Vistaprint offers four signature paper stocks: glossy, matte, linen, and recycled matte. They also offer two ultra-thick papers: coated, and uncoated.
Here are your paper stock options:
Business Cards: Signature glossy
Vistaprint business cards paper stock: signature glossy
Signature glossy business cards have a really lustrous coating, shiny coating that reflects the light and is really eye catching. This really brings attention to any images or logos that are on your business cards.
Business Cards: Signature Matte Paper Stock
Vistaprint business cards paper stock: signature matte
The signature matte is a simple but professional look. Matte has a dull finish, and doesn’t reflect the light and look shiny like Vistaprint’s glossy business cards. Matte is also great for instances when you need to write on the back of your business cards, which a lot of people find practical.
Vistaprint business cards paper stock: signature linen
Linen feels different than glossy and matte, and has a cross-woven nature that you feel as soon as you touch the business cards. It’s also visually very impactful because you can see that there’s something different about the card stock.
If you’re in the design business, offer personal services, or sell crafts, you might want to consider this very personal, almost hand printed paper stock. Linen paper stock gives a feeling of intimacy and personal connection.
Vistaprint business cards: signature recycled matte
Not only are Vistaprint’s signature recycled matte business cards made from 100% recycled paper, but even the paper mill where they are made uses only renewable energy.
*Have you seen their Kraft paper? It’s rough, recycled brown paper stock.
Business Cards: Ultra-Thick Coated Paper Stock
Vistaprint ultra thick coated paper stock
Ultra-thick business cards are the thickest paper stock that Vistaprint offers, and they really make an impact with customers.
Business Cards: Ultra-Thick Uncoated
Vistaprint has an exclusive process that integrates a technology from the paper supplier to the post-printing process to achieve a printing quality that no other company can achieve on such thick paper.
Which Paper Stock Should You Choose for Your Business Cards?
Every business is different, and no one paper stock is best for everyone. Vistaprint believes that business cards have the ability to tell your business’ story, so how will you tell yours?
We recently tried out their business cards, and wrote a review here.
You still need to carry business cards! These days, social media and LinkedIn really do rule the business world. There are a thousands articles out there telling you how to position your business online, but do you give enough thought to offline?
People often think that so long as you have a strong online presence, you’re covering all of your bases for networking. While there’s just no doubt that your digital activity can help promote your brand, there’s a lot to be said for more traditional, “low-tech” means of communication.
The humble business card is small but mighty when it comes to making lasting connections with people in the real world. While often overlooked, business cards are still one of the most powerful networking tools you will ever own. Like a sweet pair of Ray-bans, business cards will never be out of style. Here’s why:
1. Business cards create brand awareness for your SME
There’s something about seeing a brand’s logo in print that makes it feel more legit than it would online. The reason is simple – there’s so much nonsense online that people no longer know what they can trust and what they can’t. Going to the trouble of getting some cards printed will set you apart from the crowd. That in itself is a strong move.
What you ideally want is for people to see your brand and instantly recognize it. That means that you need to create a genuine level of awareness for it. How do you do that? Well, having printed materials might just be the first step in your journey.
2. Some professionals don’t ‘get’ the digital world
When you’re out there, hustling for new business, you don’t want to close off any avenues. The truth of the matter is that there are some business owners and CEOs who just don’t get the online world. That could be because they are of a different generation or because they are scared of changes within the industry.
Whatever the reason, you have to cater to them. Cutting off a whole area of potential connections is ludicrous. If you want to get the most business out of people, you need to make yourself (and your company) as accessible as humanly possible.
3. You’ll be remembered at networking events
As a young professional, you absolutely should be attending networking sessions on a regular basis. So much is done online these days that often enough the ‘human aspect’ of the business world is lost. Never underestimate the value of face-to-face meetings with other business owners.
If you really want to excel when it comes to networking sessions, having business cards in your pocket might just be the way forward.
Why? Well, handing over a slick, printed card means that you will be memorable. It’s these small touches that set you aside from the crowd and ultimately gain you new clients.
No business card? Um, this is awkward!
4. You can use them to communicate your “USP”
What is the main message you want to get across when it comes to your business? What is your mission statement? What is your USP? (Unique selling proposition)
These are the questions you need to ask before you design your cards online. Once you know the answers, you can use the information to inform what you put across to people.
Business cards should do a lot more than just transfer your contact information. They should stand out and be little ambassadors for your company or personal brand. Need design inspiration? The web is full of resources to help you design a great business card.
5. They will never fail or be inaccessible
No one doubts the importance of technology, but sometimes it can fail us.
We’ve all experienced sites that won’t load, or WI-FI being down, so it’s great to have a marketing tool that’s actually tangible.
That’s where business cards come into play. Once you give another professional your card, they will always have access to you. Emails and bookmarks might disappear into the ether of the internet, but business cards are real.
Um, why is your business card so sticky?
6. Some cultures, like Hong Kong, rely heavily on business cards
Did you know that certain cultures rely on on business cards more than others? For example, if you travel to Hong Kong without business cards you might be in trouble, as both business and social networking rely heavily on business cards.
If someone offers you a business card in cultures like Hong Kong and you don’t give them one back, it’s unlikely that they will do business with you. It also infers that you are unprepared, or just not very important.
7. They add a personal touch to a meeting!
Finally, here’s perhaps the main reason that you should use business cards — they add a personal touch to pretty much any meeting. When you hand over one of these cards, you take the level of interaction up a notch, and make things personal.
It’s not just about adding someone on LinkedIn or exchanging email address; you’ve left them with a tangible little memento that they will keep.
One thing that has evolved with business cards is the price. In fact, the most popular online printing services now offer 500 of their premium cards for about $10, so their’s no reason to ever run out!
Ideas & inspiration for creating a memorable business card: Let’s face the facts here: if your business card is bland, it could “accidentally” end up in your potential employer’s garbage bin on top of their leftover lasagna. And we all know that the lasagna wasn’t appetizing if there are still leftovers from last week.
You want your business card to stand out; even if it only has the dimensions of a standard printed card that is 3.5 X 2 inches. Allow every word, blank space, color, shape, and font to add meaning to your overall personal brand.
Your business cards should be professional and represent the quality of your work. So, don’t get caught with a business card that appears to be designed by your three-year-old niece who speaks English as a second language. That’s one way to diminish your credibility in 0.2 seconds.
Here are some ideas & inspiration for designing and printing your business cards online:
Small Fonts Won’t Work on Business Cards; Be Bold!
Don’t make your business card recipients find the nearest magnifying class just to read the font. Select easy-to-read fonts. Vistaprint has templates that have preselected font types and sizes so you can preview your entire design as a proof online before ordering. Just be sure the type is clearly legible, even if tacked to a bulletin board.
If you have Photoshop skills or are a designer or photographer, consider making the entire design yourself and upload it. (why use a template if you are supposed to be creative for a living?)
Remember to export it at high-resolution, and know whether to export it at CMYK or RGB, depending on the printing service. Getting the color mode wrong might cause colors to shift unexpectedly.
Don’t Forget to Use the BACK of Your Business Card
Let’s say your business card is your personal real estate. How are you increasing your value by utilizing your space? Don’t leave the back of the business card blank; make sure that your business card makes a compelling statement no matter which side of the card viewers are looking at.
Idea: When designing business cards online, consider adding a powerful quote that ignites curiosity. Translate your cards to another language if you do business in other locations. Include a call to action. Vistaprint has folded card options that give you the space you need to increase your value in the marketplace.
Avoid Cheap-Looking, Flimsy, or “Free” Business Cards
We are always on the search for the cheapest products on the market, but the last word you want to be associated with in business is “cheap.” In fact, every day hundreds of people search for “free business cards” on Google. I have to wonder who is buying them, and for what purpose?
Trying to save money by printing your cards on inexpensive flimsy business card paper stocks may be costing you more money than you think–and diminishing the quality of your brand.
Your business cards reflect you: cheap-looking business cards cheapen your professional image, and some free business cards even have the company’s logo on the back; yikes!
The very weight of your business card paper has an impact on the way you’re perceived. If you want to leave a positive impression on potential clients, choose a solid and professional template on the top-quality paper stock to show that your business is well-grounded and prepared for success.
If you want to save money, choose “premium” business cards from printing services like Vistaprint, then use a coupon. Besides, by the time you pay for shipping on the free business cards, you’re not even saving that much money. There’s a big difference between being frugal and cheap; save the free business cards for dropping into fish-bowls to win free lunches!
Tip: Include Your LinkedIn Vanity URL on Your Business Cards
Have you claimed your vanity URL name on LinkedIn? If you haven’t, your LinkedIn URL probably looks like a foreign language; a sequence of letters and numbers that have no meaning to others.
Create a unique LinkedIn URL that can be added to your business card. Just edit your LinkedIn profile and claim your URL within seconds. Most customized URLs will look like this, “www.linkedin.com/in/firstnamelastname.” Your LinkedIn profile says more about you than a five-minute interaction that you may have with strangers.
And, if people are intrigued by your business card, they will want to find other ways to connect with you. (Hmmm… Not sure about using a QR code on business cards? Maybe consider printing one on the back.)
Idea: Design Your Business Cards w/ a Vertical Orientation
A horizontal layout is conventional, and might ultimately be the best design option, but consider a vertical layout. It’s different, modern, and will get more attention. Remember, the goal here is to stand out from the competition!
Consider Adding a Professional Photo to Your Business Cards
A pleasant photo immediately catches the eye, and makes your business more personal. If you have taken professional business photos that capture the essence of your brand, add it to your business card. You’ll never have to worry about the business card users forgetting who you are five years down the line.
Adding a photo to your business cards can also help establish trust, which is key in business areas like Law and Real Estate. When you order your business cards from a professional site, all you have to do is pick a design template, upload your photo, and you’re ready to go!
Make Your Business Card Design Appeal to the Eyes, & get honest feedback before printing
Don’t have a professional photo or just don’t want to include it on your business cards? Don’t worry. You have other options. Your company logo may not be the captivating visual that will turn eyes your way, but you can appeal to others with pictures of your products or things you love. Vistaprint gives you the option to upload your favorite pictures to customize onto your card.
Also, get a second and third opinion on your potential design ideas. Designs that look good to you may not go over well with others, so look for honest feedback!
Go With a Top Discount Printing Service, Like Vistaprint
There are popular sites, such as VistaPrint.com, that allow you to create high-quality business cards in less than 15 minutes. Vistaprint’s diverse selection of business card templates by industry will make yours stand out in a wallet full of other cards.
If you’re designing business cards online, Vistaprint has various paper styles such as metallic finish, extra-thick paper stock, raised print UV, and spot glass UV, and offers free samples for you to see and feel in-person. If you want your business cards to be the main subject of conversations at a networking event, order professional business cards using these tips that will make your business card memorable:
Consider Pinterest for Business Card Design Examples & Inspiration
Sometimes the best thing to do is just look at what business card designs are out there, and see what looks good. Because everyone has different needs and design ideas, try just scrolling through a ton of designs on Pinterest. You can often even narrow your search results by industry:
Review of Vistaprint business cards – I’m in the middle of developing an online shop to sell my cat-related t-shirt designs, so I figured I’d invest about $20 to have business cards printed to advertise my online store.
The name I’m most familiar with for printing business cards is Vistaprint.com (coupons), so I decided to go with them. Here’s my review for business cards from Vistaprint:
Vistaprint Standard Business Cards: My Review
I’ve ordered business cards through Vistaprint a couple of times before, but never to specifically promote a website or online store. In this case I wanted the cheapest business cards possible without looking or feeling cheap.
By the way, they don’t seem to offer “free,” or economy business cards anymore, which is a good thing. Those used to have the Vistaprint logo on the back, and the paper felt cheap!
That’s a bad first impression to make with potential clients or customers. I sell t-shirts at my online shop, so I don’t want people thinking they are also cheaply printed!
1. First, Use a Design Template
Vistaprint offers design templates for all of their products, including business cards. TO be sure my design was the right resolution and in CMYK, I downloaded this template:
Anyway, in this case I used a 300 dpi version of one of my t-shirt designs, and formatted it for the vertical 3.5×2″ size of their Standard business cards. I also chose a matte finish, (included) as I wanted a vintage look. Glossy might be appropriate for certain designs or photos, but I usually go with matte.
*Their “Signature” business cards are printed on an adequate, 14 pt. paper, but you can upgrade to Premium or Signature with a heavier if you’d like. For my purposes I wanted the cheaper option, as I plan to just festoon these around the city.
I had no need to print on the back of the cards, so my order total was $9.99 for 500 standard business cards plus $5 shipping.
2. Be Sure to Use a Promo Code
If you click on a link for a specific promotion, the discount might be applied immediately, or, you have the option of entering a promo code at checkout like this:
Enter Vistaprint promo code
3. You Can Consider Upgrades: (Brilliant Finishes) Metallic, Spot Gloss, Raised Print
Upgrades like foil, and spot gloss can really make features on your business card, like your logo, pop!
4. You’ll Have 4 Paper Stock Options
5. Here’s My Vistaprint Business Cards!
Wondering how long it takes Vistaprint to ship business cards? Their cheapest shipping option (economy) took exactly 8 days. (7 business days) They came in a neat little box, and I was excited to open it. (Need your cards fast? Check out the shipping speeds here)
The business cards themselves look great, and the colors are just like the online preview. Once again, be sure to design in CMYK at high resolution (300 dpi). Here’s another photo of my business cards:
Some of the cards printed about 1/16 of an inch off-center, but they mention that your design should be in the “safety zone” as it might shift by a small amount horizontally or vertically.
These business cards are great! 5 stars for the $15 total price. If you want you can upgrade and spend more on Signature business cards or ultra-thick which cost a lot more.
My Review: 500 Vistaprint Business Cards
You can see the “premium business cards” pictured above that I had printed with one of my Chairman Meow designs. I wanted heavier paper, so I was willing to pay an extra $5 than the 500 for $10 deal. Here are a few highlights of my premium business cards:
The business cards have a matte finish, and the paper is nice and sturdy
The design is full-bleed, and was well centered
The color was true to the online preview
The total cost was about $20 for 500 business cards (with this coupon)
Not using a design template? Remember to create your own design in CMYK!
*Tip: If you are on their site looking at the standard business cards, scroll down and you’ll see customer reviews. Consumer affairs is where you’ll find negative reviews, which are helpful to read, too
Ideas for Using Vistaprint Business Cards
Ok, so your on the fence about ordering 500 business cards? Business cards are like the Swiss Army knife of marketing, as they have so many potential uses for for many people. Here are a few ideas for getting your money’s worth:
1. Cheap Business Cards to Promote an Online Store / Shop / Blog
I used to imagine business cards as what people passed around at industry events, or left behind as contractors. However, if you have a website or online store or blog, they can be so much more!
They are great to hand out, and if you ship orders from an online store, be sure to drop a couple into each package that you ship.
If you do any online marketing whatsoever, you are probably familiar with paying for clicks on Google and Facebook. If you have a budget for this type of advertising, please consider supplementing it with business cards!
2. Business Cards are Like Online Clicks, But Cheaper
In my own online advertising experience, it’s costing me upwards of 50 cents per click to advertise my website to people categorized as “cat owners.”
Anyway, by paying for clicks I quickly realize that the math doesn’t work to my advantage. I’m only making $6 on the sale of a t-shirt, and the potential conversion rate from these paid clicks is pretty low. There’s just no way a high percentage of people are going to take out their wallet and buy a t-shirt, so I need to find a cheaper way to get people to my online store.
While I work on ways to bring this cost per click way down, I’m printing 500 business cards for some guerilla marketing. Vistaprint offers 500 business cards for $10 + $5 shipping, so the cost of each business card is about 5 cents each.
Like online clicks they deliver information for a brief moment with the hope of hooking a customer. While online advertising has many advantages, a business card is tangible, and doesn’t disappear into the ether once that moment has passed.
If you cross paths with your potential audience at any time, consider printing cheap business cards that get attention and send people to your online store or website!
For my shop, imagine how much more effective a little stack of business cards would be if left at a cat cafe, coffee shop, or pet store!
3. Cheap Business Cards for an Etsy Shop, CafePress Shop, Zazzle Store, eBay Store, or T-Shirt Store
If you have an online store, you’re probably trying to market your unique designs or products. This greatly increases the odds that you have some kind of design experience, or at least the ability to photograph your products close up.
Tip: Consider zooming in on your best design or product, add your URL, and print it on a business card? Make sure your image is really sharp and high-resolution!
These potentially catchy business cards can be stuck in lots of locations; either one at a time, or even fanned out or stacked in strategic places.
Example: I go to a dog park every other week, which is a very social environment. That would be a great place to hand out a business card. You’re not limited to dog products in that environment either. Maybe you just mention during conversation that you have a side-business, like an Etsy store, which would be a great time to whip it out. (a business card)
I have also propped up business cards on signs, wedged them into the side of bulletin boards, or any little corners where they might get noticed.
Idea: Not only can business cards help you hook potential new customers, but existing customers as well. I recommend including at least one business card in the packaging of all orders that you mail out. Your customers might hold onto it, or even pass it on to a friend.
So Many Ideas for Using Business Cards
There are a number of great resources out there that list creative ideas for using business cards to market your store, but I’d just recommend the following in summary:
A catchy “hook“: a design featuring a head-turning product photo or example of your favorite design
No more than one one line of text or it will be too crowded
Your easy to remember domain name
Printing on the back of the business card may cost more
Anyway, if you’re an entrepreneur of any sort, I do recommend Vistaprint’s business cards, as they are really cheap and great quality. I was really happy with the result, and it was a great investment of less than $20.
Using product shots on your business cards: Do you sell unique products or have an Etsy store? If so, consider using high-quality, professional-looking product shots on your Vistaprint business cards.
Here’s are a couple inspiring examples of business cards that feature photos of actual products:
High-quality product shots on business cards
There are hundreds of design templates and design ideas out there for business cards because there are so many uses for them in every industry imaginable.
They are a great little marketing tool, and you can get business cards for pennies each, especially when you use a coupon for vistaprint.com.
If you sell actual products, consider featuring product shots on your business cards. Make sure that the photos are high-resolution and really sharp. If you have a friend who is an amateur or professional photographer, ask her for help, and maybe pay her in wine!
Vistaprint business cards: 500 for $10! – Click to view today’s promotion
Product shots can really communicate your style and brand better than type or stock photography, and as they say, “a picture tells a thousand words.”
This would be a great idea for a number of home-based businesses, or people who sell jewelry, apparel, accessories, or handmade goods. If you have an Etsy shop, these kinds of business cards might be really effective.
Put website and social media info on the back
social media info business cards
Not only are these business cards a good idea for networking and handing out in person, but you might even make sales just by leaving them around.
Anyone who sees beautiful or eye-catching products like these on business card might be inclined to pick one up and check out the website on their phone, or put a card in their pocket for later.
If you sell your own products, you really need to invest time in social media getting fans, and updating them with new products and news.
Put a photo of your business cards on Instagram, and submit to Vistaprint!
Vistaprint highlights creative uses of their products every week, and they are seen by thousands of people. If you sell products nationally, this is a great way to get even more attention with the help of Vistaprint. That happens to be where I found these sample business cards, and I even checked out the website address on the back of the cards before featuring them on this site!
The quality of your business cards is a direct reflection of the quality of your products, so make sure you get sturdy, premium options, and consider upgrades like rounded corners, brilliant finishes, and premium cardstock.
Kraft business cards on brown uncoated paper: Vistaprint has a wide array of business cards, so sometimes the better styles can get lost. One of those great, relatively unknown styles is called, “Kraft.”
Kraft business cards are eco-friendly, and printed on uncoated, light brown, 90% recycled paper.
Kraft is a paper option under Premium Business Cards, and there are dozens of vintage-looking design options to choose from.
Designing business cards at Vistaprint.com? Consider Eye-catching options for business cards like Metallic Finish and Spot Gloss. Right now these finish options are included in Vistaprint’s new business card promotion, and you might even find a better discount on our coupon page!
Brilliant, Shiny Finishes on Vistaprint Business Cards
Adding shiny, eye-catching finishes to your business cards can get attention and make a lasting impression of quality and refinement. They also “reflect” well on you and your business. Want to see samples of business cards with metallic finishes and spot gloss?
Sample business cards from Vistaprint with brilliant finishes:
How to add metallic Finishes / Spot Gloss / raised print to Business Cards:
When you are on the main business cards section at vistaprint.com, look to the lower left and you’ll see options to sort design templates. One of the headings is “brilliant finishes,” and when you click it, it opens options for: metallic finish, Spot Gloss, and Raised Print.”
There are hundreds of designs that you can add these premium finishes too, so try choosing one to see the new search results.
If you see a design you like, click on it. You’ll get a larger close-up, and the option to view with simulated finishes like this:
Witness the amazing impression that these shiny business cards have on the masses:
Watch as your average Joe’s are blown away by Vistaprint’s spot gloss and metallic finishes. I don’t think their lives will ever be the same.
I think the shimmering shine of the business cards actually hypnotize the older man…
“Fish are dumb, dumb, dumb They chase anything that glitters (beginners!) Oh, and here they come, come, come To the brightest thing that glitters…”
Metallic / Shimmering Foil Finish:
Here’s some inspiration and examples of business cards with Metallic finishes:
Spot Gloss Business Cards:
Examples of spot gloss business cards from Vistaprint. Add a touch of eye-catching “shine!”
Raised Print on business cards:
Raise your profile! (get it?)
Well, I hope that stock music doesn’t get stuck in your head, but even better; I hope you find the perfect business cards with eye-catching, shiny finishes.
With the prevalence of the internet, some people wondered if business cards might one day become obsolete. Like your local newspaper, business cards can be a little old fashioned, or outdated as soon as they are handed out, right?
Actually, that isn’t the case for a number of reasons, and one feature that can keep business cards relevant in a world of fast information and technology is the QR code.
First, WTF is a QR Code?
In case you’re still not familiar with what a QR code is, it’s basically a two dimensional bar code that can be scanned to retrieve specific information or to bounce someone to a specific website. Short for “quick read,” QR codes were originally developed in 1994 to help Toyota with manufacturing and vehicle inventory. Years later, the QR code has powerful marketing potential.
Companies can now make print ads or marketing material dynamic by encouraging consumers to scan their QR code for more information from their website. The same concept also applies to business cards. In an era when people change jobs and personal info frequently, the printed information on traditional business cards can be outdated quickly.
That’s why a QR code might be a good idea for your business card. Not only does it show that you are up with the latest technology, but it’s a great way to pass on a more dynamic source of information to a potential customer or employer.
If you’re a designer, it’s a great way to have people access your portfolio online without using a long URL. Now that mobile phones can use free apps to scan these QR codes, you can give others instant access to your website, LinkedIn page, blog, or other useful web address.
How do you make a QR code?
There are a number of sites that allow you to generate a free QR code just by entering in the name of the URL that you’d like it to go to. These sites also have monthly plans that you can pay for, (multiple QR codes, or ones with fancy designs) but for the basics you should start with a free QR code. Check out Kaywa for a free QR code.
How do you put a QR code on a business card?
When you generate a QR code, you’ll usually have the option to download it in a standard format like a PDF or PNG file. When you make your business cards, just upload this file as you would an image or logo.
When is the last time you scanned a QR code?
So, now that we’ve talked about the potential value of a QR code, let’s look at the reality. A lot of people still don’t scan these codes, so if you use one on a business card, add it as more of a supplemental feature than a main attraction. (You can even consider putting it on the back of the card in many cases.) Also, remember that cell phones still don’t come standard with a QR scanner so people will have to download a free app in order to use it.
If you do decide to add one of these codes, don’t ever omit crucial information like your phone number, email address, and website from your business card. Maybe assume that it’s presence is going to make you look tech-savvy, but that only 1 out of 3 people will actually use it. Having said that, most people still appreciate a good coupon, so if you are looking to print custom business cards, consider one of the discount printing companies featured on this site including VistaPrint!