Using Adobe Photoshop for Business Card Design

Posted by: Matthew Geer on Jun. 24th, 2011
Photoshop Logo

Photoshop (www.AdobePhotoshop.com) is a graphics editing program from Adobe. I think most people that don’t use Photoshop would assume that it’s for fixing red eyes in photos or creating albums. They’re only partly right. Adobe Photoshop is a versatile tool and in addition to enhancing photos, you can also use Photoshop to create website designs, posters and icons. Photoshop can be used for any project that doesn’t need to be scaled smaller/bigger in the future.

Using Adobe Photoshop to Create Business Cards

Photoshop can also be used to create business cards, although in a perfect world it wouldn’t be the only tool you’d have for the job. I say that because Photoshop does have its limitations. You can’t scale images, custom text or logos without them becoming distorted. Photoshop also lacks features that make the process of setting up business card documents or printing streamlined. Illustrator and InDesign would be better tools for these tasks.

That being said, Photoshop will get the job done on its own; quite well actually, depending on your overall needs and skill using the program. Let’s explore a couple different ways you can use Photoshop to create business cards.

Business Card Templates for Photoshop

One way to make business cards using Photoshop would be to use premade templates. These are business cards that are already designed for you. All you need to do is fill in your information and add any logos or images that you may have.

If you’re feeling creative, you can take these existing templates and modify them to reflect your personal style or business. You’d only be limited by your imagination and skill set.

These templates are easy to find online too. Many online print shops have them, as well as tutorial focused websites such as VandelayDesign.com. You can also check out PSDGraphics.com and GraphicRiver.net. I would only visit graphicriver.net as a last resort since you’ll have to pay for the templates. This is pointless since there are so many free resources out there.

Photoshop Tutorials

Another option is to find and follow a Photoshop tutorial on how to create business cards. There is no shortage of these. A couple places I would suggest looking is PSD Tuts and SpeckyBoy.com (we also have a Photoshop business card design tutorial on our site).

I like going this route for creating business cards with Photoshop because many tutorials will have all the resources you need such as backgrounds, images, fonts, etc. And then you’re given step by step instructions on how to do everything, from setting up the document to getting the finished card ready for print. Most tutorials shouldn’t take you longer than an hour to complete.

If you don’t want to do the tutorial, but like the design, many tutorials have the finished PSD for download. It’ll be no different than downloading a template at that point. Just fill in your info and you’re set.

Create Business Cards from Scratch with Photoshop

If you’re skilled with Photoshop you can also create business cards from scratch. That’s obvious though, right?

What might not be so obvious are all the free resources at your fingertips. I mentioned psdgraphics.com above – this is a great resource for background designs and icons, in addition to premade templates. You can also visit DaFont.com for free fonts. Using these resources will at least prevent you from having to create every component of your business card from scratch, which would take a long time. All you’ll need to do is lay everything out according to your vision.

Benefits to Using Photoshop for Creating Business Cards

There are many benefits to using Photoshop for business cards. Here are a few that stand out the most to me:

  • Price. Unless you need the heavy duty version of Photoshop (CS4 or CS4 Extended), you can pick up a copy for $75 to $115. The lighter version is known as “Photoshop Elements.” $75 is spendy when compared to other options, but since you can use Photoshop for so many things, I’m sure you’ll find a way to get your money back out of it.
  • Learning curve. Photoshop may take you a couple hours to get the hang of how everything works, especially the layers aspect (that was the hardest for me). But once you get past that, Photoshop will be like an enhanced version of Paint.
  • Photoshop tutorials. There is no shortage of business card tutorials for Photoshop. You can also use other tutorials to learn text effects and backgrounds, all of which can be used for your card.
  • Photoshop tools. Photoshop is loaded with many tools that will help you create your cards, as well as improve how they look. You have guides and rulers for aligning your images and text. There are premade brushes that you can use for different visual effects, as well as 3rd party brushes that you can find, upload and use. And there are several premade icons and shapes (stars, octagons, arrows, signs, etc) that you can use to save time.

Overall, Photoshop is definitely a worthwhile program for creating business cards. There may be things that it cannot do well, like create (scalable) logos or custom text, but it can do them. And besides, you can always use Photoshop for 75% of your business card and outsource the other 25% to someone with the proper tools for the job. That’s not too bad of an option either.