Case Study: Designing Business Card that Rocks!
Business cards are hard printed medium for spreading word about your business and what you do. These papers should truly stand the test of time and patience between those you offer services towards. Thus, their concepts should be fascinating and creative, stretching far from common people’s imagination.
Likewise we are not all gifted artists in this trade. Whether you’re freelancing alone or building a team business, cards will always influence your sales numbers. Consider some of the points I’ve raised below regarding modern card templates and how you can break out of the box. Such creativity isn’t as difficult as implied by artists and merely requires a bit of stretched thinking.
Concept arts showcased below are geared towards the modern era of print layout. There are many styles and shapes to consider, so I also recommend spending time not only researching but building a collection of business cards to enhance your mind patterns. Certainly if you’ve got further suggestions or ideas please do leave them in the comment section!
The Simple Pass-off
Regardless of the style and setting of your business card, we can extract the same conclusion from many different artists. Business cards shouldn’t be created too extravagantly as they turn into burdens of annoying paper not worth anybody’s time.
In fact, the whole purpose of exchanging cards with others is to allow for easy communication later on. The pass off period is how much time is required to hand out your business card and gauge your colleague’s reaction. With more complicated and erratic structures it will be very difficult for clients to find a comfortable placement in their pockets.
(Image Source: Whiskey Design)
Consider sticking with shapes standard towards squares and rectangles. Objects which protrude outward can be fun and even evoke a state of playfulness. However this generally doesn’t belong in modern business card design and can retract from your credibility.
Keep in mind how the receiver will feel taking a big hunk of cardboard paper from you. If they really wish to contact you it’d be simpler for them to find a secure placement somewhere in their personals, i.e. a wallet or purse. This ensures they can find it later and it wouldn’t be sent through the washing machine by accident.
You’ve got to push your company brand like nothing else. When it comes to passing around cards and word of mouth, nothing is more powerful than backup imagery and branding.
Notice fuzzy or embossed logos will stand out tremendously. Similarly adding holographic or shiny techniques over your logo gives your company the futuristic look. Every sleek businessman wants their cards to shine and this is one great technique.
(Image Source: Card Gala)
On a similar note you may create a letter branding or icon theme. This could be the first letter of your company, or possibly a similar logo such as Exxon’s logo. Regardless the point is to repeat and create the illusion of a dynamic pattern. Small hole punches or background imagery will fit the bill perfectly.
In spite of how you approach branding, you should consider the outcome important towards marketing. A company icon or logo will generally supplement a longer title since the symbolism is easier to recognize. If you are truly lacking space on your card try fitting something into the back side, or even a light shading of background textures. Some very creative designers have showcased these exact techniques with precision and great imagination.
Highlights of Typography
For some time consider how powerful the role of typography plays on your business card. Anybody holding onto your piece of paper will surely be interested in the information printed. This means your contacts should be legible and neatly spaced!
I can’t even begin to imagine how many cards offer poor-quality optics when comparing text. There have been many examples where background and text color barely contrast and almost blend together – quite a costly mistake. When clientele or possible leads become frustrated they’ll eventually give up, or best case scenario: google your brand and hopefully find a means of contact.
(Image Source: Card Gala)
Highlight different sections and see if you can draw attention into portions of your cards. The attentive bunch will pick up on simple techniques such as attracting eyes towards your company’s website or personal e-mail address. No matter what your objectives as a businessman any new lead is always a great possibility for prosperous growth.
Clever Puns & Symbology
When you’ve got a company working in a specific sector of society it’s simple to build clever puns with these. Often times this will come into fruition through clothing apparel and print companies, also handymen decorating cards with tools and clipart.
(Image Source: Secret Agent Man)
Symbolism can play a key role in business card design. For a company such as Google it’s all too common an occurrence to play around in their neck of the woods. Holding the elite position of “Top Search Engine” the employees of Google are able to play off such a historic role in society with comical imagery proportional to their home page. The business card below is a prime example displaying the person’s name inside the search field with contact information on the back.
If you’ve acquired a talented graphic designer or know your way around Photoshop it’s entirely possible to blend symbology into your branding. If you can find a symbol or animal which represents your company, card design is often the best creative artboard for showcasing your ideas and getting your new branding afloat.
(Image Source: Vista-se)
Suspending User Interaction
One major point of interest towards card design comes from an aspect of human intervention. By adding neat effects it’s simple to create interactive business cards which capture the imagination.
Your competitors will be ripe with envy while all of your clientele and corporate partners will be awestruck. There are many examples of this style, namely by Matt Imus in the photo below. You may notice not only the small slots of information open but there is a sliding inner piece which displays extra information.
(Image Source: msimus)
This technique is just one of the many exciting renditions of interactive card design. Granted this isn’t the only viable solution, and in fact is quite rare. You would need a strong press or somebody very knowledgeable about printing dual or triple layered cards.
In other examples interactive designers often display maps and even cards wrapped in packaging. These effects are very contemporary and will help you stand out from the crowd. Ensure you don’t cross the line and go overboard, though, as your audience is probably finicky and wouldn’t like to spend hours toying around with your cards.
Throughout many of these tips it’s difficult to fully grasp how business cards are created. The vast amounts of creativity required far exceed the mindset of many top graphic designers. I often find myself digging through internet archives for fantastic galleries of newer and modern card structures.
Below I’ve included over 25 business card examples for your viewing pleasure. These range from standard black-and-white letterpress to the exotic and almost inconceivable pieces. If you’re struggling to come up with your own card design I recommend checking out our brief gallery below.
Reactor. (Image Source: Cardonizer)
Lisandro Enrique. (Image Source: Lisandro Moises Enrique)
Yup. (Image Source: Peipei Yu)
Ubiquitous. (Image Source: Blush Publishing)
Violett Chakakov. (Image Source: Violet Tchalakov)
Wilma Traldi. (Image Source: Wilma Traldi)
Amanda K Photography. (Image Source: A Fine Press / Jane Johnson Design)
Lou Fargeot. (Image Source: Lou Fargoet)
Top Funky. (Image Source: Geoffrey Grosenbach)
Sabrina Sorella. (Image Source: Stefanie Sosial)
Metallics Unlimited. (Image Source: Luice Design)
Design Nine. (Image Source: DesignNineMedia)
Nataliea Roberts. (Image Source: Natalie Roberts)
Edouard Domenici. (Image Source: Edouard Domenici)
Marnie Gilder. (Image Source: Domian Hamilton)
Forge. (Image Source: Forge)
Klinetech. (Image Source: Julie Hanan Design)
Leroy T. (Image Source: BlueQ Desings)
CR. (Image Source: CR)
Rachel Russell. (Image Source: Mark Cossey)
Thomas Antiques . (Image Source: Stefan Irava)
Jake Caputo. (Image Source: Design Crumbs)
Square One Communications. (Image Source: Ryan Ribstein and Matt @ Luice Design)
WOOOOOO!. (Image Source: Woooooo! Design Team)
Abby Doodles. (Image Source: Abbydoodles Paperie)
Duo. (Image Source: Lisa & Ian)
Anick Bauer. (Image Source: Anick Bauer)
Jonny Campbell. (Image Source: Jonny Campbell)
Milky Interactive. (Image Source: Olivier Pineda)
Whether you are working solo or aspiring to construct your business kingdom, business card design will guide you along the path towards building reputation. It’s difficult to break into any market these days without some form of physical presence.
In today’s culture it’s all about who you know. And the best way to increase who you know is through meet-n-greet with business cards! Never feel shy to offer your information or greet a new contact. When divulging towards deeper inspiration I recommend our huge collection of business card templates as a great starting point.
Spend some time browsing online galleries to come up with not only ideas but publishers who may create and print your cards. This process doesn’t need to be difficult and can actually result in a very fun experience. Try brainstorming in a group with close friends to see just how articulate the process of creation manifests.
Author: Jake Rocheleau
Jake is a user experience designer for both web and mobile platforms. Having over 4 years of freelance projects under his belt, he frequently writes articles on topics of modern design trends and social media. You can check out some of his work on Dribbble or follow his tweets @jakerocheleau.