Whether your business card is plain black on white or tri-dimensional, one thing holds true: business cards say a lot about who you are.Like resumes, it gives an employer or a prospective customer a first impression about you. We talked to several of the owners and designers of the most creative cards out there, all of which told us their cards made a lasting impression. For designer Stefan Sagmeister, his card was the jumpstart his agency needed, providing him many of his first projects.
Roland Murillo told us a sturdy business card is “the equivalent to a firm handshake,” so instead of going for thick cardboard, he made his business card out of wood.
But creative business cards aren’t just for creative businesses. Joe Duffy has designed cards for non-profits and tourism offices. No matter how creative card is, “you have to prioritise,” he told us. You need to include the important contact information that makes any business card an important networking tool.
We’re pulled together 18 of the most creative business cards from collector Kariann Burleson’s dailypoetics collection on Flickr, with her permission.
Klaetke says his business card acts as a frame, 'focusing the recipient's attention on whatever is seen through the window.'
'The best design works in a similar way,' Klaetke told us. 'Cutting through all the visual clutter to draw attention.'
He says that when people see Visual Dialogue's business card, a branding and graphic design firm based in Boston, they tend to hold it up and play with it: 'And most importantly, remember it.'
Publisher and editor Dan Rose's card is fully interactive. The car pops out, and can be folded and glued into a 1969 Nissan Skyline
Even though he only used this card for two years -- it was too difficult to produce and reprint -- it still helped his business, 'especially at the beginning,' Sagmeister told us.
'There were a number of jobs, I remember one for a realtor, one for a hotel owner, that came because they had seen our unusual business card.'
Itomi Creative designed this unique card for Italian art photographer Davide Gasperini. It even has an added practical use -- Gasperini uses it as a stencil to sign his original works
'I'm just a big believer in the importance of good design in helping to set a particular mood and brand identity for a business,' he told us.
McLean wanted every component of The Alembic, a restaurant in San Francisco, to reflect the identity of his brand --from his menus to his business card.
Most importantly, he says, 'those that have already been to the establishment, they immediately get the sense of continuity that extends to the card.'
'So I created a card that demonstrated our abilities with confidence and felt valuable to the recipient,' he told us about his wooden business card.
He says the reaction to Murillo Designs' cards, a design firm in San Antonio, has been totally positive. Some have called them 'shot glass coasters' or 'poker chips,' but most importantly, they tell him they have kept his card around.
'It means that the card is doing what a business card should do -- it's a strong self-promotion tool.'
Joe Duffy says creative business cards are great, but certainly don't replace the work you follow-up with
Duffy, who has worked on corporate identity and design development of brands like Coca-Cola, McDonald's, and Starbucks, says creative business cards aren't just for creative businesses.
'We always try to design a card that is appropriate, but also unique,' he explains about the cards that his company, Duffy & Partners, has helped design.
Business cards are the first impression you give to business prospects, he says. What do people think of his card? 'The first thing I usually hear is 'wow,' and 'that's something that I'll never throw away.''
This silk-screened stationery with its own logo patch in a business card sized envelope is from photographer Ed McCulloch. Especially memorable if you sew it onto your clothes
Contreras' card was inspired by a fellow designer. 'I wanted to be associated with playfulness and cleverness,' says Contreras. 'And I wanted a card that made the user work a little bit for the content but not too much.'
He feels that it's essential to have a creative business card in the graphic design field, and says that the card has helped him get business in the past by being an effective conversation starter.
'When I hand out my card to people, they usually smile or rise their eyebrows,' says Contreras. 'I like to think they're delighted by it. In some cases I've even handed out a small pencil to go with it.'
Yuka Suzuki literally translated her profession as a hair and makeup stylist into one little clever card with bobby pins
The restaurant, called Le Reflet (The Reflection), associates itself with cinema, and it shows in Praeger's design.
Praeger says that the card has gained notoriety, and has helped the restaurant with business. Customers even show up and specifically inquire about the cards.
Diesel Design's whole crew is packed into this sleek packet of business cards, and tab-separated by department
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