Sleek Business Card Design From Scratch

In this detailed tutorial I’ll be walking you through the process of creating a cool sleek business card from scratch using Adobe Photoshop CS5. The business card when finished will be print ready, ready to send to the printer.

In Blog, Designing

What We’ll Be Creating

Caution: Full sized preview is in high resolution with a file size of 14MB.

Grungy Web Layout Tutorial

Creating The Document

Create a new document (Ctrl + N) 1042 x 676px with a resolution of 300 pixels/inch and with a color mode CMYK.

Custom Business Card Design Tutorial

We now need to setup a couple of guides which will indicate our bleed area and safe zone area. Create a guide by going to “View > New Guide”, if you don’t see no guides appear please make sure your guides are turned on “View > Show > Guides”.

The first four guides are horizontal guides so make sure you select horizontal. You need to create horizontal guides at the following values 19px, 38px, 636px and 657px. Don’t forget the “px” at the end as leaving it out wont display anything. Next create four vertical guides with the following values 19px, 38px, 1004px and 1023px. Your canvas should look something like this.

Custom Business Card Design Tutorial

Please note where the guides are, the main area in which you need to take good care of is the middle.

Custom Business Card Design Tutorial

The middle area is the “Safe Zone” all content must not exceed past this guide, but the background must exceed past the safe zone for full bleeding. For more information you can always talk to your desired printing company, always check first as every company has there own way of doing things.

Creating The Background

Select your “Background Layer” make sure your foreground color is set to black #000000 and background color is set to white #ffffff, then apply the following filters “Filter > Render > Clouds”.

Custom Business Card Design Tutorial

“Filter > Render > Difference Clouds”.

Custom Business Card Design Tutorial

Now go to “Image > Adjustments > Invert”.

Custom Business Card Design Tutorial

We now need to adjust the levels so go ahead and go to “Image > Adjustments > Levels” and use the following settings.

Custom Business Card Design Tutorial

Custom Business Card Design Tutorial

Finally, go to “Filter > Blur > Motion Blur”, use the settings below.

Custom Business Card Design Tutorial

Custom Business Card Design Tutorial

Create a new layer above your background layer then set your foreground color to #232323 and background color to #0c0c0c. Select the “Gradient Tool” (G) with a radial gradient.

Custom Business Card Design Tutorial

Drag radial gradient from the middle of the canvas outwards until you have something like this.

Custom Business Card Design Tutorial

Now set your layer blend mode to “Hard Light”. You should now have something like this.

Custom Business Card Design Tutorial

Add The Title, Tag Line And Logo

Using the “Type Tool” (T) add your title and tag line in the middle of business card. To the right of the card add your logo, if possible add your logo inside of a circle.

Custom Business Card Design Tutorial

Adding The Typography

Select the “Ellipse Tool” (U) then drag out an ellipse a little bit bigger than the circle around your logo.

Custom Business Card Design Tutorial

Select the ellipse you just created from the layers window so that the path is displayed on the canvas.

Custom Business Card Design Tutorial

Now select the “Type Tool” (T), move the cursor over the path until the cursor changes, when the cursor changes left click your mouse. Start typing your tag line, if done correctly the text should flow around the ellipse.

Custom Business Card Design Tutorial

Once you’ve typed out your tag line you are free to delete the ellipse. If you find your text isn’t like the image above, then highlight all your text, hold down the Ctrl key on the keyboard then drag your text until you find the right position for, it can be quite temperamental at times as there aren’t any anchor points to show where the text starts and ends. Just play with it you’ll get there.

Next duplicate your text layer then press “Ctrl + T” for the “Free Transform Tool”. Drag one of the corner anchor points whilst holding down shift and alt.

Quick Tip:

Holding down Shift and Alt whilst resizing an element will resize the element from the middle inside of the sides.

Custom Business Card Design Tutorial

Repeat the process a couple of times moving 1 font size up every time. You should have something like this.

Custom Business Card Design Tutorial

Typography Continued…

Select a combination of words on each layer then change the color to #e63b89.

Custom Business Card Design Tutorial

Now select a text layer and rotate it using the “Free Transform Tool” (Ctrl + T), repeat this a couple of times for one or two text layers.

Custom Business Card Design Tutorial

Finally adjust the opacity of your text layers, adjust every other one just to add abit of contrast, I’ve set one text layer to 80% and one layer to 70%.

Custom Business Card Design Tutorial

That’s the front of the card complete, save your PSD file then save another copy, the copy will be the card back.

Creating The Card Back

Delete your title, logo and tag line layers then replace them with your name and details.

Custom Business Card Design Tutorial

Select all your text layers that were around the logo, then set the opacity to 20%. Finally press Ctrl + T for the “Free Transform Tool”, once you have the “Free Transform Tool” (Ctrl + T) enlarge the text, when dragging the anchor point hold down the shift key.

Quick Tip:

Holding down Shift whilst dragging will keep the element in proportion.

Custom Business Card Design Tutorial

Your business card is now complete, if you would like to display your business card like i have in my preview image then download the Business Card Mock-Up Display from the link below.


Once you’ve finished you should have something like this.

Grungy Web Layout Tutorial

Thanks for taking part in this tutorial, maybe you could share some of your results by posting them below.

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  1. January 20, 2011 at 10:23 AM

    nice tutorial!!
    and effects,

  2. January 21, 2011 at 3:55 PM

    Excellent tutorial, bookmarked…

  3. January 24, 2011 at 10:22 AM

    Excellent circle design

  4. January 26, 2011 at 11:07 AM

    Amazing tutorial :D

  5. January 27, 2011 at 7:49 AM

    learned a lot,thanks.

  6. Wilma Hamlin
    January 27, 2011 at 8:52 PM

    Thanks for the comments, much appreciated. Glad you all liked it

  7. February 19, 2011 at 3:35 PM

    9z work.

  8. Anil Dsouza
    February 23, 2011 at 5:58 AM

    Nice tutorial

  9. March 28, 2011 at 9:57 PM

    Great tutorial. I will be reviewing it to help design my cards.

  10. Chris Dean
    April 14, 2011 at 6:40 PM

    Great tutorial directons were on point and design was pretty cool.. will book mark for future refrence.

  11. April 21, 2011 at 2:17 PM

    Thanks Richard, Te admiro.. no hablo mucho ingles pero quiero que sepas que me hagradan mucho tus tutoriales. Sigue asi amigo.

  12. sam
    May 9, 2011 at 9:37 PM

    good tricks with the circle n the very clean look looking forward to more from you

  13. Cailin Rua
    May 17, 2011 at 7:38 PM

    That was fantastic! But now I can’t figure out how to print them all nicely on a page… where can I find instructions on that?

  14. gustavo
    June 3, 2011 at 1:39 AM

    That’s awesome!
    But.. I have a doubt!
    How did you learn to do this effect? is there any kind of PS study? or you just tried random filters and adjustments and BOOM! resulted in this amazing effect? its so cool and easy! I’m really thankfull man, keep this good job!

  15. June 3, 2011 at 5:20 AM


    This is really interesting take on the concept. I never thought of it that way. I came across this site recently which I think it will be a great use of new ideas and information. Thanks a lot.

  16. Wilma Hamlin
    June 3, 2011 at 3:34 PM

    Thanks for your comments.

    @Gustavo: the effect came about when i was making my own desktop wallpaper. I then had an idea for a business card and came up with this.

  17. July 9, 2011 at 2:45 PM

    Hello! Id like the way how you present your tutorials because its easy to follow specially those newbie in graphic designing like me. But when I try to set the new document and put those measurements (1042x676px) it says: “Could not complete the command because the scratch disks are full”..can you help what should I do with this???


  18. Wilma Hamlin
    July 10, 2011 at 10:19 AM

    @ Virtual Assistant.

    I’m very unfamiliar with that error. Have you tried searching google?

  19. July 17, 2011 at 4:22 AM

    Yes, I tried to search it but its so confusing.. :(

  20. August 11, 2011 at 9:33 AM

    @ Virtual Assistant, you should check your system hard disk is like it almost full(less space for saving file). I when you create more on your hard disk the problem will be solve.

  21. August 20, 2011 at 1:38 AM

    hey man. great design love it.
    keep it up

  22. October 31, 2011 at 4:25 PM

    Awesome Tutorial! Easy to follow with a great result. I put a link to this tutorial on my site.
    Keep the good work up!

  23. February 2, 2012 at 1:26 PM

    Encouraging tutorial & from now I’ll be a regular visitor of your website for my own enhancement rightly, would I make a link with your website ? Regards.

  24. February 27, 2012 at 11:24 PM

    This was awesome. Really inspirational. Thank you very much!!!

  25. Juan Carlos
    March 7, 2012 at 5:53 AM

    Sencillo, facil, creativo e impactante. felicidades Sr. Richard.

  26. February 9, 2015 at 3:29 AM

    Good tutorial, Thanks man.

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