5 Tips For Designing Shaped Business Cards

Design A Business Cards

October 23rd, 2021   |   Updated on June 28th, 2022

According to studies by authoritative sources such as Credit Donkey, even in the digital age 27 million business cards are printed out daily in the United States. This totals to a staggering number of 10 billions every year.

If you sum this data with the fact that in 2021 the number of small businesses in the US reached 31.7 millions — 99.9% of all businesses — you can expect a sharp increase in the request for business cards in the future.

The point is, small businesses do not have the budget of large corporations when planning their marketing strategies.

For this reason, small business owners typically want something that will help them stand out, while remaining on the inexpensive side of marketing. One of the best ways to do this is through die cut business cards!

What Is the Best Shape For Business Cards?

The best thing about die cut business cards is that you can get them in any shape that you feel represents your business. Therefore, there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to special shaped business cards.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with shapes: this will not in any way diminish the perceived reliability of your company. On the other hand, you will be more likely to survive the fateful first week.

It is a known fact among business owners that 9 out of 10 business cards end up in the bin within 7 days.

Here are some suggestions of die-cut shapes you should consider:

  • For a real estate company, you could go for ​​business cards shaped like a house.
  • If you want to teach music lessons, have them shaped according to your favourite instrument!
  • If you want to launch a social campaign, choose business cards in the shape of the core symbol of the issue. For example, a tree, a leaf or even drop of water will stand out well for environmentalist campaigns.
  • Do you produce and sell natural cosmetics? You can have a business card that reminds people of your top selling item. The company Float, for example, has business cards in the form of their iconic, round-shaped soap bars.

What Are 5 Tips To Designing a Business Card?

  • Make the business card your own. While it is perfectly normal to look out for inspiration on the internet, the best way to make your different shaped business cards work is to make them an authentic representation of your business. For this reason, references to your products or services work best. If you use a personalized font in your website, replicate it also in the business card.
  • Always respect the KISS principle: Keep It Super Simple! Business cards are a means to give all the important information about your business to clients and partners. But you don’t want them to be overwhelming. Stick to a logo, a short tagline of 3 to 7 words, and contact details.
  • Experiment with effects and finishes. If the content needs to be minimal, the effects can be spectacular! You can go for UV spots that, with their sober shining, will highlight the best details of your card. To give more texture, you can choose to have business cards made from linen or brown kraft paper. You can also play with the paper type for a shiny finish and go for a gloss finish or matte.
  • Give the spotlight to your logo. People pay more attention to images than words. Because of that, you want your logo to play the lion’s share.
  • Make your card functional. Die cutting allows you to create business cards that serve a bigger function than providing your information. A famous design by James Wieck is a folded business card that contains seeds that will sprout when you soak the card in water.

Another example comes from the Canadian fashion store Matière Noir Studio. They chose an essential white, rectangular business card.

By simply die cutting two half circles on the longer sider, they turned their card into a holder for a black cotton thread. Interesting, right?

What Design Factors Make a Successful Business Card?

The success of your business card relies heavily on the design. Here are a few things to keep in mind when you create your creative shaped business cards:

  • Keep an edge. In the design world, is it well-known that die cut printing needs some margin, known as “bleed”. As advanced as they could be, die cutting machines still need 1/16” of tolerance. So, keep all the images and written parts within a safety line. The 4OVER4 design tool makes this easier by clearly demarcating the sections that will be cut off and where to keep all the text and design in.
  • Go for the highest resolution possible. When designing a business card, always go for 300dpi or more. Your potential customers won’t spend more than a few seconds looking at your business card, so make sure that all the designs are easy to distinguish at a first glance.
  • Use a grid. When deciding upon the layout of the different items on your unique shaped business cards.
    Consider the scaling. If you have ever had some experience with design, you may know that what looks perfect on screen can look underwhelming when printed out to a different size.
  • While images printed in a larger size can look grainy, in the case of business cards what you have to avoid at all costs is that your copy on the card results unreadable. The best prevention measure is to avoid “light” fonts and go for slightly bolder, simple ones like sans serif fonts.
  • Proofread your copy. This one may seem a bit obvious but you wouldn’t guess how often it happens that a business owner only realizes too late that there was a mistake in their copy. And, in the case of business cards, there’s nowhere to run for cover: You will need a new batch.

If you feel like the whole process is a bit overwhelming, try not to worry. Millions of people have been in your position before.

One of the best design tools where you can design your card from scratch or choose from hundreds of templates is the 4OVER4 design tool.

Once you have your design ready, send it to print with a click of a button and take all the credit for your well-designed business cards.