Make a lasting impression by adding a picture, monogram logo, and stylish fonts to your business card.
Capturing the essence of a business in a card is exciting and maybe just a little intimidating. Open the finished project — business-card-setup-END.INDD in the sample files folder — to use as a business card template as you work.
Set up a new document
Upon launching InDesign:
- Click Create new in the Home screen.
- Select the Print tab at the top of the dialog box and click View presets.
- Scroll to locate the business card preset with the most common size for your geographic region.
Use Preset details on the right to customize your business card.
- Name the document and select your preferred units.
- Type 2 for Pages and deselect Facing pages.
- Type 0.125 in any margin field and click the lock icon to apply to all fields. This sets up a “design-safe” area that helps keep important elements from the cut edge of the paper.
- Scroll to view Bleed and Slug and type 0.125 in any bleed field, and then click the lock. Since we’ll add a picture that prints to the paper’s edge, we’ll make it slightly larger than the page — the excess is trimmed off after it’s printed.
- Click Create.
Tip: Many print providers offer unique sizes like square and tiny. Type the dimensions they provide in Preset details instead.
Design the front
First add a frame and then fill it with a placed image.
- Select the Rectangle Frame tool and drag a frame to the edges of the red bleed guides on the page.
- Click Import file in the Quick Actions section of the Properties panel (Window > Properties).
- Navigate to an image or use our sample file, “Scissors.jpg” and click Open. If the image is large, only a portion appears in the frame.
Next, crop and position the image.
- With the image still selected, try some automatic fitting commands in the Properties panel. In the Frame Fitting section, try Fit frame proportionally, Center content, or Content-aware fit to start.
- Click Options to adjust the crop further, if needed.
- To reposition the image within the frame, drag the Content Grabber (donut-shaped icon) in the center of the frame.
Tip: After editing the image, you could press Cmd+L (macOS) or Ctrl+L (Windows) to lock the image to avoid editing it accidentally.
Add a logo
- Add your own logo design, or open our sample file, “Monogram logo.indd.”
- Choose Select all, and then choose Edit > Copy.
- Return to the business card design and choose Edit > Paste.
- In the Align section of the Properties panel, choose Align to page from the Align to menu. Click the Align horizontal centers and Align vertical centers buttons.
Tip: If you want to know how we created the monogram, see “Design a monogram logo.pdf” in the sample files folder.
Pick colors from the image
- Select the Color Theme tool and click anywhere on the image. The most common colors in the image appear in the pop-up panel.
- Click the arrow to select a variation like Bright or Muted, and then click the grid icon to save the colors as a “theme” you can use to colorize your artwork.
- To apply a color from this unified color scheme, select an element with the Selection tool or select text with the Type tool.
- Click the Fill or Stroke color box in the Appearance section of the Properties panel and select a color from the theme folder.
Add your contact details
- In the Pages panel (Window > Pages), double-click page 2 to work on the back of the card.
- Create a colored background for your text. Select the Rectangle Frame tool and drag a frame to the edges of the red bleed guides.
- Click the Fill color box in the Properties panel and select a color from the color theme folder you created.
- Right-click the frame and choose Lock.
- Select the Type tool and drag a text frame. Type your contact details and format the text in the Character section of the Properties panel.
- To rotate a text frame, select it with the Selection tool and move your cursor slightly away until it changes to a curved arrow. Shift-drag to rotate 90° and release your mouse followed by the Shift key.
Tip: We formatted the name with the same expressive font used in the monogram and used a simple, legible font for the rest of the text. This ties it to the design and creates good typographic contrast.
Save for printing
- With the business card design ready, press W to preview the trimmed art, and again to return to normal mode.
- Choose File > Save and select the InDesign 2021 document format. You can return to this document to edit it. Click Save.
- To save as a PDF for printing, choose File > Export > Adobe PDF (Print). At the top, select a PDF preset and the print options recommended by your print provider. We chose the High Quality Print preset suitable for digital printing.
- In Marks and Bleeds, we selected Crop Marks, Bleed Marks and Use Document Bleed settings — the resulting PDF shows where your business card will be trimmed.
Print your own business cards
It‘s nice to have options. To print the cards yourself, you’ll need to set up a new document where the same business card design repeats across the page. To learn more, see “Print your own business cards.pdf” in the sample files folder.
Now that you have the basics down, give your business card a DIY makeover to make it easy for people to remember you and your pitch.