A business card is important in virtually any industry. A simple business card is your brand. It shows potential clients not only what you do, but also gives them a glimpse into the type of person you are, and what they can expect from your work.
The importance of a distinctive and creative business card is even more vital for graphic designers, however. Indeed, the very card that you are showing is in essence a small sample of your actual work product. As opposed to, say, a lawyer or businessperson, whose cards are essentially all the same, a graphic designer’s card must stand out from a crowd.
Now that we’ve established the importance of a unique card for graphic designers, let’s take a look at some of the most effective design ideas to ensure your card stands out from the pack.
When people think of a business card they think of text. Typically, a card states your name, title, address, the company you work for, and some contact information (email, cell phone, etc.). If you want your card to be distinctive among a dozen others, give your audience exactly what they don’t expect.
Especially in the graphic design world, which is mostly digital, all you really need is a website for your clients to check out your work. Spice up your card by incorporating an awesome image or collage of images that showcase your talent. Move away from text-heavy cards and make your card more of a work of art rather than a technical piece.
Have you ever gone to a networking event or reunion and walked away with a stack of business cards? Usually there are two problems: 1. they’re all the same size and generally use the same material, or 2. someone tried to get too fancy and made their card into a Swiss army knife or unicorn that jabs you in the chest after you slip it into your sports coat.
Solution? Textures. By using different textures, such as foil stamping or a 3D texture, people can immediately spot your card from others and grab yours first. Even textured letterpresses can be quite effective.
Another mistake designers make with their cards is trying too hard to be too creative. They’ll lambast their card with intricate fonts or stuff it with graphics so that any information is virtually impossible to read or understand.
Go with a different approach and use simplicity to your advantage. Cards that use white space (and no, it doesn’t literally have to be white) are eloquent and give a sense of simplicity that viewers will appreciate.
In an industry that tries so hard to be prominent, transparent business cards allow you to be simple yet keep that modern touch. In addition to just being cool to look at (or look through), the transparent look deviates from the traditional paper card that everyone is all too accustomed to.
To take this idea one step further, you make use plastics to make your card waterproof. While your competitors cards are ruined once a client accidentally spills water or their card, or drops it in the rain, yours will still be looking shiny and new. Moreover, plastic provides a nice medium weight in between flimsy paper and heavy metal.
Our last recommendation for a distinctive business card is one that gained traction in 2019, and is sure to flourish in 2020: make it smart. Including your name, address, phone number, etc. is so 2000. It forces people to either keep your card forever, or go through the painstaking effort of writing your contact information down and praying they never lose it. Don’t make your client work!
By putting a QR code on your card your client can easily scan the card, and all of your information will automatically populate in their phone. Today, most business card makers allow for this option. Take advantage and make it easier for people that want your information, but don’t want to have to carry around a business card for the next few years.
Step into the next decade with a modern card that not only shows your technologically-savvy, but also willing to take the leg work out of tasks for your client. Get smart.