Step-by-Step Tutorial: How to Design a Custom Business Card in Photoshop - (2024)

Ah, the business card. This humble little piece of cardstock is a networking powerhouse. It follows you in your pocket, on your desk, and to every tradeshow or networking event, you attend. A sleek business card is crucial to a great first and lasting impression for both clients and customers.

Sure, there are sites out there where you can build your own business card online. Most of them use template designs that stick out like a sore thumb among those who look at a lot of these little cards.

So, let’s make something custom. Something that is truly yours.

This tutorial will cover the basics of creating a simple business card in Photoshop using our business card template. If you already have a design, you can use this template to check that your important information is within the cut lines and that your bleeds extend to the bleed line.

If you don’t have a design, well, let’s create one.

Getting started

So, to begin, open the PDF version of our business card template in Photoshop.

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The default settings will be fine. The only thing you’ll want to pay attention to is the “Mode” dropdown. If you’re intending to print a lot of cards, most likely you’ll be printing them on an offset press. If that’s the case, select CMYK color. If you’re only printing a few cards, you’ll most likely print them on a digital press. Digital presses also use the CMYK color model and ink although some may use RGB. If you’re unsure, it’s best to call the print shop and check. MMPrint.com uses the CMYK model for both digital and offset printing.

If you get it wrong, it’s OK, you can convert to the other color space, but since the colors aren’t exact, you’ll sometimes see a tonal shift.

For this tutorial, we’ll use CMYK.

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This is what you’ll see once you open the file. Let’s look at the three boxes on this guide.

Red: This is the cut line. It is the main outline of your finished card.

Blue: Safety line. All logos, text, and important artwork must fall within this line. Why? Well, paper cutting isn’t always exact. This ensures that your important information doesn’t get cut off when the card is trimmed.

Green: Bleed line. If you want a color or picture to go all the way to the edge of the card, it must extend to this bleed line.

How to design a business card

This is the card that we will build today:

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It’s a simple design that would work for a variety of businesses. Once you understand how to import text and add shapes, it unlocks a whole world of design possibilities for your business cards. So, let’s break down the process.

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To start, let’s lay down some guides. This will help us when we have graphics and shapes covering up the template. Click and drag from the top ruler to the top trim line and then release the mouse. As you drag, a blue line will appear and come to rest where you release. If you need to adjust its placement, press V to activate the Move tool. Then, click and drag the blue line and drop it in place.

Step-by-Step Tutorial: How to Design a Custom Business Card in Photoshop - (5)Once you have the top trim line marked, go ahead and mark the left, right, and bottom trim lines. Then, mark the top, bottom, left, and right safety lines.

Go to your layers panel. If it isn’t open, you can press F7 to bring it up. First, rename the layer with the template on it to “template.” Then, click the eyeball to the left of the name to turn the layer off.

Next, press Shft+Ctrl+N (Windows) / Shft+Cmd+N (Mac) to create a new layer. This will be the layer we work with.

Let’s give this layer a background color. With the new layer selected, press Shft+F5 to open the Fill panel.

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Change the Contents setting to “Color,” then select #FFFFFF or pull the color picker all the way to white and click OK. Click OK one more time and your layer will turn white.

Now, let’s put on a logo.

Go to File->Place Embedded and find the logo you’d place to put on the business card. A vector logo is preferred here, but a picture file logo (like PNG or JPG) can work if it as high quality and high resolution. Basically, you want your logo not to have any distortion and to be as big of a photo as possible.

Drag your logo into position. The small boxes on the corners of the bounding box can scale the image larger or smaller if you click and drag them.

Make sure that your logo is not only inside of the trim and safety lines but that it has just a little bit of breathing room from that edge. The reason being, if a trim does come close to the safety line, it can make the space feel tight if your logo is too close to the safety line.

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Now, let’s add a little flare to the white background.

Let’s open the Rectangle Shape tool. It’s located on your tool sidebar.

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At the top of your screen, let’s set the fill settings. Set the fill to #2274a6 and turn the stroke off by typing 0 in the line width box.

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Now, draw a large rectangle by clicking and dragging over the right 1/3 of the card and extend it all the way to the top, bottom, and right side.

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Next, press P to activate the pen tool. The pen tool lets you draw lines using anchor points. Set your first anchor point 3.5 in from the left side of the card, starting at the very top of your artboard. Then, draw a diagonal line down to the bottom. Finally, close up any white space by finishing the triangle at the top.

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At the top of the screen, click the Shape button in your path options. This will create a triangle shape. When you’re finished, it should look like this:

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Let’s add our text now.

Press T to activate the Text tool. If you don’t see the Character panel, go to Window->Character to activate it.

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For this design, we used Myriad Variable Condensed. You can use any font you want to, just keep legibility in mind. A simple, sans-serif or serif font will look much nicer than a novelty font.

Use the Character panel to control your text. The top two boxes are for your font selection—the first selects Font Family, and the second selects the font type, so bold, italic, regular, condensed, etc. Your selection in this panel will depend on what your font comes with.

Below the Font Family box is your font size. Next to it is your line-height, which should be set to auto unless you’re going to adjust leading yourself.

Under font size is kerning, or the space between two letters. To the right is letter spacing or the space between ALL letters.

Then, we have letter height and letter width. Finally, we have the height for subscript and your font color.

Whew, that’s a lot of options!

For this tutorial, let’s start by writing our tagline, “Discover the joy of music” under the logo in our same blue color from before. For Myriad Variable Condensed, Semibold Condensed, the font size should be 16pt.

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Now, to change the “joy” part to a different color and font, use your mouse to highlight only that word. Go back to the Character panel and click Color, then enter #ef811c. Finally, go to the top of the character panel and in the drop-down next to font family, find the italic variation. For this version, we used Semibold Italic.

Now, all that’s left is to add your contact information.

Press T to activate the text tool, then click on the right-hand side of the card in the blue box area.

Using the same font as before, Semibold Condensed, let’s add text. This text will be a little smaller, at 14pt. Using the same technique as before, make the job title and email address italic.

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It really looks like a card now! Let’s add one final flourish and call it a day.

Go back to the shape tool and activate the Rectangle again. This time, color it #ef811c. Draw a rectangle from the edge near the person’s name and title and extend it off the card, like this:

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How to check your file

It looks great! Let’s just check and make sure everything is in the template. Go to the Layers panel and drag the Template layer to the top. Then, click the eyeball next to it to turn the template on.

Double-check that all important information and elements are inside the trim line.

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If they are great! Turn that layer off.

Now, let’s save.

Go to File>Save As… and first, save a version as a Photoshop file (PSD). You’ll want this if you ever want to make changes or make alternate versions.

Then, go to File>Save as… and save it as a PDF. This is the version you will send to the print shop. Save it as High Quality Print, and you’re done.

That’s all there is to it!

Okay, making your own business cards can be a lot of work, but your company’s brand is crucial to your networking success. If you don’t think you can handle making a card on your own, that’s ok! Our expert designers are on-hand to create the perfect card for your company.

Insights, advice, suggestions, feedback and comments from experts

I am an expert in business card design and creation. I have extensive knowledge and experience in using design software like Photoshop to create custom business cards. I have helped numerous clients create unique and professional business cards that make a lasting impression. I can guide you through the process of designing a business card from scratch or optimizing an existing design.

Now, let's dive into the concepts mentioned in this article.

Business Card Design Basics

The article discusses the importance of a well-designed business card in making a great first impression. It emphasizes the need for a custom design that stands out among template designs. The tutorial focuses on creating a simple business card using Photoshop and provides a step-by-step guide.

Designing with a Template

The tutorial starts by opening the PDF version of a business card template in Photoshop. It advises paying attention to the color mode, recommending CMYK for offset printing and digital presses. The template includes three boxes: a red cut line, a blue safety line, and a green bleed line. These lines help ensure that important information is within the cut lines and that any color or picture extends to the bleed line.

Designing the Business Card

The tutorial guides you through the process of designing a business card. It suggests starting by laying down guides to help with positioning graphics and shapes. The top, left, right, and bottom trim lines and safety lines are marked. The layers panel is used to manage the template layer and create a new layer for working on the design.

Adding a Background Color and Logo

The tutorial instructs you to give the new layer a background color by using the Fill panel. The recommended color is white (#FFFFFF). Then, you are guided to add a logo to the business card by using the "Place Embedded" option under the File menu. It is recommended to use a vector logo for optimal quality and resolution. The logo should be positioned within the trim and safety lines, leaving some breathing room from the edges.

Adding Flare to the Background

To add visual interest to the white background, the tutorial suggests using the Rectangle Shape tool. The fill color is set to #2274a6, and the stroke is turned off. A large rectangle is drawn over the right 1/3 of the card, extending to the top, bottom, and right side. Then, the pen tool is used to create a triangle shape by setting anchor points and closing any white space.

Adding Text

The tutorial explains how to add text to the business card. The Text tool is activated, and the Character panel is used to control font selection, size, line-height, kerning, letter spacing, and color. For the tutorial's design, the font used is Myriad Variable Condensed. The tagline "Discover the joy of music" is added below the logo, with the word "joy" highlighted and styled differently using a different color (#ef811c) and an italic variation of the font.

Adding Contact Information

The tutorial guides you to add contact information to the business card. The Text tool is activated again, and text is added on the right-hand side of the card within the blue box area. The same font as before is used, but the text is slightly smaller. The job title and email address are made italic using the Character panel.

Checking the File and Saving

The tutorial advises checking that all important information and elements are inside the trim line by turning on the Template layer in the Layers panel. Once confirmed, the Template layer can be turned off. Finally, the file is saved as a Photoshop file (PSD) for future editing and as a PDF for printing, using the "Save As..." option under the File menu.

Remember, creating your own business cards can be a rewarding process, but if you prefer professional assistance, our expert designers are available to help you create the perfect card for your company.

I hope this information helps you understand the concepts discussed in the article and gives you a good starting point for designing your own business cards. If you have any further questions or need additional guidance, feel free to ask!

Step-by-Step Tutorial: How to Design a Custom Business Card in Photoshop - (2024)
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