Standard Business Card Dimensions

You can be creative, but ideally your cards should be a standard size

Business man holding up blank business card
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Although business cards can be any size or shape and made of any material, most of them are paper rectangles of standard dimensions.

The typical business card size in the U.S. and most countries is 3.5 inches by 2 inches. This size fits perfectly into the business card slots in your wallet or planner. Most of the templates you find in publishing or business card software and the free business card templates on the web are designed for this size card. 

This size is big enough to include pertinent information about you and your business and small enough to fit in a wallet. 

Designing Business Cards

Business cards can be horizontal (landscape), 3.5 inches wide and 2 inches tall, or vertical (portrait), 2 inches wide and 3.5 inches tall. Landscape is the most common orientation, but this is an area where you can be a little creative. As long as you maintain the standard dimensions, a vertically oriented card fits just as well as a landscape card in someone's wallet.

Folded business cards, also called double or brochure business cards are usually 3.5 inches by 4 inches, folded to 3.5 inches by 2 inches. They can be designed as top-fold or side-fold cards. These are trickier to use because the fold adds bulk, which might make a tougher fit in the recipient's wallet. 

When designing business cards with a bleed, use a document size of 3.75 inches by 2.25 inches. For a folded business card with bleed, the document would be 3.75 inches by 4.25 inches. This extra space allows elements run off the edge of the card. After they are printed, the extra card stock is trimmed off to the standard size.

As a general guideline allow a margin all around the card of at least 1/8 inch to avoid having text or images cut off unintentionally in the printing and cutting process.

Sizes of Business Cards

You aren't obligated to use a specific size business card. You can be as creative as you like with design and size, but it's always best to consider the person receiving the card. The whole point of the business card exchange is to give someone your contact information. If the card is cumbersome or hard to read, you've wasted your time and possibly annoyed the person who now has your card.

Although you don't see them often, square business cards that typically measure 2.25 inches by 2.25 inches or mini business cards in several sizes that include 3 inches by 1 inch and 2.75 inches by 1.125 inches, are in use.

Eastern Countries and Business Cards

In the U.S. and other Western countries, business cards are exchanged as a formality, and there's no expectation by either party about how to receive the card or any etiquette as to who hands out the card first. 

In some Eastern cultures, particularly in Japan, there are societal rules about how to present a business card (known as a meishi) to another person. The card is presented using both hands, held at the corners so the receiver can read the printed information. It's considered rude to cover that information. 

Then, the person who is receiving the card reads the card and thanks the presenter. It's a nice way to handle the business card transaction. Most of us know too well the feeling of handing a business card to someone we want to connect with only to see the person shove it in a pocket without glancing at it.