Choosing a Hierarchy & Layout for your Business Card


How to Design Business Cards


Lesson Info

Choosing a Hierarchy & Layout for your Business Card

Topography is the art of choosing letter forms and arranging them on a page it's a huge part of graphic design so choose your type wisely this is crucial to a good design no mistakes can be made on this part of your card let's take a look at some checklists when it comes to typography the's air things to consider is it a well crafted typeface designed by an expert? Can you see it it's small sizes so you you could get really small with your point sizes on a card starting at seven point five going up to ten but anything larger can get clunkier it does work in some cases but remember small works well depends on the design of the font to some don't look ledge a bill a seven point five we'll talk more about that later is it available in a variety of weights? Is it available in a variety of styles? Does it fit the contents stylistically and most importantly do you love it so one thing I love about my card is that's my favorite front right now so just looking at it makes me happy and if you'r...

e designing your card, you're going to be working with this typeface so you should like it so our first example we're going to use a simple sensor of typeface that everyone knows helvetica and in this case we're going to use helvetica dna law which is a newer version of helvetica redrawn by eric speak erman it comes in a variety of weights, which makes it really useful for our purpose so we can use a thin weight or a bold way, depending upon what information we want to stand out on our card. If I only owned helvetica regular, I wouldn't be able to set type at least not in large amounts with any sort of contrast, so I couldn't pull out moment it's of in bold or make some lighter. So it's important to have a tight family that has a lot of different weights. Alignment so you've got four options for a lineman on your computer, left justified, centered and right. We're going to go through these now and again, we're using helvetica because that's something that everyone has on their computer. It's a fairly neutral typeface. It works well in every situation, so you can see this is ah left aligned card. I just used some dummy information from creative live and it looks ok. That's just me working in designed typing it out that's what it looks like centered. That looks all right to a little bit boring. Let me try to justify it oh, that does not work, so if you want to have a full block of text you have to really tweak it and work it and it should be a lot of content so it's not going to work on a business card what the software is going to do is it's going to try to make up for spaces or it's going to try to finagle the letters into a square by adding spaces that don't work and don't feel natural so this does not work and the right aline it works ok for the most part we're used to reading things that air left aligned so that's the most digestible and easy to read so I like the left aligned helvetica don't even try the justified and centered and right works well again, it depends on your content in your goal so moving forward with our selected favorite we've got left aline helvetica it's set a ten point and right now it's at the default letting so letting is the space between the lines ines of text and I think here even ten point looks a little bit clunky forming a bump it down to eight so eight starts to feel a little better and it's still legible I'm also going to increase the leading so I'm gonna increase the space between the lines of text and if I increase it by two it already starts to breathe a little bit easier looks more elegant so when you're changing the default letting you usually want to increase it and do it as much as you can on the small business card and you'll you can play around with it and you'll like what you see the general rule is that letting should be one hundred twenty percent larger than the size of your fund, so if it's a ten point, it will be twelve point, but I still want to pull out some of the information on the card, so what I'm going to do is I want people to see the name first, I want that to be the focal point, so I'm gonna set that in all caps, then I'm also going to separate some of the information below her title so that it creates to levels of information. So you look at the name her title, and then you start to read the other stuff, so I'm starting to like the way this looks it's starting to look considered it's starting to look designed. I'm going to separate the information out even further and pull her name and title and into a separate column, right when you're working with type and you set something in all uppercase, all the rest of the text should be all lower case because you want to create that contrast if you use upper case type, and then you said the rest and sentence case. It's sort of like you're going back and forth so you want to create a high contrast so with the upper case pera with lower case that's just sort of a general rule and also make sure that here margins are precise so you want an equal margin with on each side of the card also on the top and bottom but here we're not working with the top of bottom yet because we don't have a ton of information we've just sort of got it floating in the middle but at the same time it looks anchored and you want to make sure that both lines of text so her name in that first line are aligned by the baseline so that is the line upon which the type falls so they're sitting on the same baseline tracking is when you create spaces between letter forms so tracking looks really good when you add it to all capital letters. So here I wanted to add a little bit of additional flavor, so I loosely tracked her name and it's in all caps and it's bold, so I went from here to here. So you also see that I took out some of the information because I don't we don't receive a whole lot of snail mail here, so I don't think that that's relevant if people want to find us, they can go to our website and get the address there I separated out her title. I'm starting to like the way this looks right now, as a designer, you probably will go through every possible option for layout in size. So I mean, just in this case, we did about eight, and then you can see the one card in the middle that I didn't touch on where I just tried to do in the name really big sort of is the focal point, but it's fun to look at all the operations that you go through when you're playing with alignment, letting tracking, separating information, getting rid of information, adding information, the options are never ending. So with the card we settled on, I'm gonna add our logo so there's the card with our creative live logo. What I also needed to do was change the font. So before I had helvetica on there and our house fund for creative live, our brand fund is actually a typeface called gotham. So I changed the typeface on the card to gotham, and I like the way this looks. I like the negative space between the logo on the information it kind of gives you a chance to breathe and rest arise. I think the name stands out, it looks pretty good margins look good, so that's us working with the sand saref and alignment

Class Description

Go to any professional networking event and you’ll still see printed business cards in circulation. Business cards make exchanging the full-range of contact information easy and well-designed ones make a lasting first impression. Learn to design your own in How to Design Business Cards with Lara McCormick.

Lara will teach you everything you need to know to create well-designed, attention-grabbing business cards using Adobe Illustrator or InDesign. 

You’ll learn:

  • The basics of selecting and combining fonts
  • Ways to emphasize key information
  • Layouts: alignment and grids
  • How to incorporate logos and color

You’ll get tips on choosing between standard or custom sizes and how orientation and spacing impacts readability. Lara will show you where to find unique typefaces and she’ll offer tips on printing orders of all sizes. You’ll also get a collection of business card templates you can customize.

Paper is sticky - make the most out of your next introduction by leaving behind a beautifully-designed custom business card that represents your personal brand.

The DIY series is for creatives who want to create designs for themselves. The classes are geared toward beginners who aren’t necessarily ‘designers’, but need materials to represent themselves (or their small business). Classes labeled DIY are project-specific, under three hours in length, and priced affordably. Learn to design what you need quickly and easily.


a Creativelive Student

I'm designing my first business card and Lara took it step by step so clearly that I've got something I can be proud of right out of the gate. She showed great strategies to make them professional and attractive and bonus ideas about how to get people to keep them around for reference. That's pure genius!

creativelive student

Lara is incredibly knowledgeable and explains all issues clearly. How nice to have an instructor who is professional, with deep levels of information. I've been making my own business cards for years, and still learned a lot.