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How to create the perfect Japanese business card

The PERFECT Business Card for Japan

How to create the perfect Japanese business card

How to create the [perfect business card

Business card (meishi) are fundamental elements of Japanese business culture. They are considered to be essential tools for building professional relationships. It is important to adhere to Japanese business etiquette when exchanging cards and it is certainly beneficial to create the right card to exchange.

Your business card will impact the first impression that you make and could be crucial to inspiring trust and respect. It is worth taking time to evolve the ideal Japanese business card design before embarking on any business trips.

So, how do you create the perfect Japanese business card? Here are our meishi design tips:

Content and layout for the front of your card

The front of your business card should be printed in Japanese. Business cards in Japan are now usually printed horizontally (landscape) with a layout that features primary information to the left. 

Primary information

Company name and logo – use the official company name and include the company’s logo as this will ensure that your card is memorable and that those you connect with will recognise your business in the future.

Front Primary information

Your name – include your full name. It aids communication if the people you present your card to are able to correctly pronounce your name. For this reason, it is advisable to print your name in katakana (Japanese syllabary), surname first, so that the other person will understand how to address you.

Your title or position – clearly state your job title or position in the company as hierarchy is an important aspect of Japanese business culture.

Contact Information - include your physical address and phone number. If you wish to include more than one phone number, display the most relevant first and indicate what each number is.

Web Address, email address and social media handles – these should be rendered in your own language. It is pointless translating this information into Japanese as the recipient of your card would not be able to make contact with you using the translated addresses.

Optional features

Optional features

Company slogan – this could be useful for ensuring your business is memorable, so long as the slogan is short and won’t overly clutter the card.

Headshot – it can help your contacts to remember and identify you if you include a professional headshot.

QR code – also useful but could clutter the layout of your card. Consider displaying a QR code on the reverse side of your card.

Content and layout for reverse side of your card

There is no strict requirement to print information on the reverse of your card, but it is advisable to do so. The back of your card should be printed in English. Repeat the layout and information featured on the front of the card. 

Content and layout for reverse side of your card

Size, quality and design elements

It is crucial to display the required information on your card and in the right order. It is equally vital to create a card of the correct size and quality.

Size and shape - the standard size for Japanese business cards is 91mm x 55mm. It can be acceptable to deviate from the usual rectangular shape, but different shapes are best avoided unless you are in a manifestly creative role. Japanese executives use business card holders and cards larger than the standard size will not fit in those holders.

Typography – use a clear font with a professional feel that is easy to read and ensure that the font sizes utilised are large enough to be legible. Names and titles should be rendered in a larger font size than contact details.

Colours – conservative colour schemes are favoured in Japan. Avoid the use of bright or clashing colours.

Quality – use high quality materials and printing.

Style – create a simple, elegant look that is free from unnecessary embellishment. However, gold or silver foiled elements will imbue your card with a premium feel.

The importance of the business card

The importance of the business card

Japanese business card design is notable for its simplicity, elegance, superior materials and high-quality printing. The Appropriate cards are essential when conducting business in Japan. They are viewed as a reflection of the individual and their company. It’s always good to make the right first impression and very difficult to overcome a bad first impression. Your meishi is fundamental to inspiring trust in your business and to impressing the people you meet. Business card standards Japan may seem onerous but adhering to them could make all the difference.

It is crucial to carry the right business card and it is equally vital to present it in the correct manner. Please consult our article The Importance of Japanese Business Cards to familiarise yourself with "Meishi Koukan" (Japanese business card exchanges ritual) in Japan.

The importance of the business card End

Noel Myatt

3 min read

Jul 10



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