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:

  1. Space age translucent business cards
  2. Dazzlingly colorful gradients against dark backgrounds
  3. QR codes that get right down to business
  4. BIG text for a BIG impression
  5. Clever, complex and cute cutouts
  6. Unexpected, unconventional text alignment
  7. Coordinating color ways
  8. 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.

orange translucent business card with opaque white text, numbers and a dotted pattern
By Mr.Mockup via Dribble

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.

translucent business card with gold and blue design elements
By upwork
translucent business card with dark blue text and geometric graphic
By chandrayaan.creative

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.

black business card with square cut out featuring different color gradients
By Mila Sharifova via Behance

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.

purple and peach gradient business card design
By Mockup Cloud via Dribbble
black business card with pearly gradient in the logo
By Seraphima Saphina via Behance

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.

colorful business card design featuring a QR code
By duwi.sleman

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.

business card designs featuring different color gradient shapes
By WEDZICKA via Dribbble
gray business card with basic white text across it
By Mr.Mockup via Dribbble
white business cards with circular logo and black text
By Mr.Mockup via Dribbble
white business card design with black text
By Mr.Mockup via Dribbble
different-colored business cards with text
By Ryan Doro via Dribbble

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.

purple business card that slides into a black envelope
By Mr.Mockup via Dribbble
blue business card that fits into a black envelope
By Mr.Mockup via Dribbble
black business card with a hole in the center
By Ghaith via Dribbble

6. Unexpected, unconventional text alignment

green business card with bold off-white text
By Mr.Mockup via Dribbble

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.

pink and yellow business cards with swoopy text
By Mr.Mockup via Dribbble
black and white business card with bold text
By Aymane Ch via Dribbble
White business cards with minimalistic text and geometric lines
By Mr.Mockup via Dribbble

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.

two business cards, one red and one purple, each with an image of a woman in black
By Lorik Khodaverdian via Behance
pink, green and peach business cards
By Manon Gabriels via Behance
different colored business cards
By Filipa Ferreira via Behance

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.

blue business cards with abstract S logo in white
By designbyhelios via Dribbble
black and white business cards with simple geometric lettermark logo
By Mr.Mockup via Dribbble
green and pink business card with twisted checkerboard design
By OTHER Studio via Dribbble

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.

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