Business cards are promotional tool that refuses to be put down. As time goes by along with the great development of technology, cheap business cards as one of the most effective marketing tool must not be underestimated. The form of the card is changing, however, thanks to new trends that are themselves reactions to shifts in what business partners and customers need to know from a card. Here are seven of the most exciting trends and creative ideas.
QR Code Business Card Design
One of the things that more and more people are finding room on their business cards for is the QR code. These spotty bar codes are capable of containing strings of data (most commonly website urls) and they’ve been springing up everywhere: on advertising hoardings, drinks cans – you name it, there’s probably a QR code on it somewhere. Anyone with a Smartphone can call up their barcode scanner app and scan the code. It’s therefore unsurprising that QR codes are making the jump to business cards too.
QR codes are particularly useful at the moment as there are an expanding number of ways a person can be contacted: Business cards no longer just have to provide addresses and telephone numbers. In addition to the firmly established need for email and web addresses, we have facebook and twitter profiles, and who knows what else to pop on there. QR codes can replace all or some of this information.
That said, QR codes are ugly. The best cards that include them take advantage of their built in redundancy (error correction) and make something more visually appealing, maybe containing a logo or design: QR codes don’t have to black and blocky!
Augmented Reality Business Cards
Along the same lines, creative types are creating Augmented Reality Business Cards. Using AR apps like AndAR (Android Augmented Reality) and iSight, a tag printed on a business card can conjure up… well anything really. The technology is in its infancy and there does seem to be a lack of an industry standard. But designers have demonstrated 3D illustrations, 3D videos and even videos that appear to play within the business card itself.
Rounded Corner Business Card
Stepping back from the technological horizons we’ve just trekked to, there are incredibly simple things that you can do to make you business card seem that little bit more elegant and modern. A rounded edge is pointless (yes, “literally too”), unless you’ve reached new heights of health and safety paranoia. But do they look more aesthetically pleasing? Yes. And it can never hurt to show that you care about production values too.
In an age of Internet enabled business, and considering that Business card printing is hardly a new science, there really isn’t any reason why you can’t get your business cards printed and delivered at short notice. A number of companies can even fulfil your order within 24-hours, provided your artwork is in order.
Glosses and Finishes
Even great designers can find it easy to reduce the design of any piece of artwork down to the colours, shapes and text that they conjure up in Photoshop. It’s part of our modern detachment from materials and physical products. So when it comes to the Business card format – the primary weapon of choice in many a business’ physical presence – it’s too easy to print on any old material and be done with it. Many great modern business cards are printed with glossy finishes, the smooth texture of a silk finish or with the pleasing fibrous effect of recycled pulp. For a particularly striking effect, incorporating spot UV coating. This applies a luxurious looking sheen to areas of your card design that you wish to accent.
Modern Business Card Design
Since we’re talking about materials, why not think completely outside the box? There are metallic and wooden business cards out there. Obviously they’re incredibly expensive to design and purchase, but for those in the right business, with the right potential client, they’re worth having around.
Useful Business Cards
Whilst we would all hope that your business cards are going to be ‘of use’ to those we give them too, promotional materials that remain in use for some other reason are an invaluable tool. With different materials for your “cards”, you can be especially creative: metallic ‘multitool’ business cards are just one fantastic idea. Business cards that simply contain useful reference information (conversion from miles in kilometres, for instance) are equally likely to stick around. Also “useful” doesn’t have to mean some element of utility – a card that includes folding instructions so it can become an origami crane may well be “useful” as a desk ornament.