Before you rush down to your local print shop to get a box of five hundred business cards, here are some essential tips to make sure you get the best results.
How Much Does a Business Card Cost?
An unforgettable, high-quality business card sets you apart from the crowd and makes a great first impression.
But how much should a business card cost? And, how do you balance the price you pay versus quality?
We answer your most important questions in our comprehensive business card pricing guide below. For pricing guides for other types of design, click the drop-down below.
Business card design costs vary widely. When you’re on a budget, it’s tempting to use a generic template from an online printer and call it a day.
But that would defeat the purpose of a well-designed business card. After all, business cards are your visual ambassadors. They’re tiny billboards that fit in your pocket and help you turn people you meet into customers, collaborators, and friends.
Take a look at the following charts for industry averages for the cost of business card design.
How much does a business card cost?
Free business card design options
Best for personal use
$0 to $50
|Business card design options||do it yourself||online templates|
|Quality and value||forgettable, generic||forgettable, generic|
|Who needs it?||personal use only||startups with no budget|
Affordable business card design options (best value!)
Best for startups, growing companies, agencies, marketers
|Business card design options||freelance designer or design contest||freelance designer or design contest|
|Quality and value||high quality, original||elite quality, original|
|Who needs it?||startups, growing businesses, marketers||businesses, agencies, marketers|
Grow your business with beautiful design.
Expensive business card design options
Best for VC-financed startups and multinational companies
|Business card design options||small design agency||large design agency|
|Quality and value||high quality, original||elite quality, original|
|Who needs it?||VC-financed startups||multinational companies|
FREE BRAND IDENTITY GUIDE
How can you determine if you’re getting a good value for what you pay?
Your company’s brand identity (everything visual about your brand) is one of your most valuable assets. And, consistent branding is the best way to build strong relationships with your customers. So, you should view your designs across all mediums as a long-term investment.
But, design companies and agencies typically charge thousands to tens of thousands of dollars for their services. And, you can easily find an amateur designer who will create a generic design from a template for only $5!
With such a wide price range, it can be tough to identify the sweet spot that will deliver you an awesome, custom business card design or other type of design, for a reasonable price.
Here are important elements that you should look for when you buy business card design services:
- Custom, Brand-Informed Design. Look for designers or design firms who create unique, original designs that fit your brand. That's one reason why crowdspring thoroughly vets, in every single design category, every designer who applies to work on crowdspring and accepts only a small number of applicants.
- Collaborative Process. Design is a collaborative process. If the designer doesn’t provide proofs for your review and isn’t willing to make changes based on your feedback, any price is too high. As an example, here’s how design projects on crowdspring work.
- IP Protection. Stock art and templates create problems with trademarking and protecting your design. Without a unique brand identity, you expose your business to potential future lawsuits. If the designer or design company lacks the procedure for preventing intellectual property and transferring ownership to you, any price is too high.
- The Final Deliverables. In the design world, the design files you walk away with are called your final deliverables. For each type of design, you should receive specific high resolution and low resolution files, suitable for online and print use. This is especially important for business cards since you will need to reprint them many times.
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Free and cheap business card design options: $200 or less
Obviously, the most cost effective option is to create your own business card design. By using free design apps or apps you already own, you can craft your own business card based on your vision.
But, not everyone has the talent, or time, to make a DIY business card. Plus, doing so would require you to know, or learn, a graphic design application such as Adobe Illustrator ($20.99/month) or Affinity Designer ($49.99). And, don’t forget - when designing your own business card, you also have to print them yourself – which is the bulk of your costs.
Instead, some people who have no budget or a small budget use online printers that provide generic business card templates. Online printers and printshops charge anywhere from $0 to $50 to purchase your business card design, plus the cost to print your business cards.
When should you use an online printer to design business cards?
If you have a tiny budget!
We’re serious. You’ll find many free or low cost generic business card templates on many online printer sites like Vistaprint, Zazzle, Uprinting, Officedepot, and more. But, those sitesoffer only generic, uninspiring, template designs that will make it impossible for your customers to fall in love with your unique company. There is nothing premium or professional about generic business cards.
Sure, you might be able to use a free template and save a few dollars, but it will end up costing you much more when you struggle to build a strong brand.
Templates don’t understand human emotion or psychology. Real designers understand how people think and how to create emotionally powerful brands.
The truth is that free business cards are never free.
Don’t fall for statements that you can create a professionally designed business card in seconds. This is not possible.
Look at the world's most successful companies. Not a single one used a generic business card to grow their brand. That should tell you something...
You’ll either pay for professional business card design up front with a small fee or suffer the inevitable consequences of bad design.
Generic templates will not leave a lasting impression on your audience and will not give you a one-of-a-kind, professionally designed brand identity. Even if you can customize generic templates, you will get an uninspiring, non-professional, generic design.
Simply put: there’s nothing unique, custom or brilliant about business cards that all look alike.
Affordable business card design options: $300 to $1,000 (best value!)
If you have a slightly bigger budget and need a high-quality professional business cards designed, freelance designers and design contests are your best option (both options are available on crowdspring). They also happen to deliver the best overall value.
Freelance designers can invest their time to create custom, unique business card designs that will help you stand out from the competition. You can share your company values and your vision, and have a professional designer create a business card design that reflects your unique brand.
Usually, freelance designer costs fall in the following ranges:
- Offshore Designer: $150 – $250
- Beginner Freelancer: $250 – $500
- Experienced Freelancer: $500 – $1,000
- Renowned Freelancer: $1,000 – $5,000
The last two price ranges don’t line up perfectly with a mid-range budget, but if you prefer to work one-on-one with someone devoted to your project, it might be worth your investment.
Similarly, design contests, like those you find on crowdspring, also incorporate a high-quality, professional, and personable process. Yet design contests go a step further, and allow dozens of designers to submit their own unique business card designs. At the end of the project, you pick the one you love best! And, importantly, you set your own price.
With design contests, not only do you get that superior quality (with the added benefit of many options) – you get excellent service and communication, all wrapped up into one price.
Typical prices you can expect from business card design contests are:
- About 40 designs: $300 – $500
- About 60 designs: $500 – $800
- About 20 elite designs: $800-$1,000
- About 50 premium designs: $1,000+
A business card design contest is a perfect fit for individuals, new small businesses, startups, growing businesses, agencies, and marketers.
Expensive business card design options: $2,500+
If you have a big budget, and are already a well established, multinational business, or want the 'complete branding package,' then brand agencies are your best option.
Branding agencies are equipped with talented teams of creative professionals. If using an agency for your project, they dedicate a team of creatives to design and plan your brand’s logo, business card, and brand identity. They also create a consistent visual style across your platforms, completing the all-inclusive package deal.
But the price can be staggering and out of reach for most businesses. Depending on your needs, and your budget, the following ranges represent typical agency costs:
- Local Agency: $2,500 – $3,500
- Small Agency: $3,500 – $5,000
- Mid-Sized Agency: $5,000 – $10,000
- Large Agency: $10,000+
As you can see, brand agencies costs are significantly higher than other options. But, if you have the budget to invest heavily in your brand, this is a good option for you.
How to choose a business card designer or agency
Below, we share questions you should ask before picking a designer or agency.
Are the designs original, or based on stock art or templates?
Stock art and templates are all over the Internet. That’s why so many amateur designers rely on them.
But stock art and templates are generic. If you use stock art or templates, your company’s brand identity will look like thousands of other businesses. You’ll simply confuse your customers and prospects. Look for a designer, design company, or agency that provides truly original business card designs to help your company stand out from the competition.
This is one reason why crowdspring has a zero tolerance policy for the use of stock art, clip art or templates in logo design projects.
How does the designer or agency protect your IP?
Original designs belong to the person who creates those designs, until intellectual property rights for those designs are legally transferred to a new owner.
In our digital world, where everyone has easy access to millions of designs on the web, it’s more important than ever to ensure that the designs you commission are original. Otherwise, you may find another business or designer knocking on your door with a cease-and-desist letter, requiring you to pay huge fines and forcing you to pay tens of thousands of dollars to rebrand.
That’s one reason why crowdspring, from the day we launched in 2008, has included a free, custom legal agreement transferring the full intellectual property rights to any original design you buy on crowdspring, to you. And, it’s also why crowdspring is trusted by tens of thousands of entrepreneurs, small businesses, brands, and agencies from over 100 countries.
Does the designer or agency offer reliable, timely customer support?
A great finished business card design is only part of the picture. How you get there is important, too.
Make sure the freelance designer, design company, or agency you choose has support staff available to help in case you run into an issue with your printer, your project changes direction or you just have a few questions.
The best designers, design companies, and agencies will offer support via phone, chat, and email 7 days a week to ensure you can get in touch when and how you need to.
How many designers will work on my project?
A single designer can only excel in a limited number of unique design styles. And, the lower the price, the fewer design options you’re likely to see.
If you’re not 100% sure what you’re looking for, it helps to see many options. And, a team of a dozen designers all providing varying artistic perspectives will ensure that you’ll find a business card design that resonates with you.
In what formats can I expect the final design files, and how will they be sent?
Your designer should send you a range of file types so that you can flexibly use the design in the future.
The most commonly used file formats are PNG, SVG, EPS, and PDF. The designer should send you files in each of these formats in case you need a certain format for future use.
Each format has its benefits. Here’s a quick summary:
- For digital purposes – from presentations to image watermarks – use PNG files. You can also use PDF and other similar formats They have a clear background and are a small file size. However, they can lose quality when manipulating the size.
- For printing on business cards, clothing, shipping containers, and more, use vector files. Preferably, vector files such as SVGs, EPS or AI are the best because they conserve quality regardless of size. There is no disadvantage to use a vector files, making them an essential file for you to have. Just remember you might need special software to view and change vector files.
- When you later need to make changes to a design, use SVG, AI, or EPS files.
And remember to request designs in CMYK and RGB colors for use in print and online.
Will I be able to easily ask others for business card design feedback?
Choosing and refining the perfect business card design can be tricky. And, sometimes, we get so close to the process that it helps to have outside opinions.
Not all designers, design companies, or agencies make it easy to share the created designs and get useful feedback to guide you. Look for a designer, design company, or agency that offers easy-to-use tools, like focus groups or polls, to get easy feedback without creating a lot of friction for you and your friends, colleagues, and customers.
Does the designer or design firm offer a money-back guarantee?
Design is a speculative field. You never really know what the end result will be. And, if you’ve been present and engaged in the creative process and you’re still not satisfied, sometimes it’s best to walk away.
Look for a designer, design company, or agency that offers a 100% Money Back Guarantee that covers all costs and fees paid.
When should you avoid specific designers or agencies?
Here are some of the classic warning signs a designer or design company may not be worth your money:
- They only ask basic questions like your business name and industry. A designer can’t differentiate you from other businesses when they aren’t asking questions specifically about your brand, the audience you want to reach, and the emotion you want your brand to convey.
- The price they are charging is too cheap to believe. For designers, time is money. A low price equates to little time and effort invested. This is true even for overseas designers who have become accustomed to being paid US rates for their design services. The quality of a design and the final deliverable files you’ll receive will both suffer if the price is too low. A unique, quality business card design evolves from a thoughtful and collaborative relationship with a designer - which will cost a bit more but is well worth the investment.
- No satisfaction guarantee. It’s a bad sign if the designer or design company doesn’t stand behind their work with a complete money back guarantee based on your satisfaction. If the designer isn’t confident enough in their work to offer a refund, why should you trust them with your brand’s visual identity?
If just one of these classic warning signs are present, you might want to keep looking for another designer or design firm.
What you should know about business cards
What is a business card?
Every day we interact with dozens of businesses, employees, and customers. But, it’s not enough to just interact. Even though speaking and interacting with them is an important step in building your business – sharing contact information, your brand’s call-to-action, and a sense of brand professionalism lays the foundation for success.
With that said, one of the easiest and most effective ways to relay that foundational information is through business cards.
Business cards are small (about the size of a credit card) and usually made of a thick paper. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes and typically contain your business details such as: your business name, your name, your position, your contact info, your company logo, and your slogan or call-to-action.
Business cards promote a personal touch when interacting with customers and business partners. But are they really important?
Why are Business Cards important?
Business cards act as pocket sized billboards. When designed well, business cards leave a lasting impression and attract devoted customers. They are an essential part of building brand recognition and should match the rest of your company’s branding and aesthetic.
Business cards also relay a personal touch.
A business card advertises your brand, shares your contact info, acts as an extension of your brand’s identity, promotes a positive customer or partnership experience, and leaves a good impression.
Just like a logo, business cards act as multi-purpose marketing tools, and should be able to:
- Strengthen the legitimacy of the business
- Develop human connections, resources, and relationships
- Build brand awareness
- Improve exposure
Business cards help a business appear legitimate
These days, information is everything. People take the time to look into brands before stepping into the role of a customer or investor. People look for five bits of information on your business card:
- Who you are? You should provide your name, job title, and the company you work for.
- What can you do for them? Make sure to state your company’s call-to-action or purpose
- How to get in touch? The cards should clearly show your cell phone or office number, and the company number, too.
- Where are you located? Be sure to indicate your office address and the hours of operation.
- Is your business card design welcoming? Simplicity goes a long way. Be sure your design is unique and reflects your brand.
There’s really not a more personal way to market your business. Business cards are made to be personally distributed and, with the correct information and design – they make your business much more attractive and memorable.
Business cards connect people
It’s hard to build trust and a true connection online. This poses a major issue in growing your brand. More specifically, personal contact and touch play a pivotal role in marketing; something that virtual interaction will forever lack.
Human interaction increases interest between the customer and the brand. Eye contact develops confidence, confidence enhances small talk and improves relatability, relatability boosts authenticity, and authenticity builds trust. It’s the circle of marketing: confidence, relatability, authenticity, and trust – all of which a good business card design and interaction should yield.
Business cards build brand awareness
Brand Awareness is not a one-and-done process. Rather, it’s a lifetime strategy for your business.
While the business card should echo the ambiance of your company logo, the physicality of the card enhances your customers’ experience with your brand.
If properly designed, business cards are impactful, memorable, and evoke emotions. Business cards should be distinguishable from competition and give a face for your brand. They serve as stepping stones for potential customers or investors to take the next step with your company.
Business cards improve recognition
With all that said, creativity is key. A creative design molds a unique one, and that is essential to pulling attention towards your brand. If people recognize your brand, they are more likely to interact with it, and more likely to share it.
You have to impress people with your business card design. The better the design, the better the impression, and the more people it will reach.
Money saving tips for successful business card design
Have a simple design
Ultimately, your card should have accurate, easy-to-read contact information. If people ca’t find that quickly and easily, your cards have failed. Make sure your business cards have the most essential information and keep the design elements minimal.
Many people scan business cards they’ve received (often with an app on their phone like Adobe’s free Scan). If the design is complicated or cluttered, scanned cards may not be legible.
Include only essential information
Standard business cards are just 3.5 by 2 inches. That’s not a lot of space to work with, and you want to make your cards as easy to read as possible.
What information should there be? Must-haves include your business name, company logo, your role or position, and the best way to contact you. Whether that’s via email, social media, chat, or the good old telephone, you should have a preferred method.
If you have extra space, you can add other ways to reach you, a headshot, or some other info, but try and keep whatever you choose brief. Don’t offer too many contact options, even if you’re a member of every social network on the planet.
Be thoughtful about using card space
To go two-sided, or to not go two-sided? Careful planning of how you use your card’s limited space is necessary.
Your card is a fundamental part of your brand, so it should be clean and well-structured. Two-sided cards might work well for your brand, or it may be better to stick to one side only. In general, when in doubt err on the side of simplicity.
When in doubt, stick with what you know
Yes, uniqueness and creativity are important. And, you may be tempted to make cards with unusual sizes or shapes. But, unless you can find a compelling reason to use something different, stick with the standards.
Most wallets are designed for regular card sizes, and ones with different dimensions or shapes can end up more frustrating than they’re worth (and end up in the circular file cabinet – aka the trash).
Think long and hard about what colors you choose for your card. Your brand’s primary colors may not translate to a card’s small size. Also, as we already mentioned, scanning cards is problematic if they’re not a light color. Make sure your card is optimized for readability. And remember, business cards with more than several colors will be more expensive to print.
Paper quality is important
Flimsy cards are like limp handshakes: they feel terrible in your hand and leave a poor first impression.
The quality of the paper you choose reflects on your business or products. If you’ve picked fragile paper or have printed them on cheap cardstock, you may make people feel like they’re dealing with an unreliable or low-quality company.
The type of paper you choose is also important.
Glossy paper is usually hard to write on, and people often write notes or other information on the cards they give out or receive.
A unique business card is a good first step...
Once you have your information planned out, it’s fun to try and think of interesting ways to make your card more useful to the recipient. Your card is a physical object, and as such, it can potentially have some interesting extra features.
For example, a landscaping company could print their cards on small envelopes that contain seeds. Or, a bike repair shop might have a card that doubles as a multi-tool. It could also be that a brewery’s card could include a bottle opener. Some more strategic ideas include adding promo codes or other coupons to your cards.
Cards with added functionality may not work for all companies, and their added cost could make them a non-starter. The added delight and brand recall that specially designed cards can have, however, may be worth the expense.
Your card can be the first volley in a long and fruitful relationship. It serves as a stand-in for you and your business and can be a powerful initial contact point for your brand.
Invest a little time to make sure yours is attractive, accurate, and on brand, so that handing someone your card is the first step in creating the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
How you can hire professional business card designers
We know you have many choices to design a unique business card for your company or organization. The most common method is to hire a freelance designer, and you can work 1-to-1 with an expert designer on crowdspring.
There are other ways to get your business card. For example, you can crowdsource your business card design by starting a design contest on crowdspring.
Nothing makes us happier than connecting people, businesses, agencies and nonprofits with talented designers.
We have a terrific community of designers and namers. Over 220,000 talented creatives from 195 countries work on crowdspring.
When you post your custom business card design project on crowdspring, you’ll get custom designs submitted by designers from all over the world. You won’t have to waste your valuable time digging through bids and proposals. You’ll pick your favorite from actual designs. In fact, clients have told us that choosing their favorite is the hardest part of the whole process!
When using crowdspring for business card design services, you can focus on getting the best result possible. We take care of everything else. With our award-winning customer service, hassle-free guarantee, customized legal agreements, strict intellectual property standards and fantastic project management tools, we know you’ll be happy. And if you’re happy, we’re happy.
And if you prefer to work with a single designer, we’ve got you covered. Just like a traditional crowdspring project, in 1-to-1 projects, you decide how much your project will cost. The minimum price for a 1-to-1 project starts at $200 (which includes crowdspring’s fee) and you can always increase the award.
Designers receive 100% of your award. Our fees cover the cost to host the project, our award-winning tools, escrow and payment, and custom contracts and non-disclosure agreements.
You and the designer you pick will be able to negotiate both the scope and the price for the project. When determining your award amount, please remember to price your project based on the scope of work. More labor-intensive projects deserve larger awards than very simple projects. You can set your own budget or you can ask the designer to provide a price quote based on the scope of work. It’s your choice.
We like to have fun at crowdspring, but we take our business very seriously. Although the vast majority of the businesses we work with are smaller, we regularly work with the world’s best Brands, including Amazon, LG, Random House, Starbucks, Barilla, Phillips and many more. We also regularly work with many of the world’s best agencies - and tens thousands of entrepreneurs and startups from over 100 different countries.
We would love to help you!
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Tell us what you need
Choose from 30+ categories, complete a project brief, and pick a package that fits your budget.
Creatives submit designs
Collaborate with dozens of creatives, give feedback and score, and get revised custom designs.
Choose your favorite
Work with the winner to finalize your favorite design and get print/web-ready files and full IP rights.
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Crowdspring is an online design platform linking businesses like yours with over 220,000 design and naming experts. Instead of investing over $10,000 with a branding agency - or paying an unknown freelancer for a single design you hope you like - crowdspring delivers dozens of custom designs to choose from for every project. With over 12 years of experience, we’re the reliable, affordable solution for small business.