Country
|USA, Canada||3.5” × 2”||89mm × 51mm||336 x 193||1.75|
|Japan||3.58” × 2.16”||91mm × 55mm||344 x 208||1.66|
|Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, UK||3.35” × 2.16”||85mm × 55mm||321 x 208||1.55|
|Australia, Colombia, Denmark, India, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Taiwan, Vietnam||3.54” × 2.17”||90mm × 55mm||340 x 208||1.64|
|China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore||3.54” × 2.13”||90mm × 54mm||340 x 204||1.67|
|Argentina, Brazil, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, India, Israel, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Mexico, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, South Africa, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Ukraine, Uzbekistan||3.54” × 1.97”||90mm × 50mm||340 x 189||1.8|
International Standard Business Card Sizes
|Standard Name||Inches||Millimeters||Pixels||Aspect Ratio|
|Credit Card Size||3.37” × 2.13”||85.6mm × 54mm||324 x 204||1.59|
|ISO 216, A8 Size||2.93” × 2.05”||74mm × 52mm||280 x 197||1.42|
|ISO 216, C8 Size||3.19” × 2.24”||81mm × 57mm||306 x 215||1.42|
|ISO 216, B8 Size||3.47” × 2.44”||88mm × 62mm||333 x 243||1.42|
*Keep in mind, because converting between pixels, millimeters, and inches often produces numbers with impossibly long decimal trails, many of the conversions listed above have been rounded off. Always double check measurements with the printer/designer before you get too far in Photoshop! Most printing businesses offer business card templates to their customers to aid in the designing and measuring process.
Business card printing and sizing FAQs
When designing your own business cards, you want to make sure everything turns out perfectly. Here are some answers to common questions about business card dimensions, design elements, and printing materials.
What size is a business card?
In the United States, the standard size for a business card is 3.5 x 2 inches. But this is just a general guideline, and the standards are different around the world. Nobody is going to be pulling out a tape measure to check whether your business card is exactly the right size.
What aspect ratio should a business card have?
If you want the look and feel of a classic business card, opt for business card dimensions with an aspect ratio between 1.42 and 1.8. Within this range, you really can’t go wrong.
What other shapes do business cards come in?
Nowadays, business cards come in all shapes and sizes. Square business cards are becoming more popular, as are round corners. More intricate die-cut shapes and folded business cards are two more possibilities we are seeing more often these days. Especially in more creative industries, unique business cards are both widely accepted and celebrated.
What finishing options do I have for my business cards?
Because business cards are usually quite small, you can often make use of specialty materials, full-color printing, and advanced finishing techniques without necessarily having to pay an arm and a leg. Ask your print shop for the full range of papers and printing services they offer for business cards, and explore!
Some common business card finishing options include
- varnish and spot UV
- foil bloquing