Much of the work of graphic designers today exists only in pixel form. But that doesn’t mean the appeal of print design has gone away; quite the reverse.
Precisely because of the digital takeover of our society, there’s a yearning for the physical and tactile, so it’s not surprising that designer business cards are more popular than ever.
Here are 10 of our favourite designs for your inspiration. But of course there are thousands more out there, so feel free to share your own favourites in the comments below.
01. Ryan Brinkerhoff (opens in new tab)
Trading under the name Bandito Design, Michigan-based Ryan Brinkerhoff has a passion for branding, illustration, and poster design and the goal of “finding smart solutions that make people smile”. His beautiful typography-based design was printed by Floridan letterpress specialists (opens in new tab).
02. Kelli Marie Daly (opens in new tab)
Kelli Marie Daly is an art director and freelance graphic designer, currently based in Milwaukee. This vintage poster-style business card isn’t the most original concept, but it’s beautifully realised and conveys a real sense of her personality. You can see more of Daly’s personal branding (opens in new tab).
03. RAMA (opens in new tab)
Rama is a group of graphic designers in Buenos Aires who founded their own letterpress and bookbinding studio. Inspired by vintage typographic posters, they designed and printed these business cards in their own workshop, using a white cardboard that they were going to throw out due to a texture problem. Instead, they used the problem to their advantage, to create the old and worn appearance they’d been seeking for the business cards. You can see the collection in more detail (opens in new tab).
04. Brigada Creativa (opens in new tab)
Brigada Creativa is a small design and illustration studio based in Barcelona that offers “happy design, unique products and original gifts”. This clever business card shows the shop’s logo grasping a real pencil, and surrounded by inspirational quotes about graphic design.
05. Wendy Stephens (opens in new tab)
Wendy Stephens is a freelance graphic designer and creative artist who works from her studio in Hertfordshire. Going by the name of Dark Iris Design, she has clients across the UK and worldwide. Her quirky blue-black business card highlights her love of typography, with the reverse side featuring a stylised ‘Quick brown fox…’ pangram and a brilliant ‘Very Brief Guide to Typefaces’.
06. Anthony Cole (opens in new tab)
“I wanted to create a business card that people would remember,” says Anthony Cole, a graphic designer based in Auckland, New Zealand. “I ended up with not so much a card, but more a business army knife.” Each ‘tool’ pulls out and showcases Cole’s different design skills and contact details, as you can see in more detail (opens in new tab).
07. Jose Antonio Contreras (opens in new tab)
Brooklyn-based designer Jose Antonio Contreras has given people a great reason to hang on to his business card. There’s a cool word search on one side, and the clues are his contact details on the other. It's a wonderfully imaginative idea, superbly executed.
08. Whiskey Design (opens in new tab)
Whiskey Design is a small design studio based in Kansas City whose motto is ‘Raise a ruckus’. And these sumptuous, quadriplexed business cards have certainly raised a few eyebrows. Incorporating wood veneer, blind deboss and foil, they were printed by letterpress and silkscreen experts (opens in new tab).
09. Chad Michael Smith (opens in new tab)
Chad Michael Smith is the owner and principal creative of Chad Michael Studio, a Dallas-based design studio specialising in unique package design, product development, and attractive branding. Engraved on cherry wood and painted painstakingly by hand, these gorgeous creations might be the ultimate in designer business cards.
“I wanted to make obvious my scrutiny for detail and give a small nod to what I love designing most, liquor and alcohol,” says Smith. “In the end, I wanted the business cards in particular to be something that you couldn't simply tuck away in a wallet and one you couldn't bring yourself to throw away.” He clearly succeeded, and you can see his design in more detail (opens in new tab).