Join Nigel French for an in-depth discussion in this video Sizing your business card, part of Designing a Business Card With Illustrator CS3.
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Now when we say business card, we tend to think of a 3.5 x 2 inch rectangle. But it needn't necessarily be that way. Your business card doesn't even need to be a card at all. Maybe it's going to be a clothes peg, or a playing card, or a card that someone constructs, or a glider. Or maybe it's going to come as a blister pill pack or a pop-up thing, or be printed on metal or rubber or have some wool attached to it, or a business card that tears in two. These are all brilliant, brilliant ideas, but we are not going to do this. We are going to go for a standard 3.5 inch X 2 inch business card, or reverse those dimensions if you want it to be vertical.
But these are all things worth considering. So we are going to play it safe, we are just going to have a purely functional business card. Now I have said a 3.5 x 2 inch rectangle, but there are variations. Business card sizes vary around the world and this diagram has the common business card sizes. In continental Europe it may be a credit card sized or in an A8 sized rectangle. But I'm going to be working with the standard US size, 3.5 x 2 inches.
So now that we have determined our size, the next thing we want to think about is the orientation of the business card.