Designing a Business Card: 50 Awesome Case Studies (And What You Can Learn From Them)

Imagine this: You just left an important meeting with some industry big shots.

They really dug the ideas you brought to the table and you’re thinking a promotion could be in order. What do you do? Fumble with your phone to take down their contact information? Ask them to fumble with their phone to take down yours?

No. You make one swift exchange — your expertly designed business card.

Business cards can be a reflection of who you are. Not only can you make an excellent first impression all on your own, but a unique business card can help seal the deal and give someone something to remember you by.

Every last one of these business cards is stunning, but they won’t beat the one you design yourself (imagine how good it will feel to give away business cards you designed for yourself).

We put together this list of 50 awesome business cards for your inspiration. When you’re ready to design your own – check out our collection of awesome templates.

Want to make your own business card?

We’ve sprinkled some Canva business card layouts throughout this article!

Click on any of the examples with an “Edit this design in Canva” tag on it and you’ll be taken to your Canva account to make it your own. You can also design one from scratch by going through this link. Ready to make business cards?

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01. Clean and Professional

This card is relatively simple to start, yet shines a light on how attention to detail can really set you apart. The simple front and back looks clean and professional, yet the subtle splatter effect on the logo and edges gives it a textural element that really stands out.

Try it on the clean and professional look for size with the Canva business card templates below.

02. Transparency Meets Color

Things get taken up quite a few notches with this creative card. Transparency paper paired with different colors creates an interesting overlap effect when paired together, and when separate, light shines through to reveal whatever is underneath.

You can simulate the look with the design template above. Print it out on transparent paper for a memorable business card.

03. Explore the Unconventional

This is a great example of using an unconventional medium to create visual elements. Since you can’t duplicate every wine ring to look the same, each card has its own personality yet still fits together cohesively.

04. Elegant Shapes

A simple change in shape can set your card apart from the hundreds of others that use the rectangular format. A square is a simple, elegant shape that provides a great starting point for a business card.

Here are a couple of square business card templates you can customize:

05. Subtle Curves

If you really like the horizontal rectangular format, you can add in customized edges to stand out. The shape is still simple, but adjusted just enough to give it a softer feel with the subtle curves.

06. Upscale

Adding extra elements like sleeves can make your cards feel more upscale. The process of taking the card out is reminiscent of opening a gift or a letter, which makes the idea of receiving it much more exciting.

Look no further for a lush business card design that would look perfect with sleeves (or on their own) — check out the template below.

07. A Personal Touch

Using rubber stamps to place your logo on your card makes it feel much more personal, since you’ve taken the time to stamp each individual one, which shows you have an investment in your company or business.

08. Fun and Informal

Business cards don’t have to be flat and static. This pop up card shows just how creative you can get. It’s fun and informal, which is a breath of fresh air compared to standard ones.

Even without complicated folds and paper mechanisms, the fun and informal look is perfectly doable. Just mix in a humorous anecdote with some bright, happy colors and you’re ready to go. Check it out in action:

09. Depth with Symbols

If bright color isn’t your style, imprinting symbols or logos into your card gives it a lot of depth. Try imprinting something relatable to your business, or choose a pattern that meshes well.

Here are simple business card designs that’ll set you right up:

10. Contrasting Colors

A great way to keep things simple yet interesting is contrast between colors. Indentation was used, but the contrast between the bright green and the natural recycled paper helps keep this card fun, yet grounded.

Click on these designs below to try the look.

11. Tricks with Transparency

Here’s another card using transparency, but this one uses blank areas in the ink to allow for see through windows. The type is see through, as well as the logo, so wherever you lay it down that color will shine through and be unique every time.

Gunning for a similar look? Give this design here a shot —

12. Speak to Who You Are

Utilizing aspects of your profession in your card makes for great visuals. For instance, in the example above, a film company uses a clapperboard as their card. A simple graphic, yet it speaks immediately about who they are and what they do.

Or you can always just show a picture that perfectly sums up what you do. Like in the examples above.

13. Change the Orientation

Changing the orientation from horizontal to vertical can make your card stand out as well, and adding patterning around the edges can make a simple design more complex.

Click on the designs below to try the vertical look.

14. Simple Yet Effective

This card is incredibly simple, but incredibly effective. It uses a die cut to make a simple graphic more interesting. The raised type gives an awesome contrast to the punched out holes.

The Canva designs below follows the same path of simplicity, while still driving the their respective brand identities home.

15. Experiment with Materials

Being unconventional by using different materials can make a huge difference in the feel of your business card. Wood was used, giving it a natural and earthy look, as well as a different feel in your hand.

16. Play with Type

Typography can be used for both information and decoration in the place of graphics. In this card, a couple of graphics are used, but the type is the major player.

In the Canva templates below, the typography dominates and serves as the main design element of the business cards.

17. Typographic Texture

Typography is used in this card as well, but the texture lends so much more than plain printed text. These cards were hand sanded to give them a worn down appearance.

18. Add Interchangeable Graphics

Interchangeable graphics related to your business can be a fun way to add some variety into your cards. They still feel unified, but are more interesting since you could get a variety of different images.

The above example is easy to do with Canva’s collection of icons. Another idea is to showcase photos of your products or other images relevant to your business — like in the example below.

19. Ticket Cut

Here’s what’s called a ticket cut. A simple rectangle with a few notches cut out gives a more interesting appearance than straight edges.

20. Unique Shapes

This card completely scraps the idea of the conventional straight edged card. Unique shapes can be cut out and used in place of rectangles and squares, allowing you to entirely customize your card.

21. Attention to Detail

Rubber stamps are used in this card as well, but translates the rounded corners of the logo into the card itself. The attention to detail makes it look thought out and professional.

In the examples below, subtle patterns were used in the background, serving to add a layer of personality to the business cards.

22. Create Feeling with Texture

These cards are hand pressed to give a wooden texture to the background. The indentations give a nice feel when you hold the card, and make the white background more interesting.

A simple texture also works — like in the Canva templates below.

23. Get Relative

Here is a play on a deck of cards. Relating a business card to something it’s similar to is a fun way to stand out and be remembered.

Here’s a Canva template that perfectly illustrates the life of a PR person:

24. Difference with Diamonds

If you like the square shape but want it to be a bit more interesting, turn it on its end. Diamonds are simple enough to get printed standardly, but different enough to stand out.

Try it out for yourself with this design:

25. 3D Effects

The custom shape makes this card unique, but the two shades of teal paired with the shape gives it an almost three-dimensional effect. Different tones in the same color family help make designs more cohesive.

26. Reference your Materials

The transparency of this card makes it stand out, but not as much as the meaning behind it. Photographers look through a lens. Much like you look through this card. Try relating the significance of your materials with your profession as much as possible.

27. Create Curves

Simple and square again, yet with rounded corners this time. This card relates the curves of the logo with the curves of the corners.

28. Create an Illusion

The shape of this card relates well to the profession and acts as a visual element along with the logo, giving it the illusion of a tattoo itself.

29. Hand Stitched Logo

Thinking of creative ways to display your logo without taking up a bunch of space can help keep things simple. Hand stitching the logo on the side like a clothing tag saves space on the card, yet adds an interesting element.

30. Nice and Slim

Shaving off an inch of a standard rectangular card gives you a more elongated shape that looks nice and slim. Bigger isn’t always better, and this is a good example.

Here are more good examples (and they’re fully customizable!) —

31. Design With a Twist

Utilizing aspects of your business to create your card makes it feel more authentic and approachable. Here foldable foam is used to create a mini yoga mat for a yoga studio, a fun and witty take on a traditional card.

32. A Fun Experience

Yoga again, and really fun again. Using interactive cut outs on your card creates a fun experience for the user and helps them remember you.

33. Free Stuff

Everyone loves getting free stuff, so why not incorporate that with your card? Here a hairstylist uses bobby pins to make the illusion of hair, and you get to use them.

34. Arrange your Elements

Here’s a great example of using elements of your business as design elements. You immediately recognize it’s about cheese without actually seeing a piece of it, since the die cuts are arranged so familiarly.

Or you can arrange different icons to create a whole motif. For a business card with clever icon arrangement, click on the design below.

35. Go Wild

This card might be a tad too crazy for some, but it brings a whole new meaning to functional. The card is made of metal and actually serves a purpose —grating cheese.

36. Play-on-Visuals

Utilizing a sleeve with a peekaboo window can give you a two for one when it comes to the inner design. Here what starts as a cavity becomes the telephone, a cute play on why you’d be visiting a dentist in the first place.

37. Draw Fond Memories

Another play on why you go to the dentist, here an entire mouth is used, reminiscent of the chattering teeth toys we all know so fondly.

Or how about the unmistakeable highlighter-pen look in this customizable Canva design below?

38. Quirky and Clever

At first glance, this card isn’t really legible, but after stretching the rubber material you can read the information. A personal trainer making you work before you even schedule an appointment? Clever.

39. Design with Purpose

Taking something two dimensional into three-dimensional is a fun and interactive way to engage whoever you give your card to. Here the switch serves a purpose, which makes it even more effective.

40. Humour and Practicality

Humor and practicality are used in a great way here. Not only does it create a little smile in a stressful situation, but you save on printing cards, why give two when you could just give one?

This example below is also rich in humor and practicality. Check out that cheeky line and the budget-friendly monochrome.

41. Simple Pop Up

A more simple pop up is used here, but it still adds a cool dimensionality versus a flat card.

42. Peel Away Stickers

Peel away stickers can be used as well to reveal a transition or a new image underneath. It’s interactive and interesting enough to create an impression.

43. Crafty Cut Outs

Here pop ups are used again, but in a much more crafty way. The cuts out are folded back to show different colors underneath. The same pattern is used, but the different colors give each card a different personality.

44. Design for Interaction

This card is all about interaction. The card is cut and rolled up, and then you style the ‘hair’ however you want. The overall design is really simple, but the customization puts it over the top.

45. Cool Effects

While this card doesn’t have as much interaction as the previous, it still has a cool effect. You pull away the die cut bottom and the shape of a comb appears, relating back to the profession.

46. Clarify your Message

Even less interactive, but just as effective, this card shows what this person can do for you. The message is clear and represented simply, with the indentations adding an extra element.

Similarly, this customizable design below uses simple elements to connote the sea.

47. Functional Design

Another metal functional card, this card can be kept and used as a tool on a bicycle. Something as durable and useful as this ensures that whoever has it will see your name again and again as they use it.

48. Think Outside the Box

Using elements of your profession doesn’t have to be as literal as a bike tool. Here it shows a more metaphorical aspect of what they can do for you.

49. Heat Activated

While this card might not be as practical as others, it’s definitely out of the box. Heat activated ink reveals the brand and contact information, giving it a cool, scorched effect.

50. Go Green

Giving your business card a second chance at life is a great way to help reduce the possibility of it getting thrown out. Biodegradable paper seed packets are simple to find and getting them customized is just as easy.

Start Designing! 

With all of this awesome inspiration how can you not want to create an equally awesome business card? Just remember to keep these few things in mind:

Your business card is a reflection of you, think of some interesting things about yourself and incorporate that into your card.

Keep size in mind, the standard card is 3.5 x 2 inches (which easily fits into a wallet). While going smaller is totally fine, going larger might make your card difficult to store in a wallet.

Legibility is key. Be sure all of the important information (name and contact) is easy to find and easy to read.

You’ve got all the tools, now it’s up to you. If you follow these tips you’ll be sure to have an awesome business card. Happy designing!

Caitlin Jordan is a graphic designer and copywriter from Columbus, OH. Apart from design and writing, she loves all things beauty. She combines her passion for both in a beauty blog and beauty channel on YouTube.