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Whether you're new to graphic design or an experienced professional designer, you should always look for ways to make your business more efficient. Time is money, and the less time you have to waste on mundane, repetitive tasks the more time you can focus on designing creative artwork for your clients - and getting paid for it. Business cards are no different and are one of the most-used marketing materials on the planet. One of the best ways to speed up business card design and production is to use layout templates. Business card templates use a series of lines that not only set up the size and shape of the business card, but also ensure the business card will be printed quickly, efficiently and exactly as intended. Understanding the layout lines and following them accordingly means your clients' business cards will come off the press looking great. The lines are the same whether the business card has a vertical or horizontal layout. They are:
On business card templates, the bleed area is the area outside the actual card's dimensions that colors and lines must be drawn through to ensure edge-to-edge printing. If you're designing a business card with an orange background, for instance, you'll want to make sure that the orange color extends all the way to the outside edges of the bleed area.
This cutline represents the card's dimensions, and where the finished print job will be cut. Most presses have a variance of up to one-quarter inch, so even though your template has a cutline you'll want to take notice of the bleed area to ensure you don't have an uneven white border. You can use the cutline to help gauge the distance from your business card's edge to the graphic and text elements of the card, in conjunction with the Safety Line.
This safety area represents the safe area of the card. All of the business card's graphic and text elements should be inside this line or they could potentially be cut off, which is the last thing you want. Any elements placed inside the safety line area will not be cut off, leaving little room for ambiguity between the design on your computer and what the finished product will look like. Using business card templates to streamline your graphic design business is a great idea, because every time you start a new business card project you won't have to waste time setting up these lines - or worry that the final print will be ruined by a lopsided cut. PsPrint offers free business card layout templates for both vertical and horizontal business card layouts here. You should always take advantage of these free resources, because use of these templates will make your business more productive and efficient, will save worry and stress, and it will ultimately help you make more money faster.