GP Print of Peterborough - Business Cards, Leaflets
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GP Print of Peterborough - Business Cards, Leaflets

Business Cards

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Business cards are cards bearing business information about a company or individual. They are shared during formal introductions as a convenience and a memory aid. A business card typically includes the giver's name, company affiliation (usually with a logo) and contact information such as street addresses, telephone number(s), fax number, e-mail addresses and website. Traditionally many cards were simple black text on white stock; today a professional business card will sometimes include one or more aspects of striking visual design.

Business cards are printed on some form of card stock, the visual effect, method of printing, cost and other details varying according to cultural or organizational norms and personal preferences. The common weight of a business card varies some by location. Generally, business cards are printed on stock that is 350GSM

High quality business cards without full-colour photographs are normally printed using spot colours on sheet-fed lithographic presses. Some companies have gone so far as to trademark their spot colours (examples are Premier League Blue & Red, Perkins Blue and Caterpillar Yellow & Black). If a business card logo is a single colour and the type is another colour, the process is considered two colours. More spot colours can be added depending on the needs of the card. With the onset of digital printing, and batch printing, it is now cost effective to print business cards in full colour.

To simulate the "raised-print" effect of printing with engraved plates, a less-expensive process called thermography was developed that uses the application of a plastic powder, which adheres to the wet ink. The cards are then passed through a heating unit, which melts the plastic onto the card. Spot UV varnish onto matte laminate can also have a similar effect.

Full colour cards, or cards that use many colours, can be printed on either lithographic or digital printing presses; however, they use the CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, and black) four-colour printing process. Screens of each colour overprinted on one another create a wide gamut of colour.

Some terminology in reference to full-colour printing:

  • 4/0 - Full Colour Front / No Print On Back
  • 4/1 - Full Colour Front / One Colour On reverse
  • 4/4 - Full Colour Front / Full Colour Back

These names are pronounced as "four backing nothing," "four backing one," or "full colour throughout".

A business card can also be coated with a UV glossy coat. The coat is applied all over the card just like another ink using a UV coating machine. UV coats can also be applied as a spot coating - meaning areas can be coated, and other areas can be left uncoated. This creates additional design potential.

UV coats, and other coatings such as sealers and varnishes are used to speed manufacturing of the cards. Cards that are not dry will "offset" which means the ink from the front of one card will end up on the back of the next one. UV coatings are generally highly glossy but are more likely to fingerprint, while other coatings are not noticeable and increase the life of the card. It is possible to use a dull aqueous coating on uncoated stock and get some very durable uncoated cards, and using UV coating or plastic lamination can also be applied to thicken thin stocked cards and make them more durable as well.

When cards are designed, they are given bleeds if colour extends to the edge of the finished cut size. (A bleed is the extension of printed lines or colours beyond the line where the paper it is printed on will be cut.) This is to help ensure that the paper will cut without white edges due to very small differences in where the blade cuts the cards, and it is almost impossible to cut the cards properly without. Just being a hair off can result in white lines, and the blade itself will pull the paper while cutting. Bleeds are an extra 2mm to all sides of the card.

  • Bleed size: 89 × 59 mm
  • Standard cut size: 85 x 55mm

Fold-over or "tent" cards and side fold cards are popular as well. Generally these cards will fold to the standard size.


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GP Print of Peterborough - Business Cards, Leaflets