Seattle Community

Dale Cooper
Dale Cooper
Foremost Printing & Graphics
San Diego, California

Was this article helpful?

Be the first one to rate it!
0 votes

How much do business cards cost?

We ask 'how much is' knowing little about what is involved in reaching that price. For business cards, three basic answers are needed to create a price.
Written Feb 20, 2009, read 2758 times since then.



It's really in our nature to ask, "how much is it?" Have you noticed, that we not only ask how much something is, we tend to ask knowing next to nothing about the item we want to buy! Can you honestly make a comfortable purchase decision without knowing what you are getting for your hard earned money?

This leads into my favorite printing question, "how much are business cards?" Your guess is as good as mine! This is by far the most asked question I get and when I answer it, I use a short version of what's below.

To keep the answer simple (and this goes for any print job), there are three basic questions we need to answer: Quantity, ink color or colors and what type of paper.

Quantity - how many do you need? When looking at business cards, there isn't a big difference in price between 250, 500 and 1,000 cards. What you need to decide is how many makes sense for you. If you expect to make changes in the layout, keep the quantity small. Even though it may seem like you are paying more for the shorter runs, why throw out a pile of unused cards because you changed something in the layout? If your message is set and fixed, go with the larger quantities. If you are doing a lot of networking (and you are doing a lot, right), it may make sense to look at a larger quantity as the savings can be substantial.

Ink Color - how many colors do you need? 1 works fine and can even appear as if you used more colors by using tints of that color. As you add colors, the cost of the card increases. Each additional color requires extra setup costs. As the number of colors in your design increases, it begins to make sense to consider full color, CMYK printing. These can be a tremendous buy (we have a special on 2,500), but may not be a fit for your message. Using CMYK, we can simulate the appearance of multiple colors without the cost of running each individual color.

Paper - to start, you have 2 choices of paper finishes, coated or uncoated. Coated paper has a shine to it and typically comes in white only. It is typically used for CMYK cards. Uncoated is just that, no shine. Uncoated paper can then be split into three choices, smooth, linen and laid. Smooth is just that, a smooth finish. Linen paper has a very fine texture and laid has a somewhat coarse texture. The uncoated paper color choices very widely depending the style you choose. There are colors from several choices of white to extra bright, fluorescent colors.

By educating a prospect or client about what they are looking to purchase, they will feel more comfortable pulling the trigger and making the purchase. So, when you call asking "how much are business cards," you will need to answer the three basic questions for us to arrive at an accurate answer: How many do you need, what ink colors do you want to use and what type of paper would you like them printed on?


Learn more about the author, Dale Cooper.

Comment on this article

No one has posted a comment yet. Be the first!

Get Published
Tweet this article!

Article tags

  • how much
  • business cards
  • printing
  • ink color
  • paper

Related Articles