Thinking of doing without business cards? Think again.
Even in today’s high tech world, business cards are a great way to stay connected. You may be tempted to do without business cards. After all, social media tools are how most people stay connected these days, right? Business cards seem outmoded. Plus, you don’t want to go to the expense of hiring a designer or going to a print shop to create a business card for your small business.
But, it’s often quicker to exchange business cards than to type contact information into your mobile phone. Having a business card handy to pass out when needed makes good business sense.
Consider this. You are at a trade show and you just made a great contact. You want to speak with them further, but suddenly they look at their watch and mention that they have an appointment. “Can I have your card?” the contact asks.
Fortunately, you decided to use business cards. You reach into your pocket and hand them your business card. And they hand you theirs. They’re gone for now, but you’ll call them next week if you don’t hear from them sooner. This is how business card etiquette works.
While you need business cards, you don’t necessarily need a designer or a print shop to create professional business cards. Instead, you can do it yourself. In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to create your own inexpensive business cards using Microsoft Word.
How to Make Business Cards in Word: Begin With Planning and Preparation
You can readily create an inexpensive, yet professional business card using MS Word. It does, however, take some upfront planning first to make sure your design is on target with your brand goals. You should also have the assets you need to work with in-hand before getting started. Here's what to prepare before jumping into Word:
1. Choose Your Fonts and Colors
How your business card looks is important. Your business card should make a professional impression. Choose the right fonts and colors that match your card design to your brand identity.
Generally speaking, select colors and fonts that are appropriate for your field. Fluorescent pink and orange might draw attention to your business card, but for some industries those colors could seem unprofessional. Likewise, a playful font is probably an inappropriate choice for a conservative business.
Also, your business card is part of your marketing strategy. It should match or complement your website, stationery, and other marketing materials. Your target market should be able to recognize that your marketing materials come from the same company.
You could also choose various sizes for your business cards, but if you’re new to creating business cards it’s best to go with the standard business card size of 3.5 inches by 2 inches. Learn more about various business card sizes you could use:
If you’re not a professional designer, it’s a good idea to use a business card template to make sure that your business card has a balanced, professional look. Word has some templates available online that you can use, which we cover deeper in this tutorial.
Now that you’ve determined how your business card is going to look, you are ready to gather your business information to put on your business card.
2. Decide What Information to Include
Business cards are small and there’s limited space to include information. Yet, you want your contacts to be able to reach you.
You may be tempted to cram as much information onto your business card as possible. Don’t do it. A cluttered card looks sloppy and unprofessional. Instead, focus on including these essential bits of information:
- Company name
- Company logo
- Name and title (if there is one)
- Contact information
- Social media links (only if you have a strong social presence)
For a more thorough discussion of what to include on your business card, read:
Make sure you have that information prepared and assets like your logo readily available. Now, you are ready to make your own business cards with MS Word.
3. Create Your Business Card in Microsoft Word
There are basically two methods of using MS Word to create a business card:
- By using a Word template
- By using a table in Word
I’ll go over both methods in detail in the next sections.
Note: This tutorial is based on the version of Word found in Microsoft Office 365. The process for earlier versions of Word might be slightly different.
How to Use a Word Business Card Template
Use the following steps to make your own business card design using a template in Word:
Step 1 - Search for a Business Card Template
Open a new document in Word. Now select the New option on the left of the screen to display common templates.
To choose one of the online templates, type the words “Business Card” into the Search bar and press the Enter key.
Step 2 - Browse Through Available Templates
Use the scroll bar on the center right of the screen to browse through the various business card templates available online.
Step 3 - Create Your Card From a Template
When you see a business card template you like, click on it to enlarge your view of the template. Click the Create icon to download the template into your document.
For this example, I’ve downloaded a template from Microsoft titled “Flower personal business cards.” Even though the pink color and flower image don’t fit with the business, I know that I can easily change them to match the professional brand of my sample company.
If your copy of Word is registered, your name should already appear on the template.
Step 4 - Insert Your Logo
Next, let’s change the image to reflect our business logo. Click the flower image in the template to select it. From the menu at the top of the screen select the Insert option and then click on the Pictures icon. Find the folder where you store your corporate logo and select it.
Note: We used the Coloright logo template, from Elite Author Opaq, for this logo design. Discover more inspiring logo templates from Envato Market.
Click the logo you want to add to the business card to replace the original image. Click Insert. Since the template contains multiple cards, continue the process until all the original images are replaced.
Note: Anytown Consulting and Juan Perez are fictitious entities created for the purpose of this tutorial. They are not intended to represent any real persons or organizations.
Step 5 - Customize the Text
The next step is to change the color of the name text. To do this highlight the entire name and select the font color icon from the toolbar menu to display the font color palette.
For this example, I’m going to select a dark blue to go with the blue in the logo. Click on a color in the color palette to replace the color of the selected font.
Before we go any further, replace the template information with your business information. To do this, highlight the template text to be changed and type your information over it. You only need to do this on one card and the information will be replaced on all the cards in the template.
Let’s pretend that our example company doesn’t have much of a social media presence. For that reason, I delete the Twitter information from the template. If you have an active professional social media presence, type your social media information here instead.
Step 6 - Change Your Font
Our card looks pretty good now, but let’s make one final change. The font used in our logo is a sans serif and the template font has serifs. Let’s change the font on the business card to a san serif font for a better match.
To change the font type, highlight the text you want to change. Go to the font selection option in the toolbar and click the arrow to display the available fonts.
When you find the font you want to use, click on it to replace the font in the selected text.
You’re now ready to print your business cards, but first let’s look at how you can use a table to create your own business cards.
How to Use a Word Table to Create a Business Card
You can also use a table to create your own business cards in Word. Here’s how:
Step 1 - Setup Your Document
Open a new document in Word. Once you are in a blank document, click the Layout menu option. Click the Margins option in the toolbar. Use the Custom Margins option on the menu to change the top and bottom margin to .25”.
Step 2 - Insert a Table
Click the Insert option on the menu and click on the Table icon. When you click on the Table icon, a grid appears to allow you to define the number of rows and columns in your document. Highlight five rows and two columns.
Click the Insert Table option on the drop-down menu to add the table to your document. Select the entire table by highlighting all the cells. Right-click on the table to bring up a new drop-down menu.
Step 3 - Adjust Your Table Properties
Click the Table Properties option on the submenu. The Table Properties dialog box displays.
Click on the Center icon. While the entire table is highlighted, also click on the Center Text icon in the drop-down menu that appears when you right-click on the table. This centers any text or graphics you add to the cell.
Next, click the Cell tab at the top of the Table Properties dialog box. Now it is time to define the size of our business cards. Place a check in the box next to the Preferred width option. Type 3.5” in the field next to Preferred width and click OK at the bottom of the dialog box.
Click the Row tab at the top of the Table Properties dialog box. Place a check in the box next to the Specify height option. Type 2” in the field next to Specify height and click OK at the bottom of the dialog box.
Your document should now look like this:
There are a total of ten business card size cells in your table.
Step 4 - Insert Your Logo
You are ready to start adding information to your business cards. Start with the cursor in the top cell. Click the Insert Option on the menu at the top of the screen, then click on the Pictures icon.
Find the folder where you stored your corporate logo and select it.
Note: We used the Coloright logo template, from Elite Author Opaq, for this logo design. Find more great logo design templates from Envato Market.
Click the logo you want to add to the business card and click Insert. Continue the process until all the business cards have a logo image.
Step 5 - Customize Your Text
Now it’s time to add text to your business cards. First, find and select the font you want to use. To change the font type, highlight the text you want to change. Go to the font selection option in the toolbar and click the arrow to display the available fonts.
You can also change the color of a font. Click on the color in the color palette to replace the color of the selected font. To do this highlight the text you want to change and select the font color icon from the toolbar menu to display the font color palette.
Next, click beneath a logo image and type in your information. Your finished business cards will look like this:
Your business cards are ready to print. You could also turn the table borders off, but I prefer to use them as a guideline for cutting the business cards apart.
How to Print Your Business Cards at Home
You’ve now learned how to create business cards using two separate methods. But before you can use your business cards, you’ll need to print them. You’ll need the following:
- High quality card stock
- A printer that can print card stock
- A paper cutter
You can find card stock in your local office supply store. Some card stock is especially designed for business card use and comes with extra software templates you can use to design your business card. The card stock may even be perforated to make it easy to pull the cards apart after printing.
A laser printer provides the best quality print for your business cards. Make sure that it has the capability to print card stock. If your card design has color, you need a color laser printer.
To print your business cards, load your card stock into the printer. Open your business card document. Click the File option from the menu at the top of the screen. Click Print from the menu on the left of the screen.
Check to make sure that your printer model displays under the Printer option. If necessary, change the printer settings. If desired, increase the number of copies to be printed. (Remember that each card stock sheet prints ten business cards.)
When you are ready, click the Print icon on the upper left of the screen. Your business cards print and are ready to be cut apart.
When cutting your business cards apart, be careful. It’s important to cut straight lines. You may need to use a professional cutting tool like a paper cutter.
How to Make Your Business Cards With InDesign or Photoshop
As your business gets larger, your business card needs become more sophisticated.
When your small business is ready to move beyond the simple business cards you can create with Word, consider using InDesign or Photoshop to make your own business cards. With these professional design tools, you can create a more unique or sophisticated business card design.
To learn more advanced techniques for creating business cards, review the following tutorials:
- 10 Top Tips for Designing Your Own Business CardsGrace Fussell19 Jan 2016
- How to Customise a Business Card Template in Adobe InDesignGrace Fussell03 Dec 2015
- Making a Print-Ready Business Card Using Only PhotoshopCollis Ta'eed24 Oct 2007
If you do know how to use InDesign or Photoshop, or have someone on your staff who can work with this software, consider using a professional business card template from Envato Market. Or, browse through these curated collections of inspiring, professional templates:
- 24 Premium Business Card Templates (In Photoshop, Illustrator, & InDesign)Sean Hodge11 Aug 2021
- 20 Creative Business Card Templates (Colorful Unique Designs for 2022)Sean Hodge
Business cards are not outdated to use. Rather, they are still an invaluable marketing tool. Business cards don’t have to be expensive either. In this tutorial, you’ve learned how to make inexpensive, simple business cards in Microsoft Word.
A professional business card is a marketing tool that represents your company. Make sure that your business card colors and fonts coordinate with your other marketing materials. Don't forget to include a way to contact you on your business cards.
When your small business is ready to move up to a more sophisticated business card design, InDesign or Photoshop can help you achieve more impressive results. You’ll find plenty of professional business card templates at Envato Market.
Don't overlook the importance of business cards for your small business marketing.