How to Create a Rack Card

Business Card image by Biro from

Things You'll Need

  • Pen or pencil
  • Paper
  • Image manipulation software

When designing paper goods for marketing materials, everyone thinks of business cards, brochures and door hangers but often forget rack cards. Rack cards serve an important promotional purpose and can effectively sell your product or service with a punchy design and key phrases. Creating these cards is not difficult, but does require some level of competence when it comes to design.

Develop the message for your rack card. Design a few concepts with pen and paper, that are simple but deliver the information needed. Rely on large and bold colorful images saying more with out having too much text.

Open the preferred design software like Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop or Gimp. Make a new 4-by-9 inch file, the typical size for rack cards. Set the color mode to CMYK and the resolution to 300 dots per inch.

Rebuild using your design concept in the design software. To make this easier, scan in your concept and place it in your working file to trace.

Research different printing firms to establish printing costs. Some printing companies charge by quantity, color use, print sides and paper type and size, so compare prices and ask questions. Typically the standard rack card is 4-by-9 inch, two-sided and four-color on 65 to 80 lb. coated paper stock.

Follow the printer's instructions on how to send files. Typically printers can receive files on a computer disc, by email or through an FTP site.

Review the digital or physical printing proof received from the printer. This is the last opportunity to make changes or corrections to the rack card, but keep in mind that changes take time and increase costs. Once the printer gets an approval, they will produce your rack card and send them out to you for immediate use.