Types of Business Card Paper

Stack of business cards

Last updated on November 22nd, 2023 at 01:16 pm

In the hands-on realm of professional networking, the tradition of swapping business cards remains steadfast, even amidst our digital era.

These palm-sized emissaries are more than just paper with a special glossy finish – they’re a tangible extension of professional identity, a physical manifestation of how we wish to be remembered in the minds of those we connect with. But beneath the sleek finishes and elegant layout lies a decision that can subtly sway the perceptions of potential clients and partners: the choice of paper. 

Explore the various types of business card paper and understand how your choice of business card material can be as influential as the details it carries. Dive in with us to uncover what paper is used for business cards and make an informed decision.

What Paper to Use for Business Cards

Classic Business Card Paper

Classic business cards are printed most commonly on 14-point cardstock (thick), 16-point cardstock (thicker), and 100 lb. gloss cover (thin)These are the 3 most common types of business card paper used to create a classic style and feel. But, there are even more upgraded business card paper weight options available.

To help you visualize the difference between the 3 paper stocks: 100 lb gloss cover is thinner, less dense, and more bendable than 14 point and 16 point paper.

Today I’m going to be writing about the popular kinds of business card papers. This way you can get a better sense of what different printing companies use for standard size business cards.

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“Cheap business cards” are printed on 100 lb. gloss cover

Many small local printing companies and office supply stores will print on 100 lb. gloss cover. This business card paper weight is easier for small printing companies to print on because 100 lb gloss cover can be printed on common office copy machines. Thicker and heavier stocks like 14 point and 16 point require a heavy-duty printing press.

100 lb gloss cover is a cardstock. If you receive a lot of different business cards, you’ll notice that 100 lb gloss cover cards are more bendable and thin compared to the standard card. It works perfectly well for a convenient and cheap business card.

While the best paper for business cards can vary based on individual needs and industry standards, the versatility of 100 lb glossy cover makes it a worthy contender for this title, particularly for those who prioritize durability and want the best bang for their buck.

Let me repeat: 100 lb gloss cover feels perfectly fine, and it doesn’t feel cheap. Many new customers (coming from a small business, freelance, or personal background) show us the 100 lb gloss cover business cards they’re already using. Some are perfectly content with the thinner paper. Since they may not exchange business cards frequently, they are content with that paper.

14/16 point cardstock are the most popular business card paper types

Your business card is the first way that you will be remembered by a potential client or connection. Printivity wants to offer high-quality paper options, like 14pt Cardstock and 16pt “Extra-Thick” Cardstock, for business cards at affordable prices. Both paper options give a luxury appearance with a durable feel.

Business cards are meant to last, whether on a card holding rack, inside a person’s wallet, or even floating around in a person’s pocket or purse. 100 lb cover business card paper easily gets bent and ripped. However, 14pt and 16pt business card paper thickness can withstand more wear and tear.

Painted edge business card paper

Thick and Uncoated Classic Business Card Paper

Passing out unconventional business cards is the easiest way to make a lasting impression. There are numerous types of luxury business cards available, but sometimes, a simple upgrade may be all you need! Printivity has added 2 new paper options to classic business cards: 24 point and 32 point Uncoated Cardstock. 

Unlike 16 point and 14 point semigloss cardstocks, these new paper options are thicker, more durable, and textured. What stands out the most about 24 point and 32 point classic business cards is the uncoated finish. Business cards are commonly printed on semi-gloss paper finish for the smooth feel of gloss coated with less glare. Uncoated paper doesn’t have added coating. This feature allows you to feel the natural texture and eliminates any glare or shine. The texture of uncoated paper makes it the easiest paper type to write on with a pen or pencil without smearing. 

A successful business card depends on many factors, including concise information, attractive design, and durable paper. Durability is one of the most important elements that you should consider in your business card. The longer that your business card can sustain normal wear and tear increases the probability of the customer contacting you. Show that your company is built to last when you hand over a 24 or 32 point classic business card. The extreme thickness of these business card paper weights are less likely to bend or fray compared to less thick paper types.

How To Choose the Best Classic Business Card Paper Paper-Weight

If you were to go through your own stack of business cards from acquaintances, the most popular paper option would be 14 point cardstock. You can feel the slight thickness difference between 14 point and 16 point cardstocks. So, how do you choose business card stock that will work for you?

The first point to consider is your budget. 14 point cardstock is the more cost-effective option for business cards compared to 16 point cardstock. If you have a little more money to spend and you want to produce luxury business cards, it is recommended to choose 16 point. For an even more professional feel, consider upgrading to the 24 point or 32 point paper weight. 

The second point to consider is storage space. Business cards are usually held in wallets or briefcases so that they are readily available. If you want to hold the most amount of business cards, choose 14 point cardstock. The last point to consider is the level of professionalism that you want to exude. 14 point considered a high-quality paper, however thicker cardstocks give a higher level of professionalism and luxury.

Linen business card paper
Linen business card paper

Upgrade to a Luxury Business Card

When you want the paper to speak more about your brand than just your design, choose a luxury business card option. Printivity offers a variety of business card paper with different colors, sizes, textures, and thicknesses that are guaranteed to elevate your brand. 

Kraft business cards are a very unique paper option available because it has a natural brown color with a recycled paper feel. In addition to the one-of-a-kind paper, this is the only paper type available that allows for white ink printing. Kraft business cards are available at 18pt cardstock for a durable business card that will last.

Appeal to your customer’s sense of touch with the raised cross-hatched texture on light-weight 100 lb linen business cards. Colorful designs stand out against the bright-white linen paper. Choose to shimmer in the light with the 14pt pearlescent metallic effects of pearl business cards. This one-of-a-kind paper type will stand out against every other paper type available.

The next 2 business card paper options are double the size of the 16 pt original business card paper type, at 32 pt thickness. However, the way that these two options are created makes them distinctively different. 

Painted edge business cards are a single sheet of smooth, uncoated paper with hand-painted edges that come in a wide variety of colors to fit your brand. For a more unique appearance, choose triple layer business cards that are created exactly how they sound. A branded color sheet is sandwiched between 2 white sheets of paper for a layered appearance. What makes these business cards the most versatile option of the luxury cards is that you are able to add premium lamination. The gloss, matte, or soft touch lamination to adds another impressive element to your triple layer business card.

Business Card Tips

Creating exceptional business cards goes beyond just choosing the right paper; it’s a fusion of design, content, and the tangible experience they offer.

The first step is understanding the types of business card paper available; each choice, from textured linen to heavy matte, conveys a distinct aspect of your brand’s ethos. Begin with a clear, legible font to ensure your information is accessible. Your logo, a vital brand ambassador, should resonate with your professional persona, balancing uniqueness and industry relevance.

Opt for a high-resolution design to avoid any printing blurriness, ensuring your visuals are sharp and engaging. Regarding materials, don’t compromise on paper quality; the best business card paper is synonymous with professionalism and can speak volumes before a word is spoken. A sturdy cardstock reflects your commitment to quality and attention to detail.When selecting a finish for your business card, consider opting for matte, glossy, or textured options to best compliment your business card paper. A thoughtfully designed card is more than just conveying information; it provides a tactile experience, serving as a tangible embodiment of your professional presence in the real world.

Are you still undecided?

Contact Printivity for free paper samples of 14pt, 16pt, and every finishing option that we offer! We want to make sure that our online customers are given the options and resources to make informed decisions about their print products. If you have any questions, call us at 1-877-649-5463. 

Do your business cards need to have more character and uniqueness? Printivity now offers a wide variety of business cards with distinct textures, thicknesses, and sizes! Learn more about these luxury business cards before choosing which one is best for your brand.


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