Why Are Your Business Cards Blurry? [9 Reasons]

Business cards are one of the staples of business networking. Everyone expects them, and they’re fast little things to give out important information related to the business. They have to make a good impression on their receivers in order to get them to come back for business instead of to someone else.

However, there are times when they come out badly, and people unfamiliar with design might have some trouble understanding the possible reasonings as to why. Keep reading to learn about why those pesky business cards are not standing up to inspection.

Why are My Business Cards Blurry?

There are a number of reasons that could be causing blurry business cards. Usually, when designing directly on a site such as Placeit, they won’t come out poorly. However, that doesn’t mean that there can’t still be issues with uploaded designs.

1. The Image Needed to be Resized

Raster images are made from a bunch of pixels and when they are resized, the system tries to compensate by adding or subtracting pixels. This ends up resulting in an anti-alias effect where there are a bunch of pixels at varying opacity in attempt to make it look like a smooth line. However, that means that it’s going to be blurry.

Raster image files include:

  • .jpeg
  • .png
  • .gif
  • .bmp

In order to fix this, build designs at the correct size instead of allowing for it to stretch or squish. There is also the option of saving the image as high quality as possible so that there is more to adjust when doing minor resizing. Alternatively, anything that accepts vector images will always allow for proper resizing as they are made with paths and points instead. This includes a .pdf which is almost always the preferred method of uploading anyway.

2. The Resolution was Too Low

Resolution is extremely important when it comes to how something will print. For web, low numbers such as 72dpi is fine, but that is going to only allow for 72 dots per inch of printing capability which will then lead to some poor-quality prints. Having a file that is at least 300dpi will ensure a crisper print.

3. The Design Wasn’t in CMYK

RGB is the standard color mode for anything digital, which is likely going to be how the program the business card was designed in wants to default to. It is being made on a computer which is in itself using RGB in order to show colors to the viewer. However, printers have to work in CMYK. If the file was not designed in CMYK, it could lead to some unexpected results when it does print due to the printer trying to compensate.

4. The Design was Uploaded from a Photograph or Scan

Every time something has to be reprinted from a different, unoriginal source, it is going to lose quality. That means that if the design was uploaded from a scan or a photograph, it will lose a little bit of quality as it reprints. It is better off being redesigned or rebuilt if the original file was lost rather than using copies or scans, otherwise it’s going to be a nightmare for everyone involved.

5. The Design is Too Small

Business cards themselves are small pieces of cardstock, plastic, or some similar material. They also need to convey a whole lot of information on them. The problem many faces is that they try to make things way too small which can then create blurry images due to bleeding. There needs to be just a tiny bit of space in order to accommodate for how ink spreads and dries.

6. The Paper was Too Low Quality

Lower poundage of paper might be tempting to spring for due to its cost-effectiveness. However, a lower poundage of paper has had less pressure smashing it together, which will in turn lead to more bleeding on the page. Economy paper is nice for quick, black and white needs, but is not going to be beneficial for perfect business cards.

7. The Paper was the Wrong Kind

There are two kinds of printers: inkjet and laser. An inkjet prints by layering liquid dyes on top of each other to get the desired color, whereas lasers bake a powder onto the page. If the wrong type of paper is used in the machine, it will not print well. Ink will smudge, designs will become blurry, or the paper might even get eaten by the machine and cause damage. Always remember to check and see if the paper is the right kind when doing any printing without a service.

8. The Design Includes Too Much Clutter

When there is too much going on at once in a design, it will make it hard to see the important information and even make it look blurry. The most common example is trying to overlay an image behind text. While this can be done with certain techniques on bigger prints, it’s not great for something as small as a business card.

9. The Ink Needs Replaced

A commonly forgotten part of the printing process is also one of the simplest. If the ink is going out, dry, or missing a color, the final print is going to suffer. If things are consistently not printing properly, it might have something to do with the ink in the printer itself rather than whatever is happening with the design.


Business cards are staples in the business world. They quickly relay information to potential clients, customers, and networking opportunities. Therefore, it’s critical that they are always looking their best. Thankfully, with services such as Placeit, designers can be sure of a quality print every time, especially if they have high quality on their end.