Though their origin can be traced back to 15th century China, business cards remain one of the most effective networking and promotional tools an entrepreneur can have at their disposal.
In a flash, you can capitalize on an opportunity by supplying a potential partner or client with everything they could need to get in contact with you.
That’s why it’s vital that your business card design is memorable and compelling.
Within that 85 × 55 mm canvas (standard UK business card size), you can afford to be as creative as you like in order to advertise yourself and your business.
But what makes the best business cards?
To inspire you, we take a look at the business cards of four entrepreneurs and discuss their design choices…
An extra-thick paper quality suggests authority
Michael, founder of WeCompareCasinos.com
WeCompareCasinos.com is a website that helps people find licensed and regulated online casinos with expert advice on what each one offers consumers. Founder Michael tells us how his extra thick, playing card-themed business card lets people know he means business…
“Our business card replicates a casino playing card. In most industries there are a lot of expos and events where literally 1000s of traditional, basic business cards are handed out and just end up sitting in someone’s wallet, never to be seen again.
“Being new to the scene, we need to stand out and that is what prompted me to design something special, unique, yet very industry specific.
“We opted to use Vistaprint’s extra thick option as it is much better to the touch and therefore holds a bit more authority. The second someone’s fingertips touches our card they know we mean business. If from the very beginning we show that we pay attention to the smaller things, it leaves the impression that, despite being the new guys on the block, we mean business.”
A simple design can still contain a powerful message
Kate White, founder of re:lax
Holistic therapist Kate White uses natural skincare products, nutritional therapy, herbs, supplements and lifestyle advice to combat common issues such as stress, anxiety, digestive issues and hormone imbalances which all impact the skin’s appearance.
“When designing my business cards, I wanted my logo and name to be the most eye-catching feature and the reason a potential client picks it up – because they want to relax and feel good.
“On the front of the card my web address, email, Instagram handle and number are all clearly printed so that clients can easily contact me or find out more information about my treatments.
“On the back is a pencil drawing of an oak tree shoot bursting from an acorn. This is a subtle nod towards the fact that my approach to skincare and my treatments use only natural methods. Typically facials and skincare are linked to chemicals and pharmaceuticals.
“The cards are printed on recycled paper as an attempt to try and reduce my carbon foot print.”
A statement business card can kick-start conversation at events
Tom Bourlet, the Spaghetti Traveller
Search and paid media manager Tom Bourlet combines his passions for travel and marketing in the Spaghetti Traveller blog, so named because he realised whilst travelling that the thing he missed the most about home was spaghetti hoops. Here he explains how his business card reflects the light-hearted nature of his business.
“The color coding matches my site design and logo, all detailed within my personal brand guidelines. The logo itself utilised a font that made it look non-corporate and modern, while adding the plane to highlight the travel aspect.
“The image of myself at the Uyuni Salt Flats in a Jack Sparrow costume was used as it is very unique for a business card and helps it stand out in the crowd, as so many are handed out at events. It’s also a great talking point when they are exchanged.
“The key information is highlighted first, with the email being my main point of contact, followed by my Twitter account. I’ve intentionally left of the Facebook page as I tend to neglect this platform a bit and I wouldn’t want to receive communication through this avenue and miss it.”
If you want to stand out, don’t just embody industry clichés
Charlie Spokes, founder of My Friend Charlie
My Friend Charlie is the company behind a refreshingly old-fashioned way of dating. It organises offline dating events for Londoners in their 30s and 40s including everything from gin-tasting to paddle boarding.
“My Friend Charlie organizes and hosts some of the best offline dating events in London. With events ranging from axe throwing to wine tasting there’s something for everyone so stop swiping and get excited about dating in real life.
“My business is a unique concept in the digital world as we aim to encourage people to meet in a more natural way and to enjoy dating again and therefore I needed a business card which would convey this too.
“We knew we needed a classic logo and color scheme which had to be easy to read but also eye catching – and of course quality was important too. It was important we stayed away from the clichés of the dating world – and I think we achieved that well!”