Legible Business Cards – It’s Everybody’s Business!

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Any self-respecting business owner will recognise the importance of reaching the widest possible audience. But if a tool as modest as their business card is a barrier for some, are opportunities being missed?

Nowadays business cards are almost unique as a means of written promotion that remain a physical entity. They can’t be formatted to meet their recipient’s individual needs, instead requiring inclusive design at source to accommodate all-comers. Here are some of the factors you might consider:

1. Who are you designing for?

It is reckoned that:

  • around 10% of the population are dyslexic,
  • by 2050 there will be over 4 million people in the UK with some degree of sight loss and;
  • approximately 1 in 10 men suffer from colour-blindness.

That’s a lot of people, to all of whom your business might appeal if presented the right way.

The following tips won’t exclude anybody but they could help you to include nearly everybody!

2. What are their needs?

Dyslexic people prefer:

  • Matte paper, thick enough that text on the other side doesn’t show through.
  • A minimum font size of at least 12 – 14pt.
  • Plain, sans serif fonts.
  • Dark (not black) text against a light (not white), pastel background.

Visually impaired people prefer:

  • Matte paper, thick enough that text on the other side doesn’t show through.
  • A minimum font size of 16pt. If this is not practical try to use at least 14pt.
  • Plain, sans serif fonts for accessibility.
  • Dark text against a light background.

Colour-blindness is an inability to differentiate between certain colours, the most prevalent pairing being red or pink and green. Try to avoid this combination to increase the accessibility of your design.

3. General good practice

The following tips are good ideas for producing all accessible documents, be they business cards or not!


  • Use bold and / or increase the font size to differentiate headings from body text.
  • Avoid underline, italic and block capitals, all of which can be harder to read.


  • Avoid images as backgrounds to text as the letters and words will appear confused.

Text alignment

  • Align text to the left, particularly so visually impaired people can track where lines of text begin.
  • Don’t justify text. Varying the spaces between letters and words makes it harder to tell where a line ends.
  • Keep it horizontal! Vertically aligned text is much harder to read.

Written By Oliver Smith on behalf of Vistaprint

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