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01-21-2018, 02:03 AM   #1
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Making business cards?

I'm just wondering if anyone has had a stab at making business cards at home before? I'm not really looking to go hardcore with any design or print in mass numbers, I have an Canon iX6800 printer that can take A3 size, LR and PS subscription, I'm sure I can find a youtube vid to help design and make a card, I guess I then need to find a suitable card (for printing on) and get myself a guillotine (which I was intending on getting anyway for cutting photo prints down for framing)?
The idea is to just be proactive with the camera, take shots in public and have a card on hand to pass onto those people snapped etc.

Does anyone know if you can get card that's suitable for printing like this? Templates in LR to work with etc?

TIA!

Bruce

01-21-2018, 02:46 AM   #2
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Bruce, I can't help with the "how to" for this... however, unless you particularly want to print your own, I'd say you'd be better off using one of the many "free business cards" suppliers.

Here in the UK, there are several companies who produce small batches (50 or 100) of decent quality business cards for free and charge only a small postage fee. The compromise is that their contact details are printed on the reverse of the cards, so they're getting a bit of advertising. But for personal and small business use, they're more than adequate
01-21-2018, 03:34 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
Bruce, I can't help with the "how to" for this... however, unless you particularly want to print your own, I'd say you'd be better off using one of the many "free business cards" suppliers.

Here in the UK, there are several companies who produce small batches (50 or 100) of decent quality business cards for free and charge only a small postage fee. The compromise is that their contact details are printed on the reverse of the cards, so they're getting a bit of advertising. But for personal and small business use, they're more than adequate
Cool! Dunno if we have that out here, can check.
01-21-2018, 03:38 AM   #4
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You can buy business card stock in standard paper size that is perforated in business card size. There are free templates available to help with this. I have some made by Avery, they are easy to use, and donít look perforated on the edges when taken apart. You can obviously print a sheet at a time.

01-21-2018, 03:49 AM   #5
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I’ve had business cards for years for several businesses. Having cards made isn’t expensive and they are obviously professionally done, but I’ve made many of my own also.

There is perforated card stock which works well, or you can do it from sheet and cut your own. I liked using a professional semi-gloss or luster myself.

Microsoft Word for Windows, Libre Office on Linux, and just about every other word processor has a template for business cards, or as stated, you can use Avery which is one of the most user friendly. I used Photoshop or Gimp and created from there, cropped to the proper dimensions, and filled a page.

When you do one you like, it’s very rewarding and a great exercise in editing!
01-21-2018, 07:35 AM   #6
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There are inexpensive suppliers, I've used VistaPrint which exists in the US. They have sales all the time. I think 500 basic one sided cards cost me under $20 with shipping (Canadian price). I have printed my own on cardstock, etc, but this was easily worth the $20. I've had a few screwups with VistaPrint orders, and they always re-print and ship without question. They exist to crank out high-volume value printing and keep me from having to punch things, especially printers.
01-21-2018, 08:42 AM   #7
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One advantage to having it done is that usually do-it-yourself cards are printed with inkjet (unless you have access to a color laser-jet printer) and are not waterproof. Depending on your intended use, it could be embarrassing if one of your cards gets wet and runs.

That said, you can format a sheet of cards using a program like Photoshop, have the sheet printed on a good stock, and cut it yourself saving some cost (though most printing services can do the printing and cutting for a pretty reasonable price).
01-21-2018, 09:31 AM   #8
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I have printed on card stock and cut them myself. There are templates in almost any common document software, for example Microsoft Word. You can get the card stock at Wal-Mart. I have a Fiskars cutter with a rotary blade that I used.

I do not use inkjet printers anymore since I got a black/white laserjet printer, so I would be doing black/white cards if I did them now. The internet or getting something printed at a local printer that you create yourself might be your best option for color, instead of messing with an inkjet printer.


Last edited by C_Jones; 01-21-2018 at 09:39 AM.
01-21-2018, 10:19 AM   #9
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I've used the perforated card stock before with good results, although some will leave a soft edge when separated. Look for the ones that specify micro-perforations. It's handy if you want to do short runs of just a few sheets at a time so you can customize the ancillary information as needed. I've also used VistaPrint in the past and have been pleased with the result. The last time I got some printed there, they were still running their '250 cards for free plus shipping and handling' promotional, which ended up costing about $5 or $6, but they haven't done that one in a long time.
01-21-2018, 04:12 PM   #10
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I've used Avery perforated Sheets to make business cards for a some time - before that I used a system that used a special paper / card stock which was finished by applying a solution which sealed the card and gave a high gloss finish. Once you get over the satisfaction of doing it yourself it just becomes tedious & a pain in the butt. l always seemed to run out of cards when it was most inconvenient ! The Avery perforated card stock, while it does the job is not heavy enough or water resistant and I always felt a little self conscious handing one to a client. Vista Print here in Australia is advertising business cards which you design yourself online using there tools, they print & send them out for less or not much more (I haven't done the math) than the Avery card stock, and min quantity just 250 cards. I was at a printers the other day on other business and inquired about cards, I just ordered 1K cards for under $100.
01-21-2018, 07:49 PM   #11
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I use Moo for mine. I've used Vistaprint for my very first ones. While they are ok for very simple graphics and colors, if you try to do photos or anything advance, they don't come out well. You don't have to print a lot of cards with either. They will print 100 or 200 no problem. You'll do a lot better with a commercial printer than you think. If you buy Avery cards, you'll spend $20 or so. You can spend just a bit more than that or that much with a professional printer and have a much, much, much better card.

How to design or what to put on them? Well, that depends on what you are trying to do. Here's my first one (quality is meh because this is a photo of it--I don't have the whole design as a file):


I designed this card to tell people how to contact me. It's simple, generic. While I did take the photo of the lens on there, there's nothing terribly memorable about this card. It's effective in what it's doing, I suppose, but it's very generic and just plain boring. It has no sample work on it. In 2017, I handed out this card:



This card is much nicer. For one, it has the logo that a friend of mine (she's the girl in white on the right, actually) designed for me; I use that in my watermark and it's far better than what I was using. It's memorable, pleasant to look at and unique. In addition, it has some sample work, although none of it terribly showcases my work all that well. It does mention the genres I shoot and shows an example of each but, mostly, they're just nice photos that make the card stand out more. It also has my IG on it, something I didn't have when I made the previous cards. I actually put stickers on the back of my 2016 cards with my IG info on there when I made one half-way though the year. I had too many cards to just throw out. (Eventually, I did just that, using them for note cards.)

I printed this one with Vistaprint and was dissatisfied with the result to the point where I didn't feel I could hand them out and be taken seriously. They gave me a full refund. I use the scrap cards for notes and such. I had this reprinted with Moo and loved the results.

Some context: I go to anime and comic conventions and photograph people in costume there. I also work on location (most of my work), but the cards are designed to be handed out at big conventions. Most of the time my sessions are arranged in advance (so the person knows who I am) but sometimes I shoot groups in which I only know one or two people (the organizers of the group) and the others are new to me. Sometimes even then I walk up to someone I think has a cool costume and ask her if she'd like to shoot. Often, she won't know me. She might know my work, however, if she's seen it from her friends.

That first impression I make when I approach someone on the spot is the key to getting that shoot. She needs to know her time is going to be well-spent and she'll get good photos. A professional presentation is the key to doing that. Handing her a card that instills confidence does just that. To that end, I redesigned my cards for 2018 not only to use more recent works (2017's card features photos from 2016, so 2018's card features work taken in 2017) to these:



I have four of them because I couldn't just pick four photos from all my 2017 stuff. Even getting 16 was hard enough! Plus, most of these girls are my friends and have really given their all in projects I've cooked up. It's a little way to show them some appreciation and convey I really think they do special things. The approach is really different from the first card: on this one, the contact info is mostly secondary. I realized it's not the purpose of the card. The point is to be remembered. At a con, a cosplayer will get a STACK of cards and she won't always remember (or sometimes keep) everyone she gets. This card fixes that. But more than that, when someone first sees this card, she can be confident she's going to get some good photos back.

So how did I design it? Well, for the 2017 card (the four vertical ones), I decided I'd use four portrait photos after playing with the layout and just selected who and what to put on there. For 2018's card, I picked a lot of photos to begin with. I tried to get them across my subgenres--boudoir, cosplay, stories, swim, etc.--but it wasn't critical to get each one on each card. Instead, I grouped them by themes, sometimes constraining my picks to that theme once I had 75% of it. The themes are:

Card 1 (upper left) = "dark and moody," featuring photos from a concept story (lower left), casual portraiture (center), cosplay (lower right), and swim (upper right)
Card 2 (upper right) = "purple," featuring photos from boudoir and three cosplay images (lower row)
Card 3 (lower left) = "bright and colorful," featuring a cosplay story shot (upper right), and three cosplay/swim images
Card 4 (lower right) = "trees and forests," featuring all cosplay images, one of which is a story with some photoshopping

Each of the girls on these cards is a good friend. It shows what a good year 2017 was for me, among other things. Several of these are among my most popular shots ever (as shown by Instagram/Facebook response), so I know they will make immediate impact.

------------

As for printing, Vistaprint is like $20 for 500 cards or something. You get what you pay for. I paid $80 for 400 cards on Moo for my latest set. The print and stock quality is very much worth the price. For both vendors, you can just design your card in Photoshop and upload a high quality JPEG (or other format) as a complete design. You can also design cards from their templates in their web editor. For my first card, I uploaded the image and then added the text in their interface. Or you can start from scratch.

Remember that as a photographer, you are making your name sheerly on visuals. If you're handing out something dull and boring, it's not sending the message you want. Dazzle the clients visually. Don't overwhelm them: my design is not gaudy or trying too hard. It has my information easily found and then sample work designed to impress and inspire confidence. Spending a bit more on cards is a necessary thing because you want something high quality.

Last edited by MadMathMind; 01-21-2018 at 07:57 PM.
01-22-2018, 12:05 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by BruceBanner Quote
I'm just wondering if anyone has had a stab at making business cards at home before? I'm not really looking to go hardcore with any design or print in mass numbers, I have an Canon iX6800 printer that can take A3 size, LR and PS subscription, I'm sure I can find a youtube vid to help design and make a card, I guess I then need to find a suitable card (for printing on) and get myself a guillotine (which I was intending on getting anyway for cutting photo prints down for framing)?
The idea is to just be proactive with the camera, take shots in public and have a card on hand to pass onto those people snapped etc.

Does anyone know if you can get card that's suitable for printing like this? Templates in LR to work with etc?

TIA!

Bruce
For the price of making them, you are far better off to get VistaPrint or some such to do them for you.
01-22-2018, 02:47 PM   #13
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I'm a printer/ production manager, I have also managed art and design departments, and have to say, you will be happier with a proper card, and so will the people getting the card. As a point of contact betwix you and the client, a professional Bcard is just like a first impression, hand over a cheap and nasty bit of lightweight card, that is all ruff on the edges from tearing apart.... I always say, think about what your impression would be is somebody handed you a dodgy looking homemade bcard, and telling you they were a professional.

I must admit, you can design them yourself, also, Vistaprint online has a good self design setup, and you can get a good bcard from them, (not as good as one you could get from me of course :-) , but we are commercial printers and yes, price much higher than buld run bcard sellers ) I am in no way affiliated with Vistaprint, they are technically competition, but they do have the online design you sound like you need.

Also, remember , less is more on a bcard, don't clutter it up with everything you do, and your life story, it's a contact, look at the professional design cards, they are simple, a logo, name contact details, links to fb twit, flikr ect. keep the design clean, don't be tempted to use overly fancy fonts, in the end, they look a bit tacky, and are actually harder to read. Keep text away from the edges, Most of the online bcard templates will actually already have clear space on the boarders so text cant get cut off, its fine to bleed colour and photos off edges, again, its about a clean design. It gives a clear message about what you do, and who you are, and how to contact you.

cmohr
01-22-2018, 07:31 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by BrianR Quote
VistaPrint...They exist to crank out high-volume value printing and keep me from having to punch things, especially printers.
They have hundreds of customizable templates. I got 3 sets of 500 each - I think it was $48 total. Heavy and stiff card stock. Happy.
01-22-2018, 07:45 PM - 1 Like   #15
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My quick mock up with Vistaprint, yeh prolly go down this route.
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