## 1. The Problem

As someone addicted to LaTeX (so addicted I spell it right ;), I have wondered how one might go about typesetting documents that are not articles, books, papers, etc. Whereas TeX was designed to address the problems of traditional typesetting, LaTeX was designed to make writing books, articles, etc. easy for the lay-person. This person should have no need to know about hboxes or invisible spacing or etc. So then how do you adapt this system? The most used strategy is hope someone has designed a LaTeX package written in TeX for you to use. That way you can focus on the content and not the typesetting work. Well as any astute reader in the realms of LaTeX will know, there is not a good business card package for LaTeX. Furthermore, there seems to be a lack of packages related to repeatable content across boxes on a page: business cards, note cards, etc. Thus since there is not a package, how should we approach this problem.

## 2. The Solution

I started by considering a way to generate repeatable content. The typical way this is done in LaTeX is through a macro. Thus I defined the following macro for my business card.

\newcommand{\card}[0]{
\begin{minipage}[t][5cm][t]{\linewidth}
\fontfamily{cmr}

\vspace{.4em}
\hspace{.2em}
\begin{minipage}{.24\linewidth}
\includegraphics[width=.80\linewidth]{Ptolemaicsystem-small}
\end{minipage}
\begin{minipage}{.74\linewidth}
\LARGE
\flushright
\vspace{.25em}
Austin Chase Minor
\vspace{-.75em}

{\footnotesize{austincminor.com}\hspace{.1em}}
\hspace{.25em}
\end{minipage}

\noindent{\rule{\linewidth}{.5pt}}
{
\begin{center}
\begin{tabular}{l r}
Email: & email one \
& email two \
Github: & github.com/acm0055 \
Expertise: & Software Engineering \
& Audio Engineering
\end{tabular}
\end{center}
}
\end{minipage}
}


To most who have used LaTeX, the general structure of this program is not foreign. I use minipages to create sections for my content. This is used to create the image/name(website) top matter of my business card. The negative and positive vspace is used to align my vertical spacing the way I like it. I use it in the website name to situate the name right under my name. The noindent/rule section is used to draw a line of length linewidth under my top matter. the rest is standard LaTeX. What is of note, however, is the surrounding of the entire command body in a minipage. This allows me not only to specify a minimum height, but also a width. However, that is not the reason I used this.

Moving on to another problem, one may wonder how do I get the business card to be surrounded by boxes (for the ease of cutting)? This is where the unique part of my solution comes in. Surrounding the business card definition with a minipage allows the card to be used in a LaTeX table. Thus creating the surrounding block is as simple as follows.

\begin{tabular}{|p{.43\textwidth}|p{.43\textwidth}|}
\hline
\card & \card \
\hline
\card & \card \
\hline
\card & \card \
\hline
\card & \card \
\hline
\card & \card \
\hline
\end{tabular}


With the geometry settings, etc. here is the final result.

As one may see, this is an easy way of designing and printing business cards in LaTeX without delving into the complex depths of TeX. This system simply allows one to design their business card, wrap it in a minipage and macro definition, and finally put it into an understandable table format for printing. The table may simply read as, put top line, card beside card, bottom line and vertical line, repeat. This conceptual understanding is far easier than any of the pure TeX solutions on this topic (at least the ones I could find). Also, this solution requires far less knowledge of typesetting.

I would like to give thanks to the numerous LaTeX articles on the internet for inspiration and guidance in the basic syntax used in the code above to format the table and business card. To my knowledge, this is the first use of a table and macro system to design cards of arbitrary size. Hopefully this was helpful.

PS: The image is the geocentric view of the world. I know that the heliocentric theory is true, but it was a cool image :). Also, the image is in the public domain, but I believe I got it from Wikipedia.

Date: 2017-02-15 05:01:26.000000000 -06:00

Validate