A well-designed business card can make or break the first impression you give your customers. It can convey professionalism and attention to detail, or it can make you seem unprepared and unprofessional.
Whether you're just starting out or looking to refresh your current business card, here are some creative ideas to inspire you.
Elements of a successful business card
There are several key components of an eye-catching business card:
- A logo. Your brand logo helps communicate the brand personality or brand identity of your company, and potentially what service you provide. Having a high-quality logo design clearly visible on your business card can increase brand awareness and help people remember your company.
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- Name and contact information. The primary use of a business card is to provide someone with your contact details in a small package that acts as a physical reminder of yourself. Include your name and position at the company, phone numbers, business address, email, website address, and up-to-date social media account information.
- Memorable design and style. Traditional business cards typically are black and white with a minimalist aesthetic, while modern cards use more creative approaches to grab someone’s attention. Consider including a scannable QR code that links to your website, using alternatives to cardstock like recycled materials, or trying a vertical business card design.
How to design a business card
- Pick your layout
- Decide on font and color
- Choose creative design elements
- Use tools to print your card
It might be tempting to slap your name, telephone number, and email address onto a card and call it a day. But taking the time to design an attractive business card can help market your small business and may increase sales. Here are a few steps you can take when designing your card.
1. Pick your layout
Vertical business cards, cards of different physical shapes and sizes, and cards with graphics or logos can draw the eye and increase the chance that a potential customer remembers you.
2. Decide on font and color
The font and color combinations on your business card should match those on your other marketing materials, packaging, or website. Consider using bolder colors in your brand’s color palette to grab attention.
3. Choose creative design elements
Embossed or raised lettering, photos, graphics, unique patterns, and even different backing materials like wood or recycled fabric can help create a lasting impression on a potential customer or business partner. Without overloading your card with information (remember the power of basic design principles like negative space), consider creative ways to tie back to your core business.
4. Use tools to print your card
Ecommerce businesses like Shopify offer their own free custom business card makers, as well as apps that offer business card templates specific to a wide variety of industries. If you’re looking for a trained graphic designer, Shopify also has a list of the best paid and free business card makers on the market.
10 business card ideas
- A non-rectangular shape
- Vertical design
- Different backing material
- QR codes
- Unique lettering
- Bold colors
- Digital cards
You don't have to have a minimalist business card. Here are some business card design ideas to help it stand out from the pack:
1. A non-rectangular shape
Business cards can come in different shapes and sizes that can reflect different kinds of businesses. One example of this is an investor’s business card that has diagonal lines cut out to reflect the rising line of a stock price that increases in value.
2. Vertical design
Vertically oriented business cards can be a good way to fit in images or graphics that are better suited for that shape, such as portraits if you’re a portrait artist or a graphic of a tall building if you’re an architect.
Source: Paula Lee Calligraphy for Messing Kitchen Baking Co.
3. Different backing material
Plastic, metal, wood, cork, recycled composite, or even fabric are all options for your business card backing material. Be aware though that alternative materials tend to cost more to produce in bulk than regular cardstock does.
Using a design that somehow reflects the essence of your business can be a great way to make a card memorable without someone even having to read the text. Imagine the business card of a florist that folds down the edges of a rectangular card to reflect a bouquet, or a cleaver-shaped card for a butcher.
5. QR codes
QR codes easily directs people to your business website or social media account, and are increasingly appearing on modern business cards.
A card for a wine distributor might contain a graphic that looks like a wine glass stain, or a card for a framer can have a graphic of a picture frame on it.
7. Unique lettering
Embossed, raised, or otherwise unique lettering is another good way for the text on your card to pop out—literally. An acupuncturist's business card, for example, can use perforated lettering that brings to mind the work of acupuncture needles.
8. Bold colors
Using a bold color palette on your card will also increase the chance that people hang onto it, as research shows that individuals keep a colored card 10 times longer than they do a plain white card.
Attaching promotional codes or tiny samples can be a great way to get people invested in your operation. For example, a small packet with seeds inside and business information printed on the outside might be perfect for a landscaping or plant-related business.
10. Digital cards
Digital business cards kept on your phone can be sent via text or email. Besides limiting potential waste, digital business cards can also communicate your tech savviness.Start learning.