Regular followers of this blog will know that in the middle of the month, I publish a "What is ....? post. The article covers various aspects of paper, printing and finishing in greater depth. However, many of these subjects are complex, so these posts are only intended to be a brief introduction to the topic.
What is ...the correct size for a business card?
Business cards developed from the calling card, which became an important part of 18the, 19th and 20th century social etiquette. Originally the footmen of aristocrats would present a visiting card to the servant of their prospective hosts, thereby introducing the arrival of their owners.
Today, with relatively little business correspondence (on letterhead paper) the business card is one of the most visible pieces of business communication. However regarding the size, there is convention, but no actual rules! Sizes vary internationally and obviously there are cultural norms which certain markets follow.
In the UK the accepted size for business cards is 55x85mm. In the US it is based around 2inches x 3.5inches, which equates to a slightly larger 51x89mm. Other sizes around the world seem to vary from 55x90mm to 50x90mm and in Japan where the business card, called a Meishi (名刺?) has an extraordinary cultural significance, the size is 55x91mm.
I measured the card, here at the hotel in Penang, Malaysia and the size is 56x89mm ...different again!