How to Choose the Best Paper for Business Cards

How to Choose the Best Paper for Business Cards

Did you know that up to 72 percent of people will judge you or your business based on the quality of your business card? Also, 39 percent of people will opt not to do business with a company that has a "cheap looking" business card.

As you can see, when it comes to a business card - look matter!

So, what's the top factor that dictates how your business card looks? While some may think it's the graphics or font, that isn't the case - it's the paper. As a result, it's up to you to choose the best paper for business cards.

While this may seem like a difficult task, it doesn't have to be. The tips and information here will help you get started.

Get to Know the Basics of Paper Stock

Before being able to make an informed decision, you need to fully understand the different types of paper stock. You will find business card paper available in a wide array of coatings and thicknesses.

A unique point system is used to determine paper thickness, ranging from 14 to 38 points. Fourteen paper stock is the most popular option for printing business cards. 16-point cardstock is a bit heavier than 14-point, but either one is a good, affordable choice for traditional business cards.

Some smaller printing companies and big office supply stores use 100 lb. card stock. This glossy option is a more affordable alternative. Also, it bends easily but doesn't feel thin or cheap.

If you want an upscale, custom feel, you may prefer textured stock. For letterpress printing, a heavier stock will be necessary, or the paper will be ruined.

Uncoated, UV, Matte or Glossy Finishes?

Each of the finishes available for business cards comes with its own features and benefits. Some things to know about each option can be found here.


Just as the name implies, this paper doesn't have any protective coating present. It offers a textural feel, even more so than the matte coated stocks.

The colors of this option are subdued, but clear. If you are trying to achieve a natural or classic vibe, then the uncoated stock is a smart option.

UV or High Gloss

If you choose this coating, the card will have a vibrant, shiny appearance. For business cards that feature a photo, this is a smart option for bringing out all the details. It's also a good choice if you have designs you want to stand out in a dramatic way.


A matte card has a coating for protection purposes. However, they aren't reflective like the gloss options. The colors on these cards are more subdued, but they remain solid, without that "washed out" look some business cards have.

If you want something that's easy to read, then a matte finish is a smart option. These cards also feel a bit slick, which gives them a pleasant texture.


Another coating option, this type of card will be protected (somewhat) from moisture and wear. The glossy stock also provides a bit more sharpness to the image and text present. If you want a modern looking business card, gloss is a smart option.

The Weight

Do you plan to have a double-sided business card? If so, you need to ensure that each side can hold the ink properly.

Even if your card is just one-sided, you don't want to choose something that is too flimsy or light.

Lighter card stock is going to easily break down and usually has a more professional feel. Choosing a thickness of approximately 300 gsm/12-point or more will be fine. While sturdy card stock is a better option for business cards, it comes at a price.

Consider the Practical Aspects

Finding design solutions that help to portray your brand in the best possible way is one of the more enjoyable parts of business card design. However, you also need to think about the practical aspects of the design.

Do you have a customer who will want to write on the card? If so, then choosing a matte paper stock with an average weight will ensure this is possible.

If you have a card that features a full bleed design that goes to the card's edge, make sure you use the right stock to accommodate this.

The Printer Being Used

Do you plan to print your business cards at home? If so, you need to make sure the paper you choose is compatible with your printer.

An inkjet printer will perform well with the majority of papers, textured and glossy types included. However, laser printers may work with matte paper, but they won't work with glossier options.

If you use the services of a professional printer, be sure to find out what type of paper and finishes are offered.

Consider Your Budget

In most cases, a thicker paper will require you to make a larger investment than the most popular 14-point stocks. However, you can typically save money if you print your cards in bulk, rather than ordering just a few hundred cards at a time.

You may really want a letterpress card that is printed on textured, premium stock, if this paper isn't affordable for you, then trying to find a more affordable one that still portrays your desired brand image.

Best Paper for Business Cards: What's Right for You?

Now that you know a few important considerations, you can find the best paper for business cards. Portraying a positive business image will go a long way in helping you make more sales and earn more profits.

You can find more information about business cards and their effectiveness by visiting us. We also offer information on how to create an effective door hanger marketing campaign, along with other useful resources.

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