How to Design a Business Card
In this tutorial, you will learn how to design a simple yet very elegant Japanese inspired business card. There are many variations to the Japanese design aesthetic but here we will use the classic white and light pink theme with some simple silhouette accents.
It is very easy as long as you follow the steps in Photoshop and Illustrator.
So let us get started.
Don’t forget to download our free Business Card Templates
We will begin with a vertical business card canvas for this example. In Adobe Photoshop, these are the settings that you can use for the business card design.
a. Width: 2 inches
b. Height: 3.5 inches
c. Resolution: 300 ppi
d. Color Mode: CMYK
Our new document should now open. Our first move is to add some background effects and textures. First we download these free paper textures from Flickr. Then we paste in one of the lighter colored textures into our design as the first background accent. Make sure to scale it down. Do this by pressing CTRL+T on the pasted in layer and then just click dragging the anchor boxes.
Then, we select the texture layer in our layers panel. Look for the opacity value on the top right of the panel and reduce it to 15%.
Great! Now, before we get into the content, we will make a slight detour to add a nice graphical accent. We download this nice vector of a cherry blossom branch. Then we open up the AI file in Adobe Illustrator. Press CTRL+C to copy the vector.
Next, we go back to our canvass in Adobe Photoshop. Press CTRL+V to paste the Cherry Blossom Branch vector. A window should appear asking you how to paste the vector. We will be choosing paste as.. “Smart Object” so that we can still scale it effectively.
Now, we position this new smart object appropriately into our design. Here we placed the branch at the bottom to turn it into a nice background accent. Note again that you can scale up or scale down the whole setup by pressing CTRL+T and then dragging the anchor boxes to decrease or increase the side of the shape.
As you clearly saw above, there is white background that accompanies our vector smart object. To remove this easily, simple change the blend mode of this smart object layer to “Multiply”. Also reduce the opacity of this layer to around 50% so that it becomes a nice subtle effect.
Now it is time to add more details and content. First, we use the rounded rectangle shape tool to inscribe a nice red rounded rectangle at the top center of our design. To make sure that its dimensions are proportional, hold down the shift key as you create the rounded rectangle shape.
Then, paste in a white silhouette version of your business logo or product logo depending on your situation. Scale it down to the size of the shape and of course make sure you center this. Again, you can press CTRL+T easily to transform your white logo into shape.
We then merge both of these shape layers. Just select both of them by holding the CTRL key and then click on both layers in the layers panel. Then right click on them and choose the option to “merge layers”. This will effectively rasterize your image, turning them into pixels and not vectors anymore. So take note of your positioning and scaling to be sure that you do not have to edit these shapes anymore.
Our next objective is to erase the white silhouette of the logo so that we can integrate it more to the design. To do this, simply select the Magic Wand Tool in the tools panel. Then just click on the white part of the logo to select all of the white area in the current layer.
Then, with the eraser tool, we remove the white logo silhouette. Since the area of the logo is the only one selected, that area is the one erased.
We reduce the size of the logo a bit as it is a bit too large now. Just press CTRL+T to enable the transformation and then drag the anchor boxed inward to reduce its size. Also change the blend mode of this layer to “linear burn” so that we integrate it a bit with our background.
Now, it is time to add the text. However, instead of using the usual horizontal type tool, for this style, you need the vertical type tool. To access this tool, click and old your mouse on the Text icon. Click on the Vertical Type Tool option and then click and drag the mouse to the canvass to inscribe the text box. Make sure of course that it is vertically oriented. Type in your text as usual and you will see the text go vertically.
We then just add another vertical text line for the job description. We use a smaller font size of course as well as a thinner font style.
Then, we just add more text details. We added the rest of the details above the logo using the horizontal type tool.
As a final touch, we will add some subtle brush strokes. To do this, we create a new layer. Just press CTRL+SHIFT+N. Name this layer brush effect.
Then, using one of the wider brushes, we splash in a creative color stroke across our design. Make sure that this layer of course is just above the text layer.
We then change the blend mode of this layer to “linear burn”. Also change the opacity value to 25%.
Just repeat the process several times, depending on how many brush effects you need. For our example we just added an extra brush layer. This time the opacity is just around 10%.