How to Create a Business Card with Adobe InDesign

Posted by: Manuel Pimentel on Feb. 20th, 2011
Business Card InDesign Tutorial

InDesign is the Adobe product specially created for publishing documents for print, and other visual media. The application has built-in productivity tools for easy layout manipulation of your documents. You can download a trial version from the Adobe website, to evaluate the program before purchasing.

While creating and manipulating layouts is a snap with InDesign, we don’t normally design our graphics and content with it. We create and design visual elements in Illustrator, Photoshop, Corel, etc., then Place/Import it to InDesign.

We will re-create this simple business card using InDesign:

Finished Business Card

Steps for Designing a Business Card in InDesign

  • Step 1 - On the File Menu, click New Document. With InDesign you can specify printing details for your documents such as the: a) size of the document, b) number of pages, c) number of columns, d) margins of your document, e) the bleed (area outside your document where you can extend pictures and graphics), and the f) slug (where you can put instructions for your printer.
  • Step 2 - First, Place the background image we have downloaded or created. Go to the File Menu – Place – navigate to your saved file click Open. Position your background over the Layout using your mouse.
  • Step 3 - Place your Logo. On the File Menu – Place – go to the saved file click Open. Position the Graphic using your mouse.
  • Step 4 - Again use the Place option from the File Menu to Place your Company name, etc. then Position it with your mouse.
  • Step 5 - Do the same procedures from above when you Place your other graphics. Manipulate the size of your graphics using the handles.
  • Step 6 - We can also use the Type Tool of InDesign to add Text to your document. Choose from the fly out Type Menu to Select Font, Size, Weight, etc.
  • Step 7 - Position your Text using the Text Box. Select all your Type/Text, then on the Type Menu, choose Create Outlines. This will convert all your Font into Graphics. This will ensure that your Font will not be lost and/or changed by the printer.
  • Step 8 - Check your document by going to the View Menu – Screen ModePreview. You will see the finished document minus the Bleed, Margins and Layout and Place Guides. Save your document.
  • Step 9 - Now create a PDF File for the printer. On the File Menu – Export – Choose PDF on the Save as Type. On the General Menu Preset choose – High Quality Print. On the Compression select 360 pixels per inch or higher (ask your printer for their requirements). Marks and Bleeds remove printer marks (or ask your printer). Just use the default options for the rest, but ask your printer if they have any special requirements. Click Export.
  • Step 10 - Upload to our design suite for printing/delivery.

Step 1 - Create the Document

Create the Layout for your document.

Step 1a

Your Document ready for Placement of Elements.

Step 1b

Step 2 - Place Background

Place your background image (you can download our gold background image by right clicking and saving this link). On the File Menu choose Place – navigate to where you saved your background – click Open.

Step 2a

Position the Background over the document. I created a Gold Sheet in Illustrator.

Step 2b

Step 3 - Place Logo

On the File Menu – click Place – choose the Logo – Click Open. (you can download our example logo by right clicking and saving this link)

Step 3a

Position your Logo using the mouse. I created this 3D logo in Illustrator and Photoshop.

Step 3b

Step 4 - Place Company Name

Place the company name element using the above procedures (you can download the company name file by right clicking and saving this link).

Step 4a

Position the graphic. Do not extend beyond the margins. The Type was created in Illustrator and Photoshop.

Step 4b

Step 5 - Place Remaining Graphics

Add the remaining graphics using the previous procedures. To download our example white truck image, right click and save this link.

Step 5a

Select the Graphic. I used Photoshop for creating this graphic.

Step 5b

Position and size the graphic using your mouse.

Step 5c

Step 6 - Add Text

Add additional text by using the Type tool.

Step 6a

Choose the Font from the Type Selection.

Step 6b

Select other Font attribute from the selection fly out.

Step 6c

Step 7 - Position Text

Position all your Text using the Text Box.

Step 7

Convert your Fonts into Graphics. On the Type Menu select – Create Outlines.

Step 7b

Step 8 - Check Your Document

View your document. On the View Menu select Screen ModePreview.

Step 8a

Your document without the Bleed, Layout and Place Box and Margins. Save your Document.

Step 8b

Step 9 - Prepare for Printing

Export a copy of your design in PDF format for the printer. On the File Menu – Export – Save as Adobe PDF.

Step 9a

Choose High Quality Print. Ask your printer for any specific saving instruction, otherwise choose defaults. If you are using our printing service, the defaults are fine.

Step 9b

Use 360 PPI, Image Quality – Maximum.

Step 9c

Unclick Printer Marks. Use the default Bleed (.125 inches).

Step 9d

Unless specified by the printer, it is best to use the default options (default is fine for our printing service).

Step 9e

Click Export.

Step 9f

Step 10 - 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.