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20 inspiring business card designs – time to revamp yours?

Is your business card boring? Probably. Check out these 20 inspirational designs to find inspiration for your next cards.

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Adios, boring business card designs

Let’s face it, most business cards look the same- horizontal, primary colors, 1993 Glamour shot, alphabet soup, fax number, phone number, website, blog, twitter, facebook, broker, license number, weight, height, etc. I exaggerate, but the point remains that the majority of all business cards are uninspired.

We’ve written on this topic for years and today, we continue by bringing you some eye candy and hopefully inspiration for your own business card upgrade. Think outside of the box!

Which design above is your favorite design? Tell us in the comments below!

Lani is the Chief Operating Officer at The American Genius - she has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH and Austin Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.

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52 Comments

52 Comments

  1. Juan Carlos

    February 15, 2011 at 4:54 pm

    I’m very partial to he designs that incorporate texture. # 12 is pretty cool too

  2. Mary Hoffman

    February 19, 2011 at 2:56 pm

    I love the creativity demonstrated.
    I really appreciated the sophisticated, classy look of # 13
    # 11 the 3 D effect was really inovated
    # 10 the I phone look was swell if I really had an I phone but conflicted with my Blackberry – but was indentifible.

  3. Lisa

    February 19, 2011 at 9:07 pm

    Some very cool designs, but no real estate ideas. What’s up with that? I thought that was the whole point.

    • Victor

      February 20, 2011 at 10:11 pm

      I agree with Lisa. I was also looking for some Real Estate designs as I have some large projects with Remax and William Raveis here in CT, and nothing here.

      • Lani Rosales

        February 20, 2011 at 10:31 pm

        I hate having to spell this out, but the implication in this and other articles remains that real estate cards are usually horribly ugly and should depart from the standard- Realtor’s face on the right side, a generic house logo on the left and usually printed in primary colors.

        Real estate cards DO NOT HAVE TO LOOK all Realtor-y and this article and the several linked to at the end that we have produced are aiming to inspire departure from the boring, lame traditional look that puts real estate professionals in a box. We encourage readers to try something new and model their business cards after the non-real estate examples provided and less like the standard.

        • Lily Chen

          November 17, 2011 at 2:50 pm

          Sometimes lame, boring, and traditional just WORK. How of us despise the pushy infomercials and those direct response ads, but when we walk into the store, we go "Hey! Snuggies on sale!" 🙂

  4. MH for Movoto

    February 22, 2011 at 7:39 pm

    my faves: 3, 8, 14, and 16. love ’em.

  5. Janet Carroll

    February 23, 2011 at 6:57 am

    2 9 11 and 13. I loved them. Great Creativity!

  6. rosevilleandrocklin

    November 17, 2011 at 12:34 pm

    A big design PSA before adventuring into a new design or look for your business – it's best to design in Vector art, not Raster images. If you don't know or understand what I mean. I highly recommend you research and know the difference as it can save you a lot of time, heartache and cost when you go to implement your "schnazzy" new design look into other facets of your business.

  7. Lily Chen

    November 17, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    As a graphic design and real estate professional, I do appreciate the creativity exhibited in these designs. However, practicality and usability must come first for the real estate professional. How many average agents (not broker-owners) have a business card budget of hundreds if not thousands of dollars for some of these special effects? And how many of these cards sport tiny, 5-point type most of us over 30 can't read, or feature blind embossing only a braille reader can decipher? Letterpress? Die-cutting? What about going back to basics and focus on making a connection with people. People may hire designers based on how fancy the cards look, but in real estate, that is just not going to happen.

  8. Debbie Brand

    January 1, 2012 at 2:27 am

    Love the eye candy and the clean lines. Industry standards for REALTORS require certain information on all advertising including business cards. I've seen some cool ideas with that required info on the backsides.

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Business Marketing

Ghost Reply has us asking: Should you shame a recruiter who ghosted you?

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Ghost Reply will send an anonymous “kind reminder” to recruiters who ghost job candidates, but is the sweet taste of temporary catharsis worth it?

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Stressed woman at a laptop with hands on head, considering if she should send a Ghost Reply.

People hate to get “ghosted” in any situation, personal or professional. But for job seekers who may already be struggling with self-esteem, it can be particularly devastating. Ghost Reply is a new online service that will help you compose and send an email nudge to the ghoster, sending a “kind reminder” telling them how unprofessional it is to leave someone hanging like that.

Ghost Reply wants to help you reach catharsis in all of this stressful mess of finding a job. Almost all of the problems and feelings are compounded by this confounded pandemic that has decimated areas of the workforce and taken jobs and threatened people’s financial security. It is understandable to want to lash out at those in power, and sending a Ghost Reply email to the recruiter or HR person may make you feel better in the short term.

In the long run, though, will it solve anything? Ghost Reply suggests it may make the HR person or recruiter reevaluate their hiring processes, indicating this type of email may help them see the error of their ways and start replying to all potential candidates. If it helps them reassess and be more considerate in the future and helps you find closure in the application/interview process, that would be the ideal outcome on all fronts. It is not likely this will happen, though.

The Ghost Reply sample email has the subject line “You have a message from a candidate!” Then it begins, “Hi, (name), You’re receiving this email because a past candidate feels like you ghosted them unfairly.” It then has a space for said candidate to add on any personal notes regarding the recruiter or process while remaining anonymous.

I get it. It’s upsetting to have someone disappear after you’ve spent time and energy applying, possibly even interviewing, only to hear nothing but crickets back from the recruiter or HR person you interacted with. It’s happened to me more than once, and it’s no bueno. We all want to be seen. We all want to be valued. Ghosting is hurtful. The frustration and disappointment, even anger, that you feel is certainly relatable. According to several sources, being ghosted after applying for a job is one of the top complaints from job seekers on the market today.

Will an anonymous, passive-aggressive email achieve your end? Will the chastened company representative suddenly have a lightbulb go off over their heads, creating a wave of change in company policy? I don’t see it. The first sentence of the sample email, in fact, is not going to be well received by HR.

When you start talking about what’s “unfair,” most HR people will tune out immediately. That kind of language in itself is unprofessional and is a red flag to many people. Once you work at a company and know its culture and have built relationships, then, maybe, just maybe, can you start talking about your work-related feelings. I believe in talking about our feelings, but rarely is a work scenario the best place to do so (I speak from experience). Calling it unprofessional is better, less about you and more about the other person’s behavior.

However, it’s unclear how productive Ghost Reply actually is. Or how anonymous, frankly. By process of deduction, the recipient of the email may be able to figure out who sent it, if it even makes it through the company’s spam filters. Even if they cannot pinpoint the exact person, it may cast doubts on several applicants or leave a bad taste in the recruiter’s mouth. It sounds like sour grapes, which is never a good thing.

There may be any number of reasons you didn’t get the job offer or interview, and they may or may not have something to do with you. Recruiters answer your burning questions, including why you may have been ghosted in this recent article in The American Genius.

Ultimately, you will never know why they ghosted you. If it makes you feel better or at least see the issue from both sides, the amount of job candidates ghosting recruiters after applying and even interviewing is equally high. Some people simply either have awful time management skills or awful manners, and at the end of the day, there’s not much you can do about that.

Focus on your own survival while job hunting, instead of these disappointing moments or the person who ghosts you. It will serve you better in the long run than some anonymous revenge email. There are other ways to deal with your frustration and anger when you do get ghosted, though. Try the classic punching your pillow. Try taking a walk around the block. If it helps to put your frustration into words, and it very well may, then do so. Write it on a piece of paper, then burn it. Or type it all in an email and delete it. For your own sake, do NOT put their email address in the “To” line, lest you accidentally hit “Send.”

The sooner you can let it go, the sooner you can move on to finding a better job fit for you.

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Business Marketing

Free shipping is everywhere… how can small businesses keep up?

[BUSINESS MARKETING] Would you rather pay less but still pay for shipping, or pay more with free shipping? They may cost the same, but one appeals more than the other.

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Person standing over pacakge, sealing with masking tape.

When it comes to competing with huge corporations like Amazon, there are plenty of hurdles that smaller businesses have to cross. Corporations can (and do) undercut the competition, not to mention garner a much larger marketing reach than most small businesses could ever dream of achieving. But this time, we want to focus on something that most people have probably chosen recently: Free shipping.

How important is free shipping to consumers? Well, in a 2018 survey, Internet Retailer discovered that over 50% of respondents said that free shipping was the most important part of online shopping. In fact, when given a choice between fast or costless shipping, a whopping 88% of those surveyed chose the latter option.

Part of this has to do with the fact that shipping costs are often perceived as additional fees, not unlike taxes or a processing fee. In fact, according to Ravi Dhar, director of Yale’s Center for Customer Insights, if it’s between a discounted item with a shipping fee or a marked up item with free shipping, individuals are more likely to choose the latter – even if both options cost exactly the same amount.

If you’re interested in learning more, Dhar refers to the economic principle of “pain of paying,” but the short answer is simply that humans are weird.

So, how do you recapture the business of an audience that’s obsessed with free shipping?

The knee jerk reaction is to simply provide better products that the competition. And sure, that works… to some extent. Unfortunately, in a world where algorithms can have a large effect on business, making quality products might not always cut it. For instance, Etsy recently implemented a change in algorithm to prioritize sellers that offer free shipping.

Another solution is to eat the costs and offer free shipping, but unless that creates a massive increase in products sold, you’re going to end up with lower profits. This might work if it’s between lower profits and none, but it’s certainly not ideal. That’s why many sellers have started to include shipping prices in the product’s overall price – instead of a $20 necklace with $5 shipping, a seller would offer a $25 necklace with free shipping.

This is a tactic that the big businesses use and it works. If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em, right?

That said, not everyone can join in. Maybe, for instance, a product is too big to reasonably merge shipping and product prices. If, for whatever reason, you can’t join in, it’s also worth finding a niche audience and pushing a marketing campaign. What do you offer that might be more attractive than the alluring free shipping? Are you eco-friendly? Do you provide handmade goods? Whatever it is that makes your business special, capitalize on it.

Finally, if you’re feeling down about the free shipping predicament, remember that corporations have access to other tricks. Amazon’s “free” prime shipping comes at an annual cost. Wal-Mart can take a hit when item pricing doesn’t work out. Even if your business isn’t doing as well as you hoped, take heart: You’re facing giants.

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Business Marketing

How many hours of the work week are actually efficient?

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Working more for that paycheck, more hours each week, on the weekends, on holidays can actually hurt productivity. So don’t do that, stay efficient.

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Clock pointed to 5:50 on a plain white wall, well tracked during the week.

Social media is always flooded with promises to get in shape, eat healthier and… hustle?

In hustle culture, it seems as though there’s no such thing as too much work. Nights, weekends and holidays are really just more time to be pushing towards your dreams and hobbies are just side hustles waiting to be monetized. Plus, with freelancing on the rise, there really is nothing stopping someone from making the most out of their 24 hours.

Hustle culture will have you believe that a full-time job isn’t enough. Is that true?

Although it’s a bit outdated, Gallup’s 2014 report on full-time US workers gives us an alarming glimpse into the effects of the hustle. For starters, 50% of full-time workers reported working over 40 hours a week – in fact, the average weekly hours for salaried employees was up to 49 hours.

So, what’s the deal with 40 hours anyway? The 40 hour work-week actually started with labor rights activists in the 1800s pushing for an 8 hour workday. In 1817, Robert Owen, a Welsh activist, reasoned this workday provided: “eight hours labor, eight hours recreation, eight hours rest.”

If you do the math, that’s a whopping 66% of the day devoted to personal needs, rather than labor!

Of course, it’s only natural to be skeptical of logic from two centuries ago coloring the way we do business in the 21st century. For starters, there’s plenty of labor to be done outside of the labor you’re paid to do. Meal prep, house cleaning, child care… that’s all work that needs to be done. It’s also all work that some of your favorite influencers are paying to get done while they pursue the “hustle.” For the average human, that would all be additional work to fall in the ‘recreation’ category.

But I digress. Is 40 hours a week really enough in the modern age? After all, average hours in the United States have increased.

Well… probably not. In fact, when hours are reduced (France, for instance, limited maximum hours to 35 hours a week, instead of 40), workers are not only more likely to be healthier and happier, but more efficient and less likely to miss work!

So, instead of following through with the goal to work more this year, maybe consider slowing the hustle. It might actually be more effective in the long run!

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