If you’re in business, handing out your business card is a given. But if you want to make an impression when you dole out those cards, the same old run-of-the-mill design people have seen a million times just isn’t going to cut it.
As an entrepreneur, you need to think of your business cards as a piece of your brand—a piece of your brand that you leave behind with every potential client, customer, or colleague you meet. And if you want your business card to do its job and, you know… drive business, you’ve got to do something that stands out.
In other words, you’ve got to do something unique.
A unique business card is the key to being memorable—and being memorable is what’s going to make that client, customer, or colleague choose your card out of the pile and reach out to do business.
But how, exactly, do you design a unique and memorable business card? What are your options? How can you design your business card so that it jumps to the top of the pile and makes a real impact on your business?
Let’s take a look at some business card designs that are sure to help you stand out from the pack (and grow your business in the process):
Business cards that showcase your mascot
A corporate mascot is a character that acts as the face of your brand—and a lot of companies swear by mascots as a branding strategy that builds brand recognition and connects with customers. Pillsbury has the Pillsbury Doughboy, Energizer has the Energizer Bunny, Progressive has Flo, Mr. Clean has the bald guy who looks like a genie… you get the picture.
If you’ve got a corporate mascot, chances are you put a lot of thought and effort into designing it. So why not use your business card as an opportunity to show it off?
Your mascot is a completely unique representation of you and who you are as a business—and because it’s totally, 100% you, there’s no chance that the people you’re handing your business card to have ever seen it anywhere else.
Putting your mascot front and center on your business card design works best for… companies that have a corporate mascot (#captainobvious). You put the work into designing it, so might as well use it!
Business cards that take the “color rules” and throw them out the window
Look, we get it, certain colors have a more universal appeal than others. But using the same old colors (we’re looking at you, blue) and color combinations isn’t going to do much in terms of setting your business apart from the pack.
If you want to create a truly unique business card, why not use it as an opportunity to take the “color rules” and throw them out the window—or, in other words, to get creative with your color combinations?
Using color combinations that you don’t see every day not only makes for a visually interesting business card, but it also makes for a business card people are bound to remember—and being memorable is what’s going to make all the difference in the success of your business card.
Now, we know we said to take those “color rules” and throw them out the window—but there are some basic rules you need to keep in mind to make sure your color combinations are visually appealing.
There are three different color schemes you can use when choosing colors for your business card—complimentary (opposite colors on the color wheel), analogous (colors side-by-side on the color wheel), or triadic (three colors equally spaced around the color wheel). If you stray too far from these schemes—say by choosing lime green and baby blue hues (which are two spaces apart on the color wheel), you end up with a weird mishmash of colors that just don’t work together.
Get creative and play with your different color scheme options (for instance try using unexpected shades of a traditional color), but don’t throw random colors together for the sake of creating something unique (if you want to get more in-depth on how to combine colors, check out our article on color theory).
This design strategy is best if your business isn’t afraid to push the envelope and get creative with your branding.
Business cards that think outside the box (or rectangle…or triangle)
When you think business cards, what shape comes to mind?
Most business cards are rectangular. But there’s no Business Card Bible that says you have to go square—so if you want to set yourself apart, why not go with a different shape?
Designing a circle, square, oval, octagon, or whatever-other-shape-you-can-think-of business card (seriously—the sky’s the limit) is a surefire way to stand out from the crowd and win the title of “most unique business card.”
This design strategy is perfect if you want to show you’re comfortable thinking outside of the box and putting your own spin on business traditions.
Business cards that take things to the next dimension
If your business is built around the idea that you’re cutting-edge and different, you want that to come across in your business card—and the best way to do that? By taking things to a whole new dimension.
Incorporating 3D elements, like a raised logo or architectural features, directly into your business card design is a great way to create a one-of-a-kind business card experience that your clients, colleagues, and customers are sure to remember.
So, for example, let’s say you’re a real estate agent. If you wanted to incorporate 3D elements into your business card design, you might design a card shaped like a house—and then include a door that actually opens and closes, revealing your contact information.
3D business cards are a great option for companies that are looking to (literally) jump off the page and show their customers they’re all about doing something new, different, and cutting-edge.
Business cards with logos that dare to be different
Sometimes, it’s less about the business card design and more what’s designed on the business card.
Your logo is the most powerful weapon in your branding arsenal. It’s the visual representation of who you are, what you’re about, and how you want to be viewed in the marketplace. And while you could play it safe (we’re not judging!), if you want your business cards to stand out, why not tackle first things first—and design a logo that stands out on its own?
A unique logo tells your potential clients and customers that you’re a unique business. And because your logo is often the first thing people associate with your brand—and the most prominent feature on your business card—it’s a great opportunity to set yourself apart from the competition and showcase who you are.
This design strategy is great if you want to stand out with your branding as a whole, not just your business cards (although your business cards are a great place to show off your dare-to-be-different-ness!).
Business cards that serve a purpose (other than getting your name out there)
The main purpose of a business card is to get your—and your company’s—name out there into the universe. But if you really want to stand out, try designing your business cards so they serve a purpose bigger than self-promotion.
Functional business cards (meaning cards that also function as another object) are a great way to stand out from the pack—and to provide some serious value to the person you’re giving the business card to.
The key to success with functional business cards is to make sure the function your business card serves is somehow tied to your business. If you’re a craft beer company, a bottle opener business card makes sense—but not so much if you’re a graphic design firm. If you’re launching a beauty brand, a nail file is a great option for a business card—but if you’re launching a consulting business, a nail file will leave your potential customers scratching their heads (or, in this case, their nails).
Functional business cards are definitely on the pricier side—but if you’re willing to invest, they’re a great way to set yourself apart from the competition (and to provide some actual value to anyone you hand your card).
Let me leave you my card…
Now that you have everything you need to design a one-of-a-kind business card that reflects your one-of-a-kind business, all that’s left to do is start designing!