Best Business Card Paper Stock 2022

stack of black and white business cards

A business card is a must-have for business owners. If you run a store, shop, restaurant, bakery, and even private services, you should own one. They are vital pieces you must own because they help showcase the service you offer, and they can also attract more customers to your business.  If you simply look at it, you may think it is easy to choose the type of business card you want. From designs to texts and patterns; you have all these ideas figured out already. However, one thing most people fail to consider is the type of paper stock these business cards are created from. To help you make an informed decision on the best business card stocks, we decided to publish this post.

How to Choose the Best Paper for Business Cards

Besides making a visual design on a graphic design tool, there's so much to consider when creating business cards. The essential factor to consider when you want to make a business card design is choosing the correct stocks to suit your design plan. So significant is this decision that it can affect the final look of your proposed business card. It can also influence the texture and feel of your card.  We are big on how your card feels because it gives your final print an edge over other marketing materials. After all, The ability to touch and feel printed materials, especially business cards offer stronger memories and connections when compared with digital counterparts. The choice of business card stock also plays a significant role in the final appearance of your business card. In fact, The reflection and shine of your business card are primarily influenced by the choice of stock. Here, we've classified business card stocks according to their thickness and finish. These are the essential factors to consider when choosing stock for your business project (see also business banners).

Thick or Thin stocks?

thin stock

You’ll mostly find stocks in three standard business card weights: 12 pt.,14 pt., 16 pt., 17 pt., and 24 pt. thicknesses. However, these stocks come in different finishes, including gloss, matte, High Gloss (UV), and a host of others which we’ll discuss as we go on. As a rule of thumb, most business owners want as thick stock as possible. The reason is that more stagnant stocks usually feel more massive and more substantial; this gives business cards a considerable advantage. Thicker stocks also appear sturdier and look better over a more extended period. Another reason why these stocks are popular is that they are excellent for those who want to print on both sides; this is because you wish the card to keep its integrity even when covered with ink. Thinner stocks, on the other hand, are generally more affordable. However, they may feel somewhat flimsier and a tad bit less professional. Exceptionally thin stocks that you may see or get at substandard discount printing services may lack the ability to hold ink well on both sides, resulting in early deterioration. However, you will also find somewhat standard thin socks. For example, there is a standard 14 pt. card stock that is quite substantial and thicker than typical with many printing services. These thin stocks can also handle printing on both sides with no issues. So, you have to look out for the right balance of economy and durability to make an excellent choice for many business cards for yourself and your sales team. Suppose you and your employees want your business cards to have a more upscale feel, the 16 pt. and 17 pt. It will do you a lot of good. They are excellent for handouts to VIPs and preferred customers or a more high-end feel for your business.

Glossy, Matte, UV, or Uncoated Finishes?

Most times, each finish comes with its own set of recommended applications. And to be honest, no finish is necessarily better than the other. Here are the basics you should know concerning each standard finish along with a few recommendations for application.

Gloss

The gloss-coated stocks reward users with some protection to wear and moisture. It also gives a beautiful shine. Glossy stocks also have a hand in lending an extra bit of sharpness and contrast to the visual design of your business card. They are perfect for those who love a business card with a modern appearance. You can get a gloss finish in thick or thin stock. 

Matte

Similar to gloss stocks, matte business card stocks are also coated for protection purposes. But in the other sense, they are far less reflective when compared to gloss-finished stocks. With matte-finished stocks, colors appear more subdued but also remain solid without the “washed out” look common on most inferior business cards. This also makes them an excellent option for easy reading. Although, they also feel a tad bit less slick, and offer a pleasant texture. They are also high on classic designs and have a nice feel. But some protection is required

female business card

UV / High Gloss Finishes

UV / High Gloss coated stocks offer more contrast, shine, and vibrancy. It is best if your business card will contain a photo. The reason is that it will best bring out all the finer details. It is also an excellent choice for business cards with designs that should stand out dramatically. UV / High Gloss finishes are available in 12 pt. cardstock high gloss and  12 pt. High Gloss (UV) Front.

Coated Stock

This kind of stock is excellent for those who love sharp and crisp images. The reason is that ink stays on top of the paper. Besides, The more ink absorbs into a stock, the less intense the photos appear. Coated paper is widely favored among photographers, restaurants, designers, and artists because it sheds the best possible light on their images.

Uncoated Paper Stock

Due to the fibers of the wood and other fillers, uncoated papers (for example, copier paper), are quite rough when compared to the coated stocks. Uncoated stocks are usually bonds, offsets, cards, newsprint, and a host of others. They are typically porous, and this makes them soak up more substantial quantities of ink. Moreover, uncoated paper stocks do dry faster to the touch of ink, as the ink is mostly absorbed into the porous paper. However, it is easier to write on them as the surface accepts the ink more than a coated stock. Uncoated stock mainly absorbs more ink because it’s not as smooth as coated paper. Uncoated stock is popularly used for printing envelopes and business letterhead for an exquisite and classy look. They also allow a very textural feel, even more than matte-coated stocks. Uncoated stocks offer pleasantly subdued colors. Buy although colors seem that way, they remain clear with these uncoated options. These stocks are a great way to complement a brand that wants a classic or “natural” vibe to go with its image. They are available in 14 pt. and 17 pt. 

uncoated stock

Most favored stocks for business cards | Paper Types

Asides from thickness or thinness and varying finishes, there are other stocks that one should understand before making a decision. These different stocks will help you decide which one is the best for your business's brand and the personality you'd like to portray.

Silk

As the name implies, silk business cards usually have a silky texture coupled with a matte finish. You can get them in any size, and you can also pick how thick or thin you want them to appear. For instance, the 16 point business cards are created with multiple layers stacked on top of each and also give room for unique die-cutting. That means you can opt for a single, double, or triple-layered card up to a 48 point thickness or you can go for less.

Suede

With suede business cards you get a soft, suede-like feel due to the usual suede lamination process that they undergo. They usually appear luxurious and elegant and are offered in black or several vibrant colors. You can get them in a wide range of points and sizes.

Cotton

Cotton cards feel less dense. Moreover, these cards may create a spongy feel for your business card. For this reason, do well you stay away from multiple layers if you decide to make them. Regardless of this limitation, cotton stocks are excellent for a letterpress business card effect. They can also handle a comprehensive range of designs; from minimalistic to extravagant. Order business cards online today.

FAQs

1. What is a good cardstock weight for business cards?

The most common paper weight for business cards is 300 GSM. Paper with a thickness of 14 Pt, or 0.014 inches, is sturdy and hefty, yet has some give and flexibility. Paper with a GSM of 400 to 450 is ideal for business cards.

2. What is the best card stock?

The best card stock for business cards is thicker and textured paper, such as linen. This type of paper will have a more luxurious feel to it and the ink won't run off too easily.

3. What kind of paper do you use for business cards?

Business cards are traditionally printed on a paper stock that is heavier than regular copy paper. The most common types of business card papers are:
-Cotton fiber, which has a glossy finish and feels soft to the touch
-Wood pulp, which is more durable and thicker than cotton fiber
-Recycled content with recycled fibers for an eco-friendly option 

4. What is standard business card thickness?

14pt is the thickness of a flyer or brochure, which is the standard for business cards. Greeting cards and manilla folders are about the same thickness as 16pt cards. The card will be thicker if the 'pt' value is higher.

5. What finish is best for business cards?

The best finish for business cards is a glossy finish. This will give the card a professional look and feel, which is perfect for professionals who want to make an excellent first impression on potential clients or employers.

Frequently asked Questions

The most common paper weight for business cards is 300 GSM. Paper with a thickness of 14 Pt, or 0.014 inches, is sturdy and hefty, yet has some give and flexibility. Paper with a GSM of 400 to 450 is ideal for business cards.
The best card stock for business cards is thicker and textured paper, such as linen. This type of paper will have a more luxurious feel to it and the ink won't run off too easily.
Business cards are traditionally printed on a paper stock that is heavier than regular copy paper. The most common types of business card papers are:
  • Cotton fiber, which has a glossy finish and feels soft to the touch
  • Wood pulp, which is more durable and thicker than cotton fiber
  • Recycled content with recycled fibers for an eco-friendly option
14pt is the thickness of a flyer or brochure, which is the standard for business cards. Greeting cards and manilla folders are about the same thickness as 16pt cards. The card will be thicker if the 'pt' value is higher.
The best finish for business cards is a glossy finish. This will give the card a professional look and feel, which is perfect for professionals who want to make an excellent first impression on potential clients or employers.
3 Comments
  1. David

    Thanks for sharing such a valuable post with us. I am gonna bookmark this site. I have also seen your post it is awesome!

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    • Thomas Clarence

      You made an interesting point when you talked about how it is important to pick the right kind of paper that will suit your design when creating a business card. It seems like you could work with a printing company if you don't know what kind of paper you are going to need. A printing company is going to have all of the different types of paper which will allow you to look through them and pick the right one.

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      • Print Britannia

        What a detailed article! I got some outstanding ideas from it! Really it is very important to know the basics of business card scales needle. As a DIYer, I have to do much research on some good topics. The business card is my present topic of research. Whatever, very much pleased to get such outstanding ideas! Thanks for them!

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