Imagine yourself at a big conference.
You are just one among the herd, rubbing elbows and collecting cards with warm handshakes. Just then, someone hands you a business card that makes you give up a few seconds to take in the card and the person. Maybe, your attention stays riveted and you later tell someone at work about the card that stood out in the crowd.
Mission achieved. The business card did its simple job.
One old-fashioned business card might get the person through a meeting door. Now, there are many online companies that make cool business cards. Maybe, it isn’t for you just yet because you are a solopreneur who is just starting out in a coffee shop.
Don’t let that stop you. Try aggressively using business cards.
Free business card templates are around and in plenty. They can carry you just as well through the door if you follow the maxims of good business card design. Let’s look at a few professions and see how creative designers are giving us many wonderful templates to download and use even when we don’t have much money.
The humble business card template is the hero of this story.
Business Cards for Developers
A business card can be a job search tool. In software development, coding and design are often siblings and as a coder you can highlight your creative side with a nicely done card. Every developer is different – from the front end to the back end. Look for a template that helps you put your special skills (on the front or the back). Don’t crowd it too much.
Saqib Ahmad’s free business card design for web designers and programmers on Behance.net should spark an idea:
DeviantArt has this neat horizontal 2-sided template that sends out a “I know my job” message.
If you want to go the whole hog after a dream job, take a look at this DIY tutorial on Instructables. If you have the skills to back it up, I’m sure you will be welcome in any company.
Business Cards for Graphic Designers
You can expect to find the best variety of business card designs for this industry. After all, this is the tribe that’s uploading most of the stuff on this list. If you are a graphic designer yourself, you won’t need a template. Go ahead and design one of your own that’s unique to the work you do. But if you are still not sure of your skills, then the templates at the very least will be inspiring.
One of my favorite sources for free designs of any kind is Deviant Art. It’s filled with hidden (free) treasures. Just notice that there are business card designs and then there are business card templates.
This double-sided vector design template by Vecree is simple and colorful.
For those who prefer a bit of grunge, this nice and clean business card template by Robby Designs is available as a ZIP download.
Graphic designers are in every nook and cranny and so are some of their best creations. Try this vertical business card layout from All Free Download.
I like the letterpress minimalism of this burnished design from Graphic Burger.
And the eye-catching simplicity of Suzon Abdullah’s project on Behance.net.
Then, this doodled version of a cartoon business card isn’t bad either.
Business Cards for the IT Network Specialist
Business cards for IT network specialists sounds out of place. Aren’t they the guys who are invisible in the background? Maybe, but a simple 3.5″ x 2″ card can just as easily be turned into a resume for troubleshooting jobs down the road.
This free and vertical QR stamped card design is just the thing to spark recall.
Business Cards for Bloggers and Writers
The usual image of a blogger is someone who works alone. The best bloggers and freelance writers in the business don’t. They attend meetups, industry events, have face-to-face meetings with sponsors and contributors. For a tech blogger, large industry tradeshows like CES are a huge opportunity for interacting with the who’s who of the consumer electronics industry.
Even if you are a budget conscious blogger, carry a stack of business cards and hand them out to your network. A memorable card will stay in the top-drawer. For example, I loved the use of humor in Milena Savic’s design, but unfortunately there’s no free template.
If you don’t find a good design straightaway, you can repurpose any other business card design for your blogging business. I fell in love with this doodled business card. There’s no effortless download here, but the tutorial by Chris Spooner is easy to follow.
Looking for something sober? How about this sleek black and white but minimal template for copywriters?
Business Cards for Social Media Strategists
Social media strategists have to lead teams and liaison with other campaign managers and PR agencies among the many stakeholders. When it’s face to face marketing and skill advertisement rolled into one, social media strategists need well-designed business cards.
Just like their online equivalents, the business card should also promote their handles because most people will “meet” the person through their social accounts and not a website. Adding easily scannable social media handles to a business card is an essential step. For example, this personality rich business card by Yara El-Soueidi on Behance.net.
This was an example, but you can find social business card templates easily.
This social business card by flowpixel comes in six different colors and the template includes fully editable layers.
If you want to stick to black, this simple business card by the same artist for any kind of profession should hold your social media handles just as well.
Business Cards for Photographers
Photography is serious business because that expensive equipment doesn’t pay for itself. The hard truth of photography is that you have to tramp the streets till you make your reputation. Either way, you need a business card to announce yourself to the world. The good news is that photography business card ideas and templates are easily available. And the variety covers the many different types of photography businesses – from wedding photography to sports photography.
This simple PSD template by menglong hosted on DeviantArt.com is not too showy.
Here’s another print-ready free template you can customize and download. It looks like a perfect fit for a glamour or a portrait photographer, but you can easily customize the Photoshop layers to your own genre.
Template.net has listed a series of stylish photography business card templates that are not free, but economical enough for a serious shutterbug.
Business Cards for Musicians
Photographers have their muse and the musicians have their instruments. But the objective for both is the same – getting someone to call you for work. A freelance musician has to be multi-skilled to make a track and then a living. Balancing all your skills on a small business card is tough, so the trick is to showcase your main thing. Maybe, you are more of a music producer and less of an instrument arranger. Maybe, you are just a guitar player who sings at weddings. Pick your chief skill and go hunting for a card.
Behance.net hosts a lot of good designs and this free template is a basic pick.
I loved the retro artistry of this card, which is suitable for DJs or anyone in the music industry.
Or this all-black card which boldly announces the musician.
Business Cards for Personal Trainers
Health and fitness is big business. You could be an aerobics instructor or a wannabe yoga guru, spreading the word is crucial for bringing business into your gym. Word of mouth can ride on its tail after that. A business card is one of the cheapest ways to convert a prospect into a client who gives you a lifetime’s worth of business.
This free business card template can be tailored to any type of health business.
If you are looking for something fancier, try this template designed by Borce Markoski that’s available as a free PSD template.
Alternatively, this colorful version is a template suitable for all health businesses.
This beautifully designed business card template for yoga professionals is soothing in pink.
But my own vote goes to the vertical alignment of an Ivan Rosenberg freebie.
You can create minimalist business cards and creatively use them for different types of clients. For example, if the personal trainer offers meditation classes, senior adult classes, or has outdoor adventure activities, he or she can make additional cards that targets their clients.
And if this detailed article on PT Direct.com is true, you can get a lot done for your business in 45 seconds flat!
Business Cards for the Travel Agents
Travelers are like wisps. Here today, and somewhere else tomorrow. The experience is the best bet they will remember you; a business card kept in their rolodex is almost a guarantee they will call you.
This travel-themed business card is available in vertical and horizontal designs.
Here is a world map business card template with rounded corners that sticks to the theme.
A travel related business card template does not always have to include a panoramic image. Try out this flat transparent plastic card template that carries a QR code. Printing on plastic could cost you, but the QR code can be a powerful shortcut to a travel brochure hosted online.
Business Cards for Teachers
It’s not all technology and it’s not all business. The noblest profession also needs its fair share of business cards. The teaching profession cuts a wide swathe – you could be a substitute teacher or a golf coach – but you need to remind people that you are “teacher friendly”.
This teacher business card template is meant for personal use only, but is a graphic example of saying everything within a simple card.
FreshBusinessCards.com has another simple one-sided template you can customize.
The well-known TeachersPayTeachers.com also has a few free educational business card templates which you might like to try out. Nothing fancy though.
Hunt On Your Own for Business Card Templates
Business card templates are meant for the budget conscious. I would not recommend it for someone who has spare change and is desperate to create a great impression. As I found out, free templates are few and far between, and these are some of the resources where you can try your luck:
Tip: Do a Google Search for “free business card template packs”. Some design sites regularly provide these downloads.
A deep Pinterest search is also a more visual way to search for good card mockups.
As you will find, free choices are limited in numbers and styles. Then, you need to step up — Angela has you covered with six places where you can design and print business cards cheaply. When you want to go the distance, take these stunning examples of business card design and see what’s possible. They can burn your pocket, but they can help you make some leaps in your profession.
Are Business Cards Dead and Gone?
I think they are breathing just fine.
The most beautiful examples of business cards prove the fact that thoughtful design can cut through any clutter. Virtual cards just cannot transmit the feel of paper and the genius of a creative designer. Think back to the time you browsed a book just because it has a fantastic cover. A business card can sway you just like that.
Does the humble business card matter in your profession? Have you gone out of your way to make one that draws attention for a second more? Which is the best example of a business card you have come across?
Image Credit: Cartoon Resource via Shutterstock