Business cards are essential in today’s world, not only for working professionals, but for anyone who wants to make connections. And while business cards can usually be purchased inexpensively, current technology has made it possible to print custom business cards at home for next to nothing. There are several advantages to this, as you can update your business card as often as you see fit, and experiment with an endless array of different designs and styles at your leisure.
When it comes to printing business cards at home, you have different options available, including the use of traditional graphics software, custom business card software, and online printing services. Each option has its own set of advantages and disadvantages.
Businessman holding a business card via Shutterstock
Take a leisurely stroll through your local office supply store and you will notice a wealth of printable business card products. You can usually find them alongside the various printer paper varieties, and in almost every case, the card stock will include a software disc that allows you to quickly design your custom business card at home. In some cases, you can purchase a set of 200 business cards for under $10.
Business card stock and software is great for exploring business card designs at home, but the best card stock will cost you a lot more than the value stock, and in general, these types of cards don’t exude the highest level of professionalism. If you’re looking for value and convenience though, this is the ultimate way to go.
If you have card stock but are unhappy with the templates provided by business card software, you can design your own cards using graphics software like Photoshop or GIMP. Assuming that you already have access to a competent graphic design program, the cost here will be comparable to the previous method—if you choose to use card stock. If you prefer to use traditional or glossy paper, you may also want to invest in a small paper cutter for accuracy.
This can be the most cost-effective way to print cards at home, as long as you know what you’re doing. Designing business cards with standard graphics software won’t provide you with the kinds of templates or training wheels that business card programs offer, so a rudimentary knowledge of graphic design is recommended.
Finally, we have the option of online business card services, which allow you to custom-design your cards straight from their website. Unfortunately, most of these sites will not permit you to print your own cards, and they don’t provide the most cost-effective options. So before settling on one of these services, make sure to read all of the fine print.
There are certain advantages to having your business cards printed by a professional. For instance, you won’t achieve embossed lettering from a standard home printer, and the colors won’t be as vibrant as they would appear on a professionally printed card. If you truly want to your cards to stand out, consider going with a professional business card printing service. If you really do your homework, you can find costs that are comparable to or even better than the costs of the at-home options.