Perhaps in a few years people will stop handing out business cards and instead just wear high tech “data rings” that exchange information automatically when you shake hands.
Until that (incredibly creepy) future arrives, business cards are the easiest way for people to remember each other from conferences or networking events.
Trouble is, pull out that wad of crumpled business cards in your pocket at the end of the convention and just try and remember who is who and which one you networked with and who said they'd call you ... You get the idea.
You might have made a good connection in person, but now you're just a business card. Since that card reflects you and your business, better make it really stand out from the crowd.
Here are some points to keep in mind when designing a business card:
Not too surprisingly, some of the most unconventional business cards are for designers or people working in the visual arts. And even though he’s not a designer, tech entrepreneur Neil Patel has some useful insights for what your should keep in mind when designing your own card.
Color: An important aspect of your business card because it has the most immediate impact. But make sure the color represents you and your company. You're an intellectual property attorney? Maybe soft pink's not the best choice for your card. Just sayin'.
Card Stock: Remember that scene in American Psycho? When all the bankers are trying to one up each other with the quality of their business cards? You don't have to go that far. (Really. Please don't, in fact.) But a quality card stock will leave a certain first impression. So it's up to you: Something from G. Lalo or one of those 5,000 free cards from Vistaprint?
Font: If you’ve ever spent any time with someone writing a doctoral dissertation, you know that typography matters. It’s the same with business cards. Each font has its own feel and voice. Pick something that is both easy to read and reflective of whom you are.
Feel: Business cards aren’t only about graphic design. How they feel also reflects something about you as well. If you want to seem gentle, go with rounded corners. If you’re looking to come across as hard-edged, try hard paper with sharp corners. If you want everyone to know that you’re a bona fide badass, your card should be sharp and aerodynamic enough to throw across a room and pass through a watermelon.
Content: The basics, please. Your name, your company, and a way to get in touch with you. Obviously your website should be on there, too. Don’t make it too cluttered or busy. Keep in mind people will often want to use the back of the card to write a note. Enable them.
How you follow these guidelines is up to you, but here are 10 pretty cool examples of business card design at work.
1. This salon really does make you feel soft around the edges. (Back)
2. A clothing company that really knows how to stitch.
3. This photographer found a clever way to showcase his work. (Back)
4. The doctor is in the house and incredibly detailed.
5. Handy as a business card and a coaster for meeting people in bars. (Side)
6. A studio that carries its sound in its pocket.
7. A warm and soft reminder of what to expect when you’re expecting.
8. A designer who can show you all the options. (Back)
9. This gallery can actually vouch for the rich quality of its interior feel.
10. Being green and making fun of other business cards everywhere.
You can find these business cards (and some 948 others) at this Flickr page. If you’re really into it, (and aren't these fun to look at? AND safe for work...) check out a whole bunch of other creative, ridiculous and brilliant business cards here and here.
While some of them might be a bit tricky to put into a traditional business card holder (or even your pocket), they’re also so memorable you might actually want to put them on display.
What do you think? How does your business card stack up to the ones above? Have a creative one to share? Tell us in the comment section below.