Do you want to save some money and design your own professional business cards? The following tutorial will take you through the necessary steps for setting up a template, adding a background with a nice glow effect, and adding text. Of course, you can choose your own colors, font, and other design choices, but this tutorial should show you how to set up a design for simple business cards and get it ready to send to the printer.
Open Photoshop. Create a new document with a width of 4.5 inches and a height of 3 inches. This size will allow for you to bleed your background beyond the final business card size. This way your business card will have graphics that seamlessly cover the edges. At this point, be sure to also set your Resolution to at least 300 pixels per inch. You will need to convert to the CMYK color mode before sending to print, but for now we need to use RGB. Certain effects we will be using are not available in CMYK.
Now you will need to set up the guidelines before beginning the actual design. Make sure your rulers are showing; if not, go to View and click on Rulers. With the Move Tool selected, click on the side ruler of the document and drag along the document to “draw out” a new guideline. Release the mouse to drop the guide into place.
Then set guidelines as shown in the image below. For the horizontal guides, click on the top ruler and drag down the document.
For reference, the outside lines are your bleed lines, where you want to extend the background and graphics. The middle lines are where the printer will trim your card to size. The inside lines are the safety lines; you will want to keep any text and other important graphics you do not want cut off inside of these safety lines.
To create the background, begin by first creating a new layer. Click on the Create a new layer icon in the bottom of your Layers palette (to open Layers, go to Window>Layers).
Double click on your Foreground Color icon and enter #d57815. Then change your Background Color to #ef9d0e. Remember that you can use whatever color you desire, not just those used in this tutorial.
Select the Paint Bucket Tool, and click on your document. The guidelines you created should still show on top of your colored background.
Now go to Filter>Render>Lighting Effects. Use the same settings as in the image below or play around with the oval handles to create a unique lighting effect for your business cards.
Next you may want to add texture. You can look up free textures online if desired, or download the following pattern that I created from a metal texture I found from PixelPerfectDigital.com.
Simply save the image above or your chosen texture onto your desktop. Then open the texture in Photoshop. Hit Ctrl+A to select the entire texture, then hit Ctrl+C to copy it. Now go back to your business card document, create a new layer, and hit Ctrl+V. You should now see the texture on top of your background.
To fade your texture, first change the Fill box in your upper right corner of your Layers palette to 30%. Then select Overlay from the drop down menu in the upper left corner of your Layers palette.
Now we will add text. Create a new layer and choose the Horizontal Type Tool. Choose your font, size, and color using the type toolbar at the top of the page; this tutorial is simply using Arial so you will probably want to choose something a bit more unique.
Then type your first line of text. If you do not like your font style, simply highlight the text using the Type Tool and dragging across the text. Then make the changes in the toolbar.
For each line of text, make sure to create a new layer. This way you can easily move them around. Keep in mind that you will need to click on the Move Tool and click on another area of the screen before creating a new layer to deselect your most recent line of text. Or you could simply click on another layer. Your text may look something like my following example:
Now you only need to get your business card ready for print! First of all, make sure to save a copy of your design so that you can later edit your business card if needed. Then in your Layers palette, click on the drop down menu and choose Flatten Image. All of your layers should now be merged into a single layer.
Finally, you need to change your color mode to CMYK. Go to Image>Mode and select CMYK Color. If a box appears asking your permission, click OK. Be sure to save this flattened version in the format your printing company requires (JPEG, PDF, etc) and you are done!
Keep in mind that you can arrange your layout, choose colors, and add effects in the manner you desire. This tutorial, though, should give you the basic guidelines necessary for creating great business cards in no time at all.
Tags: Business cards, cards, design business cards, designer business cards, printing, printing cards