Because of the popularity of digital networking and marketing, many people think that the good old business card is no longer a viable business asset. Although business cards may seem like a thing of the past, they are still excellent marketing and promotional materials even in this digital age. In a previous post, we focused on choosing and using appropriate font styles and colour schemes for your business cards.

For this post, we’ll take a look at another important consideration when it comes to creating an impressive business card – the business card paper or commonly referred to in the design world as stock. Remember that you’ll want a business card that conveys a sense of professionalism, and the selection of stock is one factor that can positively or negatively impact this impression.

The Weight of the Paper

The weight of the stock (ie. the thickness or thinness of the paper or, if you want to use the more technical term, it is referred to as GSM which stands for grams per square metre) is one important consideration as this can have an effect on the final output of the business card. Lighter stock (the thinner ones) are indeed cheaper and may seem more cost-effective, especially if you’re working on a limited budget.

However, it is rarely advisable to use such stock because for one, the ink may show up on the other side of the business card, which is never a good thing especially if you intend to use both sides of the card. This is unlike heavier papers which can hold ink very well on both sides.

Lighter stocks are also less durable. Flimsy paper will easily tear, and when it does, you cannot expect the recipient to patch it up and keep it for long. Besides, cheap stock does not reflect very well on the business card owner as it has a less professional feel to it.

A higher gsm stock (thicker card) is ideal for a higher end, elegant or luxurious brand.

The Colour of the Paper

Stock comes in a wide variety of colours – one particular colour can have a further range of hues and shades available (i.e. light blue, royal blue, sky blue, etc.) The colour of your stock is a key factor due to several reasons.

For one, you can opt for stock colours that matches your brand. However, you may also want to use a colour that provides high contrast with your print colour to enhance readability (this is where your graphic designer comes in). As a general rule, consider what background colour you want your text and images to have, and choose the stock colour accordingly.

The Paper Finish

You also have the option to print your business cards with a varied range of different finishes. Matte, gloss and un-coated stock are the most commonly used. However, there are also special papers, textured, and photo card stocks, not to mention special finishes that are available to you to give your logo that extra special touch to stand out.

Stock finishes are a great choice since they can greatly enhance the professional appeal of your business business card. They can also help form an impression on the recipient, making them think that you’re not only well-funded, but that you also care a lot about the image you want to project to potential customers, clients, and business partners.

A great business card is both about great design and quality, and quality often reflects not only your business brand, but on the kind of stock you choose to use for your business card. Business cards made of quality paper feels great in the hands, is indeed special, and it conveys a sense of professionalism.

If you’re not sure about which type of stock to use for your business cards, or you want your business cards to have that extra WOW factor, feel free to consult with a professional graphic designer. With their years of experience in the field, they will be perfectly capable of helping you pick the right stock for your design and business needs. They can also provide you with samples! (Who doesn’t love samples!?)