Conventional business cards are trimmed out with straight blades so it’s easiest and least expensive to create a card with sharp 90 degree corners. A die-cut business card is one that uses a specially created die to cut a nonlinear shape — this includes rounded corners, cutting a silhouette shape in the center of the card, cutting notches and shapes out of the edges of the card, or making the card itself an irregular shape.
Die cuts can make your card stand out in a big way but they aren’t for everyone. A die cut that has nothing to do with your business can seem like a second nose — extraneous and unnecessary. For example, if you’re creating a business card for a plumber, adding a star die cut seems like a weird non sequitur. On the other hand, if you can add something to the design that supports the concept of your business, it enhances your card’s impression ten-fold. The real trick is doing something that isn’t cliché and that causes a moment of delight for the recipient. Here are 10 business card that use die cuts in surprising and original ways.
1. Dr. Melissa Carr: Acupuncturist by Rethink
The connection between the process used on the card and the process used on clients is a clever one.
This business card rolls together to create a miniature bullhorn. The die cutting makes this card an interactive toy that recipients would want to play with.
3. Maj Sharma: Ornithologist by Krishna Priya
Here the die cut approximates the viewing shape created by looking through a pair of binoculars like a bird watcher.
4. Zohra Mouhetta: fitness trainer by Leo Burnett Dubai
This card was designed to show the effectiveness of fitness training. The perforated, tear-away belly also has duplicate contact information to serve as a way for clients to recommend Zohra’s services.
The fun part of this card is that it can be carried around in an actual cassette tape case and the blank part of the white strip is for the phone number to be hand-written on for that personal touch.
6. Woody Adams: Tree Surgeon by Hannah Jackson
Here the reference is a subtle one. One side of the card is just photography of tree bark. The shape die cut on the right edge can be seen as an axe-cut or a scalpel making it easy to remember the very obscure occupation of “tree surgeon.”
The finger holes allow the recipient to interact with the card and complete the image.
8. Antidote X
The inverse-rounded corners and subtle side angles bolster the old-timey pharmacy look of this design.
9. Stage restaurant by Jesse Arneson
The eye die cuts suggest the mask of putting on a stage role. The designer elaborates: “The logo concept is made of up 16 interchangeable icons that create a mask representing the classic archetypes in theatre.”
10. Orient Xpress by Mar Hernandez
The business card itself can take the shape of illustrations used elsewhere in the identity (in this case T-shirts and large-scale wall decals).