What it takes to create a digital card for newbie?
Want a simple way to make your own digital card?
This is for you if:
- You’re short on time
- You’ve never opened Photoshop (or never finished a project)
- You’re not sure if you’re setting up your digital graphics correctly
Trying to make a greeting card but have NO idea where to start? When it comes to creating custom designs, there’s no better tool than Photoshop. So why not give it a try and see what you can create?
When the festive season kicks in (and there is a reason to be festive and celebrate almost every month – St.Valentine`s Day is coming…) we do still use greeting cards. Maybe relatives send you a good old-fashioned Christmas card to your post box. Maybe it is just a virtual surprise in your email. But any card – paper or digital – is a nice surprise and a reason to smile. I like cards too and this time I tried making my first digital greeting card in Adobe Photoshop. There is a ton of resources available to help beginners get started, from tutorials and guides online to friend suggestions. I asked our marketing team (I consider them masters of graphic design) for basic explanation of Photoshop tools and I was ready to start.
Here’s what we’re making:
Because it’s awesome. Seriously – it’s quick to learn, and you can get a 30-day trial for free. With just a few basic skills in Photoshop, you can create customized graphics for your blog, social media, branding, and other needs. It allows you to quickly and efficiently produce on-brand materials that are tailored to your specific needs and preferences. By learning Photoshop, you can build a collection of professional-quality designs that demonstrate your ability and confidence in your work. With a little bit of practice and the right resources, anyone can design a beautiful card with Photoshop. And here are my step-by-step instructions for a successful start:
Open Adobe Photoshop, create a new file. Save it.
Select File > New on the menu bar along the top of the screen. Set the size of your new document to 1920 width & 1080 height, using pixels as the measurement. This is a good size for LinkedIn and most screens. Enter 72 for the resolution. Make sure the color mode is RGB. Click Create and your new file will open.
Remember: you can also print your card out in the end. Then I suggest to enter 300 for the resolution and choose CMYK color mode for better printing.
Before we go any further, let’s save the graphic. Go to File and Save As, and choose a name for your digital card. Save it in a folder you’ll remember.
Choose Rectangle Tool from tools on the left and set it`s fill color. You can choose from recently used colors or pick a new one by clicking on Color Picker (colorful button) and playing around or writing a specific color code in “#” box, and click OK. Make sure your shape does not have a stroke color (outline) – choose crossed out button on the left.
You can read more about tools here.
I went for color with code #bd264b, inspired by Pantone, the color of 2023. Draw a rectangle over your artboard (by clicking and dragging over your artboard).
Alternatively, you can choose a photo for the background. Open the folder that contains your photo and drag it onto your canvas in Photoshop. Resize the photo so that it covers your canvas.
Let`s start with the snowman.
Choose Ellipse Tool from tools on the left and set it`s color to white. (If the Ellipse tool does not appear, right-click on the button above the hand symbol, and a selection of various figure tools will open.)
While holding down the Shift key to draw a perfectly round figure, click and drag over your artboard to create a shape.
Quick tip: You can see all your graphics in layers panel on the right corner. I suggest creating a new layer for each new item, by clicking on the “+” icon on the bottom. You can make changes by selecting your item layer. Rename the layer by double-clicking on it`s title so you don`t get lost. Understand the layers by reading more here.
Design the body and face!
Create 3 ellipses for the body. And few black ones for the face – eyes and mouth. You can move them around, using Move tool (the 4-arrow icon at the top of the tools panel).
Choose Triangle Tool from tools on the left and set it`s color to orange, create the nose. You can extend the triangle a bit longer by clicking and dragging on the side points and make it extra nice by turning it a bit sideways (from the top menu bar, select Edit › Transform. The bounding box will appear around the layer. Choose between different rotation options or enter 90 degrees).
Dress the snowman up real fancy!
I created a few buttons, hat, and bowtie, using the same Ellipse, Rectangle, Triangle Tools in different colors.
Choose Line Tool from tools on the left and set it`s color to brown. Play with the width of the lines (box on top with “px”, next to stroke color) and create the hands.
Add effects for next-level designs.
Select the detail on the layers panel on the right by clicking on it (I gave them names like “buttons”), then click “fx” button on the bottom to open effects panel and click on your chosen effect.
Adjust the settings and click OK. Add just one or many, by checking multiple layer style boxes.
- satin (for eyes)
- inner glow (for hands, nose, buttons, bowtie)
- outer glow (for hands)
- and drop shadow (for snowman).
Create text for your card.
Time for your card greeting! Select Type tool (the “T” in the tool panel on the left), and in the options at the top of your screen (or in “Properties” > “Character” on the right), choose your font, size & color. Make sure the font is easy to read!
Now, click anywhere on your canvas to start a text box. Type out your text. You can center the text or align it to the right or left (see the options at the top of the screen when you’re using the text tool).
To make your text bigger or smaller, click the Move tool (the 4-arrow icon at the top of the tools panel), and click on your text.
Save for the web.
Now we just need to save your card so you can upload it.
Go to File > Export > Export As. Choose JPG for the format.
For quality, choose somewhere between 70-100 %. This determines how big your file will be in kilobytes. (The bigger the file size, the longer your card will take to load.)
Click Export and save the file to a folder you’ll remember, and you are SO done.
Congrats, you! Hail the conquering design hero.
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Hi, my name is Mikus, and I am Adobe BDM in Squalio. If you have questions regarding who is BDM, or what can I offer you, please contact me via LinkedIn. I am almost 24/7 (almost, note it!) ready to talk about Adobe, creativity, webinars and building a creative community in the Baltics. If you have other topics to talk about, surprise me by writing a short or long message. 😉
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