Using Online Tools for Business Card Design

Posted by: Matthew Geer on Jun. 21st, 2011
Online Tool

One option when needing business cards is to design them yourself. This can be a cheaper alternative to going out and having them professionally done. There are many programs out there for creating business cards. Some are online, while others are downloadable. The intent of this article is to show you what's out there, as well as highlight the pros and cons of going this route for your business card needs.

Designing Your Business Card Online

Designing your business card online is a convenient method, not to mention reasonably priced when compared to other methods of having a card designed.

How it all works is simple. You go to one of these sites, either with a finished design or an idea. If you have an idea, you'll start the process by choosing a template. This will determine the design and layout of your card. If you already have a design on hand, you'll just upload it to the site.

After you've chosen a template, you'll then add your information. Using the WYSIWYG editor, you’ll choose your font style and size, the images you’d like and background design. Once you've done all that and double checked for errors, you'll choose the stock that you'd like to use and how many cards you need. Then you pay and wait -- you should see your cards in 1-2 weeks. The time frame will depend on the site you use.

Pros to Designing Your Business Card Online

I think one pro is obvious -- the convenience. You can design, buy and have your business cards delivered to you from one place. This is all done without you having to leave the comfort of your own home.

Another benefit to designing your business cards online is price. While this will certainly vary from site to site, as well as on your design, choice of stock and finish, you'll find that the prices are reasonable. Especially when compared to other means like hiring a designer or doing it yourself with software such as Photoshop.

Cons to Designing Your Business Card Online

One downside to designing and ordering business cards online is that you don't have a choice as to where the cards are printed. This might be a big deal for you. Maybe you want a sample run done at your local print shop. This would be faster than ordering 50 business cards online and waiting for 1-2 weeks for the cards to come in. Maybe a site has a template you like, but isn’t very good when it comes to printing and shipping. Regardless of the reason, having the option to go elsewhere would be ideal.

Something else to consider is the uniqueness of your card. Your card isn't going to be unique since it's a template made available to thousands of others. Sure, you can have a custom design made and upload that, but I'd imagine that a majority of people use these resources to keep their costs down. So that's worth keeping in mind.

Business Card Software

Another DIY option for designing business cards would be to buy software specifically made for business card creation. A couple examples would include Business Card Designer Pro from Belltech Systems and Business Card Designer from Biz Card Software.

Using this software will be similar to designing your cards online. You'll upload your own design, or choose from preloaded templates. You'll than add text, choosing from several font types, sizes and colors. You can also choose what colors you'd like to use, as well as images if you have them.

The key difference between designing you cards online and using computer software is that with computer software you can choose where to have your cards printed. You can do them yourself, take them into your local print shop or upload them online and have someone like Vistaprint or Moo print them off for you.

Pros to Business Card Software

There are a couple pros to using business card software. As I already mentioned above, convenience is one of them.

Another is being able to take your design(s) and choose where you have your cards printed. You can even print a sheet off using your computer if you wanted to see how your logo, design or color choice looked on actual paper verses a computer screen.

I also like how some programs streamline the process. The Business Card Designer, for example, will save your information so you can just press a button and have it all entered for you. Having a full editing setup is nice too (to cut, paste, crop, undo, etc).

Cons to Business Card Software

There are definitely a few downsides to business card software.

The first one that comes to mind is cost. Not the price of the software though. You can find software for $20-$40 which isn't bad. But that doesn't include other costs like:

  • Paper and ink if you choose to print yourself
  • Costs of having someone else print your cards for you. And the cost of shipping if you do it online.
  • Time spent. You'll need to review and find software, learn how to use it and then print your cards, or shop around and find someone to do it for you.

When you factor in these costs, using software to design your business cards is expensive, especially if you don't intend on needing more cards in the future.

Another con that comes to mind is quality. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but your cards aren't going to be amazing or one-off. It's not like a graphic designer is making these. I'm sure they'll be nice though, given what they are. Also, don't forget that the quality might be even lower if you print them yourself if you're not properly setup to do so.