License to Quill takes a look at 25 business card designs you can’t ignore to help you find a spark of inspiration for your own.
You can’t beat face-to-face interaction when it comes to creating new business, but it’s unlikely someone you’ve just met will remember your email address later that evening or the next day and even less likely they will remember your phone number – especially if alcohol was involved. In steps the business card.
Unfortunately for trees, the 17th century invention – known back then as “trade cards” – lives on in the digital age and for a number of excellent reasons. Business cards not only make it incredibly easy for someone to get hold of you, they can remind someone who you were, help communicate your brand or message and differentiate you or your business from the crowd.
This is why it’s so important to stand out with something eye-catching, memorable, trendy or just downright silly. For that, you need inspiration. Reason enough to look at our favourite business card designs, then.
25 Business card designs:
Nothing sticks in the mind better than a throwing star, literally, in fact. This is probably why NinjaBTL decided that its business card should be shaped like the deadly ninja weapon. “Killing the ordinary” is the tagline, which these business cards most certainly do.
Black business cards can say ‘nightclub owner’ quite rapidly, but a bit of black and white looks timeless. This particular business card doesn’t just look classy, though. It’s shaped like a mixtape and comes in a plastic cassette case for added authenticity. Makes sense when you realise the company is called Mixtape Generation.
If you don’t fancy the hassle of cutting holes in your business card or your business isn’t music related, black and white can still make for an appealing colour scheme. In the case of graphic design agency Fuse, simple white lettering and lots of space makes this particular business card stand out beautifully.
Bentley is a luxury brand, a fact always reflected in the price tag of its cars. So a business card for such a prestigious company had to reflect its premium nature. Cue a business card made of metal with the shape of a grille from one of its cars at the bottom.
This one has been circling the internet for a while, but the Chris Fisher business card is still very cool. Shaped like an old microphone, this card is the perfect design for someone who spends their day presenting radio and it could double up as a comb, too. Possibly.
A business card doesn’t just have to be flat as this business card for Intersection Magazine shows. Spend a little time folding it as per the instructions and you end up with a classic Nissan Skyline GT-R 2000 to sit on your desk.
Question: Why would you want business cards shaped like a phone box? Answer: When your advertising agency office is actually based in a phone booth in New York, that’s when. No, we’re not making this up. A clever way of emphasising a unique quality.
You don’t necessarily need a reason to have a business card you can fold into interesting shapes. Mogibo decided that it needed one you can fold up to make a square version of its employees. Clever way to get your business card to ‘stand tall’.
Lindsey Casabella business cards
Sometimes a bit of word association can go down a treat when thinking of ideas. In this case, we can imagine the word ‘stylist’ became ‘hair’ and then ‘comb’. Hence why this business card is shaped in the way it is, with some attractive colouring to boot.
The average business card is 85mm x 55mm, but that doesn’t mean you have to stick with that. It’s not always hip to be, erm, rectangular, after all. This business card goes for a camera shutter pattern on the back and what looks like two hills at the top, resulting in an eye-catching design.
If you’ve ever owned an old Fiat, you’ll probably know their electrics are, well, plain awful. In no time at all you become an expert on dashboard warning lights. That’s why this Mr Lube’s business card and its change oil design works so well – it plays to sorting the problem out.
Mais Pilates business cards
Ah, the joy of exercise replicated in a business card. Mais Pilates business cards, with the slogan “wake up your body”, allow you to put the stick man or women (it’s not immediately clear, if you catch our drift) in various positions, the sort you may end up doing at the classes.
Rolling paper firm OCB’s rather clever business card demonstrates healthy business sense. Just like the packaging for its product, a cardboard case dispenses paper, only the paper this time has contact details on and would probably burn with a funny smell.
Need a chair to rest your weary fingers? No, because that’s just stupid. But we’re still drawn to a business card that folds into a chair, especially when the company behind it specialises in furniture that doesn’t require a degree in mechanics to assemble.
TedEx business cards
If at first you don’t succeed, try borrowing from somebody else. In this case, call yourself TedEx so that you mimic FedEx, including the logo. It’s risky, given the lawsuit you may well face if you take a similar route, but Ted’s Excellent Music business card did make us chuckle.
A one, a two – a one, two, three, four. What? We’re trying to get in time with the beat. Something you should probably do if you intend on taking drumming lessons from the creator of this snazzy business card that doubles up as a drum. Now we just need some drum sticks… oh wait. You get those, too.
Melvin business cards
This next business card has to be one of the strangest, but it’s perfect for someone who labels themself a “hacker, entrepreneur and all-round mischief maker.” It’s comprised standard lockpicks, making it perfect if you lock yourself out of your home.
If photography is your thing, you spend your life looking through lenses to capture those Kodak moments. So we can’t argue with a business card for a photograher that’s shaped like a lens. Say cheese!
Paul Nielsen Personal Trainer business cards
The simple ones are the best. Paul Nielsen, a personal trainer, makes his potential clients work their muscles to read the text. Definitely a case of no pain, no gain.
This business card from The Farm certainly doesn’t pull the wool over your eyes. Instead, it neatly presents it right in front of you so you can get a feel for the product. Baarilliant.
Steven Whitely business cards
Builders need to measure things, or else your house ends up wonky and sinks into the foundations. That makes business cards with a ruler on two edges reassuring, not to mention useful if you need to measure the height of something under three inches. No laughing back there!
Business cards don’t just have to use plain-old ink. They can be embossed to make something stand out or you can apply some spot UV action to make a part of your business card ultra glossy. You can even use silver foil stamping, which is what you can see in the Yomesubo business card. Cool as a cucumber.
If you are after a touch of elegance and class, you can’t beat textured paper, a fancy font and a touch of gold foil. Certainly not for every business, though.
San Francisco nightclub Eve Lounge went for a bit of gold foil and spot gloss for its classy business cards, ending up with something Peter Stringfellow would be proud of.
It’s easy to forget a business card can be more than just a flat bit of paper. A folding card can have a mini CV on the inside, for example, and it also means the card can stand up on someone’s desk. That’s what the E The Look design goes for and it looks the business.