CATEGORIES Design Inspiration: Creative Ideas for Designers, Design News, Featured Design News, HOW Blog
In the following image you can see a fine example of a minimalist social networker’s business card.
Designer: Amanda Acevedo, art director Material: Crane Lettra 110# Cover Production: Letterpress printing 2/3 spot colors Printer: Mark Moroney at Thomas & Brown Press
What makes a good business card? “Whiskey’s goal for every card we design is that each time our clients hand off a card, be it in a meeting room or just on the street, we want whoever they are handing it to to have an immediate reaction. (Hopefully it’s, ‘Holy shit, that’s bad-ass.’) We want that person to think that if our client took that much time on their cards, just imagine the level of attention they will invest into their business,” says Matt Wegerer, creative director at Whiskey Design.
“The main reason you give someone your business card is so they will have your contact information, but how much info do they actually need? Over the past decade we’ve seen business cards become so cluttered with the various ways to connect (2 phone numbers, a fax number, street address, email, URL, and a dozen social icons) that they look desperate. It’s only a matter of time before someone out there adds a call to action to ‘Right swipe me on Tinder.’ Just wait. It’s coming,” Paramore says.
We reached out to 14 designers and firms at the top of their game to see what their business cards look like—and to find out what they believe makes a good business card.
Some designers like to play with different formats for business cards. Some go with a huge folded format that turns the card into a small brochure, others prefer to go tiny. Either way, it can be a good way to get your card noticed when you give it, but you should also think about how people will store your card. Use cutting wisely and you could create a business card as cool as Franco Caligiuri’s business card.
What makes a good business card? According to Archrival: “A good business card always leaves the right kind of impact. It’s both a first impression and a lasting brand extension we want people to be compelled to hold onto. At Archrival, we consider the business card documentation of the most personal type of communication … and as such should be designed with care.”
What makes a good business card? “Since the basic information of any card is now so easily shared and transmitted via digital devices, it helps to consider thinking about a printed card, specifically, as an anti-digital artifact,” says Michael Borosky, founder and creative director at Eleven. “In other words, use the craft of printing to your advantage and appeal to the senses. You only have a few seconds to leverage a hand-to-hand exchange into a momentary, favorable impression.
Designer: Robynne Raye at Modern Dog Design Co. Material: 32pt. Mohawk Superfine Printer: Moo Cards
Looking to create your business card? We have collected five approaches you can chose when creating the business card.
TAGS amanda acevedo, best business cards, business card design ideas, business card examples, business cards, Cameron Moll, creative agency Eleven, elements LLC, identity design, jenn david design, Modern Dog Design Co., Paramore Digital, promotion design, snask, stitch design co., tag collective, tank design, the ugly tree graphic design, whiskey design
Designer: Paramore Digital Material: 100 lb Cougar White (Matte) Production: Offset Printer: Fidelity
What makes a good business card? “A good business card embraces its format, yet stands out in a crowd,” says Becca Eley, founding partner of Tag Collective. “Our cards send a message about the caliber of our work. We focused on the experience, the tactile nature of print. We selected a paper that has a unique feel (Curious Skin) and used both engraving and letterpress techniques to create raised lettering and an indented mark. Overall they have a solidity that feels dependable, and a simplicity that feels elegant and considered—which is exactly what we want our studio to stand for.”
Designer: Michael Borosky, founder and creative director at Eleven Vendor: All City Printers, San Francisco Stock: Mohawk Superfine Ultra White 100# cover Size: 3.5″x2.5″ Ink: PMS 1038A Finishing: Die-cut rounded corner *The “11” is perforated on the card*
What makes a good business card? “As someone who does business almost exclusively on the web, it’s tough for me to answer that question,” Cameron Moll says. “The only time I hand out or receive cards are at conferences a few times per year. But for me, the value of a business card is found in its personification of the giver, and just as importantly its authenticity. The best and most memorable cards I’ve received reinforced the feelings I had upon meeting the giver.
Not the easiest cards to create, but making a card that can be transformed into something definitely makes an impression when you give it out. You can try to be creative and you’ll get noticed for sure, why not get some inspiration from this previous post on Designer Daily?
Discover how designers play with dimension and space to create mindbending optical illusions that leap off the page—and wall, and screen. Enter your email to download this article from HOW magazine.
A phone number? What would you do with it anyway? Call me? Come one… The social networker’s card reflects his communicating habits. Some will forget about all the traditional contact ways like the address or the phone number (let’s not talk about fax please, it would be embarrassing). The online geek will rather add URLs of his Twitter account, Facebook page, or share his IM info on the card.
Check out the designs and insight below, and if you’re hungry for more, take at look at these cool business card designs next.
“[My] cards are individually cut from my letterpress type posters using inventory that is damaged in some way (ink splatter, bent corner, etc) and stamped by hand,” Moll says.
What makes a good business card? “A good business card is something that doesn’t just get thrown in a wallet and forgotten,” says Geoffrey Bunting, founder of The Ugly Tree Graphic Design. “It’s a piece of you that you give to someone that stays with them and makes them say ‘wow,’ by being either visually stimulating or having interesting and engaging content.”
What makes a good business card? “A good business card is one that is hard to toss aside,” says Robynne Raye, co-founder of Modern Dog Design Co. “[Our] cards are printed with name and email (no other info is on the card), that way I can customize with a Sharpie. Each person gets a unique, one-of-a-kind card.”
Designers: Amy Pastre and Courtney Rowson at Stitch Design Co. Material: Crane Crest Paper Production: Letterpress, foil-stamped and edge-painted Printer: Sideshow Press
“The business card is the strongest, most personal piece of collateral you have. It carries the company’s identity as well as your own; it’s your name on the card, after all. You either hand it to someone personally or send it in the mail along with a personal note, so it’s an intentional connection. We believe that your brand should be simple and bold. Iconic. Simplicity is powerful.
What makes a good business card? “A great business card is one that is memorable and is an extension of your brand,” says Amy Graver, owner and creative director at Elements. “Every design decision—from the paper choice to the printing process—should be considered carefully to help convey the personality of your brand. For example, we chose a toothy paper and smooth, hand-applied sticker to convey attention to detail and our love of tactile materials.”
What Makes a Good Business Card? “There are two primary purposes of your business card: represent your brand and provide contact information. The magic is in the mix of these two elements,” says Hannah Paramore, president of Paramore Digital.
If you don’t have any creative idea, go with this one. It has a standard format, all the information needed, and hey… you can even design it well if you want. In our example, the Med Traveler Club’s card is quite average, but made attractive by the use of nice paper and letterpress printing.
Designers: Amy Graver, owner and creative director at Elements (Elements symbols) and Joy Cho (pattern on stickers) Material: Cards: 100# Mohawk Solutions Feltweave Recycled White Cover; Labels: 60# Uncoated Pressure Sensitive Labels, 92 Brightness Production: Digital Printer: The Pyne-Davidson Company in Hartford, CT
“Successfully balancing several elements—logo, contact information, website and social media addresses, tagline, art—into an uncluttered, attractive, tangible first impression is a sign of good design. Lastly, the business card design is memorable, evokes a feeling, or makes an emotional connection, for example, through colors, imagery typography, production material, copywriting, tone, attitude, shape or texture.”
“For our personal cards, we took the same approach. By using real wood veneer, screen-printed stains, letterpress printing and foil stamp contact info, we tried to make something feel extremely premium and clean but also have a handcrafted vibe. It is also hard for these suckers not to get noticed since they weigh about 20 pounds each.”
Designers: Fred Weaver and David Warren, founding partners at Tank Design Material: 200 lb Finch Fine Bright White Production: 1 color, embossed logo with AQ varnish, letterpressed black type Printer: ArtCraft
“So, in the latest version of our business cards we stripped most of that away, relying on our website to provide connection options. We simplified it to one phone number, one email address and a URL that takes you to each person’s personal page on the company website. The effect is understated yet bold. Like that strong, silent type standing in the corner. You can’t miss it.
Designer: Geoffrey Bunting at The Ugly Tree Graphic Design Material: Recycled card, 300gsm Printer: Vistaprint UK
What makes a good business card? “The card must impress the moment it’s received and be comment-worthy,” says Jenn David Connolly, creative strategist of Jenn David Design. “It must capture attention and pique curiosity or examine it further. It should break out of the typical 3”x2.5” business card size, but not in an outrageous way. It should not be too large or too thick.”
What makes a good business card? “Bold, beautiful and unique,” says Fredrik Öst, founder & creative director of SNASK.
Designer: Jenn David Connolly at Jenn David Design Material: Classic Crest Solar White 100# cover Production: Offset exterior, digital interior Printer: Hudson Printing
Designer: Matt Wegerer, creative director at Whiskey Design Material: Wood veneer laminated to French Blu Raspberry and Steel Grey paper Production: Lamination, screen print, letterpress and foil stamp Printer: Vahalla Studios
What makes a good business card? “A good business card materializes from a combination of fundamental design principles,” says art director Amanda Acevedo. “Ultimately, the design expresses the brand. A business card is a brand ambassador—recognizable as the brand and a quick, courteous interaction with the brand. Hierarchy—tried and true principle for communicating effectively. Crucial in good business card design for the amount of standard information assigned to a small amount of space. Hierarchy, always.
“Our original cards, designed fifteen years ago, used five different (but subtle) printing techniques. Our current card uses only three, the most memorable being the die-cut 11. It’s the one thing people have consistently commented on over the years and, incidentally, the most expensive part of the process.”
What makes a good business card? According to Stitch Design Co.: “A good business card is a business card that you want to keep, one that is not easily discarded. The card should be designed as something more than just a card; it should be a mini self-promotion piece. The overall design and printing process of the card should speak to the company’s values and approach to business. If the company specializes in luxury products—the printing process should reflect that.”
Think of all the business cards out there, exchanging hands in serendipitous encounters, potential-client meetings and large industry conferences. All of the best business cards serve a purpose: They provide information about you and your work, and they hopefully encourage the receiver to follow up with you in some way. And as part of your identity, a great business card reflects your personality.
Designer: SNASK Material: 400 GSM uncoated Scandia Production: 250 x 6 people/versions Printer: DanagårdLiTHO
What makes a good business card? According to Tank Design: “A good business card should represent an individual, or business, in a way that is unobtrusive but memorable. Handing over a card takes a few seconds so it should be simple enough to be digested in that time. Impactful—but not distracting.
One could argue that all business cards are typographic, which is true, but I’m talking here about business cards that specifically use typography to look cool. Creating a typographic business card can be very fun for any graphic designer.
“The Tank card is intentionally simple and void of style. It doesn’t take a strong design perspective, because we don’t want to influence our clients visually at the earliest stage of meeting them. We don’t want to suggest we have a particular ‘style’ that will influence our thinking. We view ourselves as a gallery for our clients—a backdrop for them.
“The last element for us was the use of color to tie the brand directly to something quirky and clever—my glasses. That’s a longer story, but suffice it to say that one trip to See Eyewear ended up influencing not only our business cards, but the skyline sign on the top of our building in downtown Nashville, which you can change the color on from our Paramore Color smartphone app. How’s that for symmetry.”
Designer: Tag Collective Material: Curious Skin Collection Black 100# Cover (two sheets mounted) Production: Engraved 1/0, white ink & Letterpress 0/1, blind Printer: Sarah Riegelmann
“The logo is blind embossed in the top right, and employee information is listed clearly and simply on the bottom left. We don’t have a lot of hierarchy at Tank, so we don’t even list job positions on our cards.”
Designer: Cameron Moll Material: Crane Lettra, Pearl Production: Letterpress; hand-cut and hand-stamped Printer: Bryce Knudson, Bjorn Press
These example cards are very well designed and excellent examples of business card printing.
Designer: Joel Kreutzer, design director/senior designer at Archrival Material: Classic Crest White Production: Letterpress, lithography Printer: Elman Printing and Cranky Pressman