I wanted to repost an article that I had originally posted to my old photography blog back in 2006 about creating photo note cards in Photoshop. Of course, then I had the CS3 version of Photoshop when I originally wrote and posted this article. I find the information to be really useful in creating your own line of note cards to sell at art or craft shows, online or even to send to family and friends. Hope you find the below article useful.
Creating Photo Note Cards in Photoshop
by Lori A. Cash
Custom note cards are a great way to show off your images, whether it is with family and friends or as a source of income. I use Adobe Photoshop to create my blank note cards from digital files. Follow these steps to create your own custom note cards.
PAPER There are many different sizes and finishes of pre-scored greeting card in stock or inkjet paper. I prefer to use 7×10 inkjet paper and semi matte finish. The 7×10 paper produces a 5×7 folded note card.
The following steps are my workflow used in creating a 5×7 horizontal (orientation of image) note cards in Photoshop. However, the sizes made to create this document can be substituted with the size of card stock paper that you prefer.
CREATING A TEMPLATE
Once in Photoshop open a new document/canvas size. For horizontal cards you will need to create a canvas size of 7 inches wide and 10 inches high. The resolution should be set to what you will print, such as 300dpi. The color mode should be RGB color, and choose white as the background color. (To create cards in vertical orientation just reverse the width and height). After creating the new document, I set guides, which are non-printing lines that help with visualizing the layout of the card and where to put your image. To set the guides select View>New Guide from the top menu bar. In the New Guide dialogue box set the orientation to horizontal and the position to 5 inches, this will place a guide halfway across the width to mark the fold for a horizontal orientation of card. Next, place additional guides to identify the edges of the area where you want to place your image. For example, I use the following guides to mark the card for a horizontal orientation: 5.5 inches horizontal, 9.5 inches horizontal, .5 inches vertical and 6.5 inches vertical.
Using these guides gives my card a half inch border between the photo and edge of paper. Please note that the maximum printable area for a 5×7 card is 4.75 inches high x 6.75 inches wide.
ADDING THE IMAGE
Now that the guides are set you are ready to open the image that you want to place on the note card. Resize the image to fit on the card layout. For example, I resize my images to 4×6 inches or 1200×1800 px at 300 dpi. At this time, you can add borders, text or special effects to your image. Once the image is prepared, select the “move tool” from the Tools palette and drag the prepared image onto the card layout. Place the cursor on the image and move it into place using the guides. If the image needs adjusting for proper placement, go to the Menu Bar and select Edit>Transform>Scale. Use the cursor to drag a corner of the image to resize it. After the image is in the proper position, double click within the bounding box. If adding multiple images to your note card, repeat these steps.
ADDING THE TEXT
In the card layout you can add text for the back of your card. Select the “text tool” from the Tools palette and mark the area where you want to add your text. Set the style, size and color of your text and then type your text onto the card. All text and/or images on the back of the card must be upside down in the layout for proper printing. To accomplish this, select from the Menu Bar File>Transform>Rotate. Use your cursor to rotate the bounding box that surrounds your text until it is upside down. Then double click in the bounding box once the text has been rotated into the proper position.
SAVING THE NOTE CARD
After your note card has been created, save it. I save my note cards as Photoshop PSD files, which retains all layers intact for any future revisions. Also, saving your note card as a TIFF file will also preserve the layers of the document. Note-I recommend saving the note card layout as a template before adding your image and text so that you can use the template for creating new note cards.
PRINTING THE NOTE CARD
Before printing the card you must create a new custom paper size since it will not be listed in the list of paper sizes set by your printer manufacturer. I use an Epson printer and the following is the setup I use to create a custom size paper for my printer. Go to the Menu Bar and select File>Print with Review. The print screen will not be correct at this time since a custom paper size has not been created. Make sure the center image is checked near the top of the box. Also, check the scale to 100% and do not check the Scale to Fit Media box. Click the page setup button. Click the printer button, and then click on the properties button. The Epson driver dialogue box will now appear. Click on the advanced button in the lower right-hand corner of the box. Next, click on a selection called “user defined” in the drop-down menu that lists the different paper sizes. A User Defined Paper Size box will appear. Type the name of the paper size (i.e., I use 7×10). Then fill in the paper width and height. For a 7×10 paper size the paper width would be 700 and the paper height would be 1000. Click save and then ok. This custom paper size will now appear in your list of paper sizes. Now you are ready to print your note card. Click again on File>Print with Review. Next, click on page setup and select the new custom paper size from the drop-down menu. Make sure the portrait orientation is clicked to print a horizontal card format. Back at the Print with Review screen it will show the card as it will be printed. Click on the print button. Note- you may see a warning box that states “The image is larger than the paper’s printable area; some clipping may occur.” Simply click on the proceed button, and print your note card.
After printing my note cards, I place them in archival clear envelopes (5.4375 inches x 7.25 inches). Several places online sell the clear envelopes; Another choice is to use card boxes with the clear top to package many note cards together. Now you are ready to share your images with others by sending them personalized note cards and/or you are ready to produce note cards for profit.
Lori A. Cash
If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment, and I will get back with you.
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