A recent project I completed was a busness card design and I thought it would be cool to share the steps I went through to complete the design.
The project was for Atkins & Jordan Landscaping, a local landscaping company, a family owned business formerly owned by the father and uncles, now owned and run by the sons and nephews. I knew the brothers from church service but they didn’t know I did design. Luckily, my wife told them and we started working right away. They wanted to re-brand the company with a cool new look but that had visual ‘POP’! They gave me a few parameters as far a the look went but let me do my thing. I designed their whole re-brand but here, we will take a look at the process for creating the business card.
Initailly, I created the logo so business cards were the next logical step.
A new Illustrator file was opened and sized at standard businees card size of 2 inches high by 3.5 inches wide with an .125 inch bleed all around. The color mode was set to CMYK @ 300dpi.
Next, I usually like to create separate layers to keep the elements of my artwork manageable. Here, I created 3 layers, a Background layer, Logo layer and a Type layer.
Before placing anything on the artboard, I made guides on all sides at .125 inches. This will help make sure nothing gets too close to the edge that could possibly get cut off when the cards are trimmed.
The background image, an texture used in most of the branding for Atkins & Jordan, was placed first. It is a PSD image at 300 dpi.
Then, the logo vector was placed in the top brownish area as it is on most of the branding materials for Atkins & Jordan. I use vectors for 99% of my logos to ensure crisp resolution from small sizes to giant billboard sized applications.
Using the font Adobe Caslon, using CMYK mix of C0 M60 Y100 K79 for the brown and C63 M0 Y100 K42 for the green, I added the information. Placing the name and website address in the center as a focal pint. Then, adding the e-mail and phone numbers, justified, on either side of the design.
When all the images and text are placed, checked and re-checked. I save a version of the file as an .AI file with the fonts as they are. Then, I convert all the fonts into outlines, so that there will be no font problems when it comes time to send them off to a vendor for printing. The .AI file is kept just in case I need to edit and make changes to the type.
Now for the second side. I strip the file down to just guides and begin the design. Similar to the front, I place a background image onto the Background layer.
Then, I drew a bar, the same CMYK mix as the brown type, to divide the design in half. Add the heading type that describes the offerings from Atkins & Jordan Landscaping. After that, I added the type for the bullet points in the same green CMYK mix as the logo.
Turn the type into outlines as we did on the front side. The design was approved by the client, (Yay) Now that we have both sides designed and fonts converted into outlines, we are ready to get the files ready for production.
In Illustrator, I opened both front and back files. Then. individually, saved them as PDF files. I used the Press Quality setting but sometimes, depending on your print provider, they may send you their own PDF settings options specifically optimized for their production workflow.
Of the seven items on the options panel on the left, I only modified Marks and Bleeds. I chose trim marks and registration marks. Then, since I designated .125 inch as the bleed option in the beginning when I made the business card file, I just checked Use Document Bleed Setting and you see the .125 inch populate the top bottom left and right boxes.
I did this to both files and then saved the Print Ready PDF’s in their appropriate folders. The order was for 2 orders of 250 two sided cards printed on 16 point Silk Laminate.
I used an online print provider to print these business cards so I then uploaded both front and back files, filled in the correct information in their production form, Then, about 7 days later, the cards arrived. The colors were perfect, the text was nice and crisp and the cards were packed safely! The client was happy so to say the least I was happy. Job well done C|A|E…lol.
November 11, 2011 at 3:49 pm
..when you do a great job, the client is happy….when the check cashes, then, YOUR happy…lol..nice to see your progression on this!
January 10, 2012 at 10:21 pm
Fantastic work!!!! The process is the part that requires the most patience! Something I have to work on. Lol!