No doubt there are dozens of ways to make business cards. I choose to design and create them myself, and I know many other people who do as well. Recently I designed new cards for SE.com, and it occurred to me that I could considerably speed up the process by putting all the tedious parts into a Photoshop Action.
After designing a single card, I then duplicate and arrange it on an 8.5 X 11 sheet of paper. I’ve found that if you arrange them all end-to-end you can maximize the space and get 12 cards from a single sheet as seen below.
So, what I’ve done is compile all the boring, non-design stuff into an Action that anybody can use. It’s designed to save time and let one concentrate solely on the design. Here’s how to use it.*
- First of all, you will need to download the Action here. I suggest saving it in the program folder for Photoshop, but that’s up to you.
- From here, you need to import the Action into Photoshop. To do so, bring up the Actions palette (ALT + F9) and click on the triangle in the top right corner to open the pop-out menu. Then click on “Load Actions.”
- Navigate to the file you just downloaded; select it, and hit “Load.”
- You should now have a new folder in your Actions palette called BusinessCards.atn Within that folder are two separate actions. One is titled “Biz Card Single” and the other “Biz Card Sheet.”
- Click the Action called “Biz Card Single” and then click the play button at the bottom of the Actions palette. This will create a new canvas and end with a message prompt. Simply follow the instructions, and then play the “Biz Card Sheet” action when you have finished and flattened your design.
If you desire to create a vertical business card, rather than a horizontal one, go ahead and rotate the single card (Image > Rotate Canvas) and design until your heart’s content. However, for the Action to work, you must rotate the card back to the horizontal position before playing the “Biz Card Sheet” Action.
This Action is designed to make standard-sized business cards (2″ X 3.5″). Other dimensions will not work using this layout.
Don’t forget to save the single card as a .psd before you flatten it! You wouldn’t want to lose your layered version of the file.
Print the cards on heavyweight card stock. I prefer the look of matte card stock, but you might like glossy better. That’s up to you.
The cards are lined up end-to-end which means two things: 1.) There is no bleed boundary on the single card canvas. 2.) You will have to cut the cards yourself. Depending on your design, you might have to be extremely accurate with your cuts. I definitely recommend a paper cutter.
Personally, I save the sheet as a .pdf and then take it to Kinko’s to have them print it on matte card stock. Save yourself a headache, and print a test copy on your own printer first.
You can also use this to print something on the backside as well. If you follow the same steps above you can be certain that your sheets will have the exact same alignment. Printer discrepancy is a different story altogether…
*Though the Action is intended to save time, it cannot design the card for you. This tutorial assumes moderate proficiency with Photoshop.