Create a Greeting Card Using Adobe Photoshop CC 2017

Screenshot of Adobe Photoshop CC 2017 greeting card

Sometimes an "off-the-shelf" greeting card doesn't meet your needs. The good news is, you can always make your own card. Although there are many applications out there that do just that, here's how you can use Photoshop CC 2017 to create your own card.

Create a Greeting Card With Photoshop

Photoshop Card Templates

Start by defining the areas where the text and the images go. To do that follow these steps:

  1. Open a new Photoshop document.
  2. In the New Document dialog box set the name of the document to Card.
  3. Set the size to 8 inches wide by 10.5 inches high with a Portrait orientation.
  4. Set the Resolution to 100 pixels/inch.
  5. Set the Background color to white. 
  6. Click Create to close the New Document dialog box.

Setting the Ruler Units

The Photoshop Preferences are shown and the ruler preference is set to inches.

With the card set up, the next step is to indicate the margins and where the card will fold. Here's how

  1. Open the rulers by selecting View > Rulers or by pressing Ctrl+R on a PC or Command+R on a Mac.
  2. If the ruler measurement is not in inches, open the Photoshop Preferences. Select Units & Rulers and change Ruler measurement to inches.
  3. Click OK.

Adding the Guides to Create Margins and Content Areas

The guides indicating the margins and content areas are in place.

After the ruler units are set, turn your attention to adding the guides that identify the margins and content areas. Go with half-inch margins so you can print out the card on your home printer. Here's how:

  1. Add horizontal guides at the 0.5, 4.75, 5.25, 5.75 and 10-inch marks.
  2. Add vertical guides at the 0.5 and 8-inch marks on the ruler.

The guide at the 5.25-inch mark is the fold.

Adding an Image to the Greeting Card

The image is added to the card bottom and the the Add Vector Mask tooltip is shown.

Add an image to the front of the card in the bottom area. If you are going to be using your home printer, you won't be able to bleed the image off the card front. The term "bleed" refers to covering the entire front of the card. Unfortunately, most home inkjet or other color printers don't allow this full ink coverage. They add about a quarter inch of blank margin when the file is output. This is why you need to add the margin to your card.

Select an image for the front of the card. The example uses a golden lily. Here's how to add it:

  1. Select File > Place Embedded.
  2. When the Place dialog box opens, navigate to your image and select it. 

The Place Embedded command embeds the image in your Photoshop file. If you select Place Linked, the image would appear, but problems could occur later if you move the linked image to another location on your computer or to a different drive.

If the image is too big, you resize it to fit the card.

  1. Scale the image in such a way that the area you want is within the boundaries of the margins. In the example, the flower was what was needed, and a lot of the image was outside the margins.
  2. With the image layer selected, switch to the Rectangular Marquee Tool and draw a rectangle the size of the image area. 
  3. With the selection made, click the Add Vector Mask icon at the bottom of the layers panel to fit the image into the image area.

Adding and Formatting the Text in the Greeting Card

The text is added and the Character, Paragraph and Layers panels are shown.

Before you add a message, think about how the card will be printed.

The image is on the front cover, but the text is on the inside. To print this card, you will run the paper through the printer two times. First, the front is output, and the paper is put back into the printer to output the text. The placement of the text is actually in the same relative panel as the image. 

  1. Turn off the visibility of the image layer to hide the image.
  2. Select the Text tool, click once in the same area as the image, and enter your text. In this case, it is "Happy Birthday to You!"
  3. Choose a font, a weight, and size. The example uses 48-point Helvetica Neue Bold.
  4. With the text still selected, choose an alignment for the text. Center alignment is common, but you can choose another alignment if you like.

Add a Logo and Credit Line to the Greeting Card

An arrow points to the Custom Shape Tool and the Custom Shapes paette is open.

Don't be modest. Go ahead and add a logo and a credit line to your card. 

The top area of the card that is still empty will be the back of the card. It is time to use it. Here's how:

  1. Add a new layer to the document and name it Logo.
  2. If you have a logo, place it in the logo layer.

If you don't have a logo, let's use a shape that comes packaged with Photoshop. Follow these steps:

  1. Click and hold on the Rectangle tool and select the Custom Shape tool.
  2. In the Shape Tool Options at the top, click the down arrow to select a shape. In the example, it is a butterfly.
  3. Click once in the Logo layer, and the Create Custom Shape dialog box opens. Enter a size of 100 x 100 pixels and click OK. The butterfly appears.
  4. Click the Text tool and add a text credit line. 
  5. Click and drag each layer to align them to the center of the card.

The logo and credit line are both in the wrong orientation. They will appear on the back of the card, and if they remain the way they are, they will be printed upside down. To fix that:

  1. Select the logo and text layers and group them. Name the group Logo.
  2. With the group selected, select Edit > Transform > Rotate 180 degrees.

Printing the Greeting Card

The front of the card is shown and the visibility of the greeting text is turned off.

Printing the project is relatively simple. Here's how:

  1. Turn off the visibility of the message layer and turn on the image layer.
  2. Print the page.
  3. Put the page back into the printer tray with blank side showing and the image at the top.
  4. Turn on the visibility of the message layer and turn off the visibility of the image layer.
  5. Print the page.
  6. Fold the page in half, and you have a card.