In this tutorial, we will be going over our how to use a business card template by looking at the purpose of various elements in the template file. We place every order on one of these templates before we submit them to print. Therefore, knowing your template is crucial to providing print ready artwork
Download Your Template:
We provide free templates on our website in vector .eps format
. These templates are for use in vector design programs such as Adobe Illustrator
, or with photo editing software like Adobe Photoshop
After downloading your template file, open it in your design software. In this tutorial, we are using the template for 2x3.5 Standard US Business Card in Adobe Illustrator
So, when you open the template, your screen will look similar to what you see above. By default the template should be in CMYK Color Mode
but if not you will need to make sure you change it to CMYK
Know Your Template:
First of all, looking at the template you will notice, three very important lines.
The Black line denotes the edges of the bleed, you will want your background color/pattern to stretch to at least that line.
The Red line shows where the card will be cut to its final dimensions.
The Blue line denotes the boundaries of the “Safe Area”. This area will not be affected by card cutting. All important information like names, titles, and contact information should be kept within its boundaries.
Next, look at the bottom right corner of the design software. There is a section titled "Layers
". If you do not see this panel, it can be turned on via WINDOW>Layers or by hitting the hotkey f7
The template has 3 layers, notice that only 1 layer is unlocked. Please keep the bottom two layers locked.
Artwork - All artwork needs to be on this layer.
-DO NOT TOUCH -Crops/Certification - this is for internal use. Do not adjust.
-Do NOT TOUCH-Template - this layer includes all the template information such as the light blue guidelines, bleed lines, cut lines, safe area, etc... Likewise, there is no need to adjust to this layer.
All layers are initially visible. You can toggle layer visibility off and on by clicking the eye
icon. We do not recommend removing any of the default layers.
Save Your File:
Finally, once artwork is successfully on the Artwork Layer
save your print ready file as a PDF file
. FILE>SAVE AS>filename_front_CMYK.pdf
Each side of the card will need its own file. Therefore the back of the card will also need a file called "filename_back_CMYK.pdf". DO NOT LAYER front and back artwork files in one pdf. Also, all specialty finishes must also be in their own individual file. Finishes like foil
or spot UV
will require their own mask file (ex: "filename_front_foil.pdf") with the only the specialty elements. The color should be set to C:0 M:0 Y:0 K:100. Because this process is slightly more advanced. We will go further in depth on this topic in a future tutorial on our blog titled "How To Make A Foil
Mask" or "Hot To Make A Spot UV Mask".
For more information on business card sizes, check out the blog post titled Business Card Sizes
. Or for a step by step tutorial on designing a business card in Adobe Illustrator check out our blog post titled How to Design a Business Card in Adobe Illustrator
For art guidelines visit: www.printpeppermint.com/artwork-guidelines/
If you're looking for design work or need help designing your card visit: www.printpeppermint.com/business-card-design/
to check out design packages.
As always if you have any questions, comments or concerns about your artwork. Please don't hesitate to contact us
, our team is ready to help you in any way.