How to Make a Space-Themed Business Card in Photoshop

Preview

Preview

Click the image below to see the business card in full size.

Tutorial Resources

Step 1: Create a New Photoshop Document

Open a new Photoshop document that is 3.75 x 2.25 inches. Make the Resolution to 300 pixels/inch and set the Color Mode to CMYK Color – 8 bit so that it will be ready for print.

The standard size of a business card is 3.5 x 2 inches, but to prepare the business card for printing, there needs to be a 1/4 inch margin along the edges — referred to as a bleed — that will be trimmed off so that the artwork extends to the edge of the business card without gaps when it is printed and cut. (Read more about preparing your files for print.)

Create a New Photoshop Document

Step 2: Add Some Guides

We will use Photoshop guides to delineate our bleed area versus live area. We will add guides at all sides of the canvas to show where the bleed area is. To add guides, select View > New Guide.

Create a New Photoshop Document

Add the following 4 guides:

Orientation Position
Vertical 0.125 in (left guide)
Vertical 3.625 in (right guide)
Horizontal 0.125 in (top guide)
Horizontal 2.125 (bottom guide)

Note: you must change your units from pixels to inches whenever you are working with print materials because this absolute unit of measurement is a standard for printers. Change your units of measurement by going to Edit > Preferences > Units & Rulers. Alternatively, you can right-click on your ruler (View > Rulers) as shown below.

Step 3: Create the Gradient Background

Now we are going to add the blue-purple color gradient background using some different tools. First, choose the Gradient Tool (G) from the Tools Panel and then set the style to Linear Gradient in the Options Bar.

Then set the gradient to go from blue (#4580c2) to purple (#91469b) and then fill the Background layer using the Gradient Tool by dragging from the right-top corner to the left-bottom corner of your canvas, making a diagonal color gradient.

Create the Gradient Background

Step 4: Make Some Stars in Photoshop

To imitate outer space, we need stars. Create a new layer for your stars (Shift + Ctrl/Cmd + N), name it "Stars" so that we are maintaining the organization of our business card document, and then make sure this new layer is above the gradient layer.

Next, fill the "Stars" layer with black (#000000).

Make Some Stars in Photoshop

After that, go to Filter > Noise > Add Noise and set the Amount option to 400%. Then choose the Uniform and Monochromatic options and click OK to apply the filter.

Make Some Stars in Photoshop

Now we will use a blur filter to soften the noise layer. Go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur and change the Radius to 0.7 pixels, then apply the filter.

Make Some Stars in Photoshop

After that, click Image > Adjustments > Levels and play with the Input Levels values a bit to achieve less frequent and more spaced-out stars.

Make Some Stars in Photoshop

When you are happy with the spacing of your stars, reduce the layer’s Opacity to 50%.

Make Some Stars in Photoshop

Step 5: Add Some Stardust Using the Clouds Filter

To give our work another space theme, we will create stardust. To do that, first create a new layer for our stardust (you may name this layer as "Stardust").

Next, set the Foreground color to white (#ffffff) and Background color to purple (#4d008f) in the Tools Panel.

With your Foreground/Background colors set, go to Filter > Render > Clouds.

Make Some Stars in Photoshop

Step 6: Adjust the Stardust’s Vividness

We will use an image adjustment to enhance the color of our image. Go to Image > Adjustments > Levels and play around with the Input Levels values to make your clouds more vivid.

Make Some Stars in Photoshop

Step 7: Smudge the Stardust

Next, we will smudge our stardust with the Smudge Tool (R) to create a more fluid and blended effect. For the Smudge Tool, choose the Soft Mechanical Brush tip and set the Master Diameter option to 500 pixels (you can set both brush options in the Options Bar).

Make Some Stars in Photoshop

With your Smudge Tool ready for action, smudge your "Stardust" layer to make it look like stardust.

Make Some Stars in Photoshop

Step 8: Finishing Touches on the Stardust

Set the Blend Mode of the "Stardust" layer to Overlay and also reduce the Opacity to 60%.

Finishing Touches on the Stardust

Remember our background with the blue-purple color gradient? Duplicate it (Ctrl/Cmd + J) and then place the duplicate over the "Stardust" layer.

Press Ctrl/Cmd + T (Free Transform) and then scale the width of the background object to -100.0%.

After your free transform, set the layer’s Blend Mode to Color.

Finishing Touches on the Stardust

Step 9: Create a Diagonal Strip

Next, we will create diagonal strips to stylize our business card and give it a nice design element. To begin, set your Foreground color to white (#ffffff) and then pick up the Ellipse Tool (U) from the Tools Panel. Then draw a big circle and move it partially outside of the canvas.

Create a Diagonal Strip

Now change the layer’s Blend Mode to Soft Light and reduce the Opacity to 8%.

Create a Diagonal Strip

After that, make two copies of the circle layer (Ctrl/Cmd + J). Then move them below the first one.

Create a Diagonal Strip

Make sure that your Foreground color is set to white (#ffffff) and then pick the Brush Tool (B), setting the brush tip to Soft Mechanical at 500 pixels Master Diameter.

Click once on the canvas to apply your brush stroke, making a big, white circle.

Then use the Rectangular Marquee Tool (M) to make a selection as shown below.

Delete the selected area. Afterwards, press Ctrl/Cmd + T (Free Transform), and in the Options Bar, set the Angle to -30 (then apply the transformation).

Move the diagonal stripe left using the Move Tool (V).

Then blend it better with its background by changing the layer’s Blend Mode to Soft Light and Opacity to 40%.

Step 10: Create More Diagonal Strips

Duplicate (Ctrl/Cmd + J) the diagonal strip layer 6 times and move the copied layers to the right.

Step 11: Create Colorful Lighting Effects

Create a new layer (name it "Colors").

Use the Brush Tool (B) to make some colorful circles with a soft-tipped brush.

Now change the "Colors" layer’s Blend Mode to Overlay and reduce the Opacity to 30%.

Step 12: Enhance the Colors with a Gradient Map

Now add a Gradient Map adjustment layer by clicking on the Create new fill or adjustment layer icon that is located at the bottom of the Layers Panel; choose Gradient Map from the menu that shows up when you click the icon.

Set the Gradient Map’s gradient such that it goes from black (#000000) to white (#ffffff).

Change the Gradient Map’s Blend Mode to Pin Light.

Step 13: Business Card Typography

Last but not least is the text to be placed on our business card.

I used a free font called Nevis (by Ten by Twenty).

Start by setting your Foreground color to white (#ffffff). Then use the Horizontal Type Tool (T) to write your name (or your company’s name).

Business Card Typography

After that, select the text layer from the Layers Panel and then go to Layer > Layer Style > Blending Options. Add a Gradient Overlay using the following settings.

Business Card Typography

Next, write a description under the name and repeat the styling actions.

Business Card Typography

We’re finished with the front side. Create a new layer group (Layer > New > Group) and call it "Back".

Place the text for the back side of the business card inside the "Back" layer group. Add some text describing your work, skills, and contact information. You can put your photo here as well to personalize your business card.

Business Card Typography

Tutorial Summary

Congratulations, we have finished our business card! This tutorial showed you an easy way to create a business card design that will surely attract the attention of those you hand it to. We made a space-themed background that has stars and stardust. We also designed a cool set of diagonal strips to accent the business card, and then finished it up with a nice Gradient Map adjustment layer. Then the Horizontal Type Tool came to our aid as we placed our name and other business card information on it.

Before heading out to the printer to get your business card printed, be sure to read the tutorial called A Guide to Preparing Files for Print.

Preview

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  • Dmitriy

    Very nice!thanks!

  • Scydow

    Very nice, thank you!

  • http://richworks.in Richie

    Hey Tomas, nice to see you here….

    Good work! This is a a very helpful tutorial because everything has been done from scratch, Bravo!… But, I feel you over-used the diagonal strips 🙂 Too many elements in a biz card might spoil the overall feel IMHO.

    However, I have a doubt : Illustrator has specific options for Bleed and crop margins, right and so does InDesign. These programs are made for professional print media applications. So, I think it is wise if you choose the right program for the right purpose. This qualifies more as a ‘Design a Space Themed poster/background’ tutorial rather than a business card tutorial.

    But of course, this is very helpful for those who do not own those programs(like me) 🙂

    Just a thought…

  • http://www.avis-el.bg ?????????

    Nice tutorial! But I think that visit cards with face in it are more appropriate for big corporations… Watever! Great tutorial 🙂

  • http://www.avis-el.bg ?????????

    Nice tutorial! But I think that visit cards with face in it are more appropriate for big corporations… Watever! Great tutorial 🙂

  • http://creativeoverflow.net Jacques van Heerden

    I tend to disagree with you regarding the Program used.
    We design everything in Photoshop, Business Cards, Posters etc..

    It then gets transferred to Indesign where it gets set up for print.
    Designing in Photoshop is great. Printing straight out of it is also fine, but you gotta know what you are doing then.

    Nice card, I do agree with the overuse of diagonal lines though..other than that its great.

    Keep it up mate

  • http://www.spgrafiks.com Simona

    Nice background effect. I agree with Richie, but nevertheless, good tutorial. Thanks for sharing.

  • http://twitter.com/tomaslau Tomas

    Thank you Richie for being active and commenting on my tutorial. I appreciate that. I have created my first printed business card in Photoshop and it looks great, so I think that Photoshop is good tool for creating print graphics.

  • http://cardview.net Viorel

    This is a great and straight forward tutorial! Thanks!

  • http://sixrevisions.com Jacob Gube

    After seeing a lot of designs created in various ways, I’ve stopped thinking in such strict terms like “this is the tool that you need to use for this job.” After seeing web designs created entirely in Illustrator, books laid out using Photoshop, amazing photography editing using Fireworks, and comics done entirely in Windows Paint, I’ve come to the conclusion that you should use the tool that gets you what you want.

    In this particular case, business cards can be printed by sending your printer a PSD file; I know there are a lot of online printers that support — and even prefer — PSDs over InDesign or AI/EPS files.

    You should definitely know the fundamentals. You should definitely know which tool has traditionally been used to create what. But once you know that — you can make educated decisions to go another route and use another process.

    My $0.02.

  • http://www.designminer.com Will

    The space theme is cool. I get it. But as a business card what is it saying visually? I feel a good business card visually says something about you,your company or what you do, before they even read it. Concept is king. Use the as many of the elements and principles of design to back this concept and you will get an overt visual design that hits the mark. Good tut if you think space or the design fits what you do.

  • http://www.graphicsfuel.com Rafi

    Hey thomas. This is a nice tut of business card man. I specially like how you created the backgrounds. It’s so good, mac-based. Anyway, simple yet wonderful!

  • http://www.ericvasquez.net Eric Vasquez

    I also enjoyed this tut and think it has a really nice color scheme. My own personal opinion is that if you do the same thing more than once in the same design it can take away from it at times as far as the use of diagonals goes…BUT it does make the design more dynamic.

    As for the software used, I would have to say that Photoshop does a pretty nice job for business cards, just as long as you remember to include some extra room on all of the sides to account for the bleed.

    There are some useful techniques in here such as creating the stars through use of the noise filter, and also smudging the ‘stardust’ is a nice spin on the often over-used clouds filter. Overall I think you did a nice job!

  • http://www.wiglingtonandwenks.com kids games

    Great post! Nice information

  • Robert

    Nice design and cool concepts, but just like a web site, business cards need to convey information (mostly contact info), first and foremost. Email address? Web address? These things are vital on a modern day business card. With this design most of the real estate is taken up by your name, position (role in company), and picture. Phone number is large, but I prefer to email for initial contact. These are just my opinion. Nice design tho!

  • http://www.billchambersdesign.com Bill Chambers

    Nice job Tomas! Thanks for sharing and keep it up!

  • http://www.inkworx.co.nz/graphic-design Kevin Ngawhau

    Thanks for the tutorial Thomas! I like your use of the blending modes, but I would have to agree with a couple of the others here regarding the diagonals. They work well, but a little too predominant. If you were able to fade the lines another 40-50% without losing the color dynamics, I think you’d be onto a real winner. Nevertheless, that’s just my opinion and otherwise I think you did a good job.

    Also, using pixel-based software (eg:Photoshop or Fireworks), as opposed to vector (eg:Illustrator or Freehand), only really becomes an issue if you’re resizing the artwork. In other words, if you designed the business card using a vector-based application, then you could easily re-size the artwork to go on a large billboard while maintaining its integrity. Not that you would do that, but I think you know what I mean.

    Just one more thing for Robert, graphic design is all about visual communication, it doesn’t necessarily need to be crammed full of information to convey a message.

  • fairooza

    Nice design!Thanks for sharing….

  • Jack Cole

    As a print designer, I’d have to agree with the OP. Printers I job with *hate* receiving PSDs, preferring standards-compliant PDF formats instead. Certainly working up your background design in PS is the way to go, but importing it into a layout program like ID – designed for crisp type, and proper rasterizing (to avoid images corrupting type layers, for instance) – makes more sense. Make your printer happy, and you end up with a better end result.

    I pity anyone who has to lay out a book in PS or edit photos in Fireworks. I’m sure people can dig ditches with tablespoons, too, but *should* they? Choose the proper tool for the job, and your job is halfway done.

  • mcdonald

    could any one help me with the kind of cards to print this kinds of cards on
    what texture should it be
    what type of cards should it be or even the name of the cards and espectially to have a sleek texture printing on the card

  • Axel

    Nice man I learned so much from this. I have a question for you. How do I know where to put all my words? Can I pass the two lines on the bottom or I have to keep everything in the middle?

  • himshikha

    really very clear tutorial…it is..!!

    Amazing..really appreciative…

  • http://non waheed hashmi

    nice style. i like it. i think you are a good disiner in the world.

  • Mike Sol Cruz

    Thanx bro for the tips surely could use style for someone who is not that good in computer !

  • amir jooon

    ??? ??? ???
    thank you
    i;m from iran

  • riajin

    Thank you for downloading this psd.
    I wanna find this kind of card , still I can not make like yours
    but I will 🙂
    and also thanks about the tutorial! I will follow ..

  • Anh

    Thanks a lot for such an useful tutorial. But I have a little problem, I can’t find Soft Mechanical Brush tip in the version I’m using, what should I do?

  • usha

    really gud one…tq

  • saud ehsan

    Amazing design of the card. i have never seen like this design in my entire life. Best of luck bro.