After a handshake, your business card represents many people's first impression about you and your company.
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If your business card is tired and ordinary, you might have trouble convincing them that your business is on your industry's cutting edge.
The alternative to a bland business card is a highly creative business card that utilizes one or more unique design characteristics. Although out-of-the-box designs can incorporate any number of features, most tend to fall into a handful of design categories.
- Shapes. The quickest way to get noticed is to create a business card with a unique shape. Cards that incorporate curves or circles tend to immediately stand out from the 3.5" x 2" rectangular standard. However, varying the shape of your business card can also have the unintended consequence of sending it to the recycling bin if the recipient can't easily store it in a business card filing system.
- Images. The right image can inject new life into a business card. Pasting your own photo on your business card is okay, but these days it's far from creative. If you really want to shake things up look for a photo that visually describes your company's mission and generates positive buzz about your business.
- Materials. Some of the most creative business cards are constructed from unusual or unexpected materials. From clear plastic to aluminum, you can use materials to wordlessly communicate volumes about your company. But since cost can be an issue, do your research before you fall in love with a materials concept.
- Add-ons. Some design elements can be added to an ordinary business card to improve a basic design concept. For example, dentists sometimes print their business cards on a soft card stock and add teeth impressions later.
- Scent Enhancement. Even though it's technically an add-on, scent enhancements deserve their own category as an increasingly popular design feature. The easiest way to add a scent to your business card is to carefully apply it after printing. On the other hand, truly adventurous business card designers might want to consider the latest trend in scent enhancements – scratch-and-sniff business cards that come in a full range of fragrances.
Creative business card designs are not appropriate in every business and industry. In some industries, a plain business card design is just right while in others a round business card that looks and smells like leather is the one that will rise to the top of the heap. Determine what style of business card is acceptable within your industry and then push the boundaries with your own creative design.