Make Your Own Business Cards

Many new business start-ups don't have the funds to hire a professional designer and printer for their business cards. The good news is that you can make and print your own business cards from your home or office computer. Whether you need business cards for your small business or whether you are creating a personal calling card, technology has advanced enough that you can create a professional image with only a little time and minimal computer knowledge.

Computer Programs

You can use basic PC software to create good looking business cards. The most common program available on most PCs is Microsoft Word. Those who complete basic graphic design such as simple brochures may also have Microsoft Publisher. Both are user-friendly programs and will help you get a business card quickly. Both allow you to add information to both sides of the business card.

When working with Publisher, go to the "New Publication" pane, click "Publications for Print" and choose "Business Cards" from the list. Alternatively, you can click "File" then "New" to access the business card templates. Next you'll need to decide if you'll be using "Plain Paper" or "Special Paper." The latter can refer to thicker business card paper, paper with gloss or paper with another non-typical surface like textured paper.

The template is very easy to work with. All you need to do is select the "Business Card Options" pane to change the color and font style. If you wish to add a logo, click the "Logo" in the options pane and insert clip art or a company logo you've already downloaded to your computer.

To print, choose landscape or portrait orientation in the "Orientation" field. Insert the number of sheets you'd like printed under the "Copies" choice. Both the orientation and copies field can be found under "Options." You can set the cards to print a single card per sheet of business card paper or multiple copies per sheet.

When working with Microsoft Word, you'll need to create a new document under the "File" menu. When the new document shows up, open the "Tools" menu and choose the "Envelopes and Labels." Select the size of business card you'll be creating from the pull-down menu under "Options." Type in personal information and insert graphics and logos if applicable.

There is also more advanced software available to create business cards. These include graphic design software like Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator. These require more extensive knowledge to use and often hands-on knowledge of graphic design and the design process.

Online Business Card Creators

There are also a variety of online business card creators you can use to make a professional looking card from your home or office computer. Some you will need to purchase, while others are available for free.

The free ones provide only limited options. In most cases you'll have a choice of fewer than 10 font styles; often less. You'll be able to align text to the left, right or center, but you won't be able to do much else. Occasionally you'll be able to make the text bigger or smaller and you may be able to bold or italicize it. The free online card creators will allow you to upload your own image or logo and you must work with the creator's layout design.

If you wish to create a professional looking, unique card using an online business card creator, it's a better idea to invest a few dollars and buy one. Be prepared that sometimes the registration process for the software of some of these card creators can be annoying, according to users.

Tips for Great-looking Cards

Buy yourself a cutter at your local office supply store to make sure the edges of your cards look crisp and clean. Don't depend on the perforations on business card paper.

Use fresh inkjet cartridges when printing your cards so that the blacks look rich and the colors vibrant. You can sometimes save money by purchasing the cartridges in bulk.