We've heard that it's not about how a business card looks, but how it is presented that makes the real impact on a potential client. This might be true, but having an interesting and relevant business card can't hurt, in the same way, that a promotional product relevant to your business is important.
Shape & Size
We've all seen countless standard sized rectangular business cards and there's a reason for this. A business card should fit snuggly into a wallet or purse, if your business card is much bigger than this it may be discarded. If a card is too small it might look strange and reflect negatively on your business. Furthermore, when buying cards, it is usually easier to find a service that will print cards in standard 55x85mm sizes rather than in other shapes and sizes, this also makes standard sized cards cheaper.
If you're willing to break the bank a little and buy cards in a more interesting shape then there are many different ways you can go with a card. A restaurant could utilise circular cards, giving out business cards that look like plates, perhaps with their favourite dish on. A band could give out cards in the shape of guitars, and an accountant could have a set of business cards in the shape of a sales revenue graph.
The average business card is made from plain old white card, this material can be printed in any set of colours with relative ease making it suitable for any business card, but other materials may be more relevant or 'on brand'.
A company promoting environmental sustainability could use a recycled card in their design. This is usually a brown colour, meaning it can only really be printed on in black or white. It shows an environmental focus, staying true to the company's beliefs.
There's a huge range of other flat materials that could be used, some woodwork companies burn their details onto wooden veneers and there are even survival training firms creating edible business cards from thinly sliced dried meats!
The most creative business cards use interesting features to get the attention of a client. The card can feature a sample product or could transform into something different.
A garden centre could have a business card containing seeds, or a divorce lawyer could have a business card that's split into two separate cards.
If you have a creative idea for a card, it may be a good idea to consider its application. Some ideas might work for one industry but be irrelevant to another, for example, it would be silly for a vegan restaurant to have edible meat business cards.
Breaking The Mould
Business cards are tried and tested, but why not try something different. We reckon there are a few promotional products that could be functional business card alternatives. A pen could be printed with your name, number and website, this could easily be given to people in a time of need. Maybe a stress ball could be used by a masseuse or a beach ball could be used by a beach bar.