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Business Card Etiquette Around the World

If you’ve never done business overseas, you might not realise that business card etiquette is a real thing! Most people that hand out business cards do so without thinking—you talk to somebody that you want to connect with, and if all goes well, you’ll say “Hey—here’s my business card!”

But elsewhere, this might be seen as unprofessional (or even rude). And that’s the last thing you need when you’re trying to establish a new contact or do business with somebody.

So, what rules of business card etiquette do you have to follow? Are they the same all around the world, or do they differ in different cultures? Let’s find out.

Business Card Etiquette: General Guidelines

Below are a number of general guidelines, each of which will improve your chances of establishing a successful contact. Some of them only apply when abroad, but others apply when accepting or offering a business card in any situation. You have to learn how to follow this basic etiquette before thinking about culture-specific guidelines!

Make Sure You Bring Enough Cards

Forgetting to bring enough business cards—or forgetting your business cards, full stop—is a cardinal sin. You should always carry your card case with you, with at least a couple dozen cards inside. This will ensure that you always have enough, because you may have to hand out several at the start of a meeting. You don’t want to leave anyone out!

Why is this important? Because you may have just spent the last twenty minutes talking to somebody who could make a great connection, and they’ve handed you their card… But you pat your pockets, only to say “Hold on—I think I’ve left my cards at home.” Needless to say, the contact won’t be impressed.

This applies whether you’re handing out business cards at home or in a foreign country. Forgetfulness isn’t a sign of business success no matter where you’re from.

A related point is to keep your business cards in the same place at all times—like an inner jacket pocket. Having to pat yourself down to find your cards looks awkward, as if you never have to give them out. Definitely not a good impression to give.

What Language Should Your Card Be In?

This is one of the easiest business card guidelines to get wrong. Let’s say that you’re travelling to Japan for a conference. Before you go, you should have special business cards printed for your trip: one side should be in English (or whichever language you primarily do business in), and one side should be in Japanese.

When you present your card, you should present it with the Japanese side up, for ease of reading. Naturally, you should print your cards in the language of whatever country you’re visiting, not just Japanese!

Why is this important? Consider for a second if the situation was reversed. At your conference, you’re given a card—but it’s all in Japanese. Not being able to read Japanese, you don’t know who gave you the card or what they do!

It’s also disrespectful. It comes across as assuming that they can, or should, speak English. Contrast that with the thoughtfulness of having special business cards printed for your trip, and it’s obvious why it’s important.

What to Do with a Business Card When You’re Given One

Another basic thing you can get wrong is what you do when you’re given a card. Because you’ve likely been talking with the person before receiving it, you’ll already know much of what’s written on there. As such, your first instinct might be to put it straight into your pocket. But that’s a big no-no.

Why is this important? It shows a lack of respect. It might not occur to you that it’s in any way disrespectful—but again, contrast it with other things you could do. Better etiquette would see you look at the card, comment on it, and clarify any questions you might have about it before putting it away.

When Should You Offer a Business Card?

Finally, you should only give your business card at certain times during an interaction. The done thing is to offer a card either at the beginning or the end of your meeting. This allows you to gauge whether or not the person will be receptive to one… And there’s no point giving a card to someone who doesn’t want one.

One thing you shouldn’t do is offer a card to somebody you’re not talking to. At best, if you’re handing out cards indiscriminately, you’re wasting your own time and money. At worst, you’re essentially passing out junk mail to people who didn’t ask for it—which is definitely rude. This applies wherever you’re doing business: at home in the U.K., or abroad.

Why is this important? The point of a business card is to form a lasting contact. As such, you would typically give one at the end of a meeting. If you already know that you’re going to do business together, then giving one at the beginning of a meeting makes sense too.

Not only that, but to give one halfway through a meeting is a little presumptuous. You’re assuming that the person wants to do business with you, rather than waiting to see the direction that the meeting is heading. Maybe they don’t want one!

And, of course, handing out business cards like it’s going out of fashion is essentially real-life spam.

Culture-Specific Business Card Etiquette

Now it’s time to think about how each culture designs and offers their business cards. Asian countries in particular have guidelines that most people follow, which it would benefit you if you followed too.

Chinese Business Card Guidelines

The most basic rules of giving business cards all apply in China, too. Make sure that you:

  • Offer the card face up
  • When receiving a card, study it, and don’t write on it
  • Treat the practise of giving and receiving cards with respect

You should offer the card with both hands in a respectful gesture. This is the done thing across Asia, and it makes sense: it makes the giving and receiving of business cards into an important act.

When designing a business card to give to Chinese contacts, using red and gold as the primary colours you design with would be a smart move. In Chinese culture, red symbolises good fortune, while gold (naturally) represents wealth. These meanings attributed to colour are more important in China than anywhere else in the world.

When designing your card, though, don’t go overboard: gold lettering with a red logo, for example, would be tasteful but effective.

When translating your business card, don’t just ask for it in ‘Chinese’. Chinese has many dialects, the most common being Cantonese and Mandarin. Mandarin is the most widely used—and is the official state language—while Cantonese is by far the more common in the south-east (in Guangdong and Guanxi provinces). So, check where your contacts will be from and adjust accordingly. If you’re not sure, go with Mandarin.

Something else to note is that Cantonese is the language most commonly spoken by Chinese communities abroad, e.g. in the U.S. and Europe. If in doubt, ask somebody who will know!

Japanese Business Card Guidelines

Japanese culture is known around the world for being centred on respect. Giving and receiving business cards is no different—it’s practically ceremonial.

Japanese business cards, known as meishi, have carried great weight since Japan’s economic miracle following the Second World War. And because of their importance, and Japan’s unique culture, the giving and receiving of meishi has become ritualised and important. There are a number of things you can easily get wrong:

  • You should never receive a business card but refuse to give one in return.
  • You should never bend a business card you receive.
  • You should never write on a business card you receive, at least in the giver’s presence.
  • You should offer the card with both hands (just like in China).
  • You should offer the card face-up, so that the person who receives it doesn’t have to turn it over.

It’s also advised that you carry a business card case with you at all times. When you receive a card, you should put it in here rather than in your pocket. Having a holder would also avoid the embarrassing situation of receiving a card but not being able to give one, because you forgot yours at home!

The last thing to remember is that the importance of meishi means they shouldn’t be handed out left, right and center. In the Western world, business cards are handed out to any potential contact, or even pinned to notice boards. But if you hand out business cards to anybody and everybody you meet on a business trip to Japan, they lose their prestige. It’s better to hold onto them and only give them out when necessary.

Middle Eastern Business Card Guidelines

Traditional Middle Eastern business cards look similar to those from elsewhere in the world: they feature your name, address, website, phone and fax number, as well as the company’s logo. But when giving and receiving business cards, the exact protocol differs by country.

  • In the U.A.E., guidelines are relaxed: you can hand them out during any occasion.
  • In Bahrain, business cards are given away to practically anyone you meet in a business setting.
  • In Israel, again, there are no hard rules—although they’re typically handed out at the beginning of a meeting.

One rule you shouldn’t ever break is that a card should always be handed out with your right hand. It’s very disrespectful to use your left.

Indian Business Card Guidelines

Last but not least, India has several guidelines as to the giving and receiving of business cards. Just like the Middle East, you should never offer your business card with your left hand; always your right.

Translating your business card is a little more difficult for India, as the country doesn’t have just one official language—it has two Hindi and English, alongside 22 scheduled languages which are commonly spoken in different states.

This makes it difficult to know which language to use! Hindi is the most common, with the language and its dialects accounting for the main language of 44% of Indian citizens. As such, it’s no great sin to use English. But if you know which language the receiver does business in, feel free to print one side in that language too.

Aside from that, you should consider putting your academic achievements on the card. These are highly valued in India—more so than in other parts of the world. So, if you have university qualifications (and especially postgraduate qualifications), make it clear what they are and where you got them from on your card.

Business Card Etiquette in the U.S.

Guidelines in the U.S. are more relaxed than they are elsewhere in the world. If you’re generally quite polite, then you won’t fall foul of any hidden rules you weren’t expecting. A few things to note:

  • It’s not impolite to write in the blank space on a business card, either before you offer one, or after you receive one. In fact, if you’re offering a personal email address or phone number, it’s a good thing.
  • If you’re aware that the meeting will be business related, feel free to offer a card before it starts. This will avoid any embarrassing moments where you forget one another’s names.

In terms of design, there really are no rules to be aware of. Feel free to opt for something flashier than average. People from the U.S. have easily been the biggest users of business cards over the last few decades.

As such, there’s more of a backlash against boring, plain white business cards here than elsewhere. With an eye-catching design—especially if you run your own business, or work in a creative industry—could go a long way.

The Most Well-Known Business Cards (Ever)

Making your own business card from scratch is a tricky business. That’s why most people rely on the experiences and successes of others. So what better way is there to create your own business card, than to look at those of the most well-known people of history?

Below are a number of business cards from figures of historical or cultural importance. Let’s see how they made their business cards work for them!

Abraham Lincoln

In his days before the presidency, Abraham Lincoln was an attorney and public figure. Like others in the profession of his day, Lincoln needed a business card to drum up business. A business card often attributed to him stated:

A. Lincoln

Attorney and Counselor at Law


To whom it may concern:

My old customers, and others, are no doubt aware of the terrible time I have had in crossing the stream, and will be glad to known that I will be back, on the same side from which I started, on or before the Fourth of March next, when I will be ready to swap horses, dispense law, make jokes, split rails, and perform other matters in a small way.

But what confused historians was that this card was likely printed in 1864—one of the years of Lincoln’s presidency, and during the Civil War. So why would the sitting president need to print a business card?

As it turns out, it may not have been the man himself that had them printed. In fact, it was likely the Democratic committee that had them commissioned as a dig at Lincoln for the war and a number of political defeats he had experienced. Alternatively, Lincoln may have had them printed as a self-deprecating joke—historians aren’t sure.

But don’t copy his card too closely, as you likely won’t get much business from it!

Harry Houdini

Harry Houdini needed business cards like any other businessman of his day. As a performer, he needed to be able to connect with local businessmen so that he could put on shows, and so they could contact him to have him perform.

This one seems to have been equal parts business card and marketing material. While it tells the recipient who the person is—Houdini—it also advertises the then-current show ‘The Man From Beyond’, which Houdini was performing at the Times Square Theatre.

But what makes the card interesting isn’t its text. It’s the shape of the card. Rather than your average rectangle, it’s a triangle. This would make the card instantly memorable and recognisable, despite being so simple.

Walt Disney

‘Walt Disney’ is one of the best known names across the world, probably only matched by religious figures! It’s almost inconceivable that at one point in his life, the man would have needed a business card. But before he was famous, when cartoons were only first becoming widespread, he did.

Disney’s card drew on his strengths. It features his name, Walt Disney, and underneath in smaller font ‘cartoonist’. Then further below, the card expands on what Disney can do: ‘comic cartoons, advertising cartoons, animated motion [and] picture cartoons’. Finally it features his address, at the time in Kansas City Missouri.

But it’s not the details that set the card apart. It’s how he personalised it and made his strengths clear. The card features a cute self-portrait of the artist, sat at a contemporary easel. With his sleeves rolled up and a pencil behind his ear, he scribbles furiously, with papers flying everywhere.

How could you personalise your card to grab the imagination, and make your strengths clear?

Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein’s card is a good example of a basic business card template. It features his name, his profession (‘Professor—Physics’), where he works (Institute for Advanced Study), his address and his phone number.

The only major difference between this and any other business card is the texture. It has an almost corrugated texture which would have made it interesting to the touch. But if it weren’t for the name on it, this business card would definitely not have made the history books.

Chuck Jones

Chuck Jones was another animator, famous for being the man behind Tom and Jerry, Looney Tunes, Merrie Melodies and more. Because of his ground-breaking style and immense success, he became known as The Father of Contemporary Animation.

Like Disney, Chuck Jones made his strengths clear on his business card. It features his name (stylised as it appeared in the credits for his cartoons), as well as his phone number and address. But like Disney, Jones sought to personalise his card in the only way he knew how: art.

Front and centre of the card is a drawing of Roadrunner (‘beep beep!’) The drawing utilises Jones’ famous illustration of movement, with a big cloud of dust billowing up behind him. Roadrunner was one of Chuck Jones’ most famous inventions, both then and now, so to include a ‘portrait’ of the character was almost to say Don’t you know who I am? I’m the guy who came up with Roadrunner!

What could you put on your card that might have a similar effect?

Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol was a cultural icon. He was known both for his art, and for his position in the flourishing cultural scene of 1960s New York. His art studio (The Factory) was essentially where anyone who was anyone would hang out at the time. Considering he knew anyone who was anyone, it’s surprising that he felt the need to have a business card—but he did.

Warhol’s business card reflected the man behind it. It was handwritten in two colours, with Andy’s name and address. Aside from these basic details, the card is actually bare. But the impression it gives is one of a man who was confident in his art, informal, and different—all of which Andy was.

If it were your job to print a business card for Andy Warhol, how would you design it? Could you do a better job than the man himself?

Steve Martin

Steve Martin is a comedian—one of the greatest stand-up comics of all time. He was first a writer, but got his big break as a regular guest on The Tonight Show in the 1970s. He subsequently starred in many movies, both comedies and not, and won Emmys and Grammys for his work. He also happens to be an incredible juggler, and a highly proficient banjo player. There’s little he can’t do.

Like most of the best examples here, the card reflects the man. Steve Martin’s business card didn’t feature his address or how to contact him; he was widely known enough that if you wanted to get in touch with him, you could find out how quite easily. All it features is the text:

This certifies that you have had a personal encounter with me and that you found me warm, polite, intelligent and funny.

It was signed underneath.

Steve Wozniak

Steve Wozniak (also known as Woz) is an American inventor who co-founded Apple Inc. with Steve Jobs. While Jobs was famed as the face of the company, Woz was the man behind the inventions: the Apple I and Apple II, and the Apple Macintosh. These were the products that put Apple on the map.

His business card is anything but bland. For starters, it’s made of metal, not card. Along the top and bottom are two rows of perforated dots to provide texture. The card gives his name, address, email and phone number, as well as his website ( He’s had the same design for decades.

Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs was the face of Apple until his untimely death in 2011. Aside from being the co-founder of one of the biggest tech companies around, he was also the primary investor and chairman behind Pixar. Jobs wasn’t short of success.

His business card, though, was actually quite plain. During his first stint at Apple, his card was a basic white rectangular design, featuring the name of Apple, his address and phone number, his name and his job title (Vice President, New Product Development).

While his later business cards may have been more interesting, how do you think this first one could have been improved?

Bill Gates

We don’t need to tell you who Bill Gates is. As the head of one of the world’s biggest companies, he’s had lots of different business cards over the years. One of the first was printed soon after he founded Microsoft with Paul Allen in 1975.

The design featured here is definitely eye-catching. It features ‘MICROSOFT’ in a big, stylised 1970s font along the top, as well as Gates’ name, job title, address and phone number. In short, it’s got everything you need to contact the man if you should need to.

But aside from that, you could argue that it’s lacking in personality. From the card alone, could you tell that Microsoft were a software company or not?

Mark Zuckerberg

Mark Zuckerberg, like many in our list, doesn’t need a business card these days. If you need him, you know where he is! But back when Facebook was a fledgling site (and then known as The Facebook), Zuck and his fellow employees did need business cards.

The designer who drafted and printed them thought that making them fun would be a good idea. They’re based on the site’s design, featuring Facebook’s well-known font, and its blue and white colour scheme.

Each card featured a tagline, which reflected the design of the site at the time (random quotes would appear on the site’s footer, just for fun). Zuckerberg’s quote on his card was one that the designer remembered him using, ironically or not, in board meetings: ‘I’m CEO, Bitch.’

Do you think you could get away with a card with the same design? If not, why not?

Arnold Schwarzenegger

Arnold Schwarzenegger has had, to put it mildly, a unique career. Having come to the public’s attention through winning the Mr. Universe title at age 20, he went on to star in several low-budget action movies before finding fame in Conan the Barbarian and Terminator. After a long movie career featuring action, comedy and dramatic roles, Arnie settled down into his retirement… By becoming governor of the state of California.

His business card during the later part of his career reflects his position. It isn’t flashy, but it is classy—it looks just like the cards of other governors and politicians. It features his name, job title and address (State Capitol, Sacramento, California, 95814) as well as his phone number. Embossed at the top in gold is the seal of the state.

If you were Arnie, what would your business card look like? Would it be professional to reflect his later career, or more fun to reflect his earlier career?

Barack Obama

Obama doesn’t need an introduction! Barack Obama’s business card was surprisingly similar to Arnie’s (or perhaps that should be the other way around).

Back when he was U.S. Senator for Illinois, his card featured everything you would need to get in touch with him, but not much more. Again, his card featured an embossed golden seal, but this time it was the Great Seal of the United States rather than of his state. Professional and elegant: what more could you want?

Do you think all politician’s business cards should be basic and professional, or should they have more personality to them? Which approach do you think would be the most effective?

Donald Trump

Love him or loathe him, Donald Trump is arguably the best known celebrity in the world today. Perhaps taking inspiration from Arnold Schwarzenegger, Trump decided that a career in politics was for him a long time ago. And again, whatever you think of him, now he’s leader of the free world. So what on earth must his business card look like?

As for the ones he currently uses, it’s not actually clear. There aren’t any examples for sale, unlike his many other autographed cards for his position at the Trump Organization. He may still be using his personal professional cards rather than those of his office.

His older cards are instantly recognisable. They’re embossed with a golden logo, but other than that are quite basic (i.e. name, position, address, telephone and fax). The main difference is that if you flip the card, you’ve got all of the above details but in Japanese. This would have made it easier for Trump to liaise with Japanese businessmen, which he definitely would have been doing in the 80s and 90s.

If there’s one thing that you take away from this list it’s that the card should reflect the person giving it and the position that they hold. If you’re a creator, don’t be bland: be interesting and different. If you work in sales or marketing, don’t be boring: sell yourself!

What Information Should Be on a Business Card?

For one so simple, the question of what to put on a business card is actually a tricky one to answer.

Why? Because while it should stand out and be memorable, it should also look consummately professional in design—and not be too cluttered. This is a difficult balance to achieve, made harder because there’s so much competition. Below, we’ve detailed all the information that should be on a business card, as well as how to make it stand out from the crowd.

Basic Business Card Template

Common practise is to have your name in slightly larger font than anything else on the card. Think about it: if somebody gives you their business card, what’s the first thing you’re going to look for? If like most people you would look for their name, then you have to make the name on your business card the most obvious thing the eye is drawn to.

Underneath that are your job description and the business you work for. These three things flow naturally from each other, and give the recipient everything they need to know in one go—without them having to look elsewhere on the card, or turn it over. These three things should therefore be next to each other.

As for anything else, like the URL of your site or the handles for your social media, that depends on your profession and what you think is suitable.

What’s Your Name?

No matter what design you opt for, and what extra information it provides, your business card has to let the recipient know who you are. Your name and the best way to contact you should all be central to the card’s design. Without these, the card loses its function.

As for what name to put on your card, it’s your choice. If you want to include your full name including middle names (and space permits you to), then there’s no problem with that. If you want to use a contracted version of your name that you’re more comfortable with, again, there’s no problem with that. But you should use your full name, middle names or not.

There’s also no need to include Mr/Mrs/Ms/Miss before your name. It doesn’t affect the hiring or contracting process, and leaving out your title helps maintain a cleaner appearance overall.

If you do have degrees and qualifications, you may want to include these at the end of your name (i.e. MA, PhD, MD, etc.) but there’s no absolute need to. If you feel like your qualifications will help you network better, then include them.

Where to Put Your Name on a Business Card

Your name should be the first thing that a person sees on your card. It’s the most important thing on there by far. You can achieve this by putting it in the centre of the card, if your design allows. You should also place it above any other personal details on your card, e.g. place of work or job title.

There are a number of other ways to highlight your name on a business card. You could:

  • Have it set in a larger font size, or have it set in a different font
  • Have it displayed in bold
  • Have it embossed

Making your name ever so slightly larger—just one or two points bigger—is enough to make it stand out without compromising your professional look. The same applies to setting it in bold.

You could also have it set apart slightly from the other text on your card. In a simple design, this works well.

Job Title

Your business card should also make clear what it is that you do. If you make an amazing impression, then the recipient might remember who you are and why they have your card. But not everybody has a photographic memory, so it’s important to put your job title too.

When describing your job, don’t try too hard to make it sound impressive. It’s obvious when somebody wants to make themselves more important, when the titles ‘sales consultant’ or ‘line manager’ would do. Pick a title that sounds professional and accurately describes your function, as well as reflecting whatever seniority you might have.

If you’re a freelancer or self-employed, you might not know exactly what job title to use. Many freelancers and small business owners do everything from the admin, to the work, the accounts, to the sales and marketing.

To decide which title to use, think about what kind of client you want to attract. This means you should put graphic designer or content writer rather than ‘CEO’ if you own a small business that provides either of those services.

Who Do You Work For?

Depending on what you do, you may also need to to make it clear who you work for. If they’re a large employer, then including the business name carries a certain cachet. In other words, including your employer’s name will make you look more impressive.

If you’re self-employed, then there are a variety of terms you could use such as self-employed or contractor. If you run your own small business, you could include its name. Or, you could combine the job title and who you work for: ‘Self-employed graphic designer’, for example.

Contact Details

After your name, your contact details are the next most important thing on your business card. They are the point and purpose of a card: the point is for it to serve as a physical reminder of who you are, what you do, and how a person can contact you. Without one of these three core details, a business card is useless.

There are two kinds of contact details you can, or should, include. These are your basic contact details and your social media. Depending on your job, it might be wise to have just your basic details, just your social media, or a combination of both.

Your basic contact details are your phone number and email address. Use a phone number that you can guarantee won’t change for the foreseeable future. A landline is best, but failing that, use a mobile number that you can keep even if you have to switch sims or providers.

The same applies to your email address. Ideally, you should use an address with the domain of your site, i.e. This appears far more professional than a Gmail, Hotmail or AOL domain. If that’s not possible, Gmail is the best as it’s the least old fashioned.

Where to Put Contact Details on a Business Card

Your contact details can be anywhere on the card that the design allows. There are multiple ways that they can be arranged.

  • They can run along the bottom of the card
  • They can be listed on the right hand side of the card, opposite your personal details
  • They can be anywhere on the back of the card that the design allows

Or you could simply have them in a row underneath your name, job title and place of work. The contact details are an area where you have a lot of choice as to how they’re set out.

Social Media

Many modern businesses rely on social media, whether that’s for reaching customers, reaching potential business partners, or reaching contractors. No matter what you do, it’s likely that you’ll have or need to have social media—so it’s only natural to include details of how to find your social media on your business card.

If you do want to include references to your social media accounts, you should stylise them. There’s no point putting a full, ugly link as nobody could click it, after all! Instead, consider styling your social media info.

You can do that with a small social media icon followed by /MyFacebookPage or @TwitterAccount. If you have multiple social media accounts, you could have them arranged in a row along the bottom of the card, or in a list with your phone number at the side of the card.

As for whether it’s necessary, that very much depends on what you do. If you’re a photographer, you could give the handle of your official Instagram portfolio.

Should You Put Your Website on Your Business Card?

Again, the answer depends on your profession. If you have an office job, or you work in sales or marketing, there isn’t necessarily a need for you to have your own website. All the information you need could be hosted on a LinkedIn page.

But if you work in the creative industries, a website might be a great idea. Having your own site gives you control over your portfolio. And if you work in web design, then of course putting your personal site on a business card is a good idea!

The URL of your personal website looks best when it’s just underneath your email, as a  general part of your contact details. But like everything else, if it looks good elsewhere as part of a unique design, that’s fine too.

Extra Business Card Ideas: A Call to Action

Aside from the obvious details that every business card needs, there are things you can include that will make your business card more useful or memorable.

This very much depends on your profession, but a call to action on your card could be exceptionally effective. If you work a regular office job—if you’re an accountant, or a clerk—there wouldn’t be much point. It also wouldn’t appear particularly professional.

But if you work in either sales or marketing, a call to action would be a fun and effective way of making your business card stand out. It could be something simple like ‘Call me!’ Or, it could be something longer on the back of the card like ‘For smart code written quick, give me a call.’

Even better, you can create motion in your card with a small arrow from the call to action to your phone number or Twitter handle. This guides the person’s eye from one thing to another, neatly, to maximise the overall effect of your card.

Business Card Designs

The design you choose for your business card is vital. Of course, a card that looks better is going to be more memorable. But better design also serves to enhance the purpose of the card by highlighting information and providing a unique tactile experience.

Size and Shape

Your card should fit comfortably inside a wallet. Ideally, it should be the same size and shape as a bank card. Put yourself in the recipient’s shoes for a moment: if the business card you gave them doesn’t sit comfortably inside a wallet or pocket then the next time they’re reminded of it, it will be because your card is getting in their way! So in terms of size, you’re quite limited.

If you want to give your business card a creative shape, there are a few options:

  • Your card could have rounded edges instead of pointed edges.
  • It could be square instead of rectangular.
  • It could have one, two or three of the corners cut away while the other/s are normal.
  • The card could be cut away into a shape that relates to your job, e.g. the shape of buildings, the shape of a lightbulb, or the shape of a car.
  • It could be the shape of a letter, e.g. the first letter of the name of the business you run.

Shape allows you to play with design without making the card look cluttered.

Textured Designs

Textured designs are great for two reasons. The first is that they add an extra dimension of experience to your business card. People remember sensory experience far more than just the information they’ve processed.

While there’s a chance the recipient will remember a basic card with all the information they need, there’s a far better chance that they’ll remember the person with the textured business card.

The second reason is that texture can be used to highlight information, or a certain part of the card. By making the picture on your card glossy, you ensure that it catches the light and stands out.

Or, you could give the card a texture that fits your job role: glossy and glassy if you fit windows for a living, or papery, almost wooden if you’re a joiner. People appreciate and remember thoughtful design.

But rather than follow a guide, most people choose to look at templates and famous examples instead. Fortunately for you, that’s exactly what we have here in our post about the most well-known business cards ever!