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- Setting up file dimensions and resolutions
- Using consistent fonts
- Creating custom swatches
- Designing the front and back of a business card
- Integrating a logo in designs
- Outputting files for proofing and printing
- Finding branding inspiration
Skill Level Beginner
In modern business card design, you'll often see a simple yet stunning reverse side to a card that adds some impact to the overall impression of it. On our Red 30 card we've included one of our favorite images, of the Statue of Liberty, using a color blending effect to colorize it. Combined with our logo and the website address, this side of the card adds a certain wow factor to the card. And if you combine that with a quality printing method, this makes this card a keeper for most potential customers.
When you're designing the back of the card, I'd recommend that you limit the information on this side. Because we're going to be using an image, something a little bit more visual, we want to make sure that it's not overcrowded. First, let's go ahead and place in our statue image. With our loaded cursor, I'll just click and drag that into this area, and we'll just tighten up the box a little bit. Now, that we have this within our bleed area, I'm going to just double-click into the frame so I can move only the image, and I'll just move it up.
We want more of the buildings than the statue itself. I'm also going to size this image a little bit bigger. That looks good. Now that this image is in place, I'm just going to draw a solid block of color. I'll draw it in the same bleed area. Let's go to our Swatches panel, remove the stroke, and I'll change the color to brown. Let's just make sure it's tight up against those outer edges. Once that's in place, I'm going to send this to the back. So we'll right-click, select Arrange, and send it to the back.
Now, this is where the color blending technique comes in. So, if we click on our image and we open our Window > Effects panel, we can change some of the blending effects. I'm going to set this blend effect to Luminosity, and you can see that it kind of takes on the color behind. Basically, what it's done is made this image in the front a grayscale, or desaturated it, and it's taken on the brown color in the back. Next, I'll just drop the opacity a little bit on this image, so we get kind of the texture but it's not as strong.
Let's preview that. That looks great. And just make sure that your Display Performance is set at High Quality when you're doing this. Next, we'll place in our logo, and we'll just place this against the right edge of the card. This is where you want to evaluate the hierarchy of your information. So, on this side of the card, we need to place only the most important items. To me, the logo and the website address are the most important items.
Next, I'm going to draw a text box and I'll write our website address: red30creative.com. We'll highlight that text and we'll set our font to Lobster. Lastly, I'm just going to change the text color to white. Now, this looks pretty good, but it's kind of hard to read over top of this image in the background. It's essential when you're designing a card that all of the information is easy to read. I mean that's the first priority for any potential customer who's looking at it, that they can get a hold of you and read this important info.
So, I'm going to draw a box behind it. We'll just make sure this box is about the same size as our Red 30 logo here. We'll remove a stroke and we'll just leave the fill color set as orange. I'm going to scale this up just a little bit more. Now, I'll send this box backwards, behind that text box we just drew. I'm going to align this text to the right, and I'll just tighten it up a little bit against that side. That looks good.
Now lastly, I'm going to just make sure that our logo, our text, and this box are lined up. So, if we select them all and we click our Window > Object & Layout > Align, this will bring up our Align palette. I'll attach that to the right-hand side, and let's just click the Align Vertical Centers. And what this is going to do is just make sure that everything is aligned perfectly horizontal. That looks really good. Lastly, I'd recommend that you print off your cards on your home printer to check the legibility and font sizing.
While this font is easily readable onscreen, when you actually print it off at business card size, it might not be as big as you think. Font sizes could be really deceiving, and printing them at home will make sure that they're the correct size when you send them to the printer. Experiment with images and bold visuals on the back of your card, but only as long as you've included the most important information on the opposite side. Legibility is still very important on this side, and always remember to print off a proof of your cards before you hand them off to a professional printer.