DIY Your Own Paper Business Cards
Knowing how to make your own business cards on a computer requires a few things. It can sometimes save time and money over professional printing.
Knowing how to make and print your own business cards on a computer only requires a few things such as common software, business card sheets and an ink jet or laser printer. Printing your own business cards can sometimes save time and money over professional printing, particularly when small quantities or temporary cards are needed; and the quality is acceptable for part-time home-based business or hobby use. However, if you are printing large quantities of business cards, weigh the price difference between professional printing and doing it yourself. Printer ink and toner are expensive and will add considerably to the cost of producing your cards in large quantities. Business card sheets are sold pre-perforated, 10 cards to a sheet, and are available at office supply stores. Business card design programs may be purchased from office supply retailers or found online, or you may use your current word processing program if it offers business card or label creation templates and a printing option.
Purchase perforated business card sheets at your local office supply retailer. You may have several color and finish options to choose from depending on the brand and sheet type carried by the retailer. Purchase and install the business card design program on your computer by following the instructions, or check your word processing program for a business card or label design template. In earlier versions of Microsoft Word, for example, you can find the business card option by going to the “Tools” tab, selecting “Letter and Mailings” from the drop-down menu, selecting the “Labels” tab in the dialog box and selecting the business card sheet brand name in the label dialog box. In Microsoft Word 2007 or newer, click the “Mailings” tab, select the “Labels” icon on the upper left and select the “Options” button in the dialog box to choose the printer, business card sheet vendor and product number.
View and study the layout and design of business cards you’ve collected, or go online for examples to gain an understanding of design elements. This will help you develop an attractive design for your card. Design your business card according to the instructions in your program. Generally, you will compose the card by adding text, logo, border, background or other design elements in a template, using prompts or selecting options as necessary. Save and name the computer file in a folder of your choice or on the desktop for easy retrieval. Understand the limitations of your printer and design skills to avoid frustration and assist in your design composition. Professional business cards use a number of printing processes depending on the card design, such as metallic foil stamping, raised or engraved printing, half-tone photographs and gradations and other processes and techniques that are not possible with computer printers.
Print Your Cards
Load the business card sheets into your printer according to the instructions included with the sheet package. Open the business card file and select the “Print” command, usually located in the drop-down menu under the “File” tab. Print one sheet to ensure the card design is lined up, prints properly and is to your satisfaction. Print the remaining card sheets to the quantity you specify and separate the cards by folding and tearing along the perforations. Make certain you have enough ink or toner to avoid wasting partially printed sheets, and “babysit” the printer while it’s in operation to check quality and to deal with jams that may occur. Homemade business cards are limited in paper stock weight and finish varieties due to the limitations of personal computer printers. The use of paper of heavier weight and finishes not specified by your printer may cause printer jams and damage. Avoid the use of homemade cards for professional business use if possible. The quality of the print and weight of the paper can appear amateurish when compared to professional printing, and may reflect on your credibility.