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Making Business Cards in Affinity Designer

**Update: due to migrating issues from Squarespace to WordPress the images weren’t updated. If you want some in depth video tutorials there are great ones on the Affinity website. But I’ll leave the text instructions for whoever may prefer them.

Here’s a beginner tutorial on how to make simple business cards in Affinity Designer.

This will mainly delve into setting up the document, setting guidelines and working with layout.

1) Setting up the Document

Open up a new document. The “Type” should be “Print” since these are business cards which are going to be printed. Change the “Document Units” to ‘inches’. Also the color format should be CMYK because these are for print. But if you do not know the exact CMYK values you are using it can actually be better to use an RGB space since many printers conversion can do a better job at this.

Standard business cards are typically 3.5”x2”. So our page width is going to be 3.75” and page height is 2.5 inches. We add the extra .25” to the overall height & width so that these are “Full Bleed” which means the printer has a little extra space to work with so that when they cut the final product the ink will go to the edge of the card. (Sort of the standard is adding .125” to every side, hence the .25” added to the overall dimensions).

2) Setting Up Guidelines

Next click on View > Guides Manager. Below the “Horizontal Guides” section click on the little page icon four times. Do the same under the “Vertical Guides” section. Double click on the top horizontal guide and type in the value of .125 and press enter/return. For the second one make it 0.25; the third one 2; and the fourth one 2.125. After you finish the “Horizontal Guides” move over to the “Vertical Guides” section and edit the top guide you previously created. 

For the first vertical guide, double click on it and input 0.125; for the second one make it 0.25; for the third one 3.5; and for the fourth one 3.625.

The outside box the guides make are roughly where the printer is going to cut the card. The inside box the guides make is the safe area to include print.  A standard rule is not to go outside this box since it may run the risk of being cut at the printers. (Although if your printer is really off, I suggest finding a new one.)

Now close the “Guides Manager” box.

3) Background Color

Click on the Rectangle Tool and choose a color in the Swatches or Colour dialogue box. I chose white because my card is only going to be black and white but you can choose whatever color fits your branding and style.

Stretch a rectangle across your document so it covers the working space.

4) Aligning the Logo

Add your logo or image to the front of the card. This can be a simple drag and drop of your file or copy and paste from a different Affinity document. Since mine is just a logomark I decided to center it on the page. You can do this by clicking once on the “Align Horizontal Centres” and once on the “Align Vertical Centres”.

5) Hiding Layers in the Layers Panel

Next I’m going to uncheck the layer that the logo is on in the layers panel so that it’s simply white again. Now I’m going to start designing the back of my card.

6) Making a Line for my Layout

I started by clicking on the pen tool [you can press “p” on your keyboard for the shortcut] then I clicked once to create the starting point, held down shift to make sure it was a straight line and click on my endpoint. I centered the line using the “Align Horizontal Centres” tool.

7) Adding Text

I clicked on the “Artistic Text Tool”. When you click on this tool, make sure you aren’t clicking on the “frame text tool”. Click and hold on the icon, then both options should appear and simply click on the “Artistic Text Tool”. I then click and dragged to make my text an appropriate size. With the text box highlighted I switched fonts in the Font tab. I typed the name “Johnie Smith” and resized it according to my liking. I then added other text boxes and adjusted the fonts accordingly. When adjusting the size you can either change the size in the tab bar beside the fonts or you can click and drag on the side of the text box. But when you resize it be sure to hold down shift so that it keeps its dimensions.

8) Finishing Touches & Export

I then added the icon to the top right and finished. To export go to File > Export at the top. Then uncheck the Layers in the Layer panel we just created until it’s just a white background, and re-tick the box for your front logo layer. Once again export this and you’ll have the front and back files for your business card.


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One Response

  1. unfortunately, the program arrange in numerical order the guides. I could set the order that you put.

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