A business card is an essential element for any businessperson. It's your calling card, an advertisement for you and your business. Business cards are easy to distribute and will create new opportunities for you, so you want to make a one that's creative and represents your brand.
For those with little design experience, or those who need to print a design easily and quickly, check out the top online business card printers to get maximum print quality and value.
In this tutorial, you can learn how to create a business card using Adobe Photoshop CS5. Many of the steps are the same for most versions of Photoshop.
Step 1. Create New Document
In Photoshop select File and New. This will bring up a New File window where you will select the properties of your new document. Standard dimensions for a business card are 3.5" by 2." Set your Resolution to 300, make sure the Color Mode is CMYK, and the Background Contents are Transparent.
Tip: If you do not want to have a white border around your card, you will need to add “bleed.” Bleed for this project would be 0.25" of extra space around the document, so it can be printed and cut down to the finished size of 3.5" by 2." Discuss this with your printer.
Step 2. Set Your Margins
Now that you have your blank document, set the margins. If you don't have bleed, it's a good practice to set margins at 0.125" and not put any content outside the margins. If you do have bleed, you will have your bleed margins, as well as a 0.125" buffer where you should have no text. This will ensure when your cards are printed and cut that no essential info or design is outside the print area.
Go to the View menu and select Rulers. Click on the ruler on each edge and drag the blue lines to the appropriate measurements.
Step 3. Create New Layer
Go to the Windows menu and select Layers. Click the Create a New Layer button at the bottom of the window.
Tip: Use the Windows menu to open the sub menus for Characters, Paragraph, Layers, and more.
Step 4. Background Color
If you want a background color, select the Paint Bucket tool. Be sure you have Layer 2 highlighted.
Step 5. Select Color
To choose the background color for the Paint Bucket tool, double click on the Foreground Color, which will pull up the Color Picker menu. Click anywhere on the slide of colors to choose the shade you want, then click "OK" when you are ready.
With the paint bucket tool still selected, simply click anywhere on the canvas to fill the background with your selected color.
Step 6. Create a Footer
To create a footer background color, simply repeat the steps of creating a new layer. With this new Layer 3 highlighted, use the Rectangular Marquee Tool, click and drag to select the area of your footer.
Again, use the Color Picker and the Paint Bucket tool; click the Paint Bucket inside the marquee you created to fill in the footer with your selected color.
Step 7. Insert Text
To insert new text in your document, repeat the steps to create a new layer. Then select the Horizontal Type Tool and click on the area of your document you would like to insert the text and start typing.
Tip: To move the text you have just typed, move your cursor down until it changes from a text cursor to an arrow, then click and drag the text.
Step 8. Change Text Color
To change the text color, select the Text tool and highlight the text. Go to the Text Color box at the top of the screen and double click to pull up the Color Picker. The top of the screen will also now display the drop down menus for Font, Font Style, Font Size, and Paragraph Orientation.
Step 9. Insert an Image
To insert an image, such as a logo, go to the File menu and select Place. This will bring up a browsing window where you can locate the image file you would like to place, select the file, and click Place.
Step 10. Re-size Image
Depending on the size of your image, you may need to re-size it to fit on the card. Hover over one corner until you see the double sided arrow. To re-size proportionally, hold the shift key as you click the double arrow and drag to the desired size. To move the image, simply click and drag.
Step 11. Place Image
Now that your image is sized and moved, you are ready to place it. Go to the Move Tool (the first tool on the left tool bar) and select it. That will prompt a window asking if you are ready to place the file, click Place.
Tip: Once you have placed the file, it automatically creates a new layer. To re-size any layer, you can select that layer and go to Edit and Free Transform.
Step 12. Tweak Your Design
Now that you have the basics, you can add more elements, create the back side of your business card, and enhance the elements that you have. By double clicking on any layer, you will bring up the Layer Style menu, where you can add shadows, glows, outlines, and gradients.
Tip: Whenever you want to make a change to any layer, be sure to have that layer highlighted in the Layers window.
Practice makes perfect.
Using Photoshop to create a business card will allow you to be creative while producing a finished product that looks professional and polished. As with any software, practice will help you fine-tune your Photoshop skills. Use the menus and the tools to test out Photoshop features, and draw inspiration from other designs to see if you can replicate something for yourself.
Once you have the skills to make a business card, look for a good printer to bring your designs into fruition. you can take your Photoshop knowledge and apply it to other marketing materials for your business.