The whole idea behind a business card design is that 1) it has to make you stand out, and 2) it has to cause a great enough impact that the contact you’ve just made calls you back. When you think about iconic business cards, one of the first of these to come to mind is Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s notorious ‘I’m CEO, B—’ card that was made famous in the film The Social Network. This card showed off just how cocky and aggressive the then-22-year-old Zuckerberg was about the business that was right on the cusp of taking the world by storm.
These infamous business cards were eventually pulled and replaced, with the designer of said business cards, Brian Veloso, suggesting that they “were an excellent representation of the company culture at the time… Their replacement reflected the changes a young Facebook needed to go through to be where it is today.” Andrew Bosworth, Facebook Executive, also believed that the business cards were “intended as a joke for his friends.” Although these business cards made a great impact, they were not actually intended to be used in a professional, corporate environment.
Taking inspiration from Zuckerberg’s incredibly personalised example, we’ll show you how you can create business cards that really show off your personality without compromising your professionalism.
- Choose an Unusual Shape
With modern digital printing, it’s never been easier to show off your creative flair. You can go completely out there with a business card shaped like something you sell or use, like a comb for a hair salon or cupcake for a bakery. Or if you’d prefer something more subtle, rounded corners and square business cards are a great way of differentiating yourself from your competitors. We love business owner and UX Designer Anusha Iyer’s mini business cards – the bright colours are perfect for this year’s eye-catching design trends and their unusual shape means a client could easily find them again in their wallet.
- Play with Texture and Colour
Another massive benefit in modern technology is that full colour business card printing doesn’t have to cost the world – in fact, a lot of online printers won’t charge any extra cost for this. It also means that there’s a huge variety of textures you can play around with for your design, including Spot UV (also known as gloss laminate). This is where you add a shiny coating to certain areas of your business card to either make them stand out or to create a pattern. How something feels in your clients’ hands is so important for making a lasting impression, so why not take advantage of our free Spot UV templates?
- Include Your Logo in Your Design
Another way we can take inspiration from famous business card designs is to follow suit and include your company logo. Below is Twitter CEO Evan Williams’ business card. The design is very minimal, featuring important contact details on one side and the business’ logo (Larry the Bird) on the other. The logo is what really stands out here, especially in the recognisable blue Twitter brand colour. If you’re struggling to design a memorable logo for your startup logo, check out this blog for some awesome tips!
- Use an Inspiring Quote
You can also make a personal first impression with your corporate business card by including your favourite inspirational quote. Whatever your field, it really helps to find a quote that suits the industry your business is in. For writers, consider your favourite literary quote, or if you work in the legal sector, you could use a quote from a speech you found moving. We love Life Coach Steph Williamson’s motivational quotes – they give the impression that she’s supportive of her clients/ target market and they also show her values.
- Suit Your Brand Style
Some businesses brand themselves as fun and quirky, others as professional and formal. Like all external communications, your business card should reflect your brand and resonate with your target market just as much as a banner or an email. If you’ve already created your company’s brand guideline, you’ll know exactly what colours to use, the fonts, the logo, the style of artwork – everything! The business card design below shows an illustration of Anna Bond, CEO of stationery and lifestyle brand Rifle Paper Co. This style is very indicative of the Rifle Paper website and it also shows personality and creativity without compromising Bond’s professionalism.
- Make Them Clever
Nothing creates a memorable impression quite like an emotional connection. Striking the balance between clever and just plain inappropriate will be key here; too wacky and you risk being taken as a joke, not witty enough and your attempt might just fall flat. Humour related to your industry is a great way of adding some personality to your business card design without losing focus of your goals – just like the example below! This extremely clever design for a guitar instruction business card uses Spot UV on top of a guitar string diagram to indicate finger placement for a C major chord, which is one of the first chords a beginner would learn. It’s fun, it’s related to the industry and it’s really memorable; we love it.
(Source: Lovely Stationery)
- A Cut Above the Rest
Another subtle way of giving your standard size business cards an edge is to change the edge completely. Great for showing your creative side, rounded corners are sure to get your business noticed. They’re alternative without being too show-y and over the top! We particularly like Game Developer Dave Makes’ business cards – the rounded corners combined with spot UV to create a pixel-effect creates a really modern feel: the perfect marketing tool for a game developer to reach out to target audience!
(Source: Design your way)
- Stand Out with Photography
Depending on your business’ industry, showcasing your service with photographs is a fantastic way of showing off what you’ve got to offer. This works particularly well for businesses who offer a visual service, such as wedding planners and hair salon business cards. Although it can come across as being cheesy, if you get it right adding a photograph of yourself is a great way of making sure you’re remembered – especially after networking events where potential customers and clients will have received countless business cards and met loads of different people! Finnish design company, bananas, create a modern twist on headshot business cards by only showing part of the business card owner’s face. This stops it from being too corny, but the business card owner is still recognisable.
(Source: Elegante Press)
With all of these fantastic techniques, there are plenty of ways of showing off your personality in your business card design without compromising professionalism. We hope you can take inspiration from these corporate business cards to create something that’s really unique to you and your business. If you use any of these tips, we’d love the see the finished product. Share your print with us by tagging us on social media @instantprintuk or #instantprinkuk.