Question: I would like to create and print out business cards that I make myself. They would be for my small business and I don’t want to go through the time and expense of having a professional do the design job and then have a print house do the printing. I already have a photo printer and I know how to do some light graphic design. Can anyone point me in the right direction so I can make my own business cards?
Answer: I print my own business cards all the time. The best part about how I do things is that I don’t have to have a large batch made and then hope I use them all. I can print mine as I need them. I always keep a few in my wallet at all times.
Before I begin telling you about my process, you should really read this post. It explains pretty much all you need to know.
You’ll first need a copy of Adobe Photoshop and then you’ll need a printer. You said you already have the latter, so just be sure you get yourself some Photoshop.
You’ll also need to make a new file for the card. A template can help with this because templates include all the margins you’ll need. what size are you thinking about? Common sizes are 3.5″ x 1″ (horizontal), 3.5″ x 2″ (horizontal), 2″ x 2″ (square), 2″ x 3.5″ (vertical), 3.5″ x 3.5″ (square), 3.5″ x 4″ (horizontal half fold) and 3.5″ x 3.5″ (tabbed half fold). The most common size by far is the 3.5″ x 2″ horizontal. That’s the one you see all over the place.
Okay, if that’s what you want (and I hope it is), go ahead and download this Photoshop business card template. Then, open it in Photoshop and make sure you stay within the inner lines for your text and important content. If you are going to use a graphic or an image as a background, you can go all the way to the edge. The template describes what gets cut off and what stays. It’s pretty self explanatory. Just make sure you set things up according to those margins. When you’re all finished with your design, hide the template content layers and then flatten the file. Be sure to save the file before you flatten it. DON’T save it after you flatten it because you’ll never be able to edit it again.
Once you have your card finished, go ahead and download this Photoshop business card print template. Open this file in Photoshop and then drag your business card layer over into it. Position your card layer over the first black box and then duplicate your card layer until you cover all the black boxes. Then, hide the black box layers.
At this point, you can print this file. The marks are already there to assist you with cutting the cards. I use a metal ruler and a very sharp box cutter to cut my cards, but you can use what you want, as long as it’s thin and extremely sharp. Also, make sure you cut inside the gray marks that get printed out with the file. You’ll get used to it. As long at your ruler is straight and your knife is sharp, you should have good results.
Let me know how you make out!
PS – I forgot to mention, if your business card background is white, reduce the canvas size of the file in Photoshop from 3.75″ x 2.25″ to 3.5″ x 2″ and then flatten the file. This will help out when positioning each layer over the black boxes. If you have an image or graphic as a background for your business card, you don’t have to reduce the canvas size, but you will need to position each card layer beneath the cut marks in the print template. This is to make sure you can see those marks after you print. When you’re cutting, you’ll actually be trimming off the edges of the image or the graphic you used in the card layout.