Business cards are cards bearing business information about a company or individual. They are shared during formal introductions as a convenience and a memory aid. A business card typically includes the giver’s name, company or business affiliation (usually with a logo) and contact information such as street addresses, telephone number (s), fax number, e – mail addresses and Website. Before the advent of electronic communication business cards might also include telex details. Now they may include social media addresses such as Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter.
Traditionally many cards were simple black text on white stock; today a professional business card will sometimes include one or more aspects of striking visual design.
Business cards are printed on some form of card stock, the visual effect, method of printing, cost and other details varying according to cultural or organizational norms and personal preferences. The common weight of a business card varies some by location. Generally, business cards are printed on stock that is 350 g/m2 (density), 45 kg (100 lb) (weight), or 12 pt (thickness).
High quality business cards without full-color photographs are normally printed using spot colors on sheet-fed offset printing presses. Some companies have gone so far as to trademark their spot colors (examples are UPS brown, Los Angeles Lakers’ purple, and Tide’s orange). If a business card logo is a single color and the type is another color, the process is considered two-color. More spot colors can be added depending on the needs of the card. With the onset of digital printing, and batch printing, it is now cost effective to print business cards in full color.
To simulate the effect of printing with engraved plates, a less-expensive process called Thermography was developed that uses the application of a plastic powder, which adheres to the wet ink. The cards are then passed through a heating unit, which melts the plastic onto the card. Spot UV varnish onto matte laminate can also have a similar effect.