How to print your own business cards

text_card.pngWhen you run an online business you don’t have much call for business cards - your URL is your business card. However two days before I had to attend a real, live ‘networking’ event I thought I’d better get some business cards organised. Leaving it to the last minute meant that I had to do it myself. Hit the jump to read how I did it.

First stop was my local Officeworks to find some suitable paper. Whatever you do, don’t try and use plain card. You’ll never be able to cut it accurately enough, even with a guillotine. Instead, Avery have a range of special business card paper in varying paper types (gloss, matte) and colours. They come in A4 sheets but have been pre-perforated so there is no cutting involved. Each sheet holds 8 cards. Expect to pay about $30 per pack of 10 sheets (80 cards). I was lucky to find a very nice ‘Matte Linen White’ pack on special for $19.

The next step was to design my business card. You can download free Word templates from the Avery website but I recommend downloading and installing their free DesignPro 5.4 Limited Edition software (Windows only). It’s purpose built for the job and is much easier to use. It comes with a huge range of templates for business cards but unfortunately they’re all for US letter paper.

However it’s very easy to create your own template. I got out a ruler and measured a sheet of the paper I’d just purchased and entered the appropriate dimensions.

Designing the actual business card is very easy. The interface is similar to that of Microsoft Word. All I did was import my logo, create a couple of text boxes and enter the text I wanted.

When it comes to printing, make sure you do a trial run on plain paper. Once you’re happy with the results and have confirmed they line up, use the business card paper.

If you’re printing a lot of business cards then it’s probably cheaper to have them professionally done at a print shop. For small runs or last minute jobs, it’s great to be able to print your own. The quality of the cards is excellent. They look like professionally printed cards. No one could tell you’ve done them on your home printer.

*Disclosure: This guest post was written by Mark Gladding from Tumbywood Software  - a Melbourne based software developer which makes the (paid) Text2Go application. We didn't pay him to write it, he didn't pay us to run it, and he's not receiving anything for it other than the sheer glory of seeing his story in print. Thanks for the tip, Mark! :)


    I would just say watch the margins there Mark, the text at bottom and top of logo are dangerously close to the bottom and top of the card.

    Otherwise good work mate!

    I've used the same method a number of times.

    Another added bonus is the ability to print small amounts of (say, fifty or a hundred) business cards with one design, and then a couple of weeks/months later, print a totally different design.

    That's really cool. I've been entertaining the idea of getting business cards made for a while, but I always figured it wasn't worth the expense for a college student. I'll definitely look into printing my own now, though. Thanks!

    There are places online that you can get up to 1000 business cards printed and shipped (good quality) for less than $50. When you add up the cost of buying the cards, the ink to print them, the gas to go to the store, and your time it is actually a way better deal to have someone else print them.

    Warren you are exactly right - however i need cards in 48 hours, so i think this scenario is perfect for those who a on tight deadlines - like mark was in his example.

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