The perfect business card – a tool for building an enduring first impression.
Business cards continue to be a vital tool for building a long-lasting first impression. Think how you would react if a person vying to work for you approached with their dog-chewed corner of a business card they had printed back when Times New Roman on a glossy white background was all the rage.
We’ve weaved our way through a plethora of online design haunts to bring you 50 inspiring letterpress business card ideas to get your creative juices flowing before your next big networking event.
Think a good business card is all front and back? Think again. Spencer Bagley from creative agency Apartment One took his inspiration to the edge with his designs for Tamara Adlin’s retro, edge-painted business cards.
Not all business cards are created equal. These cards by Monfort Studio are a striking example of how elegant and soulful your first impression can be when you print your business’ identity on a beautifully textured wooden face.
03. The Devil’s in the Detail
Let’s face it, there is impressive design work and then there is impressive design work. These cards by Letter & Press are printed on thick cotton and every spectacular detail is 100% handcrafted.
Show your business has a soft spot for the environment. These cards by Letter & Press are printed on recycled paper and everything down to the pale green font screams they’re serious about the world they live and work in.
Be bold and strong with your business’ first impression. These metallic cards by German design firm Open Studio are just that. The crisp letter imprints on a sleek metal plate are bound to grab immediate attention.
06. Circle Edge
For a simple but profound touch of artistry, lose the corners. That’s what Polish design firm Pan Bon Ton did with these circular cards, which look fantastic and can double as a branded coaster.
07. Keeping it Simple
Often the strongest message is the simplest. Impressworks, a local Australian design firm from the Gold Coast hits simplicity on the head with these black on white letterpress cards, perfect for delivering a no-fuss, core business message.
Harness the elements of royalty and combine perfect tones of color and typography to send the right message about your business or venture. These designs by 100und1 from Vienna, Austria do just that.
Whether you’re in the seafaring game or not, the cool vibes of these nautical-themed cards by Spanish design firm el estudio demonstrate what beauty can be struck by sea-blue edges and typography on a simple white background.
10. Playing with Shapes
Add shape to your brand. By replicating the diamond rhombuses found on this business card across all of Tim John’s branded material, design firm Paperlux turned a simple letterpress feature into a fixture of a much broader design system.
11. Cut it Out!
Add some edge to your next business card and leave them off altogether. That’s what Gabe Ferreira did with the design for his own business cards, and the result speaks for itself.
Forego the traditional. Who said business cards are best served in rectangles? Make a fresh start with your next potential client with this squared inspiration from Anemone Letterpress.
13. Curve the Edges
Subtlety is key. Among other understated design elements at play here, what sets this letterpress business card by Kelly Hampson apart is the slight rounding of the corners.
14. Humor Me
Nothing breaks through the public’s buying psyche quite like a dose of good fun. For divorce lawyer James Mahon, humor came in the form of a letterpress business card designed to be torn apart for each prospective client.
15. Super 3D
Bring your business into the third dimension. That’s what Canadian design firm Jukebox Print does for its happy clients, mastering 3D embossed designs and crisp letterpress onto soft cotton paper.
16. Simple Scandinavia
Unlock the virtues of rich Scandinavian design. Swede Robert Samsonowitz expertly shows off the simplicity, minimalism and functionality that makes the northern region famous when it comes to visual aesthetics.
17. Be Abstract
Flirt with reality and show your business runs deeper than the competition. Kate Clift does it perfectly here. By composing shape, color and form she creates a wonderful piece of abstract, business card art.
18. Add a Fold
A simple fold or two might be all you need to stand out from the rest. Shaun Knopek, a designer from London, proves here that it takes less than you might think to make a grand impression.
19. Aim for Elegance
Depending on your line of work, a touch of class and elegance can tell the world you’re serious about what you do and how you do it. Californian design firm TRUF Creative executed the look perfectly with these gold foiled cards printed on textured duplexed stock.
Both in design and business, less is often more. Miami-based designer Angel A. Acevedo gave stock to the theory here with these simple-textured cards, which give little and everything away all at once.
21. Join the Dots
San Franciscan designer Sadie Lai knows the key to vibrant and affordable letterpress design: simplicity. Using just two colors – violet and pink – she worked her magic on this sophisticated polka dot backdrop.
22. Get Busy With It!
Many of the styles we’ve showcased so far have dabbled in simplicity. This work by Colombian designer Regio Studio proves that the opposite can also deliver a strong branded message.
23. Punch it Out!
Get creative with the hole-punch. Austrian designer Joesf Heigl-Design Beureau left a big impression on these evocative cards, with the empty triangle representing the versatility of the acting profession.
Prove everything about your business is in synch by imposing two core elements of your brand into one incredible business card. That’s what London based designer Maurizio Pagnozzi did here and the look is sublime.
25. Highlight for Effect
Dare to be bold, dare to highlight. Spanish designer Alberto Romanos isn’t afraid to stand out from the crowd, using his letterpress design to shine bright. Care should be taken however, as the highlighting should be a feature and not the dominating attribute.
26. Implement a Color Design Scheme
Implement a letterpress strategy for your business card that ties in with the color theme of your overall brand. French graphic designer Remi Rechtman proves how a consistent color theme can really help to drive your brand.
27. Background Texture
Ben Johnston and his Toronto based firm Super Design Co show here what an understated textured background does for a perfectly color-matched letterpress foreground. The arrows pointing down to emphasise the brand is subtle but incredibly powerful.
28. It’s All in the Name
Daniel Patrick Simmons from Sacramento, California unlocks true function with his “name only” range of letterpress business cards. His theory is just as simple as the design itself: while your contact details change, your name is your brand’s true constant.
29. Stark Contrast
There are few letterpress artists who do the black and white contrast better than Anastasia Yakovleva. What appear to be different impression weights between the black and white text is as equally understated as it is robust.
30. Cotton Paper
Introduce a powerful touch of delicacy to your brand message. Designer Belinda Love Lee from the United Kingdom printed this simple but charming design onto a 100% textured cotton paper backing.
31. Fiddle with Form
If shape or form is an important element of your brand, include it in your business card design. That’s what Melbourne designers David Popov & Maurice Lai did here with this letterpress design, with the letters central to the brand of Nathan Toleman’s new cafe, Kettle Black.
32. Glow in the Dark
How many business cards have you handed out after hours? Luke Lucas, a designer from Sydney commissioned a letterpress design that incorporated cotton stock with phosphorescent ink so that it illuminates in the dark.
33. Draw Inspiration from your Field
Design agency Ermolaev Bureau from Moscow was commissioned to update the branding of a boutique investment firm and they drew inspiration for the design of these letterpress business cards by referring to actual financial charts and diagrams.
34. Draw Inspiration from your Environment
For this Portland-based web development firm, designer Darrin Crescenzi from New York wanted to create a letterpress business card inspired by the coastal environment from which the firm took its roots.
35. Create Sophistication
The aim of London design firm Two Create was to eternalize the sense of sophistication synonymous with the brand they were working with. The gunmetal foil and different shades of grey were used perfectly against the coarsely textured backdrop.
36. Double Up!
The Alphabet Press, a printmaking workspace from Kuala Lumpur printed its front and back designs on two separate pieces of paper and then duplexed them together for a special touch of quality.
37. Press and Stamp
Present your brand in flawless style with gold foil stamping, or any other form of letterpress stamping for that matter. Designer Cyla Costa from Brazil shows it off in fine fashion here with her very own design.
38. Create a Personal Symbol
Take personal branding to the next level by designing a personal symbol to be embossed on your next letterpress business card. Andre Arnoldus from Singapore did just that here with the combination of the letter A, the first letter of both his names.
39. Simple Paper
Strip your next business card design back to its rawest form and use a simple pattern on a rough paper stock. Maya Liepaz from Cape Town even ruffled the edges of these cards for a stunning design effect.
40. See the Bigger Picture
Semyon Zakharov from Moscow takes letterpress business cards to the next level with these incredible designs. Each card he produces is a small piece that makes up a much larger artwork.
41. Go for a Personal Touch
Make your business approach more personal next time and use your business card to strike a deeper connection with those you work with. Joya Helmuth managed that here with these cards in the form of a personal note.
42. Adorn What You Do!
Show your prospective client you’re proud of what you do. Polish design firm Letter & Press hit the nail on the head (pardon the pun) here with a heavy imprint of a house predominant in the motif.
Another way to add a personal touch to your letterpress business card is to use a font that looks like handwriting. Letter & Press have done it here and it looks simple and stunning.
44. Add a touch of calligraphy
Give your business cards a vintage look and employ some easy-on-the-eye calligraphy to strike a chord with your prospective clients. Marina Marjina from Russia shows it off here to great effect.
45. Blend Elements of Your Brand
Make your business card a brand cocktail, mixing elements like name and color to add a fresh dimension to your business. Timm Schneider does it perfectly here, blending the brand name with the rich, gold-colored edges.
46. Get the Coloring Right
Nothing will befoul your letterpress business card more than if the coloring is off. Un Barco proves how valuable a perfect blend can be here with the union of the jet stream green and prelude purple.
47. Get it Straight!
The opposite of a perfectly designed letterpress business card is one that looks like it’s been overworked. This refreshingly basic design by Letter & Press proves that it doesn’t hurt to just get things straight.
48. Be Unconventional
It’s not easy to stand out from the competition. Make your brand pop by doing something unconventional with your business card. Graphic designer Katie Bennett knows how to do it right.
49. Splash it with Color
Lighten up your next letterpress business card by flooding it with color. Design firm Clevery from Ukraine proves here that a little bit (or a lot) of color can go a long way to building your perfect first impression.
50. Tell the World What You Do
Your business card can be the perfect opportunity to explain to the world what you or your business does. With one word here, Colin Elliot implicitly tells prospective clients exactly what they will hire him to do.
Letterpress design is as wonderful and varied as the designers themselves. Make sure you plan ahead, work out what message you want to send with your card, and invest in the design and production processes to ensure your first business impression is a lasting one.