You surely are familiar with this situation – a business meeting comes to an end. You know that handing the most impressive business card to your prospect will be like hitting the bull’s eye. If often happens, that this triggers a prospect to become a real, paying client.
Don’t waste your time then on missing the bull’s eye – squeeze everything out of every business opportunity that happens every time when you meet a potential client.
Check out 30 amazing business cards divided into 3 categories.
Did you know?
First business cards appeared almost 600 years ago.
They evolved out of traditional visiting cards, used by aristocracy.
Top 10 (Category: Open) - business cards that command attention
Top 10 (Category: Personal) - spectacular business cards for small companies
Top 10 (Category: Printed) - examples of more traditional business cards
In order to create a truly noble business card, it is worth to give a read to this guide. Here you will learn how to avoid common pitfalls and be proud every time you hand your client a business card.
Ready to start working on your new project? These are the 6 steps that will allow you to create an amazing business cards.
Step 1: Choose your shape and size
In Europe, the standard format is 85×55 mm, which is the same size as the size of a credit card. It means that a business card will fit well into your wallet.
There are a couple of benefits for a standard size.
The first one is that thanks to its popularity, it is usually cheaper to print. On top of that, this format is instantly recognized as a business card and it fits well in a standard-size wallet.
Stamping shapes is particularly popular.
Some people choose a traditional rectangular shape with curved angles or they puch some kind of symbol within rectangular space. Some choose to go in a completely different direction and proceed with a unique shape that often represents a logo, a theme or some kind of corporate mascot. It is worth remembering that very complicated shapes will fold on the edges, or even get destroyed inside the wallet. It will make the business card not do it’s job.
Another possibility are foldable business cards.
You can fold the business card along it’s wider or shorter axis. The best option is determined by the actual design of the business card itself as well as it’s spatial orientation. A vertical business card can be folded along the longer axis, and a horizontal one – along the shorter one.
Step 2: The materials and special effects.
Standard-size business card should be printed on paper with at least 350g grammage.
300g is an absolute minimum. If you get a business card that wobbles according to gravity’s desire you get a sense of an unprofessional company.
The texture of paper is of paramount importance as well. You need to decide if you want the paper to be smooth or rough, matte or glossy, or anything in between. The printing company will show you samples and available patterns. You can also visit a dedicated shop with office materials and see what they have in store.
Consider refinement options.
While a lot of business cards aren’t refined in any way, you can choose waterproof refinement or UV-lacquer refinement. Each of these options will make the business cards more resistant, but it will also make them more expensive.
Maybe your business can afford alternate materials?
While most business cards are printed on paper, more and more people choose alternatives. Most popular ones are these printed on plastic or wood, but there are instances of business cards printed on metal. Plastic business cards are available in a see-through, matte or frosty versions. They are available in different colors and are much more expensive than good-quality paper business cards. Even the ones printed on wood can sometimes be cheaper.
Depending on your budget, you can add any kind of decorative elements to your business cards.
In order to get some ideas with regards to easily accessible decorative elements, you can visit local scrapbooking stores. If you’d like to put some effort into creating business cards, you can get inspired inside such a shop. You can also ask your local printing company what kind of decorations they have in store.
Paper can be embossed by putting it in contact with high temperature and pressure in order to create a convexed shape on a piece of paper.
Embossing is usually created without any paint on the convexed elements. On business cards it is usually the logo which happens to be embossed.
Step 3: The techniques of business card printing
Different printing techniques offer different quality, cost and appearance.
The most popular commercial printing technique is offset. However, if you are not planning to print a whole lot of business cards, this method can be too expensive due to the initial payment.
Digital print is the most popular technique for printing business cards.
Some printing houses use ink printers, while other use mostly laser printers. Digital print is usually the most cost-effective way of printing in case of small amount of business cards thanks to low initial costs. Apart from the most popular printing techniques there are a couple of them that are also worth mentioning.
Convexed print is a great choice for a more high-end appeareance.
Convexed print makes every letter of your business card stick out… literally. This technique works best with business cards of one or two colors, because every color needs to be printed separately. Most printing houses offering convexed print are very small. Cost per one business card is high, especially when printing a small amount of them, but the final effect looks exceptionally good.
Business cards with engravings are also possible.
Engravings can most often be seen on wedding invitations and other special occasion cards. Engraving process happens when printing machine uses special matrixes with metal depressions. These matrixes are covered with ink which fills the depressed spaces. Printing is performed on moist paper using high pressure. As a result, you get a paper that is highly saturated with ink. Sometimes high-temperature printing is used instead of engraving process in order to lower the costs.
Self-printed business cards are low quality.
If you ever visitet a shop with stationery or office materials, you have most probably seen some pre-made sheets of business cards, that you can buy in order to print the business cards on your own printer. If your business card is very simple (maybe even black-and-white), and your budget is very limited, this solution can be acceptable.
Step 4: Colors and the style of your business cards.
If you don’t know which colors you want to use, check out our article on the color psychology.
When you are sure which printing methods you want to use, it is time to start designing. You need to take into account the current style of other printed materials that represent your brand – website included. You also need to decide on the overall message that you want to put across with your business cards.
Color choice has a great impact on the printing technique and the cost of printing one business card.
Standard 4-color printing technique is used in both offset and digital printing. When you decide to print a single-color busienss card in this technique, you can save a bit of money, but it usually has no impact on the cost of the design itself. On the other hand single-color design can reduce the costs of engraving or convexed print significantly, as the printing matrix has to be prepared for each color separately.
If your web design is minimalistic, you need to stick to minimalistic business cards.
You need to concentrate on the font and the colors, and give less attention to graphics and decorations. With minimalistic projects, you can think about using more expensive printing techniques, such as convexed print or engravings – especially when you use 1 or 2 colors.
On the other hand. If your company is more artistic and extravagant, your business card should show it as well. It is worth to stick to 4-color print and use your own aesthetic intuition. When designing a business card, you need to be as creative as when designing a website.
It is worth experimenting with different styles of business cards and then judge how much it will cost to print them.
The price of printing business card will vary a lot from a couple of cents per card to over a dollar or even more. The budget will have a great effect on the final effect.
Step 5: Information you must include
You need to remember that the basic idea behind a business card is access to company info. Therefore, what you write on your business card is paramount to it’s success.
Some designers and business owners have a tendency to include all the info that they can think of.
Because of their small size, business cards are a great proof that less is often more.
What you include on a business card largely depends on it’s template and the most popular ways that clients contact you. In the most basic form, a business card may contain only a domain name. This can work if the domain name is also the owner’s surname or the brand name. In another case, this method can be confusing.
The bare minimum for most business cards is the business name or the name of the business owner, the position of the business card owner and the contact info (phone number, e-mail, website). You can also think about including info such as:
- Physical adress
- Social media accounts
- Advertising slogan
You can also decide to put your company logo, background picture or some other additional graphic element. On the other hand, you can decide that you want to keep you business card down to text only (preferably on a coloured paper). It is worth taking a look at other advertising materials and websites and get inspired by their appearance.
Step 6: Preparing files for print
The print parameters can sound a bit alien to everyone who has done only web design so far.
There are things which are important in only in case of a file destined for print, and can be somewhat neglected in case of a file for digital use. If we try to print these files, we will end up with a poor-looking business card.
DPI is one of the most important elements that you need to remember when designing a business card. All business cards should have a resolution of at least 300dpi for every graphic element used in the design process. Fonts should be included within the file as fonts, not as graphic elements in order to give them smooth edges. You also need to remember the printing loss on the edges of your business card.
Every printing house has its own preference when it comes to file details. They need to be checked before finishing the design in order to check wheather your work according to their specifications. Some printing houses require PDF files created in a specific way, some accept EPS or TIFF files, but in such a case it is worth using files of higher resolution (600 or even 1200dpi), because fonts will not be placed inside these files.