How to Print My Own Business Cards

By Joshua Smyth

Business cards are an important part of your professional identity. Not only do they provide you with an easy way to pass your contact information to others, they also give you a chance to express yourself by choosing a design. Although large companies will provide you with business cards, if you are self-employed you will need to order or make your own. Printing them yourself is simple, quick and economical.

Things You'll Need

  • Printer
  • Word-processing software
  • Card stock

Step 1

Design your card. If you are using Microsoft Word (the most common word-processing program) you can download templates that give you a page full of predesigned cards into which you only need to add details. Otherwise, websites such as Business Card Star, DeGraeve, and BusinessCardLand (see Rresources) all let you choose designs and colors, then produce a PDF that you can download and print, for a fee.

Step 2

Buy business-card paper that matches your template. Any office-supply store will be able to sell you paper that is prescored into business cards, but still in sheets. Avoid the type with perforated edges, as it looks very unprofessional. You can also choose to buy uncut card stock and cut it yourself later.

Step 3

Choose a finish for your paper. You might want a glossy one if you are printing a design with your photograph on it. Otherwise, linen or parchment finishes add professionalism to text-based cards, while color card stock is good for colored, design-heavy ones.

Step 4

Connect your computer to a printer and turn both on. Open the PDF or Word file containing your card template; if you are printing double-sided cards it will be two pages, with eight or 10 copies of the front on the first page and eight or 10 copies of the back on the second.

Step 5

Load one sheet of normal paper into your printer and click "File" and "Print." In your print dialog box, you need to make sure that the "Scaling" option is not checked or is set to "None." If it is set to "Fit to Page," the printer will shrink your cards. If there is an option allowing you to select "Print Maximum Area," check it. This will allow your printer to go close to the edge of the page. With some printer drivers this is located in the print box; others will require you to click "File" and "Page Setup" to find it.

Step 6

Click "Print Double-Sided" if you are doing double-sided cards, then click "Print." This will let your printer do a test run on a sheet of regular paper. If the test run shows problems with the ink, you may need to pop out the ink cartridge and clean or refill it. It's better to do this first, so as not to waste a sheet of cards.

Step 7

Fill your paper tray with the card paper you bought, and select how many copies of the template you wish to print. Since you will get either eight or 10 cards per page, you can just take your total number of cards required and divide by eight or 10 to find how many pages to print.

Step 8

Select your printer's highest print-quality setting and click "Print." Stay by your printer to clear any jams; this will avoid any wasted card paper.