The card design thread

Well, I’ve seen it mooted a few times so far over here and it was a pretty popular thread over on the Monzo Community and back on FTT (plus I’m one of those saddos that gets excited by this sort of thing :sweat_smile:) so here’s a thread to discuss the good, the bad and the ugly when it comes to card designs.

To start things off, one of my absolute favourite designs is HSBC Hong Kong’s debit card:

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I’m a big fan of the colour scheme and, in this case, the portrait orientation (although sometimes I feel landscape just works better for certain designs - but the HSBC lion design is pretty special in that it works really well (imo) in landscape or portrait, with practically no tweaking).

I find it very satisfying just how standardised HSBC’s whole global portfolio of cards is…

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Domestically, I’m rather fond of the HSBC Advance debit card, the Monzo Premium card and Zen. I personally don’t like the new First Direct Mastercard debit cards (far too plain for me, and lacking the new logo which creates a disjointed brand identity - although I believe this might just be a temporary design during the transition away from Visa?) and the NatWest debit cards (I’ve always found them so boring).

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I find Monzo and Starling’s card designs quite boring these days.

Yes at the start Monzo’s was good as it is bright and gets attention…but at the end of the day it is just a single coloured card. Meh.

Starling then also decided they needed a bright card - which is fine, if boring - but lately they have also begun to clutter the card up by putting ‘world debit’ and the contactless symbol on the front. Their original purple card was a better design IMO.

I think my favourite in the last few years has been N26 - I’m a sucker for transparent things like that. Shame I never actually used the card.

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Oh wow, that HSBC card! :heart_eyes: I’ve not seen that one before, but I do like it! That colour is really nice!

I used to really like the HSBC Commercial Card. I had one back in 2012-ish and still have it because I liked the colour (that’s really sad, I know).

Found this on Google though:
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Edit - Just discovered that the site I borrowed that image from, has an entire catalogue of images
https://colnect.com/en/bank_cards/providers/country/224-United_Kingdom_of_Great_Britain_Northern_Ireland

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:joy:

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I like deep/navy blue a lot and wish more cards used it. I agree with @Wilt about Starling’s card being a bit boring, and I can’t say I’m a fan of the teal - I’d much prefer the business card blue!

Yes, the old M&S debit card is a true monstrosity! Unbelievably, it wasn’t designed by someone having a breakdown but instead by world famous designer Sir Terence Conran :neutral_face:

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Man I’ve never felt this way over a card before, tempted to move to Hong Kong for it

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Person after my own heart!

I loved the transparent card. More so than the metal one I think. Here’s my collection of the N26 cards:

I really like the Monzo Plus card. It’s a very clean yet snazzy aesthetic. Here’s my Monzo Plus card:

I have a thing for serif styles lately too. I think Triodos has a very elegant serif logo, and I love the leaf too.

I also really like the very clean looking child & co card from RBS too:
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My Zen card is a very clean pure white card with a holographic logo like the Monzo plus card. This is one of my favourites. Very Apple like.

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I went into a lot of detail on these when I tried them out not too long ago. May have to copy the stuff over into a thread on here.

the website is

And my thread on them can be found here. My posts are quite long but hopefully do a good job of touching on everything that’s on offer and what the experience is like:

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I must say, N26 made some handsome cards - you’re lucky you accrued that nice collection before they left the UK! The transparent style one was quirky and I’m surprised more brands haven’t replicated it. The only other transparent card I know of is Amex Rewards.

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(Photo from Google)

I like the Triodos card, very unique. Am I right in saying the embossed numbers are not coloured? Must make visibility a bit tricky, but it does look nicer.

And I was genuinely tempted at one point to pay for Zen just to scratch that Apple Card itch!

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IMO, nothing beats the Monzo Premium metal card. Nothing. Simplistic perfection.

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I’m not sure if they’ve changed them recently for but my numbers are coloured silver.

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As lovely as the card looks, there’s just something about the shade of white that just feels a little off to me. Almost like there’s a green tinting to it, which is a problem Apple used to face with the white iPhones and had to delay their launch.

Do you notice that in person or is it just something that’s coming across through photos?

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It’s white. It looks brighter in real life. In fact, analysing a random portion of the card white in my image above returns an RGB of 227,227,227 (pure white is 255,255,255) - and that’s ignoring whatever processing the pixel camera/software has applied.

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My Sony one, back in the day, was very white too.

Any card that comes with cleaning instructions is not for me

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Is it just me, or do Monzo’s instructions read like plagiarism of Apple’s ones. I get that the instructions will be similar, but word for word identical instructions with a few minor changes makes it look like someone just copy pasted Apple’s cleaning instructions.

The way the instructions are presented also adds weight to your notion of prestige too. Apple’s have more substance to theirs and things are explained better and in more detail, like they’ve put a lot of care and thought into it.

Metal cards can get dirty sometimes

Glad to know that plastic cards have a surface that instantly repels all dirt, according to Monzo

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Speaking of which. How would one actually go about cleaning their plastic cards without ruining the prints or protective coating?

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Bog roll and spit always works for me. Unused bog roll though. Don’t make that mistake.

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