Business cards are an easy and direct way to introduce your business while providing contact information, and often they are the first impression of a business that a potential client receives. A business card should convey a sense of quality and professionalism as well as attention to detail. It all starts with the choice of paper stock a business chooses for the card.
The correct term when discussing paper types for business cards is “card stock,” although some printing companies will use the term “cover stock.” Card stock carries a paper weight range of 80 pounds to 110 pounds. They are sturdier forms of paper and better withstand excessive handling, which is important for business cards. A higher paper weight results in a more rigid card, while lower paper weights result in flimsier cards. Typically, a heavier weight costs more. The type of card stock (matte, glossy, photo, textured) also determines the quality and cost of the business card.
Matte stocks are one of the most frequently chosen papers for business cards offering smooth, non-shiny finishes. Matte stocks come in a wide range of colors but are most commonly found in whites, creams, beiges and tans. People selecting color tones of matte stock should be aware that lettering may not be as crisp as those printed on neutral tones. Matte stocks print cleanly while granting the holder the capability of writing on business card in instances where a name or telephone number is changed or added. Matte stocks are sometimes called dull stocks depending on the manufacturer and printing company.
Glossy stocks are commonly seen in business cards. Glossy stocks have an aqueous coating that creates a shiny finish and are best for bright colors and double-sided printing. Glossy stocks come in a broad spectrum of colors, giving a company more options for its business card. Businesses choosing glossy stocks can place photos in the background or incorporate multiple images that are near photographic quality. The advantage of using glossy stocks is in the longevity of the business card; the aqueous coating protects the card from common issues like water damage and tearing. The disadvantage is the inability to write on the business cards should information need to be altered.
Photo Card Stocks
Photo card stocks are used when a business needs a photo quality finish to the card, as is often the case with real estate agents, actors and models. Photo card stocks are the equivalent of a professional photograph, offering a wider range of versatility for companies seeking a more sophisticated impression. They work well for both single-sided and double-sided cards in full color.
Textured card stocks can come in both matte and glossy stocks. Textured stocks have patterns pressed into the stock to give them a certain feel, like basketweave, dots or houndstooth. Textured stocks come in a wide assortment of colors and are often used by businesses seeking a tactile dimension to their card. Textured stocks are best for single-sided business cards. Textured matte stock advantages are consistent with those of standard matte stocks, while textured glossy stocks can be printed double-sided. A double-sided card can sometimes be overwhelming, however, and may leave a potential client confused about the business.