Business Cards: A Guide, Inspiration and Tutorials

May 31st, 2010 Posted in Graphics, Inspiration, Resources, Tutorials

Many designers and freelancers underestimate the power of good business-cards these days. These tiny cards can be very important bricks in marketing your business – as long as you know how to take advantage of them.

Today we’re gonna have a look at what a business-card is, some tips and tricks, some examples for inspiration and some of the best tutorials to make your own cards! Enjoy 🙂

So, – what is a business card?

Picture by Ilco

The definition of a business card has loosened a bit compared to ten-fifteen years ago. Then, it was all about simple and informative in a very preset way. Usually the cards were plain black and white containing straigth forward contact info. Today it’s only your imagination that will set the limits with the possibility of using your own color-schemes, different layouts and shapes and more.

The card is meant to provide your contact information to all your different kinds of contacts, make people remember you and notice you. In a way it is almost like a mini-flyer that has your advertisement on it.

Which elements to add

Picture by Hilde Vanstraelen

If you’re using 20+ types of social media, along with having several e-mails or websites, you have a very important job when it comes to choosing what to include on your business-card. You want people to be able to reach you, but you

– logo
– tag-line
(if you have one)
– the name of the business and yourself
– your title
– website
– mail addresses
(email and snail-mail)
– phone number
(office and cellphone)
– fax
(if you have one)

These are the basic features. If you are a lot on Twitter, Facebook or other social media – I’d recommend that you add that too. Just don’t go over the top and list too much.
Finally, adding a picture of yourself can help you get a more unique look to it and have people remember you. Finally you should try to find a way to add some personality and wow factor to it that makes your card unique!

Tips to stand out

Picture by Dave Smith

– Go for other sizes than the usual ones
– Make your own font
– Make your own color schemes to fit your logo
– Use both sides of the card
– Think completely different; write upside down, add textures, fold it
– You could even make several different variations of your cards as well
– Put a “tag cloud” of words related to what you do on the back of the card
– See-through is a funny and unique feature

These are just some suggestions, the variations and ideas available are endless.

Getting it done

Picture by Gokhan Okur

Most designers will be able to make their own design for a business card, using tools like Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign and many more.It’s easy to find both templates and tutorials online. If you have problems making a design that you think work, contact a print company or have one of your friends help you get ideas. The cards can be printed on most normal printers and the paper itself/precut cards are usually available at online stores or your local office supply store. They can also be printed by a company you find in your local area or online. My tip if you’re having more than 50 cards made, is to have it printed by a company as it’ll in most cases be both cheaper and give you a better quality. I usually make business card designs for myself and clients, print a couple of versions to see what they end up like and send them over to a printing company once I’m done with the design.

Now you’ve gotten some tips on what to think of when it comes to your business card design. Next up I will show you some cards that stand out and finally let’s get working by looking at some tutorials as well.

Let’s get inspired!

Here are some business-cards that I hope will inspire you.
Remember that thinking outside the box can be what gets you many new clients!

All of these are from this flickr business card set where you can find tons of more inspiration! 🙂


Finally I’ve rounded up a few tutorials on businesscard design to get you started. Don’t be afraid to play around a bit with different settings, colors, textures and layouts to create your own personal style.

1. Print Ready Business Card for Designers

2. Cool and original jeans style business card

3. Slick Business Card Design with Stunning Typography

4. Create A Sweet Bokeh Business Card In Photoshop

5. Swiss Design Inspired Business Cards in 30 Minutes

6. Setup a business card in Photoshop

7. Cardboard And Torn Paper Business Card

These were just some examples to get you started. Remember to go check out design-related websites + tutorials, there are tons out there just waiting for you to find them!
I hope you enjoyed this article and that I could help you get inspired.
Good luck!

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3 Responses to “Business Cards: A Guide, Inspiration and Tutorials”

  1. Multyshades Says:

    you have chosen a very rich collection of business cards for this great post, beautiful

  2. grace Says:


  3. Scott Says:

    Great article.

    Calling #3’s typography “stunning” is being quite generous.

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