6 Things to Check before You Send Your New Business Card Design to the Printer

How do you feel when you are ready to click on the “Order Now” button? Are you afraid that your printed business cards won’t look exactly as you want? Will you be disappointed and forced to reorder new cards?

We have all been in that situation. Even though we have checked the work several times, we are afraid we have missed something. “What if I forgot my email address?” “What if there is a typo?” You do not want to waste money on business cards that will be tossed.

Does the picture in your mind of throwing away your new business cards because of a small error make you tremble?

This article will help you manage this situation. Here at allBcards we have seen many business cards, and we know what people tend to forget.

Business card to do list

Most Common Business Card Printing Mistakes

1. The necessary information is not included

In Chapter 2, we learned that the most important information on your business card depends on the nature of your business. However, you should always include your name, company name, tagline, email, and phone number. If you have additional information or messages that you want to communicate, check for those also.

2. There are typos

This may be ridiculously obvious, but typos happen a lot. Before clicking on the “Order Now” button, verify that your name and contact information are spelled correctly. Many people have printed business cards that show a mistake. The difficulty is: you cannot always see your own mistakes. It is best to ask a friend or colleague to take a look at your business card to find possible misspellings or errors.

3. The information is out of date

A business card with outdated information is useless, and it looks unprofessional to cross it out and then give it to your prospects. Check to see that all of the information on your business card is current: email, phone, address, etc.

If there are typos or outdated information on your business cards, throw them away!
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4. The information is cut off

Take a look at this image of a business card:

The blue line―called the trim―indicates where your business card will be cut. The light blue area―the bleed area―represents the paper that will be discarded. Since the machine might not cut the card exactly where you specified, the red rectangle―the safe area―indicates where it is safe to place your information. Note: none of these lines actually print on your business card.

Avoid reordering new business cards. Double check that your design is inside the safe area.
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The image below shows a business card template from Overnight Prints, with the same properties:

Be aware that different printing companies use a slightly different variation of the above terminology. Look at Vistaprint for example:

Vistaprint has only one border while Overnight Prints has two, to prevent your information from being cut off. A Vistaprint user reported this issue:

Some online printers notify you on their websites of the dimensions of these outlines. For example, Moo’s dimensions are shown below:

Standard business card dimensions are 3.5” x 2.0” and the layout is horizontal; as in the examples above. But, if you have a business card with an unsual size, check out the specifications on the website of your online printing service or talk to your local printer. 

5. Printed colors are not what you expected

You learned earlier that colors you see on the computer screen do not look the same when they are printed on paper. People often forget this and then they are disappointed with their new business cards.

Before printing hundreds of business cards that will cost you money, check that the colors on the final product are as close as possible to what you want. This is not always easy, but talk to your printer to see what they can do for you. They have catalogs to check in order to reproduce the colors you want for your business card.

Often colors are not vivid enough or they are simply not the ones the customer chose. In the screenshot below, a Vistaprint customer complains because the business cards she ordered did not arrive with the colors she expected:

The customer was fortunate that Vistaprint recognized the problem and took responsibility. Not all printers will respond this way. Take into account this tip the next time you order business cards, and avoid wasting money.

6. The images are not clear and small details are imperceptible

Small drops (dots) of ink produce the visual content of your business cards. The more drops per-surface area, the finer the final product. How may drops (dots) is enough to create a high quality printed business card? It is understood that 300 dots per square inch will be adequate for color on a business card.

The problem arises when you send images to the printer that do not have enough dots per square inch. When you look at the screen, the image looks great, but when you print, the image comes out blurred and fuzzy. This is a common issue for business card backgrounds with tiny design elements.

Online and local printers usually take care of this problem. If you send them a picture with a low resolution, they will let you know if the image is not adequate for printing and ask you to send another one. To avoid the problem, every time you order new business cards, send the picture with the highest resolution available.

Moo’s tips to avoid printing a fuzzy business card.


We hope these tips will help you avoid printing business cards that will need to be thrown away.

Consider how gratifying it would be to look at your next monthly revenue and realize that your new business cards have increased your income. This is completely possible. You just need to take precautions and follow the tips in this section.

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If you found this article useful, you will certainly love our free guide! It contains 35 articles like this one, dealing with business card content, design, printing and distribution.

Business Card & Networking Tips - Infographics by allBcards

About allBcards - Business card and contact management solution

allBcards is an online business card manager. Your business cards are saved in the cloud and you can access them wherever you are. It does not matter whether you are using a smartphone, tablet or PC.

If you are a small business owner or a professional who receives lots business cards and you want to have all your business contacts organized, then allBcards is what you need. Now you can keep track of all your business relationships and you will never again lose a business card.

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