How to Make Business Cards in Adobe Photoshop

By Elizabeth Smith

  • Overview

    Business cards are a necessity for employees within any organization. They identify the person and provide contact information. With Adobe Photoshop and a bit of time, anyone can create business cards that reflect the style of his business. Before you begin the business-card-design process, have on hand the necessary information and an idea of your card's aesthetic; this will make the process go more quickly.
    • Step 1

      Determine a size. Standard business cards are rectangular and measure 3.5 inches long by 2 inches tall. Many trendy companies choose to vary this format, creating square business cards or cards with rounded edges. Whichever you choose, be aware that most business-card holders are designed to fit the standard size.
    • Step 2

      Create a new file. In Photoshop, select "New" from the "File" menu. In the pop-up window that will appear, enter your business-card dimensions. In the "Resolution" field, enter 300--an ideal resolution for printing. This will ensure that your business cards print with clear text and images.

    • Step 3

      Consider bleeds. A bleed is an important consideration for business cards that have colors extending to the edge of the card. To create this effect, you must be sure that the color extends beyond the border of the card by at least 1/8 inch so the printer has enough room to trim; this extra area is referred to as the "bleed." If your card will have a bleed, simply choose "Canvas Size" from the "Image" menu and edit the width and height of your card to reflect your desired bleed dimensions. For a standard card with a 1/8-inch bleed on each side, you will change the dimensions to 3-3/4 inches wide by 2-1/4 inches high.
    • Step 4

      Create guides. To ensure that your business card design stays within the correct dimensions, create guides in your Photoshop file. To do so, ensure that the page rulers are showing--ensure that "Rulers" is checked in the "View" menu. To create a guide, click on the top or left ruler, hold down the mouse and drag the guide onto your canvas. Create guides on all four sides to show the bleed area, using the ruler for measurements. In addition, create guides for a 1/8-inch border inside the card boundary to mark the "no-type" area. This area is safe for colors, but should not have type, to ensure that it doesn't get trimmed off.
    • Step 5

      Lay out your business card. With your guides showing, use the Photoshop toolbar to add color, shapes and text. To add images, choose "Place" from the "File" menu and browse to an image on your computer. Be sure to extend color bars, lines or images to the edge of the bleed, to ensure that they will end up at the edge of the card.
    • Step 6

      Save and export the file. Save your file (somewhere that you will remember) as a Photoshop (.psd) file for ease of editing in the future. Then check with your printer to determine the correct file format for printing. Many printers request jpg, PDF, eps, or even psd files for printing. To create that type of file, choose "Save As" from the "File" menu and select your file type from the "Format" drop-down box. Name your file and choose a location. The file can now be emailed or uploaded for printing.
    • Skill: Moderate

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