There’s so much more to creating business cards than printing contact information onto a card. A critical aspect of business card design is choosing the correct stocks to match your brand and the industries within which you will be working. The choice of business card stock can impact not just how your business card looks, but how you will be perceived to your potential customers.
“Feel” is especially important, as this is precisely what gives print an advantage over other marketing materials. The ability to touch and feel printed materials like business cards allows for stronger impressions and connections to be made, when compared with digital counterparts.
Business card stocks are classified by their thickness. Here are some guidelines when choosing a stock for your project.
10 Point Card Stock
A 10pt business card is very thin and bends very easily. Many printing companies advertise this for a cheap price making the consumer think that they are getting a great deal, but we know that we get what we pay for, right? Because Patterson Printing believes in quality, this isn’t even a card stock weight that we offer.
14 Point Card Stock
A 14pt business card is about as thick as a typical flyer, postcard or brochure. These are typically used for mass distribution, especially with media. These are the default thickness most printing companies offer, and is Patterson Printing’s economy card.
16 Point Card Stock
A 16pt card is somewhat thicker and comparable to a greeting card or a folder, and is the card weight most commonly handed out when a quality and professional image is desired, but not to necessarily stand out from the crowd.
32 Point Card Stock
If you are looking to make an impression with a thicker card, you can also choose a 32pt card stock. Both the 14pt and 16pt cards are fairly inexpensive options, but they are more easily damaged and have limited design opportunities in comparison to their thicker counterparts. A 32pt card stock is simply twice the thickness of a 16pt card and also allows for colored edges.
As a general rule, most people want as thick a stock as possible. A thicker stock tends to feel more substantial, and gives business cards the tactile advantage in making an impression. They are also sturdier and look better, longer. This is especially important when printing on both sides of the card. This is important since you want the card to keep its integrity even when totally covered with ink.
Thinner stocks on the other hand, while more affordable, do feel flimsy and temporary compared to a more professional and heavier card stock. Exceptionally thin stocks that you might see at substandard discount printing services may be unable to hold ink quite as well on both sides, leading to early deterioration as a result. Not to mention that they will get bent and torn quickly. The tears and bends on the card also tend to pick up dust and dirt due to the loose, uncoated fibers – making a horrible impression.
Thin and thick are of course, relative terms. Our 14 pt. house stocks are already quite substantial and thicker than is typical with many printing services, and will allow for print on both sides with no issues whatsoever. Their balance of economy and durability make them a great choice for anyone who needs a large number of business cards with a professional presentation – individually or for corporate accounts. The 16 pt. stocks on the other hand, are the best for situations where you’d like your business cards to represent yourself and your company with quality to leave a lasting impression – one they take with them.