If you want to be a bit thematic with your business card and go vintage, you will need some special design tricks to get this done. You will find that it’s quite easy to design and customize your own knockout business card with a few free resources from the Internet. Let’s get started.
This is what the final product will look like.
As with anything you intend to print later, the first step is to setup your business card to be print-ready to slim down chances of running into any printing problems. Create a new document by pressing CTRL+N. When the new document window opens, you will need to indicate the dimensions of your business card as well as other vital settings like the Resolution and Color Mode. For this tutorial, here are the basic settings that you should follow –
a. Width: 3.5 inches
b. Height: 2 inches
c. Resolution 300ppi
d. Color: CMYK
That should give us the basic dimensions of a standard business card. Our next goal is to add the guidelines and bleeds. First we create the bleeds. To do this, press CTRL+R to show the rulers (if they are hidden). Then, click and drag your mouse from the ruler to the edge of our business card document. This will create a guideline. Just continue on creating guidelines for all four edges of your business card. In the end, it should be like this.
The next step is to enlarge our document to add the bleed. Go to Image -> Canvass size. In the canvass size window, add 0.25 inches to the current value. So our width should be 3.75 inches and the height should be 2.25 inches. This gives us a 0.125 inch bleed for all sides of the business card. Also click on the center anchor to make sure that the increase in size is uniform.
This should add our printing bleed at the edges of our business card. Now, you may also want to add some margins to your business card so that your design elements do not stray too far to the edge. To do this we just add 0.125 inches from the original guidelines that we created. You can use the same trick with the ruler above. However, if you want to be accurate go to View -> New Guide… Then set the following guidelines
a. Top Margin: Horizontal – 0.25 inches
b. Bottom Margin: Horizontal – 2 inches
c. Left Margin: Vertical – 0.25 inches
d. Right Margin: Vertical – 3.5 inches
Now we should have a print ready initial layout. We finalize our template by adding a gradient color. Set your foreground and background colors to a couple of theme colors. Then, use the gradient color tool to add a dynamic color background to the design (just click and drag). Note that you can always change the color scheme in the options bar above by clicking on the gradient box. You should also consider experimenting with the other gradient styles in the icons beside the gradient color box.
Next, we download this nice paper texture image from a generous person in deviant art (). We then just copy paste it into our design on top of the background.
Go to the layers panel. Look for the layer of the paper texture you just pasted in. Change its blend mode to overlay. This creatively integrates our texture as an overlay, adding the color background with our image texture.
Great! Now we are ready for our business card content. Our first move is the logo. A well-designed logo can add that extra oomph for more professional business cards. We first create a nice circle that will be part of our logo. We select it in the layers panel under the shapes set of tools. Just hold down the shift key as you create the ellipse to make it into a real circle. Of course, color it your theme color.
Next, you will need to rasterize our circle to make accents to it. DO this by right clicking on it and then selecting the option to “rasterize”.
Now, we insert our logo silhouette. This of course will be your own logo, but for our example, it is a custom shape built into Adobe Photoshop. We select the custom shape tool and then choose our custom shape from the options bar gallery above. We then just inscribe it on top of the circle.
Now, we will use the shape of the star to etch the logo shape in our circle. Just hold down the CTRL key and click on the shape’s thumbnail in the layer view. This should select the shape area.
Then, click on our circle layer. Use the eraser tool to cut the area of the star. Remove the visibility of the star layer to see the erased shape area.
Great, now we will create some classic retro dotted lines. To start with this, click on the brush tool. Then right click on the canvass to bring up the brush gallery. Select the 5 pixel round brush.
Now, click on the brushes panel. Click on the brush tip shape subsection. Change the spacing of our brush to 200%. This gives us a dotted line brush configuration.
Create a new layer by pressing CTRL+SHIFT+N. Then, use your brush to create our dotted straight line. Hold down the shift key to make sure that you create a straight line.
Duplicate the procedure to make several nice lines like this.
Then, we add a few more extra lines for the design. We reduced the size of the brush to 3 pixels for the upper and lower line sets.
We then just add a rounded rectangle shape as an accent for our lower lines.
Great! Now we just add our text. We are using several different retro fonts from dafont.com.
Now we will add the last finishing touches. First we will merge all our colored layers (text and all) into one layer. Select them and then right click on them to bring up the context menu. Click on merge layers.
Then, we use some special grunge brushes from this site (http://hellostreetlight.blogspot.com/) to make artistic grunge accents in our layer.
Then, change the blend mode of the layer to color burn. This adds that older faded effect.
Finally, duplicate our layer by pressing CTRL+J. This increases the visibility of our content layer.
That finishes our vintage business card. You can apply this same effect on other media like posters, flyers and would work very well on postcards. And if you’re looking for a place to print, PrintPlace is well-known for their excellent business card products. Check them out online.