10 clever ways to make your next business card design pop

Business card design doesn’t have to be as boring as it often is, and can be used as a creative medium for creative, eye-catching and mind-stimulating visual statements. Before opening your old 3.5″ x 2″ business card design template, I encourage you take a look at some of these swag business cards that think outside the box.

Taking a fresh approach might just capture your clients imagination, as well as many of their future customers.

1. Bleeds

Business card for Raw Sushi Bar
By Futura for Raw Sushi Bar

Working in a small print medium such as business card design, it’s almost foolish not to play with your bleeds. It allows your design to expand beyond the print surface and push past what the

2. Die cut

Personal business cards for Dustin Friesen
Personal business cards for Dustin Friesen

One often overlooked business card option is die cutting. It opens the door to so many creative creative options. In the example above, Dustin Friesen embraces geometry in both the shape of his die cut and in the color blocking within. This creates a specific sensibility that wouldn’t translate to standard business card dimensions.

3. Realism

unique business cards
By Rethink for La Charcuterie

In a style one might call silly-swag, Rethink utilized realism to create this fun eye-tricking business card. So much more effective than a standard format card!

4. Interactive

Business card for Norburn Aircraft Supply
Business card for Norburn Aircraft Supply

In this business card design, the card is perforated in a way that it can be disassembled and reassembled into a small airplane. It’s not rocket science to figure out what the correct shapes are, and proposing a “transforming” card might be an interesting option to pitch to your next client.

5. Wood

unique business card
By Sam Gough for rda (via dribbble)

Designer Sam Gough used scrap wood from the product he was selling to create these thick, wooden business cards. These cards have a certain weight in the hand that sets them apart from the most common paper card designs.

6. Conceptual approach

Business card for Alicia Rius
Business card for Alicia Rius

There are no rules in business card design. One example that completely breaks the “rules” is the Alicia Rius card, which literally reconstructs a slide negative, however instead of holding a photograph it holds her contact information. That is some serious conceptual-swag.

7. DIY creations

cut out business card
By The Hungry Workshop for Rabbit Hole Cafe

Everyone loves animals. In a similar vein to the folding airplane business card, this letterpress design takes a pop-art approach with neon colors and halftone patterning – then asks the recipient create a cute little rabbit out of it.

8. Twisting

twistable business card
Business card for Danielle Abisaab (via Cardonizer)

One parameter of paper design that is often overlooked is twisting – which is a perfect (and incredibly clever) concept for a yoga instructor, as seen above. With that said, this parameter could also be utilized in a design for any number of people or products related to twisting.

9. Plastic or see-through cards

Clever business card
Business card for DJ Adubs

An interesting entry into the business card manufacturing world is the plastic see-through card. The design potential for these cards is vast. The design for DJ Adubs’ business card is brilliant, creating the appearance of a plastic cassette tape. Pretty convincing from a straight-on perspective!

10. Money

Currency design for business card
Jose Ernesto Rodriguez

One thing that goes hand in hand with swag is money, and there might not be anything that catches a person’s interest more than being given money. Designer Jose Rodriguez takes full advantage of this concept creating a dead serious rendition of a business card printed on money.


There are many different and eye-catching ways to craft business cards beyond the typical templates. Use these examples as a starting point to help you tap into your inner swag!

Share your favorite business card designs in the comments!

The author


workerbee is a self taught designer from the east coast with a relentless curiosity in all realms of life. 99designs profile: workerbee.

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