2020 was anything but “business as usual”. If working in the “new normal” has taught us anything, it’s that you need to constantly adapt and evolve your business if you want it to flourish. Business card designs offer personality, trust and professionalism when introducing your blossoming brand to potential new clients or contacts. So, if you’re someone who’s been flexing the same business card since the noughties, it could be time to embrace a new look. We’ve compiled the most interesting 2021 business card trends to bring your marketing, and your brand, into the New Year.
Our top business card trends for 2021 are:
- Space age translucent business cards
- Dazzlingly colorful gradients against dark backgrounds
- QR codes that get right down to business
- BIG text for a BIG impression
- Clever, complex and cute cutouts
- Unexpected, unconventional text alignment
- Coordinating color ways
- Smart geometric designs
1. Space age translucent business cards
The future is here. The future is now. And perhaps the most futuristic of the business card design trends we’ll be swapping in 2021 is translucent business cards. These cards feel high-tech, like the keys to a spaceship.
One thing a lot of these designs have in common is opaque elements, like text and graphics. Some split the card into sections with different translucency values: one bit is partially opaque while another part is textured. This creates a visually intriguing background against which the firm’s name can really pop.
2. Dazzlingly colorful gradients against dark backgrounds
In 2021, one of the most prominent business card trends you’ll find cropping up at networking mixers will be dark-colored cards featuring multicolor gradients.
Think pearly tones shimmering against a dark background. They ebb and flow, creating an atmosphere that feels like light waves. With a gradient, these designs feel continuous; not boxed in by rigid shapes or clear borders.
3. QR codes that get right down to business
QR codes are nothing new, but they are one of the new business card trends you’ll be seeing plenty of in 2021. A QR code makes it super easy to go right to a business’ website or an individual’s personal portfolio, all without making any kind of physical contact, which is something that sounds very familiar following last year.
Although these small features may appear like an afterthought in the trend game, they’re actually pretty powerful. How many business cards do you collate in your pocket/desk/drawer and simply forget to look up? The presence of a QR code creates a seamless transference between a physical meet–and–greet to a digital connection.
4. BIG text for a BIG impression
Another big trend this year for business cards, comes in the form of designs placing large text front-and-center. In these designs, the text is the design. Not to be confused with wordmark logos, these include text stretched across the entire card, leaving little room for white space and wishing any potential imagery a firm “thanks, but no”. The lasting effect is one of text-heavy simplicity that gets straight to the point.
5. Clever, complex and cute cutouts
If you’ve been in business a while, or even a short time, you’ve probably got stacks and stacks of business cards from all the potential vendors, partners, clients and contractors you’ve met over the years. And they probably all have very similar rectangular silhouettes.
Yet possibly the most eye-catching upcoming business card trend involves an innovative few featuring abstract and iconic cutouts. In some cases, the snipped-away segment is to make the card easier to grasp or to string onto a keychain or lanyard. In others, the cutout actually features on a card sleeve that the contrasting colored card is inside of, allowing not only a protective layer, but a cheeky sneak peak.
6. Unexpected, unconventional text alignment
Taking typography to a new height in printed design, one of our favourite business card trends for the new year is text that gets experimental. Forget the usual left-to-right and explore here, there and everywhere inside your card’s edges. Just remember to bear in mind readability when free-styling on your designs as you don’t want to lose accessibility by busy, hard-to-read creations.
7. Coordinating color ways
What does “coordinating color ways” mean, exactly? It means alternately-colored versions of the same business card. So, say your brand’s color palette is mint green, off-white and charcoal gray. You might get business cards made up that have identical text, but some are green with off-white text and charcoal accents, some are charcoal with off-white text and green accents. Simply choose your colors and explore different variations. Take a look at how the brands below are embracing this 2021 business card trend.
8. Smart geometric designs
Geometric designs are going to be big in 2021—not just on business cards, but on book covers, product packaging, logos and lots of other kinds of design. With their precision and intricate, repetitive patterns, this technique feels futuristic. Perhaps it’s related to the symmetry, but we often visualise them being made by super-smart AI programs. It feels tech-savvy and slick: we’re into it.
Get down to business in 2021 with a great new design
With our favourite business card trends for next year rounded up, think of 2021 as a fresh start. Whether you’re beginning a new venture or reimagining the one you’ve been pouring your heart into for years, business cards set the tone when introducing your brand to new people. It’s time to show the world your fresh perspective—straight from your pocket.