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How to Make a Business Card in Photoshop

Introduction to business cards

A business card can be one of the most powerful tools in marketing, yet many people ignore the importance of a well designed attractive business card. A good business card will increase the chances of people noticing it and becoming intrigued by the services you provide. Because a business card might be the first thing a potential client might see, it is your most important asset when making a first impression.

As some people consider the business card to be a reflection of its owner and his company, it is critical to make sure it is well designed and that it provides all the necessary details about what you do. Having a memorable business card will ensure that people hold on to it and that they will turn to you when they’ll need it.

Onward to business card creation using Adobe Photoshop

1st step: Opening a new file and selecting its properties

  • First, we need to open a new image, so go to the Photoshop menu and select File and New
  • Set the desired dimensions. Standard dimensions for business cards are 3.5 inches in height and 2 inches in width, but if you want to use bleed to eliminate white borders around your business card, you’ll need to add around 0.25 inches, so the dimensions will be 3.75×2.25 inches. The final business card will still have the standard dimensions after cutting.
  • Set the resolution to 300 pixels/inch
  • Next, set the Colour Mode to CMYK and Background Contents to Transparent

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2nd step: Setting the margins

  • Now that you have a new document and that you’ve selected its properties, it’s time to set the margins. Usually, margins can be set at 0.125 inches if you have no bleed. In case you do have bleed, you’ll have its buffer area plus a 0.125 inch margin that will have no content, meaning that you won’t be losing any important information or design elements once the business card has been printed and cut
  • To set the margins at the desired dimensions, select Rulers from the View menu and drag the rulers on each edge to the specified dimension

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3rd step: Creating and adding layers

  • Select Layers from the Windows menu, and then locate the Create a New Layer button at the bottom right of the window and click on it
  • You can use the Windows menu not just for Layers, but also for Paragraphs, Characters etc.

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4th step: Selecting a background colour

  • Highlight the second layer, and click on the Paint Bucket tool
  • To select a colour for the Paint Bucket tool, double click on the Foreground Colour which will show you the Colour Picker. Use the slider to select the desired colour for the background, click OK, and then click on the canvas to apply the selected colour to the background. Remember to keep the Colour Picker menu opened while doing this.

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5th step: Creating a Footer

  • If you want to choose a different colour for the Footer, simply repeat step 4 for a new layer
  • Once the 3rd layer is highlighted, you should select the area of the footer by using the Rectangular Marquee Tool. To use it, just click and drag to select an area with the desired dimensions,
  • Selecting a colour for your Footer is done in the same way as for the previous layers, by using the Paint Bucket tool and the Colour Picker. With the desired colour selected and the Colour Picker window still opened, click inside the newly created footer to fill it.

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6th step: Inserting text

  • Adding new text to your document requires you to add a new layer. Do so as described in the previous steps. With the new layer highlighted, click on the Horizontal Type tool and then on the area you want the text inserted in.
  • Type in whatever information you see fit. If you aren’t satisfied with the text’s position and want to move it, move the cursor down until it becomes an arrow, and then simply click and drag.

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7th step: Changing text colour

  • If you want to select a different colour for the text, click on the Text tool and then highlight it.
  • Now look at the top of the screen and locate the Text Colour Box. Double clicking on it will bring the Colour Picker menu which will allow you to select the colour just as in the previous steps.
  • At the top of the screen, you will now also see the menus for Font, Style and Size and also Paragraph orientation

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8th step: Inserting an image

  • If you want to add a photo, a logo or just some other visual elements to your business card, you should insert an image. This can be done by opening the File menu and by selecting Place, which will pop up a secondary menu with a browse option that will allow you to select an image file from the specified location.
  • Select the desired image file and click on Place.

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9th step: Re-sizing the image

  • The size of the inserted image may not fit the business card, which is why you’ll most likely need to re-size it. Place the mouse over a corner and then hover it until it changes into a double-sided arrow, and then drag it to the specified dimensions
  • If you want to re-size the image while keeping the same proportions, hold down the shift key while dragging the double-sided arrow
  • Moving the image to another location can be done simply by clicking and dragging it to the desired spot

10th step: Placing the image

  • Once you’ve re-sized and moved your inserted image, you need to place it. In order to do so, locate the Move Tool at from the left tool bar and click on it. A new window will pop up asking you if you want to place the file, so click Place.
  • Placing the file will automatically add a new layer, which can be re-sized from the Edit menu by selecting Free Transform

11th step: Tweaking your design

  • The previous steps have taught you the basics of creating a business card in Photoshop. Feel free to add any elements to it, practice with the menus and options.
  • You can change many elements of each layer from the Layer Style menu, which will allow you to add and change shadows, gradients, glows, shadows and outlines.
  • Always remember to have the layer you want to modify highlighted, so you don’t accidently modify other layers by mistake.

12th step: Saving the file

  • Once you’ve finished tweaking your business card, save it as a .psd Photoshop file if you still want to be able to change it, and then as a .pdf file.
  • When you take the .pdf file to a professional printer, remember to tell him that your business card includes a bleed area, so that its final dimensions will be the standard 3.5×2 inches.
With the basics covered, you can practise and test different features, and there’s one saying that applies here, “practice makes perfect”. Play with the menus and tools and fine-tune your skills. With a bit of patience, you will be able to use your creativity and create a unique and attractive business card that will look polished and professional.

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