What Are Business Card Masters or Shells?

Business Card Masters (or Shells) are full sheet of paper with artwork printed which do not change from card to card. For e.g. Logo, Tag line, Back of the card image, Website etc.


     Lower cost over a long period: If you have 2 + colors on your cards and these are printed in Pantone colors then by printing up masters you can save cost. For e.g. the logo is printed in PMS 200 & PMS 424, and all the text for e.g. name, phone, fax, email is printed in black ink. Now this becomes a 3 color job i.e. PMS 200, PMS 424 & Black. It becomes a very expensive run - as there are 3 plates which needs to be created, 2 ink washes (as black is not usually charged for a ink wash), Ink mixes and then registration and setup. Instead you can print up bunch of master in 2 colors i.e. the logo and then for every person it becomes a simple black imprinting. Much cheaper to print.
     Consistent color of the logo or artwork which do not change from card to card and from order to order: Every order when run at different times on the press can create a slightly different color output. This becomes a big problem when the logo color for all the cards printed up for a company needs to match from person to person and from order to order for that same person.
      Faster Turnaround: Usually turnarounds are much faster, as there is no need to order special paper, special inks, as the imprinting in most cases is done in black or some standard colors. These can run on low end presses (or duplicators) compared to 2 or 3 color jobs which needs to run on high end presses.


     Upfront cost of Business Card Master: There is a upfront cost to print up the masters. The best way to do this is have an idea of many employees are there in the company and how many cards will they be ordering over a period of 1 year or 6 months. That way you can decide how many to print up. Over the period of 6 months or 1 year the overall cost of business cards will be drastically less, but there is a upfront cost to print and store the business card Masters
     Change of Artwork or Logo: If for some reason the logo or artwork changes then those pre-printed Masters gets useless. In our past 10 years of experience we have seen it happen very few times. Customers are fine to use up the business card masters before re-printing with the new logo or artwork.

Do I qualify for Business Card masters?

Need to have minimum of 5 or more employees ordering at least total of 5000 cards over a 6 months to a year period
Business card has 2 or more Pantone colors.

Our Recommendations:

Give us a call or email us your business card design, and we will do a quick analysis and let you know which is the best way to proceed, i.e. print them standalone or print up masters and then imprint.