Most business cards have a pretty short life-span.
- Toss it in the trash
- Wrap their used gum in it and toss it in the trash
- Use it to squish that annoying bug on the dashboard and toss it in the trash
- Use it to pick the spinach they ate for lunch out from between their teeth and then toss it in the trash.
- Toss it in their business card file, never-to-be-seen-again, and eventually, toss it in the trash.
You get the picture.
The only goal you should have when designing your business card (other than giving your contact info, of course) is figuring out how to make sure your prospects keep it. Even better, figuring out a way to make sure your prospects share your card with others. And there are some cool trends in business card design that accomplish that goal. Check out the following suggestions to spark your own creative inspiration:
These are pretty cool and do wonders to help you stand out from the crowd – and they could be done on the cheap if you own a pair of scissors and have some time to kill. Food companies often have cards with a ‘bite’ munched out from one side. Or tech geeks have been known to shape their cards like cell phones. One of my absolute faves was a scented ‘tree’ shaped card, complete with cord to dangle from your rear view mirror. (I promise you no one is picking their teeth with that baby). There are also plenty of cards with various ‘cut out holes’ to add interest and dimension (another inexpensive way to add pizzazz to your cards if you own a hole punch). What a nifty idea for a Swiss Cheese company! Use your amazing brain to think up creative ways to incorporate a shape or cut-out into your own business cards!
This is my absolute most favorite type of all business cards and a genius marketing move. If your business card does something ‘fun’ – people will be more inclined to keep it AND share it with their friends. For example, the brilliant designer who came up with the idea for a ‘mustache’ card. This simple black mustache on a plain white card (with contact info on the reverse) left people smiling, laughing and sharing those cards like crazy. Why? Because you can hold the card up under your nose to give yourself an instant ‘stache’. The mustache cards went completely viral with designers creating new mustache shapes and colors. Recipients of the card spent time photographing themselves and their friends with mustache faces and sharing those photos all over the internet. If you can create a business card that people will use as a toy, or for some other purpose – your prospects will be utterly impressed. There are incredibly cool cards out there – some that are puzzles, some that fold into new shapes, inflatable balloon cards, pop-up cards and some with stickers that you have to peel off to see what’s underneath. Be cool and creative and get people laughing.
Being ‘green’ is a super-hot trend and nothing gets people’s panties in a knot like wasted paper. Most people appreciate your small efforts to save the planet by designing an eco-friendly business card. This can be as simple as using recycled paper to print them on (at least they won’t cause global warming when people toss them in the trash) or as outrageous as having flower seeds embedded in the card so people can ‘plant’ the card instead of throwing it in the garbage. Does your company pride itself on its green efforts? Don’t overlook your business card as a planet-friendly medium! Look towards your own business mission statement to get ideas for a cool card.
Completely-Insane business cards
Want to REALLY stand out? Your cards don’t have to be rectangle squares of paper at all. In today’s world there are slick metal business cards etched with your info. There are edible business cards made from chocolate, cookie dough, stamped gum and even (gag) dried meat jerky. Hey – at least people will show them to their friends before they gobble them up! You probably won’t be able to purchase the world’s most expensive business cards since they are sold by ‘invitation only’ (but I doubt you will require diamond-studded cards that run $1500 a pop anyway). There are cards that play music (what’s your company anthem?), cards that double as bottle-openers or hair combs and even guitar picks. If you want to shine as a creative genius and ensure your contact info is kept – consider using a show-stopping business card.
Whatever style and design you choose for your business cards remember the most important things: make it memorable, eye-catching and ‘keepable’ too. Stretch your brilliant, creative brain muscles, have fun and make your next business card the kind that people want to show all their friends and not just chuck in the garbage!