The most innovative business cards of 2018
You won't want to throw away these beauties!
We all want our business cards to stand out and be memorable. But how do you push the envelope and ensure your card becomes a valuable asset in promoting your name and reputation?
In this article, we bring together some of the most eye-catching and inventive examples of business cards we’ve come across this year.
Not all of these concepts may work for you, but they’ll certainly succeed in sparking your imagination to come up with ideas of your own.
01. The choose-your-own-image business card
This PR company lets clients choose their own business card image
Choosing an image for a business card - just one thing that represents what you’re all about - can be a tough call. But happily these days, you don’t have to.
MOO’s Printfinity service allows you to print a different design on the back of each individual card, and it’s an opportunity that Hayley Smith, director of Boxed Out PR, has taken full advantage of.
The company used MOO's Printfinity service to print the customised cards
“Business cards have always been a huge aspect of my marketing, and I love the psychology behind them,” she says. “We make every image different and we ask people to choose one for themselves, to make it more memorable. We have various different images, and we try to change them up a few times per year.”
Using individual images makes business cards more personable and memorable
“We choose the images from Wix and Unsplash, my partner designs them, and we order them from MOO on 400gsm paper," she adds.
02. The recycled cotton card
Business cards made of cotton… well, why not?
Tim Easley has been getting innovative with materials for his business cards. The London-based illustrator and designer collaborated with MOO on designs to promote its Cotton Business Cards launch, and you can see the colourful and eye-catching results above.
“I have a background in music and fashion, so designing cards that look like album covers, but are actually made out of recycled T-shirts, seemed like a great fit,” says Easley.
“For this project I illustrated four different designs, then produced a range of colourways to take full advantage of MOO's printing options.” Discover how to create your own cotton business cards here.
03. The lenticular business card
This lenticular card reveals four different words as you move one part along the other
Abigail Fisk is a junior designer working at Butterfly London, whose lenticular business card has caused quite a splash. It comes in two parts: the main card; an acetate sheet with black lines; and a paper clip to join them together.
As you move the acetate across the card, four different words are revealed: ‘hello’, ‘Abigail Fisk’, ‘tea enthusiast’, and ‘graphic designer’. It’s a simple but compelling effect, and this is one business card that no one is going to throw away.
“The concept came from an earlier project in which I made a lenticular vinyl cover,” Fisk explains. “As you pulled the cover in and out of the acrylic casing, it revealed 36 different illustrations across four layers. As that had worked so well, I decided to translate it into a business card.
“The process was pretty time consuming and challenging but once I understood how the layering and dividing of the images worked, it all came together in an exciting and rewarding way,” she adds. The result was well worth the time spent nose-to-screen, lining it all up perfectly.”
04. The business card that’s also a bookmark
This business card is actually made of metal
Col Gray is a brand and graphic designer based in Dundee, Scotland, who’s a keen heavy metal fan. Appropriately enough, his laser cut and etched business card is made from stainless steel. And it even doubles as a bookmark.
“I'm a firm believer that business cards are still a relevant way of passing over contact details,” says Gray. “But I think you need to make them creative and memorable. When it came to creating mine, I remembered a card I was given, waaaaay back in 1999 from a now-defunct design studio. It was made of metal and shaped like a razor blade. The memory of it always stuck with me and I said to myself that one day, when I had the right idea, I'd get one too.”
Part of Gray’s personal branding is to use the “devil horns” hand gesture at the end of his YouTube videos, and the equivalent emoji in his social media posts. “So it was obvious that my business card needed this too as the design. I wanted it to be functional as well, so I turned it into a useable bookmark that people would keep.”
It doubles as a handy bookmark
He asked the printing company, Plasma Design, if they could cut right through the metal, allowing him to bend up the hand/arm so that it could slip over a page in a book. “They walked me through the technicalities of laser etching and cutting and how I should set up my artwork,” Gray recalls.
“It’s all very different from standard printing and you have to take into account the effect that etching has on the thickness of the steel, especially if you want the card to be etched on both sides. I had to start thinking about microns of steel rather than thickness and weight of paper.”
The extra effort definitely paid off, though. “The cards turned out really well and when I attended an event and started to hand my cards out, everybody wanted one!”
05. The handmade-gift business card
This card comes as a hand-made gift to be unwrapped
When someone hands you a business card, your immediate impulse is to stick it in your pocket and forget about it. But if someone gives you a hand-wrapped gift; well, that’s another story.
This was precisely the thinking behind the business cards for Arcane Circus, a two-person game development team based in the Netherlands.
“Our business cards are hand-made by the two of us, usually a couple of weeks before an industry networking event,” explains co-founder Molly Heady-Carrol. “We print the casings, then cut them out and fold them, fastening certain parts with coloured wool, staples and pushpins.
People love getting 'gifts', so these business cards are far more likely to be kept than discarded
“Other parts are decorated with beads and others need to have holes punctured as well. Then the holofoil card inserts and candy are placed inside, and a paper covering is used to protect the cards while travelling.”
These business cards were the brainchild of Erik van Wace, the designer and developer at Arcane Circus, she adds. “He wanted to create something that gave the receiver a feeling that they’d just been gifted a mysterious trinket. Intrigue and wonder are big parts of Arcane Circus, and we try to inject that into every aspect of the company.”
06. The wooden business card
This striking business ‘card’ is actually made of wood
Printing your business card on... card? Boring. Mark Leary, a Nottingham-based illustrator, graphic designer and art director, decided to do something a little different, and created these wooden business cards, which can’t help but attract attention.
“I initially came up with the design in Adobe Illustrator,” explains Leary, who goes by the monicker ASYLUMseventy7 and works mainly in the alternative and music industries. “It was important to ensure there were no parts not connected to the main piece, for obvious reasons. Then I converted the design to solid work paths, and sent it off to my friend Laura Mathews.
“Laura is a highly skilled and talented wooden sculptor; much more than is needed for this project,” he adds. “The cards were cut out of 3mm plywood, making them very strong and giving them a great tactile quality that people don’t just discard like a standard card. I’ve started spray painting some to make them more interesting, too.”
07. The simple-but-effective business card
This concisely worded business card says it all
Sometimes the best way to get people’s attention is not how you produce them, but what they actually say. We love the beautifully concise wording on this business card for Michelle Nicol, a freelance copywriter in north-east England who goes by the monicker Wordstruck. This cooly minimalist card was created by Newcastle design and branding agency Stop.
08. The handwritten business card
This business owner writes each of his cards individually
Zach Pousman is founder of Helpfully, an R&D firm in Atlanta, Georgia, who serves partners and clients worldwide.. And he’s taken the idea of personalised business cards to a whole new level.
“I’m an innovation consultant, and I run research and product design - I do a lot,” he explains. “So I have 3.5 x 3.5 cards that are mostly blank. Then I Sharpie on them to explain what we do or what we might do together.”
He takes this approach because of two major design constraints with standard business cards. “First, I was worried about putting a title on my cards. Different companies call what we do different things, and our services are broad. So not having a title on the cards meant I could describe our services using the words the person I was meeting understands.
“Second, I was thinking about the business card as a concept... You might think the purpose of a business card is to efficiently transfer meta-data to another person. But that's not right. The purpose of a business card is to be memorable; the info is secondary. So then it hit me. Make the recipient something memorable, right on the fly.”
The size and design came after that. “They’re regular width, but not quite double height (3.5" x 3.5"),” he says. “It's enough to be bigger than a regular card, but also not such a weird size. I find tiny cards to be too easy to lose in a bag, or get dropped from the stack. People sometimes even fold mine over and use my card to hold the other cards they collect.”
09. The origami business card
This colourful card folds out into a fabulous flower
It doesn’t matter how old or serious we get, everyone likes being given something fun to play with. And so incorporating origami, the Japanese art of paper folding, into your business card is a great way to create something people will love.
This card for an events management and AV management company is a great example. Tying in beautifully with the ‘busy bee’ icon, it starts life as a garden windmill then opens up into a flower, with each petal offering different details. So not only is it colourful and fun, it actually provides a ton more information than your average business card.
This eye-catching card was designed by Exeter studio Buddy Creative and produced by Bristol-based digital print specialists With Print. It was printed using HP Indigo Digital Print, with die cut finishing. It was then creased both sides, folded, and held together with an enamel pin badge.
Want to wow potential clients and collaborators with your own business card designs? Digital print and design companymoo.com can help. You’ll find a wealth of fun, affordable, easy-to-use tools for creating premium business cards, postcards and other stationery to really do your brand justice.
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