Create a Print Ready Business Card in Adobe Illustrator from Start to Finish

Hi thanks again for watching OneMinuteDigital.


Today is a little bit longer tutorial today for those of you who are interested in learninghow to design and save your file for a printer a business card.

And I'm going to be workinga little bit in Photoshop but mostly in Illustrator to show you how to prepare your card.

Youhave a business, you need a business card – maybe you don't have a logo yet – but youcan still make a really nice looking business card with just a photo and a little bit oftype manipulation.

So the few things that I want you to keep in mind are are here onthe screen.

Use a high resolution image that's 300 dpi or more for your printed card.

Andmake sure it's CMYK.

Outline your fonts, make sure to add bleed if it's a full bleed image,and don't use more than 1-2 fonts, that's more of a design tip than printing.

But theseare the things that printers will look for and if you don't have the files prepared correctlythey're going to ask you to redo them, resend them, or they're going to fix them the waythey think they should be done.

So here we go, from start to finish we're going to designa business card and get it ready for print.

OK, first thing, in Adobe Illustrator go toFile > New.

And you have the option here for number of artboards.

We can have as many aswe want, we only need 2 because we want the front and the back of the business card.

Yourfiles size is going to be 3.

625 x 2.

215" because business card size is 3.

5 x 2 but when theyhave bleed they need to be a little bit bigger so that the edge as you can see here getscut off.

And the artwork needs to go all the way to the edge so that when they're cuttingif it doesn't go all the way to the edge you might have a white line at the edge whichlooks really, really bad.

So we want to make sure our files size is a little bit biggerthan the actual printed size.

Say OK and now we have two artboards.

The front of the businesscard and the back.

IF you go to Window > Artboards you can see them here, Artboard 1 and Artboard2.

So keep this palate open while you're working.

Now for the front of the business card we'regoing to use a photograph, that cupcake photo that I showed you in the earlier screen.

Let'sopen up that image.

I downloaded that image, the cupcake image, from morguefile.

Com, it'sa great place for free stock photos.

So let's go ahead and open that image that I got.

Itwas a jpeg.

And here it is it's a cute little image.

If you go to Image > Size you can seeit's 34 inches wide by 45 high but it's only 72 dpi.

For printing, the resolution of yourPhotoshop images needs to be 300 dpi, there's no ifs ands or buts about it you need to havea high resolution image for that.

So, making sure none of these options here are checked,go ahead and highlight that 72 and change it to 300.

And you can see the width and theheight changed, it went down to about 8 x 10 now instead of that huge image.

It's goingto make it smaller, but that's still much much bigger than we need for a business card.

So say OK.

Now go to Image > Mode and change it from RGB to CMYK, that's what it needsto be for printing, Say OK, and now we're going to Save it, Save As, and I'm going tocall this cupcakes and save it as a TIF file, this is the best to use for printing.

I meanif you saved it as a Photoshop or as a jpeg it's really not the end of the world but youreally need to save it as a TIFF for printing.

So now it's cupcakes.

Tif and save it.

OK,so we're done with that one going back to Illustrator: Let's place our image that wewant to use first off so you're on the first artboard which is Artboard #1 the front ofthe card.

Let's move it over.

Go to File > Place.

Now search wherever it is on your desktopin a folder where you just saved that photo.

It's cupcakes.

Tif – Place.

And see, it's muchmuch bigger than we need and it's a high resolution image so it's great.

So let's, Holding downShift, click on the corner and drag that down, until it's about the size of our businesscard.

Now the next thing we need to talk about is BLEED.

This document is sized a littlebit bigger than a business card, remember? It's 3.

625 x 2.


What you should do asyou're working is click on your Rectangle Tool here, click anywhere on the artboardand make a 3.

5 x 2" size rectangle.

Click OK.

Now using your Selection Tool, move thatright into the center of your business card.

Go down here to your Swatches palate, clickon the white part here and click on this red slash that's going to get rid of the whitepart of that rectangle, and just leave you that stroke, the black outline.

I want thatthere because I want you to see how big you have to make your image so that it bleedsoutside of the business card because it's going to be cut there, and if we don't haveour image extending all the way, when it cuts it could leave a white line at the edge, youdon't want to do that.

So you need to make sure that you see the area that you're workingwith, that you can't go outside this area with your type or your picture and that'sreally going to help you later.

So put that in the center, now Copy that:Edit > Copy andEdit > Paste And the new one, just grab it and move it over to your second artboard sowe have that there as well when we work on the back.

So this is the bleed area outsideof this black rectangle.

Okay, so we have our image, we have our rectangles here.

Nowwe need to design the rest of our business card.

So let's just say the name of this companyis One Minute Bakery.

Just use your Type tool and type it.

Get your selection tool, grabit, bring it down.

And let's pick a nice font for that, so go to Window > Type > Character.

If you use this window, when you click on the name of the font you'll get a previewof all the fonts in the actual style that the font is in.

If you go up to here, thecharacter palate on your toolbar, it does not show you a preview, so that's kind ofboring.

You don't get to see what it's going to look like.

So if you click on your word,go over to your Character palate, and then you can play with it and see what they looklike before it changes.

It helps you decide what font to use.

So I'm going to go aheadand use Pacifico.

And now, Holding down Shift, hover over it til you get those arrows andpull it out til it gets to be the size you want.

I think that looks good: One MinuteBakery.

Now let's have a tagline for our business.

How about, just using the type tool, clickanywhere, here is fine, let's call it – just start typing, it doesn't matter – "Cupcakeson the Go.

" Now I assume you have all of your words written, I'm just sort of making thisup as we go along.

Now for the tagline we don't need it to be in the same fonts as thelogotype, so lets select that and go over again here to our Character palate.

If it'sgone, make sure you go to Window > Type > Character.

But it is here, and let's change that to alittle bit easier to read font for smaller type.

How about I like Arial, where is Arial,where are you where are you.

Arial Narrow and Italic.

That's going to be our tagline.

We're going to put that under neath.

I think it's a little bit big, let's make it smaller.

Up here in the tool bar you can just go ahead and click the arrow down until it gets tobe a good size for a tagline.

Then just grab it and move it over there, it looks prettygood.

Now, go over back to your Type Tool and click and drag, make a nice box here.

Now you;'re just going to start typing all your information, you probably have this allready, I'm just going to make this up.

Joan Smith is the Owner, and the phone number isarea code 1231234567.

Her email address is joan@onemintebakery.

Com and the website iswww.


Com and the address is 1234 Main St.

if you hit Option and the number8 you get a bullet point, space, Yourtown Yourtown USA 12345.

So now we have all ofthe information that we need in our business card.

So you still have this selected andnow it's time for a little bit of styling.

I think this is a little bit big for the textbox,we're going to go ahead and make that smaller so just hover over there, select that bottomaddress and lets make that maybe 8 points and that should fit very nicely, maybe even8.


We don't want to make it too small.

Never go below 7 points, that's too small.

Now,I think it all fits but let's start at the top.

So, One Minute Bakery.

It looks okayin black but maybe we want it pink to match the color in this photo.

So, over here onyout Toolbar go find your Eyedropper tool, it looks like the little eyedropper and anywhereyou select in here it's going to sample that color.

Here's the brown of the chocolate,the white of the coconut, and the pink of the tablecloth underneath it.

I think thatlooks good for the logotype.

So there we go we have One Minute Bakery, it almost lookslike a logo.

And when you center it, keep in mind you're not centering it to this edgebecause this edge is going to be cut off.

You want to center it in this rectangle hereto the edge of your photo.

So give it a good amount of space between and it looks good.

How about the tag line?Cupcakes on the Go.

I think it maybe should be grey, so double-clickon your fill palate with it highlighted.

Pick a nice grey color and that looks good.

Maybemake it a little bit bigger.

With that selected, Hold down Shift and drag this out and thatlooks a little bit bigger it stands out a little bit.

It's different from the main typeand it looks like a tagline.

How about, though, if we make that all caps.

Let's go to Type>Change Case > Upper Case.

I like it better in all caps but maybe not so big so Holdingdown Shift, move that again and there we go, there's our tagline.

Now let's style the restof it.

It's a little too close to the top, let's move it down a little bit.

Let's highlightJoan Smith and let's make it the same as the tagline.

So using your eyedropper tool againwith that highlighted just select that and it's going to go ahead and change it to thesame font size and color as the one you just selected.

I like that but maybe we shouldmake it bold.

So it's Arial Narrow Italic, we're going to make it Bold Italic.

And maybe2 points bigger up here.

There we go.

And for Owner that's find underneath.

Phone numberlet's give it a little bit of space.

So go ahead and highlight that, go over to yourCharacter palate, and this is your Leading setting here the 2 A's on top of each other,just give it a little bit of space, click the arrow up, up, up maybe three times isfine and also with the address.

Let's go ahead and select that go over here to your Leadingand up, up, up.

Just separates thise a little bit, give it a little bit of breathing room.

Now kind of make sure it's centered.

Move it where you want it.

I think that looks reallynice.

There we go for the front.

Okay, so moving to the back just hold down your spacebar,get your little hand and move it over so you can work with it here.

I think we're goingto make the background pink for this one.

A full bleed pink card.

So using your rectangulartool, just click and drag, it doesn't matter how far out you go but you only need to goabout that far.

Using your eyedropper, select that pink area again and go to Object > Arrange> Send to Back.

Okay, now there;'s our area, our pink area full bleed all the way to theedge.

Now what are we going to put on the back? That's up to you, I'm going to go aheadand make something up.

So, using your type tool click and drag and we're going to say:Best Cupcakes in Town, Open 7 days a week, and Visit our website: www.



Now we have all this formatted to flush Left.

We want to make it Centered so with all thisstill selected just use your selection tool the Black Arrow, go up to the top here.

Youcan see there is Flush Left, Centered and Flush Right.

You want to make it Centered.

And now if you hover over this bar and you drag it all the way to the edge it will makesure that it is in exactly the center.

I Think we can make that a little bit bigger.

Herein the Character Palate increase the Leading also give it more space between the linesand I think we'll go ahead and highlight this website address and over here on our colorpalate let's make that white.

So that pops out.

Now this is the same font that we usedfor our information over here, our Owner information.

It's a good design tip is don't use too manyfonts.

I know it's tempting to go ahead and use every font you have in your characterpalate but it looks really nice and professional when you only use one or two fonts and sowhat we have is the entire thing is in this Arial Narrow except for this logotype whichis in Pacifico.

And I think that looks pretty good.

Now we have the front and the back.

So what you do to get this ready for print, is first thing: Delete these rectangles thatyou made.

Just select them, delete, select, delete, because you don't need them to bethere.

Otherwise they will print so make sure you get rid of those.

Now we're going to SelectAll which is Command A or File, I don't know I use key commands so much I don't remember,so Select All, command A and that selects everything.

Now go to Type > Create Outlines.

That makes turns them from fonts into graphics so now there are no fonts embedded any moreit has changed them to a graphic.

Now we want to go to Window >Links.

and it shows you anylinks you have in your file.

In this case we only have one image that is linked herethat was not created in Illustrator.

It was created in Photoshop and linked here.

We needto embed that image because we're going to send it to a printer who doesn't have thison his desktop, he only has it in the file.

So on your Links palate click on this littlearrow up at the top and say "Embed Image" and that's going to make sure that image staysin there forever and never leaves.

Okay, now we have it, let's go ahead and Save it – sorry,too many key commands – File > Save As and let's call this buscardPRINT.

Save it as apdf and save it where you want it.

Now here in Illustrator in the Adobe pdf preset, youwant to click there and select Press Quality.

Uncheck Optimize for fast web preview butleave preserve Illustrator editing capabilities checked just in case your printer needs toin and move something you just never know when you're going to have to do somethingand if this is checked they will be able to do that.

Under Compression make sure it isnot downsampled.

Check do not downsample.

We wnat to make sure it stays at high resolutionand say Save pdf.

And now if we open it in Adobe Acrobat we open that bcardPrint, thereit is our beautiful high resolution image and if you look here in your page thumbnailsit is not one but two files, front and back.

And this file is absolutely print-ready, CMYK,Outlined Fonts, Embedded Images, and it's ready to send to your printer.

And that reallyis the best way to do it to do a full color business card.

One thing I didn't mentionis that you should always save a copy of your layered file before you do all the outliningand embedding.

So make sure to save a copy as a layered file.

So if I Command Z undo,undo, undo, we can do File > Save As > and call it buscardLAYERED, just to save a copythat you can go in and easily edit and keep that as an Adobe Illustrator fiel and savethat (.

Ai) in your folder just is case your phone number changes later or something changesand we have to go in and edit it, we don't have to retype everything.

So there you go,that is the best way to get your files print-ready and printed.

I hope this was helpful, I knowit was a long one for me but thanks so much for watching and until next time, bye-bye.