To understand what’s driving business card trends, we have to look at what’s driving businesses in 2023. And despite the world challenges of climate change, global wars and austerity, many are finding ways to start a new business, create success and tackle new challenges.
In 2023, we’re in the era of small businesses, side hustles and independent content creators. We’re also in the era of the rebrand. Brands that were developed for a pre-pandemic world don’t always fit into our current economic, social and political landscape. In order to continue thriving, brands in nearly all sectors are reimagining themselves. All of these entrepreneurs have one thing in common: they need to stand out and savvily navigate a landscape that’s rapidly (and always) changing.
We’re seeing a sense of optimistic, free-spirited rebelliousness in these trends through playful layouts, bold shapes and vibrant colors. All of this shows us that brands and designers are taking chances, pushing boundaries and challenging traditional business card designs in 2023.
Here are the 7 most stunning business card trends for 2023:
- Full color on one side
- Rebelling against traditional business cards
- Round, soft shapes
- Lots of fonts
- Monochrome color palettes
- Putting the product first
- Thick, bold strokes
Colorful business cards are nothing new. Over the years they have been a popular way to get attention. But in 2023, business card designs are going to the extreme by contrasting a clean, white side with a single, full-side color. The result is each side makes the other side stand out. The plain side makes the color side seem brighter and bolder, while the color draws attention to the card and to the information. These business cards don’t need ornate designs or bold logos because the color does it all.
This design trend aligns with a wider general sentiment of having too much, whether that’s a luxury of the wealthy or a general accumulation of things we don’t need. Either way, excess materialism and opulence are out. We’re largely pushing back on opulence and embracing functionality and simplicity. For business cards that means it needs to grab attention and provide all the necessary contact information. That’s it. And that’s exactly what this trend does.
The old ways aren’t working anymore as we face the realities of climate change and economic instability, and many people feel that leaders aren’t doing enough. This sentiment translates into countercultural, rebellious designs that highlight personal touches and authentic voices, rather than the refined and polished.
Many of these designs use scribbles, bright colors, humor and a bit of honesty to achieve a personalized, one-of-a-kind look for each brand. The key information is still there, but with this trend, designers are showing the world that having to adhere to stuffy old business card norms is a thing of the past. And injecting some cheeky fun makes people laugh and gives a personal touch that we all need a little bit of these days.
In the last section, we talked about how designers are rebelling against traditional business card designs with a more authentic and personal touch. That’s not the only way they are pushing against the norm in 2023. Round, soft shapes are also perfect for designers and brands that want to go against the norm, but as a softer approach and response to a world that can feel harsh and unforgiving.
Using circles and rounded shapes is a great way to communicate friendliness, happiness, softness and lightness. They have long been a design element of choice for approachable, human-centered brands. Visually, these designs use circles and blobby shapes or rounded and bubbly fonts to contrast the traditional rectangular shape and sharp edges.
Compared to traditional business card designs, they feel playful and fun. Partly due to the scattered and haphazard placement of the round, soft shapes. This nonchalant and carefree layout is inspired by sticker book aesthetics, conjuring up childhood memories and a way to escape from world events, even if it’s just for a moment.
Too many fonts can sometimes be confusing and look jarring. But as designers are showing us, that’s not necessarily the case. One of the rising 2023 business card trends incorporates a lot of fonts. When using different fonts, in different sizes, widths and orientations, they can create a dynamic nature to the text. The business cards will need to be rotated and tilted to read the phone number or name. In any case, it’s memorable.
With this trend, designers are experimenting with new ideas about how a business card can look. It’s a way for business card holders to take design into their own hands and be more playful in how they choose to represent themselves in the way they want. Like many of the business card design trends so far, designers are leaning into their curiosity to explore beyond what’s expected.
Another trend we’re seeing gain traction in business card designs is the use of shades from the same color family. Think of it like a paint chip: a series of shades of the same color, all presented next to each other in an aesthetically pleasing way. On business cards, they don’t line up the colors like a paint chip sample, but you can see how each design uses shades that are closely related, embracing many shades of the same color family. These are known as monochrome color schemes. A monochrome color scheme uses just one color but differentiates hues through tones, shades and tints.
These designs are an easy way to make a colorful card feel cohesive because there aren’t a lot of clashing or contrasting colors. It’s sophisticated and feels minimalist without looking stark or sterile, and it creates softness and comfort to combat the chaos and noise in the world. By staying “inside the box” with a color palette, these designs can create a calming feeling and a sense of familiarity.
When somebody looks at your card, it’s important they immediately know what type of business you’re in. And in 2023, these designs are doing exactly that. They showcase the product or service of a business in a straightforward way. Notice how so many of them present their product as an icon or simple illustration.
Despite much of the anticipated post-pandemic optimism being marred by 2022’s social and economic circumstances, it’s not all doom and gloom. These illustrations or icons are a charming way to add some personality and character that will carry some optimism into 2023. It brings a playful and fun energy to business cards.
When you’re discussing strokes, the word “weight” refers to thickness. And the strokes in these business card designs are thick. These heavy-weight strokes accomplish several things: they’re bold, they’re brash, they’re imposing and they’re visually intriguing.
Visually, these designs have roots in the brutalism and anti-design movements because of their large, imposing imagery that takes up space and demands attention. As in those movements, this trend pushes back against the established and traditional, and opts for an aesthetic that commands attention through heavy-weight, bold strokes and lettering.
Bring your business into 2023 with great design
Even as we navigate a world that’s learning how to cope with climate change, global wars and austerity, brands are coming up with creative ideas that challenge and rebel against traditional business cards in an optimistic, bold and playful way.
Whether you’re able to lean all the way into one (or more!) of the top 2023 business card trends or your industry norms mean you’ll have to pick and choose specific trend elements to play with, see how you can find inspiration for your next business card design. Embracing trends is more than just fun, they’re a way to signal your business’ willingness to explore new ideas, experiment with up-and-coming concepts and show you can relate to the general sentiment many are feeling.
Keep that in mind as you design your own business cards. There are lots of ways to communicate the same thing, and the best style for you to communicate is the one that matches your brand’s personality best.