With the data revolution making it easier to connect and network than ever before. It’s easy to assume that business cards would have a hard time finding a place in this digital world.
However, with 27 million business cards still printed every day, it seems to be quite the opposite. With a little evolution, the good ol’ business card seems to have cemented itself as a viable resource at a time when all other physical mediums are losing out to digital.
Changing of function
Although the popularity of business cards hasn’t seemed to wane in this digital era the functionality of them certainly has had to adapt. Long gone are the days of simple white cards displaying nothing but concise contact information.
As social networking sites have made us closer than ever before, a potential client’s contact details are never more than a click away. For this very reason business cards had to serve more than their intended purpose and the answer - Design.
Design is at the forefront of any business card creative process. A business card must now function to build brand identity as well as impress and legitimise the professional of today.
We previously addressed some of the practical reasons business cards serve for businesses today. Including nurturing and respecting foreign relations in our blog post ‘Save time and grow sales by scanning business cards to CRM’
Business card trends in 2019
From a strictly design point of view, there’s has been a huge shift from having business cards as functional as possible. The minimalistic trend started in the 20th Century and is still very much a part of the times today. The idea is to emphasise the unadorned beauty of an art form, without the reliance on superficial elements.
Without the restriction of technology today a number of features are available to designers that weren’t possible in the ’90s. 3D effects like embossing have allowed business cards to have a creative flair without being overly intrusive or offensive.
When business card design balances creativity and relevance you can really resonate with people and create a lasting impact.
Lawn and property management company ‘Lush’ crafted a business card made of eco-friendly materials that looked great. However, the real design element is having the business card double as a packet of seeds. What ties this design together is the context in which it fits, the relevancy with the brand creates a wholesome experience that massively benefits from a relatively simple idea.
Another trend that seems to be gaining some traction is ‘transforming business cards.’ These are cards that in some way change shape or form. There are a few creative iterations of this including air cargo service TAM Cargo’s ‘box’ business card. Which folds out into a 3D cube resembling a cardboard box, again having that context with the brand. Allowing for better association and therefore easier recollection.
Other great and innovative examples of these transforming business cards include:
- Personal trainer’s business cards made from thin rubber that you can only read the contact information if you stretch it out. Playing on the metaphor of stretching your muscles.
- A massage therapist’s in which you were handed a cloth tied in a knot and when loosened and opened the contact information was available to read.
The integration with technology has been huge in recent years. With the ability to enhance the experience, whether through convenience or influence digital integrations can help engage a person by having a level of interactivity with your card.
QR codes have made accessing and engaging with your brand so much easier. By having them as a gateway to your website clients can arrive in as long as it takes to open the camera on their phone. By removing the tedious step of copying a URL from print to digital format you help streamline and improve the customer experience.
Possibly the most advanced amalgamation of technology with business cards is augmented reality. Currently only those willing to invest time and funds are able to pull something as advanced as this off today, however the technology is rapidly becoming more powerful and more accessible.
There have been great concepts utilising this tech such as having your contact info and website pop out of the business card ready to easily view and interact with on your smartphone.
We’ve also seen the use of having 3D models and videos protruding out of business cards. The limits are only how much the tech can handle currently, but in a few years the possibilities with be endless.
Being able to quickly and cheaply grab someone’s attention can come in the form of something as simple as an altered shape. Having the shape of a business card so ingrained in our psyche it can be easy to become numb to them.
Simple changes such as size and shape can be utilised to some success, by just seeing a different shape the eyes of people will be instantly drawn to your design. Things like rounded corners and mini business cards are gaining popularity as they offer a distinguished experience. We’re too used to the standard 4 point 2 boring rectangles cluttering our wallets.
Perforated business cards that allow for tearing can help introduce a level of interactivity and functionality as its better fits in the pocket, wallet, cardholder of the person receiving it.
Don’t get caught out
With a shift in paradigm as to the functionality of business cards, there’s still an important aspect to keep in mind. That valuable contact information will still be present on the majority.
In cases where you’re out and about or have the potential to meet a lot of sales opportunities having a smart data capture solution to quickly collect and store these details in a cloud-based CRM will ensure you never become inundated with contact information.
Take the first step towards valuable data
With our Data Capture app and Data services team on offer we provide all the tools necessary to unlock the value in your customer data