We've all walked away from a creative event with our pockets stuffed with business cards. And we've all ended up either stuffing most of them into a drawer, never to be seen again, or just chucked them away.
Many are from stock business card templates, but sometimes you'll get something so eye-catching, so unique, that you'll want to hang on for it forever, whether or not you have immediate plans to contact the person.
These illustrators' business cards all pull off that trick wonderfully, and we hope they serve as inspiration for your own business cards.
01. David Fernandez Huerta
Based in London, Spanish videogame artist and illustrator David Fernandez Huerta needed a new business card, so "decided to take the chance and try something new". He certainly achieved that, with these fun whale-themed cards conveying both his artistic skills and ability to think outside the box. Indeed, the only downside is, he says: "Now I don't want to give them away!"
02. Alma and Mike Loveland
Being a couple who both work as freelancers opens up a whole host of creative promotional opportunities. American illustrators Alma and Mike Loveland have taken that idea and run with it, with these eye-catching business card designs. "We decided to have Mike do portraits of both of us," explains Alma, "and then cut off these portraits halfway, using the tagline 'Check out my better half'. You flip the card, and BAM, there's the spouse! Fun, right?"
03. Jason Josef Buchanan
A freelance designer, illustrator and artist based in Wyoming, Jason Josef Buchanan's fun and vibrant personality sings out through his work, and these wonderful business cards are no exception. Playing on the idea of Top Trumps, the back provides far more information that you'd expect on a business card, but the friendly and accessible layout makes you want to read every word.
04. Aaron Miller
Based in the English town of Cheltenham, Aaron Miller has been drawing for a living since 2008, for web and print, along with character designs for animations and clothing lines. This amusingly inventive business card design was printed on a frosted transparent plastic and a white screen printed back design.
05. Kristin Tørå Rantanen
Elegante Press took an unusual approach in the way they created these business cards for Kristin Tørå. The gorgeous letterpress prints were delivered to the Norwegian illustrator featuring just the text and the Moomin illustration in a black outline. She then had the option to use each either as a one-colour letterpress business card, or to colour it in with watercolours, in whatever colour she chose. This way, the recipient would be getting a truly unique piece of art from the illustrator.
06. Adelaide Ritter
Adelaide Ritter is a designer and illustrator based in Orlando, Florida. These art deco-inspired business cards were designed, burned, printed, and cut by the artist, and hand-screenprinted at Lure Design Inc, Orlando using French Paper Company speckletone and metallic ink.
07. Dale Edwin Murray
This adorable illustration comes courtesy from Dale Edwin Murray, an illustrator and graphic artist in the UK who creates work for the editorial, advertising and design industries. The character was based on one of his winning T-shirt designs for Threadless.com, and the matt laminated cards were printed at the Shoreditch branch of Printing.com.
08. Geri Coady
Just because you're an illustrator, the artwork on your business card doesn't need to be front and centre. Geri Coady is a colour-obsessed freelance designer and illustrator, working in St. John's, Newfoundland, and her business card instead blends it into the background. Providing a subtle yet sumptuous hint of her graphic skills, the design gives you a taste of what Coady about with beautiful efficiency.
09. Ana Bermejo
Ana Bermejo is a freelance illustrator based in Bristol, working for clients all around the world. A multitude of colourful characters adorn her business cards, including 'Mammoth', 'Odin', 'Yeti' and 'Mushroom'. These bright and beautiful cards, which were printed at Moo.com, couldn't convey her distinctive style any better.