14 Best Business Cards in the Biz

Think of all the business cards out there, exchanging hands in serendipitous encounters, potential-client meetings and large industry conferences. All of the best business cards serve a purpose: They provide information about you and your work, and they hopefully encourage the receiver to follow up with you in some way. And as part of your identity, a great business card reflects your personality.

We reached out to 14 designers and firms at the top of their game to see whattheir  business cards look like—and to find out what they believe makes a good business card.

Check out the designs and insight below, and if you’re hungry for more, take at look at these cool business card designs next.

1. SNASK—Eye-Catching Design

Designer: SNASK Material: 400 GSM uncoated Scandia Production: 250 x 6 people/versions

Printer: DanagårdLiTHO

What makes a good business card? 
“Bold, beautiful and unique,” says Fredrik Öst, founder & creative director of SNASK.

2. Modern Dog Design Co.—Inimitable Identity

What makes a good business card?
“A good business card is one that is hard to toss aside,” says Robynne Raye, co-founder of Modern Dog Design Co. “[Our] cards are printed with name and email (no other info is on the card), that way I can customize with a Sharpie. Each person gets a unique, one-of-a-kind card.”

3. Paramore Digital—Clever Connections

Designer: Paramore Digital
Material: 100 lb Cougar White (Matte) Production: Offset

Printer: Fidelity

What Makes a Good Business Card?
“There are two primary purposes of your business card: represent your brand and provide contact information. The magic is in the mix of these two elements,” says Hannah Paramore, president of Paramore Digital.

“The business card is the strongest, most personal piece of collateral you have. It carries the company’s identity as well as your own; it’s your name on the card, after all. You either hand it to someone personally or send it in the mail along with a personal note, so it’s an intentional connection. We believe that your brand should be simple and bold. Iconic. Simplicity is powerful.

“The main reason you give someone your business card is so they will have your contact information, but how much info do they actually need? Over the past decade we’ve seen business cards become so cluttered with the various ways to connect (2 phone numbers, a fax number, street address, email, URL, and a dozen social icons) that they look desperate. It’s only a matter of time before someone out there adds a call to action to ‘Right swipe me on Tinder.’ Just wait. It’s
coming,” Paramore says.

“So, in the latest version of our business cards we stripped most of that away, relying on our website to provide connection options. We simplified it to one phone number, one email address and a URL that takes you to each person’s personal page on the company website. The effect is understated yet bold. Like that strong, silent type standing in the corner. You can’t miss it.

“The last element for us was the use of color to tie the brand directly to something quirky and clever—my glasses. That’s a longer story, but suffice it to say that one trip to See Eyewear ended up influencing not only our business cards, but the skyline sign on the top of our building in downtown Nashville, which you can change the color on from our Paramore Color smartphone app. How’s that for symmetry.”

Designer: Cameron Moll
Material: Crane Lettra, Pearl Production: Letterpress; hand-cut and hand-stamped

Printer: Bryce Knudson, Bjorn Press

What makes a good business card?
“As someone who does business almost exclusively on the web, it’s tough for me to answer that question,” Cameron Moll says. “The only time I hand out or receive cards are at conferences a few times per year. But for me, the value of a business card is found in its personification of the giver, and just as importantly its authenticity. The best and most memorable cards I’ve received reinforced the feelings I had upon meeting the giver.

“[My] cards are individually cut from my letterpress type posters using inventory that is damaged in some way (ink splatter, bent corner, etc) and stamped by hand,” Moll says.

5. The Ugly Tree Graphic Design—Memorable Meetings

Designer: Geoffrey Bunting at The Ugly Tree Graphic Design Material: Recycled card, 300gsm

Printer: Vistaprint UK

What makes a good business card?
“A good business card is something that doesn’t just get thrown in a wallet and forgotten,” says Geoffrey Bunting, founder of The Ugly Tree Graphic Design. “It’s a piece of you that you give to someone that stays with them and makes them say ‘wow,’ by being either visually stimulating or having interesting and engaging content.”

Designer: Jenn David Connolly at Jenn David Design Material: Classic Crest Solar White 100# cover Production: Offset exterior, digital interior

Printer: Hudson Printing

What makes a good business card?
“The card must impress the moment it’s received and be comment-worthy,” says Jenn David Connolly, creative strategist of Jenn David Design. “It must capture attention and pique curiosity or examine it further. It should break out of the typical 3”x2.5” business card size, but not in an outrageous way. It should not be too large or too thick.”


7. Tag Collective—Meaningful Messages

Designer: Tag Collective Material: Curious Skin Collection Black 100# Cover (two sheets mounted) Production: Engraved 1/0, white ink & Letterpress 0/1, blind

Printer: Sarah Riegelmann

What makes a good business card?
“A good business card embraces its format, yet stands out in a crowd,” says Becca Eley, founding partner of Tag Collective. “Our cards send a message about the caliber of our work. We focused on the experience, the tactile nature of print. We selected a paper that has a unique feel (Curious Skin) and used both engraving and letterpress techniques to create raised lettering and an indented mark. Overall they have a solidity that feels dependable, and a simplicity that feels elegant and considered—which is exactly what we want our studio to stand for.”

8. Tank Design—Purposely Plain

Designers: Fred Weaver and David Warren, founding partners at Tank Design Material: 200 lb Finch Fine Bright White Production: 1 color, embossed logo with AQ varnish, letterpressed black type

Printer: ArtCraft

What makes a good business card?
According to Tank Design: “A good business card should represent an individual,

or business, in a way that is unobtrusive but memorable. Handing over a card takes a few seconds so it should be simple enough to be digested in that time. Impactful—but not distracting.

“The Tank card is intentionally simple and void of style. It doesn’t take a strong design perspective, because we don’t want to influence our clients visually at the earliest stage of meeting them. We don’t want to suggest we have a particular ‘style’ that will influence our thinking. We view ourselves as a gallery for our clients—a backdrop for them.

“The logo is blind embossed in the top right, and employee information is listed clearly and simply on the bottom left. We don’t have a lot of hierarchy at Tank, so we don’t even list job positions on our cards.”

Designers: Amy Pastre and Courtney Rowson at Stitch Design Co.
Material: Crane Crest Paper Production: Letterpress, foil-stamped and edge-painted

Printer: Sideshow Press

What makes a good business card?
According to Stitch Design Co.: “A good business card is a business card that you want to keep, one that is not easily discarded. The card should be designed as something more than just a card; it should be a mini self-promotion piece. The overall design and printing process of the card should speak to the company’s values and approach to business. If the company specializes in luxury products—the printing process should reflect that.”

10. Elements LLC—Personality on Paper

Designers: Amy Graver, owner and creative director at Elements (Elements symbols) and Joy Cho (pattern on stickers) Material: Cards: 100# Mohawk Solutions Feltweave Recycled White Cover; Labels: 60# Uncoated Pressure Sensitive Labels, 92 Brightness Production: Digital

Printer: The Pyne-Davidson Company in Hartford, CT

What makes a good business card?
“A great business card is one that is memorable and is an extension of your brand,” says Amy Graver, owner and creative director at Elements. “Every design decision—from the paper choice to the printing process—should be considered carefully to help convey the personality of your brand. For example, we chose a toothy paper and smooth, hand-applied sticker to convey attention to detail and our love of tactile materials.”

Designer: Matt Wegerer, creative director at Whiskey Design
Material: Wood veneer laminated to French Blu Raspberry and Steel Grey paper Production: Lamination, screen print, letterpress and foil stamp

Printer: Vahalla Studios

What makes a good business card?
“Whiskey’s goal for every card we design is that each time our clients hand off a card, be it in a meeting room or just on the street, we want whoever they are handing it to to have an immediate reaction. (Hopefully it’s, ‘Holy shit, that’s bad-ass.’) We want that person to think that if our client
took that much time on their cards, just imagine the level of attention they will invest into their business,” says Matt Wegerer, creative director at Whiskey Design.

“For our personal cards, we took the same approach. By using real wood veneer, screen-printed stains, letterpress printing and foil stamp contact info, we tried to make something feel extremely premium and clean but also have a handcrafted vibe. It is also hard for these suckers not to get noticed since they weigh about 20 pounds each.”

Designer: Amanda Acevedo, art director Material: Crane Lettra 110# Cover Production: Letterpress printing 2/3 spot colors

Printer: Mark Moroney at Thomas & Brown Press

What makes a good business card?
“A good business card materializes from a combination of fundamental design principles,” says art director Amanda Acevedo. “Ultimately, the design expresses the brand. A business card is a brand ambassador—recognizable as the brand and a quick, courteous interaction with the brand. Hierarchy—tried and true principle for communicating effectively. Crucial in good business card design for the amount of standard information assigned to a small amount of space. Hierarchy, always.

“Successfully balancing several elements—logo, contact information, website and social media addresses, tagline, art—into an uncluttered, attractive, tangible first impression is a sign of good design. Lastly, the business card design is memorable, evokes a feeling, or makes an emotional connection, for example, through colors, imagery typography, production material, copywriting, tone, attitude, shape or texture.”

Designer: Michael Borosky, founder and creative director at Eleven Vendor: All City Printers, San Francisco Stock: Mohawk Superfine Ultra White 100# cover Size: 3.5″x2.5″ Ink: PMS 1038A Finishing: Die-cut rounded corner

*The “11” is perforated on the card*

What makes a good business card?
“Since the basic information of any card is now so easily shared and transmitted via digital devices, it helps to consider thinking about a printed card, specifically, as an anti-digital artifact,” says Michael Borosky, founder and creative director at Eleven. “In other words, use the craft of printing to your advantage and appeal to the senses. You only have a few seconds to leverage a hand-to-hand exchange into a momentary, favorable impression.

“Our original cards, designed fifteen years ago, used five different (but subtle) printing techniques. Our current card uses only three, the most memorable being the die-cut 11. It’s the one thing people have consistently commented on over the years and, incidentally, the most expensive part of the process.”

14. Archrival—Designed with Care

Designer: Joel Kreutzer, design director/senior designer at Archrival Material: Classic Crest White Production: Letterpress, lithography

Printer: Elman Printing and Cranky Pressman

What makes a good business card?
According to Archrival: “A good business card always leaves the right kind of impact. It’s both a first impression and a lasting brand extension we want people to be compelled to hold onto. At Archrival, we consider the business card documentation of the most personal type of communication … and as such should be designed with care.”

Check out HOW’s September issue to find out more about the creatives at Paramore Digital and how they looked at their relocation to Nashville’s Warehouse District as an opportunity to make their space speak to the firm’s brand.

The September issue of HOW magazine is our Self-Promotion & Marketing issue. This issue is all about self-promotion, from learning how to court clients to the winners of the Promotion and Marketing Design Awards winners. Also in this issue, get the 5 reasons designers should love selling their ideas.

Category: Business card

Similar articles: