quick fix for business cards

This past weekend, I needed business cards but
A) I had no time to design new ones
B) had no time to go to the printers
C) forgot to get some of my business cards from the office haha

So~ Here’s my 3-step 15-minute business card trick. It’s wonderfully easy.

Adobe Illustrator, or Photoshop, or InDesign, or its equivalents, or even a word processor app OR legible handwriting
home printer
board paper
your favorite painting materials
hair dryer
scissors or cutter

Take your board paper and paint, and play around with patterns and colors. Do whatever you want! Use your hairdryer to make sure your paint dries fast but dries properly. These are where you will be printing your cards and we don’t want the printer ink smudging your painted patterns, and vice versa.

While waiting for your paint to dry, on your computer lay out your contact information. I made mine in Adobe Illustrator because that’s where I work the fastest. My board paper sheets were A4 size so I set my document size to that, and measured 2.5 by 3 -inch boxes (standard size for business cards).

Print your cards on your painted board paper, and cut to size.  Et voila! Instant business cards!

1. Choose paint colors that aren’t too dark so your cards will still be readable as they are good-looking. It’s still a business card so prioritize its ability to communicate over its general cuteness.The first batch I made had paint splatters all over (as pictured above) but when I printed the cards out I found that the paint I used were too dark so it took a bit more effort to read the text.

2. Stick to a no-nonsense typeface. This is still a design project, crafty as it is, so even if you’re in a hurry don’t settle for ugly fonts. Ornamented type, unless set really big, won’t be as readable when printed on a busy background. And check your kerning (proportional spacing between characters) as you go! I admit I didn’t have time to check on on mine, eep! :(

3. I didn’t have enough time to deal with how exact the position of my layout will be when printed. To save on thinking time, I drew borders on all sides of the card space so it’s easier to cut the cards to size, versus pushing my layout to the paper edges and drawing inside borders only.

I used the borderless printing option on my printer but from past experiences I found that this doesn’t guarantee that the edges of your layout onscreen will be printed on the exact same place on paper. I laid out the card parameters on the center of the canvas instead to make sure all the cards will be printed within A4. Doing otherwise will still work, especially if your layout is like mine with all the text set in near the center of the card dimensions therefore having allowance when your printer prints inside your margins. The downside is some of your cards will turn out to be a bit smaller than the rest.

4. Paint suggestions
poster paint, gouache, watercolor, or really watered down acrylic. They dry quickly and with a matte finish and your printer’s ink won’t slide off the surface.

Paper suggestions
Board paper. Watercolor paper if you can afford, or light colored pastel paper. You don’t want flimsy cards so make sure your paper is thick enough. BUT not too thick that it won’t fit in your printer’s feed. I tried to fit 270gsm sheets of watercolor paper before and it didn’t work. Also, pre-cut sheets are best when you’re in a hurry of course.

For my cards I used Best Buy 160gsm multipurpose board paper in A4, and Pentel poster paint and Prang watercolor.

5. If you have more than 15 minutes, aren’t making a big batch, and have legible handwriting, you can opt to write your contact info by hand!

That’s it! Ang dali lang ‘diba? : ) Enjoy making yours!


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