If you have a business you should have a business card. They are a great tool to give someone when you only have a few seconds to connect with them. Often times your business card is the first interaction someone will have with a branded piece from your business so it’s important that it makes a good impression. You may want your card to stand out a bit so it isn’t just another ho-hum card. Below are a bunch of ideas on how to make your card have a little flare. It’s best to have flare with purpose than to just have flare because it’s cool. Think of how some of the following ideas could reenforce your brand messaging.
1) UV Coating
UV Coating makes the card glossy and adds thickness and weight to the card. The card is much more durable when it has a UV coating and more resistant to liquids. This is a pretty affordable business card upgrade. If you are planning to write on your business card you probably don’t want to UV coat your card, or at least only UV coat the side you won’t need to write on.
2) Spot UV
Spot UV is when you select only specific parts of the card to be glossy. Usually this will be the logo. It is fairly affordable and adds a little something extra to what would be a typical business card. You can even do a spot uv pattern on a solid color background to add some texture to the card.
Foil is when you make specific parts of the design have a metallic look to it. This can be great for emphasizing value or premium services.
Embossing is basically when part of the card is pushed out a bit. It is a good way to add dimension and texture to the card. You can emboss a logo that you have printed on the card or you can do something called a blind emboss. A blind emboss is when you are just pushing out an area that hasn’t specifically been printed. Almost like a watermark with dimension. Remember that whatever you push OUT on one side of the card will be pushed IN on the other side and be reversed. Keep that in mind when designing your card.
5) Die Cut
A die cut is when the trimming on the card is in some other shape than perfectly straight lines. Die cut cards can be really cool or really awkward. Make sure you use a die cut because it enhances the card and not make it more difficult to use or put in a wallet.
6) Letter Press
Letter press is a way of printing that also gives an embossed feel to the card. It is definitely more expensive to do, but the results produce a very unique look and texture.
7) Clear Plastic
Clear plastic cards are not common and you can sometimes even print white ink. These cards are fairly rigid and unique. Just be careful that your text can still be read on a clear plastic card since there is no solid background color. You will also only have one side of the card to work with since the other side will just be the reverse image.
8) Lenticular Printing
Lenticular printing are those images that when turned side to side or up and down change from one image to the next. They will be a thicker card.
9) QR Code
A QR code is like a barcode that contains information when scanned with a smart phone. QR stands for Quick Response. You can have your contact information, a link to a web address or many other things automatically go into someones phone by them scanning a QR code. Adding a QR code to your card can be useful if the demographic of people you are handing them out to actually use QR codes. They also need to be big enough to be functional on your card so prepare to leave room for one in the design if you want to have a QR code.
Linen papers have more of a woven texture to them. They can feel more organic and less processed than other type of paper. Linens sometimes limit the type of printing that can be done on them.
Since cardboard is often associated with recycling it can lend itself to an eco-friendly outdoor brand or a more homemade hand crafted feel.
12) Silk / Velvet
Silk laminated cards (sometimes referred to as velvet) is a material that can be printed on and has a very smooth interesting texture. It can give a feel of luxury to your card. Probably suited more for high end type brands than it is for your bargain brands.
13) BC Sleeve
Having a sleeve for your business card can give it some extra flare. You can have more branding on the sleeve and is a way to show that your business card is so important that it needs protection.
14) Round Corner
Round cornering your business card gives it a die cut feel without spending the money for a die cut. You can round corner all the corners, just one corner or pick two corners. By round cornering only a couple corners you add some asymmetry to your card and make it stand out.
15) Non-Standard Size
Using a non-standard size for your business card will make it stand out from the rest. Be careful that it still fits in a wallet and isn’t such an odd size that it becomes awkward for people to keep.
16) Fold Over Card
Fold over cards are basically two cards hinged on one side. Usually that is going to be the top edge. This can allow your card to have more information and possibly be more of a miniature flyer. Just because you have more room, you should still try not to cram a ton of information onto a folding card. Keep it simple, its main purpose is still being a business card. A downside to fold over cards is that it is now takes up the space of two cards which can take up valuable space in someones wallet.
Don’t feel like you HAVE to do something like any of the above ideas to stand out. Make sure it is consistent with your brand and that it adds to the messaging rather than becoming a distraction. You may choose to do a combination of the above ideas or you may choose to do NONE of them. In my opinion these ideas are all secondary to good layout and design. If you have a terrible layout and design you will be wasting money by trying to do any of the stuff above. But with a great layout and design these techniques and options will really give your card an edge.
If you try to do EVERYTHING you may end up like THIS guy:
Another way to add flair to you business card is presenting it to someone in an interesting way. Here’s a video with a few magical ways to present your business card: