From simple and minimalistic to attention-getting and loud, your business card is your identity in the eyes and hands of your contacts. Even if you do business solely online, having a business card on hand for those timely new acquaintances shows you take your profession seriously. How do you design a card that gives an unforgettable impression? It all depends on your industry, goals, and who you want to attract.

Simple and Clean

These are your basic cards made with simple stock, straightforward contact info, and maybe a small logo. They are typically standard size. Don’t let the simplicity fool you, these cards can still be effective at making your name stick when a potential new client considers your services.

Perfect For: Newer businesses or individuals just getting started or those who don’t have a high marketing budget.

Maximize Effectiveness: Choose a colour cardstock instead of straight white. Vary font size and reserve larger font for your name and business type. Include brand logo for recognition.

Unusual Shapes/Folded Cards

Uniquely shaped cards are immediately unexpected and less likely to be discarded easily. Folded cards invite a level of interaction most cards don’t have. These are more likely to be shared between people, meaning your information will be seen by more eyes than the standard card. It’s the business card that markets itself.

Perfect For: Those who want to stand out in a crowded industry and start-ups that want to leave a lasting impression. Also effective for established businesses that undergo rebranding or want to recruit new prospects.

Maximize Effectiveness: Include an additional surprise such as a quote, joke, or picture. Encourage people to interact with the card by including information on all sides. Make it colourful and use different textures to draw the eye and touch.

Unique Materials

Cardstock is the tried and true material to use, but recent years have seen stand out companies using everything from stamped metal to thin wood blocks to create a truly unique presence. These cards cost more, but are definitely unforgettable.

Perfect For: Large conferences, professional events, or other times when your card will be competing with a large population of others at one time. Good for those who don’t need a lot of cards on hand but still want to make an impression when the opportunity arises.

Maximize Effectiveness: Use materials associated with your industry. For example An auto-repair shop may use a stamped metal card for its association with cars. A professional chef might use a wooden card because of its association with a cutting board. These businesses might include logos or shapes to increase material association such as cutting the card to look like a car key or stamping the image of a knife.

Promotional Items

Everyone likes to get something for free. Including a relevant promotional item with your card is surprising and immediately creates an association between your business and the item every time it’s used.

Perfect For: New marketing campaigns or active outreach in public spaces or events.

Maximize Effectiveness: Tie the design of your card with the promotional piece so they can always be associated with one another. For example A professional writer may hand out pencil sharpeners or erasers as a promotion, their business card meets the theme by featuring the image of a pencil. Consider having your business name or logo printed on both the card and the promotional item too

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