Once upon a time business cards were nothing more than a dull piece of white card with some contact details printed on them in Times New Roman, using one of only a handful of uninspiring business card templates. The concept has evolved a lot since then though, with everything from tactile letterpress business cards to wild 3d-printed business cards, and people are now realising the incredible branding potential the right design can offer.
If you call yourself a creative, then why not think outside the box with your calling card? There's no rule, for example, to say that it actually needs to be made out of card...
Here we pick 10 examples that take the concept to new and imaginative places. Let us know your favourites in the comments below!
01. Lego Figure
Charlotte Simonsen, along with various other Lego employees, is lucky enough to be able to hand out mini Lego versions of herself to any prospective clients. Not only is this incredibly memorable, but it also provides customers with an example of the products on offer. Plus, nobody in their right mind is going to every throw a Lego figure away! We love this idea.
02. Wheel Spanner
Advertising agency Rethink Canada (opens in new tab) is behind this spectacular business card idea for Broke Bike Alley, a bike maintenance shop in Canada. Companies always want their customers to hold onto their business cards for as long as possible, and Rethink Canada has found the perfect way to achieve this: by making it practical. This handy stainless steel business card will certainly be a favourite amongst bike lovers.
03. Yoga Instructor
As mentioned earlier, business cards can say a lot about a brand and the product or service they offer. This stretchy rubber business card immediately proves the flexibility results customers will gain from Daniella Abisaab's yoga classes.
Another rubber business card example, but this one is in a much different form. Dr Niphadkar, founder of the Asthma Allergy Centre, uses a balloon very smartly in this inspiring concept.
Her contact details are only visible once the balloon has been blown into, so it encourages large and healthy breaths – perfect for the service on offer. We also believe the balloon replicates healthy lungs in this instance! It really goes to show just how far business cards have come, and how memorable they can be.
05. Camera Lens
A regular and boring business card won’t particularly portray a photographer’s talents very well, and Nathan Jones is unquestionably aware of this. Nathan’s card makes his business visibly obvious, and its uniqueness is anything but forgetful. We love the clarity of the image used here, and the vibrant colours printed onto the reverse side of the card.
06. Cheese Grater
Similarly to the bike repair shop’s business card above, Bon Vivant, a Brazilian specialist cheese shop, gives away business cards that can be used by the recipient for a very long time to come. Using a sustainable stainless steel, creative agency JWT Brazil has designed an amazingly handy cheese grater, which comes in a protective sleeve.
07. Divorce Lawyer
It's certainly not the happiest of occasions, but you can’t help but smile a little at the fantastic creativity on display with this business card. Divorce lawyer James Mahone prints his details onto both sides of this gorgeous natural coloured tearable card, so both partners can take a copy.
08. Picture Frame
They say a picture paints a thousand words, and advertising agency Piko (opens in new tab) have taken put this minimalist approach into action in this stunning example. This cleverly designed business card, for their frames and accessories client, not only showcases one of their stunning products, but allows the customers to keep hold of it and use it in a creative manner in the future.
09. Art Easel
Easel Business Cards (opens in new tab) are behind this stunning example. This business gcard can be easily folded into an easel-like standing business card. With business details on the back, companies can display whatever eye-catching image they like on the front.
10. Google Page
Google is one of the most well-known companies in the world, and Laser Printing Inc (opens in new tab) has taken superb advantage of this recognition, by creating this business card that perfectly replicates a Google results page.
Words: Matt Payne
Matt Payne is CEO of Oomph, the plastic card printing company. Visit them at: http://www.madebyoomph.co.uk/ (opens in new tab)