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If you’d like to enter a draw to win one of 4 sets of 1000 free business cards from UPrinting.com, make sure you read down to the end of the post!

As bloggers we’re used to doing all our networking and promotion online. None of us are likely to be taking out billboard advertising deals any time soon, but a business card is a cheap and easy way to network in the real world as well.

Why not hand one over the next time your cousin asks about your “web thing” again? Or that co-worker with the techy friends? Or the talkative guy beside you on the bus?

They could become your next diehard reader, and you never know who they might pass the card on to.

Design Your Own Card in 5 Minutes

Just like designing your own default avatar, a business card is deceptively easy to create.

Basics of Print Design

Designing for print is different to designing for the web. And I don’t know a lot about designing for print… but thankfully Selene does!

Sadly, this is going to sound a little complicated at first, but it’s important and I’ve made up a template file at the end for you to use.

I’ll paraphrase the most important parts of Selene’s advice here, but read her post for a full explanation and an in-depth review of UPrinting’s service.

  1. Work in CMYK, not RGB color. (One of the settings in the File > New window of Photoshop)
  2. High resolution. 300 pixels per inch, not 72. (Another setting on the New Document page)
  3. “Bleed” your background past where it should end by 0.125 inches. Sometimes the card moves a little during printing, which would give you white lines along your borders (Read What Is Printing Bleed? to hear the full explanation).
  4. Use a “safe margin” of 0.125 inches inside your card’s borders. Do not put any content in this area, incase it’s cut off by the card moving during printing.

Here’s a diagram (Not to scale!) to help make the bleeding and safe margins clearer:

business-card-bleed-template

If it’s all still confusing, I’ve made a PSD template of a standard 3.5 x 2 inch card. Just open it up in Photoshop, and go to View > Show > Guides to make sure the guides are shown. You’ll see that the margins have been marked out for you now (And the guidelines won’t be printed).

Now, to design our card!

Step 1 – The Front

  1. Take the main color of your blog (e.g. Do you have a colored background or header?) and fill the background with it.
  2. Place the logo from your blog into the center of the card. You may need to remake the logo to make it large enough for printing.
    business-card1
  3. Place your blog’s title and slogan beneath the logo, and move the logo up accordingly. You can use the same fonts and styling that you do in your blog header.
    business-card2
  4. Use the Eyedropper Tool to select your card’s background color. Now press the “x” key to swap your Foreground and Background colors over, and select your card’s background color once again. Then change the Foreground color to a lighter variant of what it currently is.

    Use the Gradient Tool, and choose a Radial Gradient with Foreground to Background as the fill.
    business-card4 

    Click and drag a gradient out from behind the center of your logo. business-card5

That’s the front of the card all done.

Step 2 – The Back

  1. Select a color that is very different to what the front’s background color was. For me, this meant the green from the logo. Fill the background with the color.
  2. Place all of your contact information into the lower left corner of the card. You can style it however you like, but remember to keep the content out of the safe margin!
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  3. Take your logo again, but zoom in on it even further this time and place it in the upper right corner, so that part of the logo is cut off.
     business-card7
  4. Place the logo behind the text and lower its visibility so that the text is easily readable, and stands out more than your logo. The logo is just a way of decorating the background, it’s not meant to draw attention this time. You may need to recolor your logo to suit your background more.
     business-card8

And that’s that. You now have a clean, distinctive business card ready to be printed.

Win 1000 Free Business Cards!

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UPrinting.com have kindly offered to give away 1000 business cards to each of 4 readers on this site (And 1000 for me too, thanks guys!).

You can choose from any of their options, including custom sizes and your choice of stock (There’s even an eco-friendly option if you’re interested!).

To enter the competition, just leave a comment here with a link to a business card photo that you think looks great (Can be for any anything, not necessarily a blogger!).

I’ll pick out 4 random winners on Monday and get in touch. If you live in the US or Canada, it’s all completely free. Sadly however, if you live outside, you’ll have to pay for the postage (But the cards are still free).

Hopefully by the end, we’ll have some great business card inspiration in the comments! Good luck everyone!

PS – Brian Yerkes’ Business Cards of Bloggers list is a good place to start. I love Robert F Russo’s!

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