Once your client has approved the final design, send them all of the design files. Here’s what they need:
A layered, editable source file of the final design (AI, PSD, EPS or INDD) in which the fonts are not outlined
A print-ready PDF file with all the fonts outlined
All web preview images (JPEG or PNG)
A link to purchase any commercial fonts used in the design
Make sure all files are saved in the CMYK color mode and 300dpi resolution.
Do’s and don’ts
Great design never came from following rules. So, break ‘em! Except for these. They’re pretty important. Stick to these guidelines to ensure your text, images and layout are perfect.
Always make sure the business card text is legible. A good rule of thumb is to make the company name and logo larger than a 12pt font. Never use any font sizes smaller than 8pt.
Always outline text that won’t be edited (such as the company name or slogan) and leave the text editable for business card information that changes regularly (like a person’s name or contact information).
Be wary of bleeds
A bleed is the part of your design that runs over the trim edge—or past the intended cut line—to ensure a nice printing job. Always stretch your design to the edge of the bleed area.
Avoid adding borders, since they’ll often look lopsided after printing. Never include important information past the trim line, since it may be cut off during printing.
Double check your final files
Always make sure that all of the template layers have been removed before submitting your final files to your client. Be sure to save each side of the business card in separate files for the printer and label them as such.
The dictionary of design
CMYK and RGB... droids from Star Wars, right? Design lingo can be a little tricky, but we can translate. Here are some design and printing terms you’ll need to know.
How colors are represented in your design
CMYK: An ink-based mode used in print.
RGB: A light-based mode used on-screen.
The amount of pixel detail in an image
Low resolution: Few pixels make the image pixelated.
High resolution: Many pixels make the image sharp.
Measurements to ensure top-notch printing
Trim Line: Where the printer will cut your image.
Bleed: The area beyond the trim line that extends printing to the edge.
Safety Line: The border that contains all printable text.
Shape and orientation
How your design physically appears
Horizontal: Short, wide, and landscape-style. The classic card.
Vertical: Tall, skinny, and portrait-style. Turning normal on its side.
Folding: Rectangular with a crease. Standard but stand-out.
Die-cut: Any size, any shape. A bold way to go beyond basic.
What your design is printed on
Paper: Thin, thick, matte, glossy. Endless colors and endless options.
Plastic: Transparent, durable and waterproof. A clear way to be clever.
Anything: Steel. Wood. Fabric. Make a one-of-a-kind first impression.
How your design is printed
4-color offset: The standard, full color printing process.
1- or 2-color: Limited color for limited budgets.
Foil ink: Specialty process that uses metallic foil rather than ink.
Spot color: Color generated by an ink (pure or mixed) printed using a single run.
by Nick Terry
by Kelvin & Cynthia
The final touches made to your print
Foil blocking: Metallic, foil finishes applied with a heated stamp.
Embossing: Raised textures applied to the material using heat.
Spot UV: A glossy finish applied to specific areas on the print.