They may seem like relics or leftovers from past generations that didn't give two figs about the environment or modern business practices. But business cards are not only still used, they're also useful.
They can serve as a new contact or client's first look at your company, as well as a reminder that stays with them long after you’ve left the building. Yet amid the rush to brand a business in more sophisticated ways, entrepreneurs often neglect this elemental tool.
If you're nervous about harming the environment, you can use recycled paper. Or, you can be like Scott Hamlin, the founder of the innovative Portland, Ore., upcycling company Looptworks, who reuses old cards by stamping his company's logo and contact information on the back.
Either way, don't forego this inexpensive opportunity to brand both your business and yourself. For business-card design ideas, we pulled together 20 cards that stood out among the fray, along with reasons why they work or not.
What have you done to jazz up your business cards? Let us know in the comments section below.Or view as a single page View As Slideshow
While this technique might be effective and considered funny for a famous young billionaire, such brashness isn't recommended for the entrepreneur that hasn't made it yet.
You don't need to say very much when your company's stock price is well-north of $100,000 per share.
If you're famous, or like to think you are, try an autograph. The personal touch goes a long way.
When you have a Super (Man) name, why not have fun with it? This card pops up into a phone booth. It is perfect for changing into your game face.
This card is bloody memorable. The designer is passionate about her work and has obviously poured blood, sweat and tears into making it great.
Divorce isn't necessarily a laughing matter but this card is. Both sides provide all the contact information in case it's Splitsville.
Informative and practical. This card does it all.
This clever take on Google's search functions will have people searching you out. However, we aren't sure how Google feels about other businesses cashing in on their brand identity.
Who doesn't like a funny guy with a beard that turns into a box? It's easy to display.
The comb says almost all you need to know about this business.
Show, don't tell.
Make yourself standout and up.
When you have an interesting name, flaunt it.
Some entrepreneurs just know how to get people's attention.
Whether they wear them or put them on a desk, dog tags work on several levels.
Too often, entrepreneurs get hung-up on titles. Have fun with your organization's titles and its business cards.
A great card is a reflection of your business and you. If your thing is music, let it be heard.
Mais Pilates wants to "wake up your body" as well as your mind with this original business card.
The Credit Counseling Society aims to cut your credit debt in half.
Getting playful with some playing cards is a fun way to introduce yourself.
This story originally appeared on Young Entrepreneur