How to Create a Business Card with Adobe Illustrator

Posted by: Manuel Pimentel on Mar. 7th, 2011
Business Card Illustrator Tutorial

Adobe Illustrator is the best application for creating vector graphics. Vectors are geometrical primitives (line, points, curves, etc.) based on mathematical equations to characterize graphics. On the other hand, razters which are used by Photoshop are composed of pixels.

Being primitives, vector files are smaller and scalable (quality does not degrade when stretching, twisting, modifying, etc). Lifelike 3D graphics can easily created using vector graphics.

We will re-create the business card below, using Adobe Illustrator.

Finished Business Card

Steps for Designing a Business Card in Illustrator

  • Step 1 - Open Adobe Illustrator. Create your artboard/document, L – 3.5 inches, H – 2 inches. Bleed - 1/8 inch. Margins – 1/8 inch.
  • Step 2 - Organize your artboard. Separate your Background, Graphics, & Type. Create Layers for each.
  • Step 3 - Create Background. Place Graphic Background from your Saved Files.
  • Step 4 - Open Graphics Layer. Place your Graphics and Picture.
  • Step 5 - Place your Logo and Company Name.
  • Step 6 - Open your Type Layer. Place all Type elements from your Saved Files.
  • Step 7 - Save your Project.
  • Step 8 - Save a copy in PDF format for the Printer.
  • Step 9 - Upload to our design suite for printing/delivery.

Step 1 - Create the Document

Open Adobe Illustrator. On the File Menu – New. Select Title; Width 3.5 in, Length 2 in; Bleed 0.125 in; CMYK Mode; Raste 300 PPI, click OK.

Step 1a

On the View Menu, select Rulers.

Step 1b

Pull down Guide Lines as Margins from the Rulers.

Step 1c

Step 2 - Organize Artboard

Organize your work. Open the Layers Panel.

Step 2a

Name first the Layer – Background.

Step 2b

Create 2 more Layers for the different design elements.

Step 2c

Name a Layer – Graphics for all your graphics. The other name it Type, for all type elements.

Step 2d

Step 3 - Create Background

Open the Background Layer.

Step 3a

On the File Menu – Place – navigate to your Saved Files – choose your graphic – click Place. You can download our example background graphic by right clicking and saving this link.

Step 3b

Place your Background. Use the handles to position the graphic.

Step 3c

Step 4 - Place Graphics

Select Graphic Layer. Lock Background Layer.

Step 4a

On the File Menu – Place – go to your Saved File choose Graphics. You can download our example Bull graphic by right clicking and saving this link.

Step 4b

Select and Place your Logo. You can download our example logo by right clicking and saving this link.

Step 4c

Position graphics in your Artboard.

Step 4d

Step 5 - Place Logo and Company Name

Open Type Layer. On the File Menu – Place Type from your Saved Files. You can download our example type by right clicking and saving this link.

Step 5a

Position and resize Type using the Handles.

Step 5b

Place remaining elements. On the File Menu – Place from the Saved File. Right click and save the following links to download the chili hyphen and USDA stamp example graphics.

Step 5c

Arrange your elements.

Step 5d

Step 6 - Place Type

Place and Position all remaining type elements. Right click and save the following links to download the owner and address example type graphics.

Step 6a

Tweak and position elements according to your preference.

Step 6b

Step 7 - Save the Project

The Finished Business Card. Save your work.

Step 7

Step 8 - Export for Printing

Save a PDF copy for the printer. On the File Menu – Save Type As – Select PDF. Choose your preferred name.

Step 8a

A Panel will emerge. On the PDF preset choose – High Quality Print.

Step 8b

On Bicubic Desampling type – 360 PPI; Use the Default settings for the rest.

Step 8c

With the Marks and Bleeds – Uncheck Marks; Check – Bleeds.

Step 8d

Ask your printers for any special settings. Use the default settings for the rest. Click Save PDF.

Step 8e

The saved PDF File, ready for your printer.

Finished PDF

Step 9 - Upload for Printing

Upload your PDF 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 upload and print your design, visit our custom business card printing suite.