Although many beautiful business cards have been made from standard templates, there is only one way to get that 100% custom look for your business card - by designing your own business card using a graphic editor like Adobe Photoshop.
This tutorial will take you through the process of designing a business card in Photoshop, and also explains how you can get your card printed once the design is complete.
The Major Aspects in the Design of a Business Card are:
- Layout. How the card is designed spatially. The placement and distribution of the elements on the card.
- Typography. The fonts used in the design.
- Graphic. The pictorial image, illustration or drawing of the desired objects.
- Materials. Paper, board, plastic, ink, wood, etc..
- Texture. The grain, if any, of the materials used in creating the card.
- Size. The standard size is 3.5" x 2", but you also need to include room for the "bleed area" Details below.
Parts of a Business Card
- The Bleed Area – The bleed area is the extension of printed lines or colors beyond the line where the paper it is printed on will be cut. This is to help ensure that the paper will cut without white edges due to very small differences in where the blade cuts the cards.
- The No Type Area – The no type area is where the Business card will be cut. It is the buffer zone between the bleed area and the safe design zone. You can extend some graphics here but no type.
- The Safe Design Zone – This is where all the elements of a business card are placed.
Elements of a Business Card
- The Company or organization name
- Company or organization logo
- Address of the company or organization
- Company or organization’s telephone number
- Facsimile number
- email address
- Company or organization’s website URL
- Company or organization’s slogan
- Graphic art or picture
- The products or services offered by the company. This is usually placed at the back or at the second page of a two page business card.
The placement of the different elements will depend on your preference. Try to experiment, although there are basic design principles, ultimately the decision is yours.
Steps for Designing a Business Card in Photoshop
- Step 1 - Download the business card template (download it here). Open template in Adobe Photoshop.
- Step 2 - Show Guides and Rulers.
- Step 3 - Place background, or create one using the Paint Tool.
- Step 4 - Place (this is the Insert term for Adobe Photoshop) prepared (we usually create logos in Adobe Illustrator, Corel Draw or other graphic authoring applications) logo.
- Step 5 - Type in text (text are typed in directly on the image using the Type tool, which is located on the right along the Tools Menu), or Place a prepared text.
- Step 6 - Place graphics or pictures (pictures and graphic arts saved on your computer), if any.
- Step 7 - Convert image to CMYK Mode. Rasterize. Adjust Image size to 360 PPI/DPI. Flatten Layer. Save.
- Step 8 - Save as TIFF (Tagged Image File Format) format for printing. TIFF files are larger than JPEG files, but they retain the full quality of the image. They can be compressed or uncompressed, but the compression scheme is loss-less, meaning that although the file gets a little smaller, no information is lost.
- Step 9 - Upload to our design suite for printing/delivery.
Ok, time to get started...
Step 1 - Download/Open the Business Card Template
Download the basic business card template (Right click and Save As). Open the template in your Adobe Photoshop application. Click File on the Menu. Click Open on the pull down menu. Navigate to where you saved the template.
Open the template on your Adobe Photoshop.
Step 2 - Show Guides and Rules
Open View on the Adobe Photoshop Top Menu. Click Show. Turn on Rulers. Turn on Guides.
Pull out Guidelines from the Rulers using your cursor by pressing the right mouse button and dragging a Guideline. Position it over the edges of the 3 areas:
- Bleed area.
- No type area.
- Safe design area.
Save your file.
Step 3 - Background
Place your desired background on your image (you can download our example background by right clicking and Saving this link), or
use the Paint Tool to color your background. Save your file.
Step 4 - Place Logo
Open File on top Menu. Navigate to the folder where you saved your graphics (you can download our example logo by right clicking and Saving this link). Place your prepared or downloaded logo.
Your Placed logo. Save your file.
Step 5 - Add Text
Place all your prepared text, or type it all in, using the Type tool. Use your preferred fonts. Save your file.
Step 6 - Place Graphics and Pictures
Download the Four Hands Blur logo (right click and Save As). Place your graphics or pictures. Check all the contents of your project. Check alignments, typographical errors, colors, etc.. Save your file.
Step 7 - Prepare for Printing
Open Image Menu. Choose Mode. Select CMYK. Rasterize Image.
Open Image Menu. Select Image Size. Unclick Resample Image. Input 360 in the Resolution Box.
Open Layers Menu. Select Flatten Image.
Step 8 - Export for Printing
Save. Save a Copy as TIFF for our printers.
Step 9 - Upload for Printing
Upload your TIFF file to our business card design suite to see an instant proof and to order your cards. We use a lithography press and four color printing to precisely replicate your design on the card. To learn how to upload and print your design, visit our custom business card printing page.