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The Business Card Quality Checklist
By charen smith
So you already have a design ready to be sent to that card printing service. You had a whirlwind session with your graphic artist, and you are extra enthusiastic of how it will turn out. Hold on however. Before spending all that money in card printing, you have to review every aspect of your card before it gets produced 100 or 500 times over. Any mistake or design error that isn't caught early enough can be detrimental to your card. So reviewing them thoroughly assures you that you will be getting the best quality card that you can produce. This is what separates a great card from other poorer quality and cheap cards.

To help you out in reviewing your card design, you need a checklist. Below is the standard card quality checklist that most professionals go through to review cards. Go through it one by one, and see if your card options and designs are up to current standards.

Paper Stocks – First, and foremost is the card paper stock or more specifically its card stock. Not all cards are printed in the same type of card stock. There are differences in the thickness, coatings and textures for each type of card stock. To be sure that you have the best quality cards, aim for the card stocks that offer protective coatings such as UV and moisture resistant card stocks. Some card stocks may also have a sheen or glossy effect that makes it look better. Just ask your card printing service for your options regarding card paper or card stocks.

Now, for the quality of your card stock, simple try to bend it a bit and see if the paper follows the fold immediately or not. If the paper stock is easily bendable, then you have lower quality paper stock and you may want to change it if you like. Also try to test if the paper stock easily absorbs water, and if it sheens or not. Lack of moisture resistance and light reflectivity is also a sign of a not so perfect card.

Ink Quality – Next, we have the ink quality. The card printer's ink quality

can depend on the printer itself. There are several types of this. It can be offset printing, digital inkjet or digital laser jet printing. Each has a different way of embedding inks into paper, and also they have different types of ink. To test the ink quality, simply run down a few drops of water in front of your design. If the ink “runs” and is easily water soluble, you have a mark of a bad quality ink, and printer. So check this on your sample printing when it comes.

Design Composition – Next on the items in our checklist is the design composition or layout. This refers to the positions of your design and content elements in your color card. It can be the placement of pictures, the positions of certain text, their font styles and of course the overall theme. Basically, you need to check if all the design elements mesh together to form a coherent design. This design must match the image that you want to project, and it also has to match the prevailing design standards of the time. If you design looks outdated or messy, then it might not be up to snuff for the best cards out there.

Content Thoroughness – Lastly, be sure to have all the content that you need printed in your card. The content must be as thorough as it can possibly be. Be sure to have your name, job title, company name, address, contact numbers, website information (if applicable), company logo, tag line and sample service/product list all included in your content information. Be as inclusive as possible so that you can maximize all the information that you want to give in one card delivery. If your card content is not this thorough, you may find yourself wasting time physically writing in the missing information which can be difficult. So check the content before going to printing.

That should be a wrap for the checklist on cards. By going through a review process using this checklist, you should be able to print cards that are high quality, professional looking and very attractive to contacts. You won't be wasting your money in card printing if you do so.
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