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Business Card Design Starter Kit: Showcase, Tutorials, Templates

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Professionals in any field should always keep business cards on them because you never know when you’ll meet a potential client, partner or like-minded person. Despite their small size, business cards are one of the most powerful and handiest marketing tools. Not only do they create a link between you and your new contact, they’re also a quick way to give a great first impression. Business cards promote your skills and achievements and serve as a little container for big ideas.

Don’t underestimate the process of designing business cards; a well-made card does not just share your contact details: it generates further sharing and buzz. Like any self-promotion tool, designing a business card requires solid brainstorming and careful implementation to get the best effect.

This post targets a diverse audience. It features a collection of remarkable business card designs that could help you in your search for creative ideas. The round-up of fresh tutorials and business card templates further down might come in handy for those who don’t have the skills or experience to design their own.

Showcase Of Original And Memorable Business Cards Link

Letterpress Cards Link

Letterpress printing has actually been the only form of printing text and images since it was invented by Johannes Gutenberg in the 15th century. Because of its distinctive qualities, such as crisp and tangible impression onto paper, letterpress work is now widely used for branding and identity development. Letterpress gives stronger visual definition to type and artwork and has a special touch, which is why it’s a popular technique for business card printing. Below you can see some beautiful examples of letterpress business cards.

John Henry Donovan
On this business card, the fine design created by Irish designer and developer John Henry Donovan is complemented by the printer’s excellent choice of paper and inking.

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Greg Anderson
This card works because of the stylish dirty texture, good use of color and, of course, letterpress. Designed by Thomas Guy.

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Chris Piascik
The funky typography of freelance graphic designer Chris Piascik is set off well by the letterpress work on his business card.

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Space 150
This stylish letterpress business card was designed for the creative agency Space150 by designer Evan Nagan. The card is part of the agency’s periodic general redesign, which it conducts every 150 days. The elegant constellation theme and high-quality letterpress printing make for an excellent card.

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White Rabbit
This card promotes the portfolio of the German photographer Florian Muller (aka the White Rabbit). The use of the negatives pattern incorporates the card owner’s occupation well, and the surface is enhanced by an embossed rabbit.

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One in Zero
The business card of Hong Kong-based idea firm OneinZero is minimalist: the focus is on the letterpress type and paper texture.

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Christian Garibaldi
The effective combination of blind and ink debossing, along with the subtle coloring along the edge, makes for a clean and exquisite business card that perfectly conveys the aesthetic of the photographer’s online portfolio.

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Montage
Dallas Graham of Montage Creative has a simple and strong business card.

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Paper Monkey Press
Some filigree letterpressing is evident on the card of Paper Monkey Press.

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Second World Design
The guys over at Second World took their branding very seriously, resulting in the clean beautiful letterpress card you see below.

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Kinetic Lens
This card was designed by photographer Riley Maclean for his company Kinetic Lens. Combining various letterpress techniques and a great set of red tones, this business card has a multi-dimensional feel. It’s printed on thick 220-pound-bond cotton paper.

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Laura Moretz
A good use of letterpress on the front and back of this card and the labels make this card memorable. It’s printed on French Speckletone #140 stock.

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23rd And 5th
Here is a beautiful business card showing fine typography and two-color letterpress. It was designed for the staff of the 23rd & 5th branding agency. This business card for the Director of Development features a QR code that drives contacts to a dedicated mobile website optimized for the iPhone, Blackberry and Android.

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Die-Cut Business Cards Link

Something else that determines a business card’s memorability and appeal is shape. Today many individuals, businesses and organizations die-cut their cards, going beyond traditional dimensions. Die-cutting is an effective way to make a business card eye-catching, unique and even interactive. But remember that a die-cut card should still be compact enough to fit in a standard wallet or card holder. Alternatively, you could suggest some other way to carry or hold your card. Some noteworthy die-cut business cards are showcased below.

Derrick Mitchell
Derrick Mitchell, a designer from Kalispell, Montana, creates his business cards by hand with chip board, screen printing, labels and stamps.

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Popupology
This cute die-cut business card is done entirely in-house by designer Elod Beregszaszi.

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Dyalect
The chic design of this business card is accentuated by the custom shape and 16-point silk matte finish card stock.

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Kaman
This concept-based business card was designed by Mehdi Tuchak for the Iranian multimedia company Kaman.

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Sean Gerety
This lovely business card mimics a Moleskine notebook. While the front is glossy, the back is matted and can be used as a note card.

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Amundson Films
Cheap card stock and moderate-quality print wonderfully fit the aesthetic of this vintage movie ticket business card. Great job, Alice Cho!

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Alteroy
This die-cut masterpiece belongs to the Israel-based designer Alteroy. The cardboard icons can be separated. Much effort was put into this business card, and the result is absolutely worth it.

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Carlos Vazquez
This super-cute business card might be the shortest route to any Mac fan’s heart.

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Herbert Martin
Besides containing the contact info of German dentist Herbert Martin, this business card has another cool function: it helps you check your bite by way of a die-cut stencil. Designed by Petra Penz.

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Truf
The business card is square and “combines a hand-crafted feel with the style of Russian propaganda posters.”

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Classic, With a Twist Link

Most of the business cards below have a classic rectangular shape and standard dimensions… but that is where their classic-ness ends. Creative ideas and skillful implementation make these cards look anything but ordinary.

Coco
The amazing identity concept for COCO was created by Polish designer “Wallstreet Different Creature.” This business card, as part of the overall branding, is pure style and beauty.

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Erich Hartmann
Erich Hartmann designed his business card to spell out a bunch of his skills, along with his main occupation. This clever idea is nicely visualized by way of a two-sided card, with an offset logo on the front and letterpress on the back.

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Fran Rosa
Motion and graphics designer Fran Rosa takes different angles on both his website and business cards… literally.

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Grill Me
To see the info on this business card, grill it against a fire, because the card is stamped with lemon juice for ink. Quite an original idea, but using this effect for non-essential information or for an image, rather than contact info, might be more reasonable.

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Luciano Ferreira
A lovely typographic business card made by Brazilian graphic designer Luciano Ferreira for promotional purposes.

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Sandra Boils
This elegant business card was made for Spanish jazz vocalist Sandra Boils by graphic design studio Estudio Menta.

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Stepan Prokop
A beautiful artistic business card by graphic designer Stepan Prokop.

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Synchromatik
The rich grass texture makes the card of designer Marko Manojlovic look fresh and beautiful.

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Van Der Buzz
This transparent business card, mimicking an X-ray, belongs to Ukrainian advertising agency Van Der Buzz.

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What What
These cool playful business cards were created by twin brothers, designers John and Edward Harrison, also known as What What.

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Combining Techniques Link

When it comes to developing promotional material for a brand today, the variety of choice is impressive. With all the different printing techniques, the loads of diverse paper and material available and relatively cheap digital technology, the process of designing a business card is limited only by the designer’s imagination. The following business cards rely on both paper quality and printing methods to create a memorable experience.

TAM Cargo
Traditional at first glance, this business card can be transformed into a little cargo transport box. The card was design by Brazilian advertising agency Y&R for TAM Airlines.

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Cinch Creative
Design company Cinch Creative printed its business cards on 60-point Blotter paper with a fine natural texture. Thanks to this and the debossed logo and text, the card is a pleasure for both the eyes and hands.

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Feelme Crew
This creative business card in the shape of a clapper board was designed by Ralev.com for Bulgarian multimedia agency Feelme Crew.

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Fiverr
Here’s a green approach to business card design. The cards for Fiverr CEO Micha Kaufman are made from recycled paper and cardboard. Moreover, the cards are completely hand-made. See details on Kaufman’s Facebook page.

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Groundflights
This card, inspired by a boarding pass stub, was created by creative agency R3M1X3D for transportation company Groundflights. It is a successful mix of letterpress printing and die-cutting.

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Herofilm
A beautiful business card stylized as a film frame. It was designed by Jimmituanart for Herofilm Productions.

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Philosophy Communications
With a squeezable circle built in, the business card of PR company Philosophy Communications is a two-in-one solution. Brilliant work, wouldn’t you agree?

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Rhino Studio
Premium paper, imitation rhino skin and a stylized typographic logo make this card chic indeed. Designed by Contreforme.

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Paper Fortress
This vintage-looking business card, which features die-cutting, embossing and high-quality paper, was designed by the studio Second World for the film production company Paper Fortress.

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Hear
This fancy silk-laminated card, featuring a spot UV coating, was designed by social media and design company Hear.

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Gita Ayu
The cool illusion on this business card was achieved with a thin transparent plate that makes it look as though this faux-3D brick is broken. The amazing card was created by Saatchi & Saatchi, Indonesia, for a karate club.

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Something Completely Different Link

The cards showcased below considerably expand the parameters of the business card format. It seems that business cards can be grown, played with and even eaten! Look at the craziest business card concepts around.

MODhair
Not only can you comb your hair with this business card, you can also play a classic rock song on it with your fingernail. The card was designed by Fabio Milito for a Rome-based hair salon.

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Gitam BBDO Spicy
The Gitam BBDO agency uses spice sachets as business cards, associating each of its departments with a particular condiment.

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BC Adventure Survival Training
The cards of BC Adventure remain extremely useful even in situations where a business card is useless. They are made of organic beef jerky and are good to eat for up to a year.

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RDA
To promote one of his projects (an interactive chopping board), designer Sam Gough created 20 wooden business cards, carving his project’s title and contact info neatly into each.

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Dept of Energy
With its business “cords,” Dept of Energy shows a skillful play on its identity and style.

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Lush
This business card is a thin envelope stuffed with grass seed. The clean design, clever copy and sneaky seed surprise make for an adorable card. Designed by Brandon Knowlden.

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Taberu Me
For the most desperate self-promoters, peanut business cards are not a bad idea. Taberu Me uses innovative CO2 laser engraving technology to print on the peanuts. But before you hands yours out, make sure no squirrels or chipmunks are around.

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Wes Thomas
This business card design is an ongoing project of Philadelphia-based industrial designer Wes Thomas. The laser-cut card can be quickly transformed in a cute desktop toy. This is no ordinary concept and is pretty labor-intensive, but who would refuse such a business toy for their desk?

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Business Card Galleries Link

Only the truly unique are remembered. When designing anything for yourself, it’s always useful to look around for fresh ideas. Here are permanent showcase galleries where you can find trends and best practices for business card design.

Tutorials Link

To get you started on your own business card, we’ve selected some fresh and useful tutorials and guides that cover various issues you might deal with in this area.

Create a Print-Ready Business Card in Illustrator
In this tutorial, well-known designer and blogger Chris Spooner walks you through the process of creating a fun business card with a sketched illustration.

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How to Create a Stylish Business Card Template in Adobe Photoshop
In this tutorial, you learn how to create an elegant minimalist business card design in Photoshop. The source files are available for free downloading.

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Create a Grunge Print-Ready Business Card
Use this tutorial to create a business card with nifty faded brush strokes in Photoshop.

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How to Create a Nebula Background in Photoshop
Learn how to design a business card with an astral background.

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Print-Ready Business Card Tutorial
This tutorial explains how to create a print-ready business card with a clean dark design in Photoshop.

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How to Make a Print-Ready Business Card in Photoshop
In this tutorial, you will learn how to create a two-sided business card with crop marks and bleed.

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How to Design Your Business Card
This article discusses the basics of business card design and covers some best practices.

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Business Card Design Walkthrough
Along with other step-by-step tutorials, a detailed case study like this one might be useful to you.

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PSD Tutorial: Design a Dirty Business Card
Learn how to create a simple business card, complete with grungy texture.

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Business Card Tutorial in Inkscape
Here is a detailed guide on how to design a business card in Inkscape. While the result shown does not look that great, the principles of working in Inkscape are described quite well, so you can get a better result using this open-source graphics editor.

Business Card
If you like the business card shown below, learn how to create it in Photoshop in this tutorial.

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Making Creative Business Card
This tutorial shows how to make a nice business card in a matter of minutes.

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How to Design a Print-Ready Business Card Design in Photoshop
This business card tutorial includes a couple of bonus templates, which you can download in PSD format and use for free.

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How to Design Business Card
Learn how to create the unconventional and attractive business card below.

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Grungy Business Card
Another variation of the grunge design is explained in this guide. The image preview and PSD file are free to download.

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How to Make your Own Photographic Negative Business Cards
Now, here’s a completely different take on business card design. Photographer Steph Goralnik shares his technique for crafting a unique photographic negative business card.

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How to Choose Business Card Paper
Paper is an important consideration when printing business cards. The right paper can make your card shine, while poor-quality stock can spoil even a top-notch design. Read this article to learn the key points and differences between various types of paper.

How to Choose the Right Paper
Although quite old, this article contains some useful tips on choosing the right paper for your business card. A solidly written article.

Templates Link

A template is definitely a great option for those who don’t have the skill to create a business card on their own. But even if you’re a professional designer, you may need the job done very fast or simply want to save time making customizations. This is when a template comes in handy. Below you’ll find a selection of well-designed free and commercial business card templates that you can take advantage of in your own projects.

Free Templates Link

Most of the templates in this category are free for personal and commercial use, but please be sure to read all accompanying legal usage notes before downloading the files.

I love dA Business Card

This nifty business card design was created by graphic designer depart on the occasion of deviantArt’s birthday. The template is available for free download in both PSD and Ai formats.

FreelanceSwitch Business Card Template
This Adobe Illustrator template can be customized for any freelance profession. The pack comes with templates for writers, coders and designers.

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Bokeh Business Card | More
The PSD template for this business card is available in high resolution and is ready to print.

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Free Business Card Template for Photoshop (PSD) | More
This minimalist grayscale business card template is available as a free download at DeviantArt.

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Free Business Card Design Pumpkin
This “Pumpkin” business card template features 300 DPI resolution and CMYK color mode for professional printing, front and back sides and four color schemes: pumpkin, cream, Indian pink and brown.

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Construction Hazard Stripes Theme | More
This print-ready business card template is in Photoshop format.

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Free Abstract Blue Business Card Template
This double-sided PSD card template includes well-organized layers and is in CMYK color mode for easy editing.

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Die Gallery
In this gallery, you’ll find some unusual card shapes, all for free. All files are in EPS format.

Business Card Template
Here is a blank template for a standard US business card. Both JPEG and PSD versions of the template are available for free downloading.

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Noise Modern Card | More
This download pack includes two full-layered PSD files for the front and back. The dimensions are 3.5 x 2 inches, and the resolution is 300 DPI.

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Minimax Positivo Business Card Template
The template has six color variations and features a letterpress effect. The template package includes a PSD file, PDF help file and preview image.

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Business Card Template (Vector) | More
A free Adobe Illustrator business card template in 3.5 x 2 inch format.

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Vertical Business Card Vectors | More
An EPS file containing 18 vertical business card templates with JPG preview.

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Free business card templates
10 free business card designs in PSD and TIFF formats.

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Seextwood Business Card | More
A minimalist template in CMYK mode and 300 DPI resolution. The dimensions are 3.5 x 2.5 inches.

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4 Blue Personal Business Card Templates | More
A set of four PSD business card templates in blue. The dimensions are 3 x 2 inches, and the resolution 300 DPI.

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Premium Templates Link

Pure Style Business Card Template | More
A minimalist two-sided business card design (3.5 x 2 inches) that can fit practically any profession or brand. The template comes in high resolution and requires Adobe Photoshop 8 or higher for editing. Price: $7

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Blue Monster Business Card Template | More
This funny template is ready to print and can be easily customized in a vector graphics editor. Price: $4

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Business card (set 17) | More business card templates
These cheerful business cards might appeal to people in creative fields. Three license types are available; the basic one gives you this set for $5.

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Typography Mini Business Card | More
These bright typographic mini-cards come in two styles, grungy and clean, and include a black and white version for low-cost printing. The templates are print-ready and can be edited in Photoshop. Price: $6

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Tender Flowers Business Card | More
An original floral design that would work well for wedding photographers. It is print-ready and can be customized in Photoshop. Price: $7

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Blue Bubble business card | More
This clean and airy design will appeal to fans of minimalism. It is in print-ready CMYK, 300 DPI, and includes two PSD files and two high-quality JPG images. Price: $5

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Black Business Card Template | More
This business card has a rather universal design and would serve a personal brand, company or other project equally well. It is print ready; all you need to do is change the default text. Price: $7

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The Black Family business Card Pack | More
These super-original and cute business cards might be good for showing off members of a creative team. They are two-sided, in CMYK and 300 DPI, easy to edit and print-ready. Price: $6

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Julia May is a freelance copywriter and digital marketing consultant who's been helping great teams (TemplateMonster, MotoCMS, Onyx) implement great ideas since 2009.

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  1. 1

    Michael Brennan

    August 9, 2010 8:09 am

    Nice article. Reminds me of the funniest youtube video about business cards! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f2mHkQUBEpM

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  2. 2

    Very nice and funny collection (especially “BC Adventure Survival Training”), but if you want some more, dont’ miss: Small business-cards, but big inspiration!

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  3. 3

    Dmitry Chebakov

    August 9, 2010 5:35 am

    Thank you, it’s a totally huge and stylish collection!

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  4. 4

    Ok, what is the best online place to print pressed business cards?

    2
  5. 6

    thank you so much :)

    u have an awesome collection

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  6. 7

    Very nice post!

    I’m pretty happy about my business cards! They help us to get noticed :)
    Have a look, I posted them on creattica
    http://creattica.com/search/designs/uncle%20pear

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  7. 8

    Fun collection, as always, but novel is not always best. If somebody handed me a peanut business card, I would drop it, run away and never call them again–I have a fatal allergy to those things and ingesting even the tiniest amount (including through skin, eyes or mouth) will send me to the emergency room. May as well print your card on a loaded rat trap.

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  8. 10

    What a huge collection of very nice examples. This must have took you a lot of time to collect. (Have not yet done all the reading, of course, but until now that’s great too).

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  9. 11

    I love the business card in Moleskine notebook layout !!
    Where I can find a template from this?

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  10. 12

    @pon – That’s the same question I have..

    @Julia May – You have done a wonderful job compiling a gallery a business card examples, temples and tutorials.

    Your article could have really been an exception article, and manage to stand out from all other business cards articles, if you included a list of printers as well.

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    • 13

      Thanks for you comment, Michael, it makes sense. However, this time I preferred to focus on the design aspect of business card creation. I tried to make this post as useful as possible selecting only the most up-to-date and well-made tutorials and templates, and showcasing different takes on business card design. Choosing printers is, in my opinion, a subject for a separate (and solid) research.

      1
  11. 15

    so many nice things in here!
    thanks

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  12. 16

    Eko - iBrandStudio

    August 9, 2010 6:34 am

    Amazing list…
    Thanks for include our free template “Abstract Blue Business Card Template”. We are very happy :)

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  13. 17

    Very nice collection! Amazing job…
    :D
    thanks!

    -1
  14. 18

    Great to see an article on business cards (and what an awesome article too!)

    Interesting to see that some of the templates are 300dpi. Our local printers (small fry compared to some of the larger bureaus) are now punching 500 dots per.

    Easy to remedy though. :)

    J

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  15. 19

    Totally awesome list! Thank you so much -:)

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  16. 20

    Kevin @Designer's Digest

    August 9, 2010 6:44 am

    awesome collections.. Letterpress Cards are really inspiring. cool design.

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  17. 21

    Brilliant collection and very good tutorials. I love the revival of Letterpress and the originality of some of the ideas, although some of them might be a tad impractical; very creative nonetheless.

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  18. 22

    This is an awesome article!!! Plenty of great ideas, tutorials and freebies. What more do you need??? =D

    THANK YOU

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  19. 23

    I ask myself – which print shop can make such awesom cards. I know a few but they are quite boring. I mean where can I get paper like in the sample of “One in Zero” for example?
    Do you guys know a Business-Card-page which makes extraordinary cards?

    And thanks for the article.

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  20. 24

    You have suggested a link which suggest to download a free business card template which is almost identical with my GraphicRiver item. This is a copyright infringement. Please remove that link and do not be part of that crime. Here is my item: http://graphicriver.net/item/leather-style-business-card/69594

    -2
    • 25

      So your the only person in the history of design to replicate a texture onto a business card? please. What do you do? search forums looking for your stolen “original ideas?”

      1
  21. 26

    Awesome article. I’m in the process of getting business cards and I was hoping that you would include some reputable places to get cards printed online, but alas there were none! Does anyone have recommended tips on finding a printing company? I’d like to get my cards letterpressed on thick recycled card stock but I have not found anywhere that has a good selection of printing techniques or stocks to choose from.

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  22. 27

    No offense but I hate this business card post and pretty irrelevant lists. WHY?

    The simple rules are this, paper quality, weight, and ink matter more than anything and it is nearly impossible to find a good online printer or even an article about WHERE to get quality prints on quality paper.

    Write an article about that.

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  23. 28

    Awesome

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  24. 29

    The idea was OK, I guess but not the execution. Thanks btw…. Apart from Chris Spooner’s tutorial, none was good enough…. He clearly explains everything there is to know…

    And how could you forget this one.. this is the big daddy of them all… :) especially if you have only photoshop and wondering what to do :) and moreover the grungy tutorial is a TOTAL (concept) rip off of this PSDTuts one : http://bit.ly/jWTHy

    Apart from that, i commend you for the time you put into collecting this, although I feel you could have done a lot better … I am in the process of re-branding.. so hopefully this will give me a headstart :)

    Thanks

    0
  25. 30

    Great article! Love the business cards ideas :)

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  26. 31

    wow
    really cool designs

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  27. 32

    Pretty sure that “Alteroy” card was laser cut, not die cut.

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  28. 33

    Awesome cards!

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  29. 34

    While this is a really good list and really cool cards, I’d really like to see a practical list of commonly printed business cards with no cuts or anything. I find it hard to be creative in the business card format when I’m designing for business people who don’t want to spend a fortune on specialized printing. I just want to deliver a good solid product that I can order really quick from my online printer.

    It’s not that I couldn’t use these special processes, but really it’s just impractical for the people I’m dealing with. Good article, but I would love to see some inspiring cards done with creative design that doesn’t rely on expensive printing processes.

    0
  30. 35

    Incredible!, inspiring!, what can I say.
    (When I look at b-cards my firm uses I can hardly sustain the gag reflex :(

    0

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