Leave a lasting impression

Despite the emergence of all things digital, business cards are still very relevant which is why every brand needs some great business card ideas. When attending networking events, conferences, even when casually meeting someone at a party, you want to have a tangible item that you can give to someone.

Something that will help them to remember you. And “remember” is the key word here. Offering up a business card that is uninspired, boring and run-of-the-mill, you can pretty much expect that card will just get shoved into a wallet or handbag never to emerge again. Design elements count, logos count, graphics are crucial. 

Text "Business cards professional. creative. unforgettable." on a dark background - Ways to showcase yourself and your company with creative business card designs - Image

When considering how to best represent yourself and your company via a business card design, think outside of the box. Creativity is everything when it comes to card design.

Just ask yourself: do you want to get lost amid a field of same-old-same-old, or make a dynamic impression with a business card that truly says something about you? If you chose the latter, here are twenty business card ideas that will get you noticed! 

Geometric Card Design

Business card template with sharp geometric shapes and hatched background - Ideas on how to achieve flexibility in your business card design using definitive geometric shapes - Image

The eye naturally tends to gravitate toward definitive shapes, bold rectangular structures and interesting lines. With a business card that is largely geometric you are without question making a statement. It’s not necessarily about putting all relevant info front and center; rather, it is also about the element of fun and perhaps a bit of whimsy as well. 

With geometric design you have flexibility. And flexibility, especially given the economy of space, is crucial. Depending on how the template is laid out, you can opt to place name and contact information in a variety of different configurations as can be seen in the above example. 

Keeping it Simple

Simple personal trainer business card template with dumbbell and water bottle - Tips on how to keep your business card design simple - Image

Simplicity can be underrated. You can have a card design that is both simple and yet still quite memorable. A card that showcases white space as much as it does name, business and contact information, really serves to call attention to the intent of the card itself: highlighting you and your profession.

Sometimes clutter detracts from the focus. And of course, simple also doesn’t meant that you can’t incorporate some clever, albeit, subtle design elements—even if they’re a bit on the quirkier side. There’s something to be said for quirky! 

Angular Designs

Universal business card design with angular shapes - Tips for using angular designs to draw attention to certain elements of your business card - Image

Hand-in-hand with geometric business card ideas are those that take advantage of angles. Angles have a sharpness to them. This sharpness inevitably catches the eye and directs it accordingly. And in conjunction with a series of interconnected angles, having a color palette that blends complementary shades adds to the effectiveness of the overall design. 

Abstract Card Design

Business card template with abstract background - How to engage someone's attention with abstract business card design - Image

Business card design doesn’t have to be so literal. Keeping people guessing, making them take a second look, this can certainly add to the effectiveness of any card. For instance, in the above example, many are apt to wonder upon first glance, what exactly is this? This response in turn, helps keeps your particular card at the forefront of their mind. 

Photographic Business Card

Business card template with a photograph of bread, cheese, sausage, and seasonings lying on the table, with the text 'farm kitchen catering services' in the center - Tips on how to stand out with photo business cards - Image

Perhaps one of the most popular design ideas: the photographic card. Think about it, actual photo images are vibrant, they have depth and dimension, they have the capacity to bring a business to life. Many people now are moving toward the photo business card and with good reason. A few of the many benefits of going with this style business card…

Photo design ideas express personality. More so than a basic card, one featuring a photo really does allow you to put a bit of your personality out there. This is why you really want to take some time to pick the perfect photos. Ask yourself questions like – what aspect of your personality do you want your chosen photo to reflect?

Photographic cards pop more. Without question, a stunning photo capturing some aspect of your business is going to have a more pronounced look and feel. Stock images are a high quality and affordable resource when creating a business card.

Go Retro with Your Card

A retro-styled business card template with the inscription 'Creative design studio' in the middle - The potential of using retro style in business cards - Image

You’ve heard the saying “all things old are new again,” well that stands true for business cards as well. Eighties and nineties (especially eighties) design is back, and with a modern twist, it is better than ever. Nothing says fun like that blast from the retro past. Certainly, it is bound to make the recipient of said card smile. And that is a very good thing! 

Does retro fit your business model? Before in fact, going full-on retro with your card, make sure that it’s relevant to your business model. Granted, numerous companies and/or professions can make it work. 

Bold Color Cards

Yellow business card template - How bold colors affect the perception of your business card - Image

In some cases, the bolder the better. You can do so much with color—you can say so much with color. As in the above example, the eye is struck by the vivid yellow and then you’re immediately drawn to the black and white graphic so starkly set against this particular backdrop. The great thing about integrating a vibrant and maybe even unexpected color scheme into your design is that the possibilities are literally endless. You can give your card a look and feel that speak uniquely to you. 

Minimalist Design

Minimalist black and white business card template for home and business insurance company - Tips on how to make a minimalist business card stand out - Image

Some people prefer a more understated design and yet one that still pops given the right mix of graphic elements, logo and color. There is certainly something to be said for really foregrounding a company logo as well as your name, especially if it is done professionally, tastefully and memorably. 

Contrasting colors in minimalist design works. Contrasting colors immediately allow the different elements to stand out. And standing out is of course the goal with any business card. 

Artwork and Icons

Professional dentist business card template with dental icons in the background - How illustrations and icons can make business cards simple yet eye-catching - Image

This particular example is reminiscent of a throwback look. Not quite retro however, it keeps things simple and yet adds enough interest to give the card some dimension. It’s just a fun card to look at, plain and simple. You’d be surprised at the look/feel you can accomplish by just including some fairly basic graphic art illustrations and/or icons to the background of any card. And especially if your job or company has certain inherent icons associated with it (as with the above dental office example), this could be a really great design strategy. 

Freeform / Sketch Style Card Design

Hair stylist business card template - Freeform business card design - Image

Not all lines have to be perfectly symmetrical or even straight for that matter. Especially if yours happens to be a more creative field, it’s okay to get a little messy with the card design. In fact, some professions will work extremely well with this kind of aesthetic and you can always set your name/info off by making it somewhat more traditional in terms of font

Playing with Silhouettes

Yellow business card template for a cleaning company with a silhouette of a woman - How silhouettes help business cards stand out - Image

Sometimes you get the most bang for your business card buck by playing with silhouettes and shadows. These types of images are strong; they can be striking and when set against the right color background, they can certainly make a definitive impression. Sometimes the key is to offer the suggestion of who you are and what you do and leave the rest up to the imagination. 

Multifaceted Design Approach

Multifaceted graphic designer business card template - How to take a multifaceted approach to business card design - Image

The beauty of business cards is that they do leave you plenty of room to be creative—as creative as you want to be actually. That said, you’re not relegated to one single design aesthetic or one single approach. You can combine a variety of card design ideas to arrive at that which perfectly suits you, your personality, and the essence of your company. 

The Retro and the More Modern Look. As you can see this particular card makes use of retro inspired colors, while the design elements have a hand drawn, more modern feel.

Contrast and Simplicity. Again, the above template blends a few different techniques and styles. Relatively speaking, it is fairly simple in terms of design. And yet the contrast of the lighter colors popping against a black backdrop add greater depth.

Dramatic Card Design

Black and white personal trainer business card template featuring a man with dumbbells at the gym - Dramatic business card design - Image

Have a flare for the dramatic, as they say? Why not express this part of your personality via your business card design. Black and white photos do a great job when it comes to this type of style. There’s just something about elements stylized in just such a way that paint a more vivid picture of a company or professional. 

Cute and Fun Cards

Cute black and white hair stylist business card template with a hair dryer icon in the middle - How to make a business card cute and fun - Image

Again, as has been noted, business cards really are in some ways an extension of one’s personality. If you want to keep it a little offbeat and have some fun with it, project a cute image that will endear itself to recipients of said card. You do you! The above example is super simple and yet still super interesting. The image depicted says all that needs to be said about this particular business, and that the dryer cord encircles the name adds a touch of whimsy to something that might otherwise seem a bit too simple. 

Get creative when it comes to your work. That is to say, is there an image associated with your profession that could be used in a fun and clever way on a business card, thereby making it even more memorable? 

The Straightforward Business Card

Hair stylist business card template with scissors in a red circle in the top half - Variety of business card styles - Image

For some, it’s about getting to the point, presenting the info needed and perhaps adding a pop of subtle color. The wonderful thing about the world of business cards is that now there are so many variations, designs, styles and elements, that anything is possible, and by the same token virtually anything works. As long as it is relevant to you and conveys the needed information, then it is perfect. The reason why there are so many templates available is because, well, everyone has their own unique tastes. What’s yours? 

Vertical Style Cards

Yellow vertical handyman business card template with ruler marks on left side - How vertical orientation can help a business card stand out - Image

One sure fire way to have your card stand out is to go against type. Odds are, probably 80% of the cards that people receive are of the horizontal variety. Why not go vertical? You still have the same flexibility by way of design elements, and now by also playing with the way in which the overall text/images are positioned, you add another layer of uniqueness to your business card.

 Just think about it…as someone is flipping through the plethora of cards they collected at a conference for example, they are reading them all the same way. One after another after another. Lo and behold up pops yours. They are then forced to rotate it in order to read it—this in and of itself makes it one to remember. 

Photo Collage Business Cards

Business card with images of baked goods and a black rectangle with text in the middle - Incorporating photo collages into business card designs - Image

While we’ve discussed how beneficial photo cards can be, there is also the photo collage card. Why limit yourself to just one distinctive image that reflects your business or job? Add multiple such images for a truer representation of who you are and what you do. This really gives you a chance to feature some of the highlights of the company. The above bakery example lets you put your best pastries forward and it leaves them wanting more!

A Layered Design

Handyman services business card template with photo of stairwell - The flexibility of a layered approach to business card design - Image

Even with something like a handyman services (as seen in the above template), you can still have that touch of classiness with a more layered look. This specific design style blends shapes, text, photo imagery and a pop of color to create a truly layered business card experience. 

The flexibility of a layered design. The great thing about layering elements both drawn, graphic and photo is that it can be useful for literally any profession or business. And it adds a sophistication to the card that is otherwise hard to achieve.  

Monochromatic Patterns

Construction company business card template with monochrome photo in the background - Monochromatic patterns in business card design - Image

Playing with shapes and patterns while utilizing only one color, or various shades of that color can have a tremendously bold impact. The eye, as you can see, is drawn into the intricacy of the design, and because it is all one color with hints of shading, it proves all the more mesmerizing. Consequently, this also serves to help the text and logo stand out even more. 

Cards that Make Use of Movement

Pink graphic designer business card template with waves on background - Business cards with 'moving' background - Image

Swirls, waves, call them what you will—they have a tendency to capture one’s attention. What’s more, this sort of background “movement” on a card can direct the eye accordingly. So for instance, here the eye is being guided to the text box in the center as the undulating pink waves really do coalesce around it. Brilliantly done! 

The bottom line: business cards don’t have to be boring, far from it actually. There are so many different ways you can go, and the best part is that the templates, styles and design elements available really do enable you to be true to who you are, what your business is about and what sort of impression you want to make. So what do you want your business card design to say about you? Do you want it to be bold and sassy? More traditional and understated? Full of flourishes and fancy? Or perhaps, even quirky and offbeat? The true fun comes in the designing. That is where the real magic happens. We can’t wait to see what you come up with—as we’re sure it’s bound to be something absolutely spectacular. 

anne carson

anne carson

Anne is a former English professor turned content writer. Holding a PhD in Literature, she spent almost a decade in academia putting that degree to use, until finally realizing it wasn't exactly the best fit. A full-time writer, she's learned a great deal about the numerous subjects. She knows a lot about design trends and design templates. A mom of five (two teenagers and three dogs).