Professionals in any field should always keep business cards on them because you never know when you’ll meet a potential client, partner or like-minded person. Despite their small size, business cards are one of the most powerful and handiest marketing tools. Not only do they create a link between you and your new contact, they’re also a quick way to give a great first impression. Business cards promote your skills and achievements and serve as a little container for big ideas.
Don’t underestimate the process of designing business cards; a well-made card does not just share your contact details: it generates further sharing and buzz. Like any self-promotion tool, designing a business card requires solid brainstorming and careful implementation to get the best effect.
This post targets a diverse audience. It features a collection of remarkable business card designs that could help you in your search for creative ideas. The round-up of fresh tutorials and business card templates further down might come in handy for those who don’t have the skills or experience to design their own.
[Offtopic: by the way, did you know that we are publishing a Smashing eBook Series? The brand new eBook #3 is Mastering Photoshop For Web Design, written by our Photoshop-expert Thomas Giannattasio.]
Showcase Of Original And Memorable Business Cards
Letterpress printing has actually been the only form of printing text and images since it was invented by Johannes Gutenberg in the 15th century. Because of its distinctive qualities, such as crisp and tangible impression onto paper, letterpress work is now widely used for branding and identity development. Letterpress gives stronger visual definition to type and artwork and has a special touch, which is why it’s a popular technique for business card printing. Below you can see some beautiful examples of letterpress business cards.
This stylish letterpress business card was designed for the creative agency Space150 by designer Evan Nagan. The card is part of the agency’s periodic general redesign, which it conducts every 150 days. The elegant constellation theme and high-quality letterpress printing make for an excellent card.
This card promotes the portfolio of the German photographer Florian Muller (aka the White Rabbit). The use of the negatives pattern incorporates the card owner’s occupation well, and the surface is enhanced by an embossed rabbit.
The effective combination of blind and ink debossing, along with the subtle coloring along the edge, makes for a clean and exquisite business card that perfectly conveys the aesthetic of the photographer’s online portfolio.
Second World Design
The guys over at Second World took their branding very seriously, resulting in the clean beautiful letterpress card you see below.
This card was designed by photographer Riley Maclean for his company Kinetic Lens. Combining various letterpress techniques and a great set of red tones, this business card has a multi-dimensional feel. It’s printed on thick 220-pound-bond cotton paper.
A good use of letterpress on the front and back of this card and the labels make this card memorable. It’s printed on French Speckletone #140 stock.
23rd And 5th
Here is a beautiful business card showing fine typography and two-color letterpress. It was designed for the staff of the 23rd & 5th branding agency. This business card for the Director of Development features a QR code that drives contacts to a dedicated mobile website optimized for the iPhone, Blackberry and Android.
Die-Cut Business Cards
Something else that determines a business card’s memorability and appeal is shape. Today many individuals, businesses and organizations die-cut their cards, going beyond traditional dimensions. Die-cutting is an effective way to make a business card eye-catching, unique and even interactive. But remember that a die-cut card should still be compact enough to fit in a standard wallet or card holder. Alternatively, you could suggest some other way to carry or hold your card. Some noteworthy die-cut business cards are showcased below.
Derrick Mitchell, a designer from Kalispell, Montana, creates his business cards by hand with chip board, screen printing, labels and stamps.
The chic design of this business card is accentuated by the custom shape and 16-point silk matte finish card stock.
This lovely business card mimics a Moleskine notebook. While the front is glossy, the back is matted and can be used as a note card.
Cheap card stock and moderate-quality print wonderfully fit the aesthetic of this vintage movie ticket business card. Great job, Alice Cho!
This die-cut masterpiece belongs to the Israel-based designer Alteroy. The cardboard icons can be separated. Much effort was put into this business card, and the result is absolutely worth it.
This super-cute business card might be the shortest route to any Mac fan’s heart.
Besides containing the contact info of German dentist Herbert Martin, this business card has another cool function: it helps you check your bite by way of a die-cut stencil. Designed by Petra Penz.
The business card is square and “combines a hand-crafted feel with the style of Russian propaganda posters.”
Classic, With a Twist
Most of the business cards below have a classic rectangular shape and standard dimensions… but that is where their classic-ness ends. Creative ideas and skillful implementation make these cards look anything but ordinary.
The amazing identity concept for COCO was created by Polish designer “Wallstreet Different Creature.” This business card, as part of the overall branding, is pure style and beauty.
Erich Hartmann designed his business card to spell out a bunch of his skills, along with his main occupation. This clever idea is nicely visualized by way of a two-sided card, with an offset logo on the front and letterpress on the back.
To see the info on this business card, grill it against a fire, because the card is stamped with lemon juice for ink. Quite an original idea, but using this effect for non-essential information or for an image, rather than contact info, might be more reasonable.
A lovely typographic business card made by Brazilian graphic designer Luciano Ferreira for promotional purposes.
A beautiful artistic business card by graphic designer Stepan Prokop.
When it comes to developing promotional material for a brand today, the variety of choice is impressive. With all the different printing techniques, the loads of diverse paper and material available and relatively cheap digital technology, the process of designing a business card is limited only by the designer’s imagination. The following business cards rely on both paper quality and printing methods to create a memorable experience.
Design company Cinch Creative printed its business cards on 60-point Blotter paper with a fine natural texture. Thanks to this and the debossed logo and text, the card is a pleasure for both the eyes and hands.
This creative business card in the shape of a clapper board was designed by Ralev.com for Bulgarian multimedia agency Feelme Crew.
Here’s a green approach to business card design. The cards for Fiverr CEO Micha Kaufman are made from recycled paper and cardboard. Moreover, the cards are completely hand-made. See details on Kaufman’s Facebook page.
This card, inspired by a boarding pass stub, was created by creative agency R3M1X3D for transportation company Groundflights. It is a successful mix of letterpress printing and die-cutting.
A beautiful business card stylized as a film frame. It was designed by Jimmituanart for Herofilm Productions.
With a squeezable circle built in, the business card of PR company Philosophy Communications is a two-in-one solution. Brilliant work, wouldn’t you agree?
Premium paper, imitation rhino skin and a stylized typographic logo make this card chic indeed. Designed by Contreforme.
This vintage-looking business card, which features die-cutting, embossing and high-quality paper, was designed by the studio Second World for the film production company Paper Fortress.
The cool illusion on this business card was achieved with a thin transparent plate that makes it look as though this faux-3D brick is broken. The amazing card was created by Saatchi & Saatchi, Indonesia, for a karate club.
Something Completely Different
The cards showcased below considerably expand the parameters of the business card format. It seems that business cards can be grown, played with and even eaten! Look at the craziest business card concepts around.
Not only can you comb your hair with this business card, you can also play a classic rock song on it with your fingernail. The card was designed by Fabio Milito for a Rome-based hair salon.
Gitam BBDO Spicy
The Gitam BBDO agency uses spice sachets as business cards, associating each of its departments with a particular condiment.
BC Adventure Survival Training
The cards of BC Adventure remain extremely useful even in situations where a business card is useless. They are made of organic beef jerky and are good to eat for up to a year.
To promote one of his projects (an interactive chopping board), designer Sam Gough created 20 wooden business cards, carving his project’s title and contact info neatly into each.
This business card is a thin envelope stuffed with grass seed. The clean design, clever copy and sneaky seed surprise make for an adorable card. Designed by Brandon Knowlden.
For the most desperate self-promoters, peanut business cards are not a bad idea. Taberu Me uses innovative CO2 laser engraving technology to print on the peanuts. But before you hands yours out, make sure no squirrels or chipmunks are around.
This business card design is an ongoing project of Philadelphia-based industrial designer Wes Thomas. The laser-cut card can be quickly transformed in a cute desktop toy. This is no ordinary concept and is pretty labor-intensive, but who would refuse such a business toy for their desk?
Business Card Galleries
Only the truly unique are remembered. When designing anything for yourself, it’s always useful to look around for fresh ideas. Here are permanent showcase galleries where you can find trends and best practices for business card design.
- Card Observer
- Card Nerd
- The Art of the Business Card (Flickr pool)
To get you started on your own business card, we’ve selected some fresh and useful tutorials and guides that cover various issues you might deal with in this area.
Create a Print-Ready Business Card in Illustrator
In this tutorial, well-known designer and blogger Chris Spooner walks you through the process of creating a fun business card with a sketched illustration.
How to Create a Stylish Business Card Template in Adobe Photoshop
In this tutorial, you learn how to create an elegant minimalist business card design in Photoshop. The source files are available for free downloading.
Create a Grunge Print-Ready Business Card
Use this tutorial to create a business card with nifty faded brush strokes in Photoshop.
How to Create a Nebula Background in Photoshop
Learn how to design a business card with an astral background.
Print-Ready Business Card Tutorial
This tutorial explains how to create a print-ready business card with a clean dark design in Photoshop.
How to Make a Print-Ready Business Card in Photoshop
In this tutorial, you will learn how to create a two-sided business card with crop marks and bleed.
How to Design Your Business Card
This article discusses the basics of business card design and covers some best practices.
Business Card Design Walkthrough
Along with other step-by-step tutorials, a detailed case study like this one might be useful to you.
PSD Tutorial: Design a Dirty Business Card
Learn how to create a simple business card, complete with grungy texture.
Business Card Tutorial in Inkscape
Here is a detailed guide on how to design a business card in Inkscape. While the result shown does not look that great, the principles of working in Inkscape are described quite well, so you can get a better result using this open-source graphics editor.
If you like the business card shown below, learn how to create it in Photoshop in this tutorial.
Making Creative Business Card
This tutorial shows how to make a nice business card in a matter of minutes.
How to Design a Print-Ready Business Card Design in Photoshop
This business card tutorial includes a couple of bonus templates, which you can download in PSD format and use for free.
How to Design Business Card
Learn how to create the unconventional and attractive business card below.
Grungy Business Card
Another variation of the grunge design is explained in this guide. The image preview and PSD file are free to download.
How to Make your Own Photographic Negative Business Cards
Now, here’s a completely different take on business card design. Photographer Steph Goralnik shares his technique for crafting a unique photographic negative business card.
How to Choose Business Card Paper
Paper is an important consideration when printing business cards. The right paper can make your card shine, while poor-quality stock can spoil even a top-notch design. Read this article to learn the key points and differences between various types of paper.
How to Choose the Right Paper
Although quite old, this article contains some useful tips on choosing the right paper for your business card. A solidly written article.
A template is definitely a great option for those who don’t have the skill to create a business card on their own. But even if you’re a professional designer, you may need the job done very fast or simply want to save time making customizations. This is when a template comes in handy. Below you’ll find a selection of well-designed free and commercial business card templates that you can take advantage of in your own projects.
Most of the templates in this category are free for personal and commercial use, but please be sure to read all accompanying legal usage notes before downloading the files.
This nifty business card design was created by graphic designer depart on the occasion of deviantArt’s birthday. The template is available for free download in both PSD and Ai formats.
FreelanceSwitch Business Card Template
This Adobe Illustrator template can be customized for any freelance profession. The pack comes with templates for writers, coders and designers.
Free Business Card Design Pumpkin
This “Pumpkin” business card template features 300 DPI resolution and CMYK color mode for professional printing, front and back sides and four color schemes: pumpkin, cream, Indian pink and brown.
Free Abstract Blue Business Card Template
This double-sided PSD card template includes well-organized layers and is in CMYK color mode for easy editing.
In this gallery, you’ll find some unusual card shapes, all for free. All files are in EPS format.
Business Card Template
Here is a blank template for a standard US business card. Both JPEG and PSD versions of the template are available for free downloading.
Minimax Positivo Business Card Template
The template has six color variations and features a letterpress effect. The template package includes a PSD file, PDF help file and preview image.
Free business card templates
10 free business card designs in PSD and TIFF formats.
Pure Style Business Card Template | More
A minimalist two-sided business card design (3.5 x 2 inches) that can fit practically any profession or brand. The template comes in high resolution and requires Adobe Photoshop 8 or higher for editing. Price: $7
Business card (set 17) | More business card templates
These cheerful business cards might appeal to people in creative fields. Three license types are available; the basic one gives you this set for $5.
Typography Mini Business Card | More
These bright typographic mini-cards come in two styles, grungy and clean, and include a black and white version for low-cost printing. The templates are print-ready and can be edited in Photoshop. Price: $6
Blue Bubble business card | More
This clean and airy design will appeal to fans of minimalism. It is in print-ready CMYK, 300 DPI, and includes two PSD files and two high-quality JPG images. Price: $5
Black Business Card Template | More
This business card has a rather universal design and would serve a personal brand, company or other project equally well. It is print ready; all you need to do is change the default text. Price: $7
The Black Family business Card Pack | More
These super-original and cute business cards might be good for showing off members of a creative team. They are two-sided, in CMYK and 300 DPI, easy to edit and print-ready. Price: $6
You may be interested in the following related posts:
- Business Card Design: Better Than A Plain Ol’ Business Card
- The Ultimate Round-Up of Print Design Tutorials
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Post tags: business, card, Design