Create A Greeting Card Using Adobe Photoshop CC 2017

The front of the card is shown.
Creating a greeting card in Photoshop CC is not terribly difficult.
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Create a Greeting Card with Photoshop

Photoshop Card Templates

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

We 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.
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Setting The Margins

The Photoshop Preferences are shown and the ruler preference is set to inches.
The Photoshop Preferences are where the units for rulers are set.

With the card set up we need to indicate the margins and where the card will be folded. Here's how

  1. Open the rulers by selecting View> Rulers or by pressing Command/Ctrl- R.
  2. If the ruler measurement is not in inches open the Photoshop Preferences (Apple>Preferences (Mac) or Edit>Preferences (PC).
  3. When the Preferences panel opens, select Units & Rulers.  Change Rulers to Inches.
  4. Click OK.
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Adding The Guides To Create Margins And The Content Areas.

The guides indicating the margins and content areas are in place.
Adding guides to indicate margins, folsd and the content areas makes life easier.

Now that the ruler units are set, we can now turn our attention to adding the guides that will identify the margins and the content areas. The decision is to go with .5-inch margins due to the fact the intention is to print out the card on our printer. Here's how:

  1. Add Horizontal guides at the .5, 4.75, 5.25, 5.75 and 10 inch marks.
  2. Add vertical guides at the .5 and 8 inch marks on the ruler.

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

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Adding An Image To The Greeting Card

The image is added to the card bottom and the the Add Vector Mask tooltip is shown.
Place the image, resize it and use a mask to fit the image into the required area.

Next we need to add an image to the front of the card. The image will be placed in the bottom area. If you are going to be using your home printer, you won't be able to Bleed the image off of the card front. The term "bleed" simply means cover the entire front of the card. Unfortunately , the majority of home inkjet or other color printers don't allow this. They will add about a quarter inch of margin when the file is output. This explains why we need to add the margin.

The decision is to go with the image of a golden lily. Here's how to add it:

  1. Select File>Place Embedded ... and when the Place dialog box opens, navigate to to your image. 

This command does actually places the image into your Photoshop file. If you were to select Place Linked, the image would appear but there is a major issue with this command. It places a link to the image into the Photoshop file. If you were to move the linked image to another location on your computer or to a different drive, when you reopen the Photoshop file you will be asked to find the image. Now imagine opening the file a couple of months later and you can't remember where you saved the original. You are essentially out of luck.  If you are handing off the file to another person for more editing, they will be unable to edit the file.

Where would you use Place Linked ... ?  If the placed file is huge - eg  150 mb - that enormous file size will be added to that of the .psd file. The implication here is a massive hit on memory and reduced Photoshop efficiency.

With that out of the way, the image is too big. Let's fix that.

  1. Scale the image in such a way that the area you want is within the boundaries of the margins. In this case 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. The image nicely fits the image into the image area.
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Adding And Formatting The Text In The Greeting Card

The text is added and the Character, Paragraph and Layers panels are shown.
Be aware of the fold and add the text to the same area as the image.

What's a card without a message? Before we do that, let's first understand how this card will be printed.

The image is on the cover but the text is on the inside. To print this card, we will need to be aware of the fact, the paper will be run 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 will actually be in the same panel as the image. here's how:

  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. In this case we are using 48 pt Helvetica Neue Bold.
  4. With the text still selected, choose an alignment or the text. In this case the text is center aligned. Alternatively you can use the Character and Paragraph panels to fine-tune the text.
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Add A Logo And A Credit Line To The Greeting Card

An arrow points to the Custom Shape Tool and the Custom Shapes paette is open.
No Logo? No problem? Photoshop has a bunch of custom shapes.

 Obviously you want the world to know of your creation which means you really should add a logo and a credit line to your card. The question you may be asking is , "Where?"

The top area of the card that is still empty is actually 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 this case it was the 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 credit line. Be sure to use a size of 12 to 16 pixels for the size.
  5. Click and drag each layer to align them to the center of the card.

One final step and we are ready to print. The logo and credit line are the wrong orientation. Remember, they are on the back of the card and, if they remain the way they are they will be printed upside down.; Let's 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.


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Printing The Greeting Card

The front of the card is shown and the visibility of the greeting text is turned off.
When printing be sure to to turn on the visibility of the layers to be printed.

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

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