The right color for your business card will mostly depend on your industry and your brand. To help you choose, we’ve compiled a list of the most popular business card colors with tips on how to pick the best one.
If you believe business cards are a thing of the past, think again! This report suggests that sales increase by 2.5% for every 2000 business cards passed out. Bearing in mind that business cards are usually quite cheap, this means that a small investment can generate a considerable return.
When it comes to business card design, remember that it’s not enough for cards to look good; they also need to adequately reflect your business. If you’re still working on your brand’s visual identity, creating a mood board might help you narrow down some color options.
Creating a color scheme in graphic design is both a matter of taste, as well as science. The latter part concerts two key disciplines: color theory and color psychology.
Color theory concerns how colors are mixed and combined, as well as categories of colors (primary, secondary, tertiary colors).
The foundation of color theory is the color wheel, which is used for determining contrasting, analogous and complementary colors.
Understanding the basics of color theory can help you choose the right color combinations for your business card design.
Color psychology is an area of study that is concerned with how we react to colors, what associations we tend to make with them.
Admittedly, this area of research is still in development and is highly dependent on a number of factors; for example, different colors may have opposing cultural meanings in different parts of the world. The most famous example for this is the color white—associated with weddings in Jude-Christian cultures, in many Eastern cultures white is considered the color of grief and death.
Delving deeper into color psychology can help you choose business card colors that best match your brand’s mission, vision and values.
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Best colors for business cards
What’s the best color for your business card? Short answer is, it depends on your industry and your brand. If you produce toys a daunting all-black business card might not be the most suitable. If you’re a psychotherapist, a hot pink business card with neon details won’t exactly inspire a sense of serenity or trust.
So to help you pick the right color that will reflect your business and impress your target audience, here’s a list of popular business card colors and our suggestions on who should use them.
Classic white business cards are definitely relevant. The main advantage of a white business card is that it’s very versatile and adaptable.
If your logo design is minimalist the final result might be a clean, professional business card, fit for people in top jobs in the finance industry, or even medical professionals. White and dark blue is one of the most classic and popular color combinations, which is fitting for almost any profession.
On the other hand, adding simple, colorful elements to your white business card can make it look very hip. or, gold or silver foil stamping on white business cards can create a sense of authority.
I don’t know about you, but whenever someone gives me a black business card I suddenly feel like I’ve been invited to a secret society.
Whether you share the sentiment or not, there’s no denying that black business cards are incredibly elegant and eye-catching. Because we are so used to seeing white paper, its exact opposite is something we are bound to notice.
Whether you go for an all-black look with embossing or add luxurious golden details on a black background, this kind of business card is perfect for anyone who wants to show a sense of style: whether you’re a fashion or graphic designer, photographer or gallery owner. A black business card can also make a great choice for CEOs and consultants as it can command a sense of authority and prestige.
Yellow is often considered to be the color of optimism and warmth, but it’s also a very good choice for business card design.
The bright background color will make contact information more legible and different finishes (coated or uncoated) will be more visible.
Shades like mustard yellow can give business card design a more retro look, like the following business card template for The Hive gym.
By Steve Wolf
In some ways, orange is yellow’s more professional counterpart: where yellow is playful and retro, orange can be modern and innovative.
Some color psychology findings associate orange with creativity, communication and imagination. So this could be a great color for people in “trendy” fields such as nonprofits or tech startups.
Orange is a bold, confident color that people won’t easily forget. So it will make the best choice for businesses that want to, or already use this color in their branding (logo, website design, marketing materials etc.)
Blue is one of the most commonly used colors in professional graphic design. Some color psychology findings associate blue with trustworthiness and honesty, so you’ll often find this color is used by financial professionals. More recently, blue is also quite popular with tech business cards.
Light and dark blue can make a very nice contrast and, at the same time, give your business card design visual coherence. Take a look at these gorgeous business cards for Blue Label Labs, an app development company.
This business card design is both modern, but also very professional and works well with the company’s overall brand identity.
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There’s no doubt that purple can make a great business card. The color seems to have layers of meaning, ranging from mysticism, wisdom, dreams and imagination to royalty and authority.
In more recent years, it’s certainly been very trendy in the SaaS industry. Because of its associations with the unity of mind and body, purple is also a great color choice for yoga and massage studios, life coaches, wellness experts etc.
This business card design concept is a great source of inspiration for purple business cards. Whether you make purple logo design the centerpiece of your card, or opt for a cool, yet elegant background, purple can certainly help you make a strong first impression.
By Milos Djuric
Just like blue, green has strong connections to the natural world so it’s a color that people are inherently drawn to.
That said, green might be one of the most difficult colors to get right in print (we’ve all seen the not-so-appealing shades between brown and green). If you decide to tackle the design yourself, make sure you’re using the CMYK (cyan-magenta-yellow-black/key) color mixing mode, as this is used for all print designs.
This wonderful business card concept was designed as part of the brand identity guide for Pine, a photo and video production company. This elegant earthy color scheme perfectly matches the CEO’s outdoorsy, nature-loving vision of giving an “organic” feel to the people, places and products in front of the camera.
Grey business cards are quite similar to white, insofar as they are a relatively conservative choice and will probably appeal to a wide range of potential customers.
Still, this color choice is a little more modern and can give your business a more sophisticated look. Since this color can be a little drab on its own, adding pops of color or an interesting typeface will help your business card design stand out.
Going with a more luxurious look (e.g. foil stamping for that silver effect), is well suited for tech professionals. However, this example makes a great case for an elegant matte grey background decorated with gorgeous colorful shapes.
By Joshua Krohn
Generally speaking, red is not the best color choice for business cards. It can often be perceived as flashy or aggressive, and a loud red business card can make reading contact information challenging.
That being said, if you think you’ve got the confidence and a great brand to back it up, a red business card will definitely not go unnoticed.
Just make sure you leave plenty of white space (or in this case red) so that your bright design isn’t cluttered. Let the color of passion and action speak for itself. This business card template was created for Magna & York, a New York-based real estate company. The simplicity of the design paired with a rich, red tone makes this business card both elegant and powerful.
In choosing colors for their business cards, most people rightly approach red with caution. On the other hand, pink probably doesn’t get enough credit, since this color is a great choice for business cards.
Pink is very versatile—just think how differently we tend to use, for example magenta and a soft baby pink. This is a great color to adapt to the needs of your brand identity, whether you go with a lighter shade of pink that’s traditionally associated with tenderness and relaxation, or a bolder tone closer to red.
This is just one example of a gorgeous illustration business card for a custom jewelry maker. The light pink background gives the card a softer, more feminine look than a plain white card would, but still leaves plenty of space for the design to “breathe” and incorporate all of these colorful elements.
Free business card templates just for you
We hope our design tips help you decide what the best color for your business cards would be.
If you know what you want, be sure to check out our list of 13 free Google docs business card templates. You’ll find them in plenty of color and style variations, and you can easily edit them yourself. Best of all—they are 100% free!