Business cards are renowned for their versatility, and their capacity to be adapted into any shape or size, but the vast majority of professionals like to stick with the standard, conventional business card size
. This makes it easier to purchase holders to store them, it makes them easier to receive and to keep hold of, and it ensures that, in the case of a large business, all employee business cards have the same dimensions.
Unfortunately, the standard size for a business card varies wherever you are in the world. Whether you are in Slovakia or South America, the variations may be just be one inch or one centimetre added to the height or width of the card, but the difference is there for all to see. For global corporations this often means they source printed business cards from local suppliers
, and for those who travel a lot, it is seen as prudent to present a business card that has been printed with the dimensions that the hosts are used to.
What the Experts Say About Business Card Sizes
Neil Forrest, Online Sales Director at CardsMadeEasy, which prints business cards in a myriad of shapes and sizes
and supplies them to businesses and individual professionals at low cost, says, "The business card is a further representation of the self and the brand, so the size and the dimensions are often an important feature. Those that conform to the standard size make it easy for the recipients of their card to store and keep hold of the cards in the future, and those that make the extra effort to have business cards printed in the size relevant to where they are in the world will be seen as highly respectful of their hosts on foreign business trips."
He adds, "Though it seems such a trivial matter in the design of cards, the size and shape is perhaps one of the most important aspects of the card in general, as it dictates what the card can include, who it will be handed to and how it will be retained after the exchange."
Business Cards In The UK and Europe
The UK's standard business card size is 85 x 55 mm, or 3.346 x 2.165 inches
. This creates a nice, rectangular space for people to work within, offering plenty of room for design tricks and innovative features on the card, whilst also conforming to the standard size for business card holders, suit pockets, wallets, and other places that business cards tend to be stored. A number of other countries in Europe also use this traditional size, including the leading business centres in Germany, Switzerland, France and Italy. Scandinavia, Slovakia, Hungary and the Czech Republic all use variations on this size, usually either 90 x 50 mm or 90 x 55m,
meaning that across Europe the deviation between regional business cards comes down to a matter of square millimetres.
Standard Sizes for Business Cards Across the Globe
The other predominant size that is used across the world is the standard size for the US and Canada. This measures in at 89 x 51 mm, or 3.5 x 2 inches exactly
, making it slightly longer and slimmer than those used on European shores. All of the US and Canada's business card design tools will use this size as a default, and some will make the most of the slightly different space dimensions and use the card portrait instead of landscape. This can, of course, be done with the UK and Europe cards, but the dimensions of the US versions lend themselves more effectively to this approach.
Other card sizes across the world include China's 90 x 54 mm
and Japan's 91 x 55 mm
. Credit-card sized cards measure in at a very precise 85.60 × 53.98 mm
, whilst the conventional A8 dimensions are sometimes used, but are much smaller than traditional business cards at 74 x 52 mm.
Many professionals trying to get noticed in a sea of other similar individuals opt for different shaped cards, including circular cards, cards shaped like speech bubbles or triangular cards, but it can often be difficult to store these, and whilst they may have an immediate impact on the recipient, their non-standard size can result in them being lost due to them not being able to sit comfortably on a pile with a number of other business cards.