10 Free Rack Card Templates

A cool way to advertise a business is by using rack cards. These cards are bigger and more amped up versions of a brochure and a business card. They are printed on both sides of thick card stock measuring about 4 inches by 9 inches. However, this form of print media promotional material can be costly to develop and create. If you are a business owner experimenting with different customer engagement techniques or if you  just want to learn more about rack card template design, you may benefit from the multiple free rack card templates included in this article.

When to use free rack card templates

There are different scenarios that may require you to use different types of card design templates. For instance, if you already have the computer program Adobe InDesign installed in your computer, you may prefer to use InDesign rack card templates instead of using other template files. Aside from that, you may also have to use free rack card templates in any of the following situations:

  • If you have to follow a strict budget. Whether you are an entrepreneur, a freelance artist, or a student, there will come a time that you will need to look for ways to reduce your expenses when doing certain design projects. Obviously, a good workaround will be to use free card designs instead. If you are tasked to create a rack card design, using a free rack card template to act as your design base will let you save money and allocate limited funds toward other more essential aspects of the project.
  • To increase design skills. Some people, usually graphic design students, need to be exposed to different art forms and/or techniques to help increase their design skills. In digital design, a good way to do this is by using and learning from design templates. So if you are looking to try your hand at rack card template creation, it may be best to use free rack card templates first. You are bound to revise a lot of times before you can consider yourself a pro in this aspect of graphic design portfolio. Using design templates will give you total freedom in choosing any rack card template to base your creations on.
  • For your own design project. If you are a graphic artist, a client may cover the entire cost of a rack card template from which you can base the commissioned rack card’s design. However, if you are creating a rack card design project for your own benefit—whether for your own portfolio or as a pro bono project—it may make sense to use home-made card templates instead. This way, you do not only save money from buying card templates, you will also not be limited by any copyright issues for any design that you create using premium templates since you are using templates that were already in the public domain from the beginning.
  • If you have limited time to complete a card design project. As with any card design project, time is an essential factor that you need to consider before proceeding. If you think that you cannot meet a completion deadline, you may resort to using free card templates to help hasten the entire design process. For example, using card templates gives you more time in making customizations on a pre-made rack card design. You do not have to create the entire rack card design template from scratch.

Other applications for rack cards

In their most basic form, rack cards serve as printed materials for introducing businesses, organizations, events, or individuals to potential customers, just like how a business card contains all the business-relevant information about a person or company. However, one of the most important distinctions between these two forms of print media is size and the amount of information presented by each. A rack card is bigger than a business card and, in effect, is able to contain a lot more information. The pieces of information written on a rack card are usually promotional and informational in nature. After all, they are often considered as an alternative print media marketing tool.

Nevertheless, rack cards may also be used for other purposes. Here is a list of different practical applications where you can use rack cards:

  • As menu cards. Perhaps due to their standard size, rack cards work well when transformed into a menu card. As a menu card, the information and images they contain can be easily skimmed through. Furthermore, these cards can easily be placed in restaurant tables without occupying the entire space. In some cases, rack cards can be used as wedding menu cards and are sent to guests together with a wedding invitation or are placed in assigned seats at the wedding reception.
  • As wedding invitations. In addition to being used as menu cards, rack cards may be used as wedding invitation cards. Couples may prefer the rack card wedding invitation format if they do not want overly decorated invitation cards. As an invitation card, rack cards will retain some qualities that make wedding invitations special. For example, they can still be printed onto specialty card stock and include embossed effects and calligraphy fonts. But perhaps the major advantage of rack card wedding invitations is that they can be relatively cheaper than those specialized wedding cards. If you are looking for a way to save on the invitation card design costs for a wedding, you may look into using rack card designs instead.
  • As discount coupons. As mentioned earlier, rack cards primarily serve as a form of promotional material. For those who want to take their promotional materials to the next level, you may use your rack cards into discount coupons, too. This application will make sense for businesses that offer services to other people. For example, a salon may create their own rack card design informing the public about different salon services. And on the bottom portion of the rack card, they may include a small cut-out portion that potential customers can present at the salon to take advantage of service discounts. If creating perforated sections on a rack card requires too much time or money, you may just ask customers to present the entire rack card when they visit the salon. There are a lot more variations to this marketing strategy. If you are a business owner, you may use and build upon this approach to help increase brand awareness.
  • As event program. Another practical use of a rack card is as an event program. This allows event organizers to create an easily understandable event sequence or program flow. This type of card is useful for weddings, awarding ceremonies, commencement or graduation exercises, etc. An excellent example of using rack card designs as an event program is when a business or brand sponsors the printing of event programs for certain public events like high school graduations. In this scenario, a sponsor agrees to pay for the rack card printing as long as the school administration agrees that the business logo or other form of advertisement is included in the event program rack card design. If you are a business owner, you may do something like this as part of your own marketing strategies.
  • As a price list card. Another effective application of a rack card is as a price list of all the services or products that a business offers. This practice is followed by most business owners especially those who provide professional services like photography, makeup artistry, and event video coverage. Price list rack cards are usually provided as references to current and prospective customers so that they can easily compare different service packages and prices. Other people may keep their rack cards for future reference while other business establishments do not allow their price list rack cards to be taken outside of their store premises. Whatever the case, it is clear that price list templates are beneficial for business owners in terms of providing excellent service to their customers.
  • As a portfolio. Despite a rack card’s small size, it is still big enough to fit moderately sized images. Resourceful individuals may take advantage of this small space to showcase their respective photography and design portfolios. For instance, a photographer may design a rack card whose background image is a photograph that he or she has taken. The rack card’s size allows readers to still see the photo well without having to squint. More information including contact details, photography field expertise, and even service rates or packages may be included on the reverse side of the rack card.

Minimalist Free Rack Card Templates

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Free Rack Card PSD Template

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Free Food Tour Rack Card

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Free Rack Card Layout Template

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How to create a rack card

Creating a rack card design is relatively easy. We have outlined the core steps in creating one below. Read carefully and practice a lot so that you can create flawless rack cards of your own.

  • Know the business or organization’s vision and purpose for having a rack card. In any design project, you need to align yourself with the business, brand, and person who is commissioning you to create a rack card design. Or if you are creating a rack card design for personal use, you need to ask yourself the ultimate reason why you are creating a rack card. This reason could be to gain new customers, to showcase your graphic design skills, or to spread news about a new business. Whatever the reason may be, a graphic artist needs to personally align with this purpose so that he or she can create a rack card that genuinely relates to its intended audience.
  • Collate all necessary information that will be included in the rack card. The next step is to gather all relevant information that you need to include in the rack card template. This could be business contact information, promotional offer information, or other details that a company wants to reveal on the rack card design. If you are a graphic artist commissioned to work on a company’s rack card, you may have to coordinate with your client so you can acquire this information and place it on the card.
  • Decide whether you are creating a handmade rack card or you are using a pre-made template. There are different methods on how a rack card can be created. One is to personally handcraft each card design. Or, you may also take the easier way out by using rack card templates instead. There are InDesign rack card templates, rack cards in PSD format, and even rack cards in MS Word format.
  • Choose a color scheme. When creating any type of digital project, deciding on a good color scheme is essential. Rack cards need to sport captivating color schemes to ensure that passersby pay attention to them. Also remember to set your design templates in the CMYK color model to ensure that the colors of printed rack cards match the colors while in template format. Review color charts if you are not sure of the different colors you are using for your card design template.
  • Choose a layout design. Aside from a striking color scheme, the text boxes and images in your rack card design also need to be formatted in a visually pleasing manner. This is why you may have to rely on project layout templates if you do not want any layout issues.
  • Add pictures. Add text. After deciding on a color scheme and an overall design layout, it is now time to manually add the pictures and text on the rack card design template. This step may be delegated to another person if it is not part of your task list to come up with the content of the rack cards.
  • Proofread the design. Next, you should proofread all the text included in the rack card design. You may also ask another person to review the design and all its components. Sometimes, a new perspective on something that you have been working on for so long will help you see some otherwise obvious mistakes in the design.
  • Make finishing touches on the card design. After having the rack card design proofread, make the necessary corrections or adjustments. At this point, you may also have to present a copy of the card design to the person who has commissioned you to create the rack card design. Some companies have lengthy approval processes especially if it is about something that may affect the company’s image and customer reach. If this happens, you may start with another project. And if a client requests you to make changes to the card design, always do so unless it was stated otherwise in the contract that you signed.
  • Print it out. Sometimes, it is not part of the job of a graphic designer to personally print out the design projects that he or she was commissioned to do. If the  project has been approved, the printing process will be overseen by someone in the marketing team. However, if a company wishes you to present a card mock-up design first, you may  have to print out a few copies of the finished rack card and present this to your client.
  • You now have a completed rack card! So you have printed out a rack card and now, of course, you already have a real rack card in your hands! Congratulate yourself for taking the time to learn about rack card design and create your own rack cards. It is only a matter of time that you will be creating other beautiful graphic design projects.

Free Rack Card Printing Layout Template

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Free Fashion Boutique Rack Card Template

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Free Design Firm Rack Card Template

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Free Charity Rack Card Template

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Free Rack Card Mock-up Template

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Free Bakery Rack Card Template

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Tips for choosing among different free rack card designs

Even if you are using a free card design template, it is still important that you are discerning enough to choose a rack card template that will match your design needs. Here are a few tips that you may consider especially when deciding between different free card designs:

  • Select the design that appeals to you. Just like when dealing with any premium card design templates, you need to use your own instinct (personal likes and dislikes, preferences, project needs, etc.) in determining if you really like a card design template or not. For example, you are looking for artistic card designs and you found a card using pointillism art. You may think that artsy people may like the design but, personally, you do not find the design appealing. In situations like this, you should go with your instinct. Do not just choose a design, even if it is free, if you do not personally like it.
  • Choose an editable or customizable template. As with all graphic design templates, selecting a fully customizable template design gives you the freedom to create card designs that will match your card design needs. There are free card design templates that will come as is. This means that you cannot make edits to the core template layers and you will have to print out the card design as the original template. If you want to add a personal touch to a card design, you may require more flexibility than this. Being able to edit card designs will also mean that you may add business logo designs, textures, or patterns to truly make a rack card design your own.
  • Choose a rack card design template from a reputable website. Another rule to remember when looking for any graphic design freebie online is to check if the website you are downloading from is a reputable site. Aside from that, you should also check the original designer’s profile (if available). Doing these steps helps ensure that the images or other design elements used in the card are not available for third-party or commercial use especially if you are looking to use the card design as a marketing tool. Making sure that you only download designs from reputable sites will save you the time and energy of dealing with possible copyright complaints.
  • Choose a design template saved using a common file format or another file format that you can open using your own image editing software. When choosing among free rack card design templates, you should make sure that the template is available in a file format that you can easily open and edit. It is better to look for PSD or AI file formats. But PDF and other file formats may also work as long as your own graphic design software can open and edit such file formats.
  • Choose a card design template that will allow you to add photos. Some free card design templates may allow you to edit some elements on the card design. However, a restriction on adding photos may exist. If you intend to add images to your card design, you should always check if a card template will allow you to add your own photo or not.
  • Check the card template’s size. Sometimes we find card design templates that seem to be exactly the card design that we are looking for. However, upon further inspection, the original card size may not be the intended size that we are looking for. That is why you need to carefully check the card size when you first see the card design. Rack card templates should measure at least 4 inches by 9 inches.
  • Assess your current printer status. Any printable card templates (especially if it is available for free) is best used if you have your own printer at home. Laser or inkjet printers may be able to do most printing jobs for any card design templates. However, if you wish to achieve a high quality print and will need to use the finished card as a portfolio piece, you may need to rethink this decision. You may need to invest in a good printer or just opt to have your card designs printed at a professional print shop. Choosing the latter option may cost you more money in the long run. That is why you need to carefully weigh the different pros and cons associated with using a free card design and then printing them on your own. A practical middle ground solution to this issue may be to just transact business with a graphic design shop that also prints their own end products. This way, you will not have to worry about printing low quality card designs on your own.