In this tutorial, you will learn how to design a pastel yet grungy business card with special brush effects. It is very easy to do this since a lot of the resources needed to do it is already in Adobe Photoshop, whilst you can download the rest for free in the Internet. Just read through the steps below and discover how easy it is to do this in Adobe Photoshop.
The first step is to setup the business card document in Adobe Photoshop itself. To do this, just open up Photoshop of course and press the shortcut keys CTRL+N. This activates the new document window. Here you can set the specific dimensions of your soon-to-be uber-neat business card. Of course you can adjust the values as needed for your own concept.
Once the new document has opened, the first objective is usually to develop the background. For our “painted” effect business card, it is a good idea to simulate some paper textures to “establish” that brush painted effect. So we first downloaded some paper textures from this generous artist and then pasted our choice background to the base design.
Next, we create a new layer. Go to Layer -> New Layer… In the window that opens name your new layer as “brush 01”.
Then, select the brush tool in the tools panel. Right slick on the design area to bring up the brush context menu. Select a brush type in the brush gallery. It is best to NOT select a ROUND brush. Use the brushes based on real brush textures. For our example, we have selected the “Oil Medium Wet Flow” brush. While initially its size is set to 32 pixels, you can change it by adjusting the master diameter at the top of the menu. Just choose what may look best for your design.
Then, add our first brush stroke. With just a free mouse hand, draw a creative brush stroke from top to bottom of your design. For this initial “border” brush we are just using a black color for application. Note that if you do make a mistake with your brushing, just press CTRL+Z to undo your action and then start over. Once you are sure about your first brush stroke, change the blend mode of your layer to “Color Burn” (select the layer and change the blend option on top in the layers panel). Also reduce the opacity of the layer to around 80%.
Then, just repeat the process several times, creating a brush border for our design in the process. Remember that you can vary the opacity value of each of the brush layers to 20-40-60 and 80% intervals to have a nice overlapping effect on our design.
Now, for the center area, we will use some custom creative brushes. While you can still use your own hands and some classic brushes, for beginners, or just the lazy designers, you can just download some free custom creative brushes from the Internet. In our example, we have downloaded some free brushes from this generous person here. Just download and unzip this brush to your computer. Then go back to Photoshop, select your brush layer and right click again on the design area. Click on the right arrow icon in the menu and in the side menu that appears select “load brushes”.
Just navigate to the location of the newly downloaded brushes and select the “ABR” file for the brush. This will load the brush to your choices of brushes. Now, just create a new layer, select our new brush and then paint up one large brush spot at the center of our design. Use a theme color for this brush to make this element more noticeable.
Afterwards, change this color layer’s blend mode to “Color Burn” as well and reduce its opacity to 80%. You will see that it gets some great integration effects with our background texture.
Great! Just like before, just repeat the process, adding more special brush strokes at the center. Change the color for each large center brush spot that you add. Also change the blend mode to “color burn” and vary the opacity values again as you want.
Now, we organize all our brush layers. For the border brushes, we select all of them by holding down the CTRL key. Then, we right click on them and merge them all by selecting the option “merge layers”. Name the merged layer as “Border Brushes”. We then restore its blend mode setting to Color Burn. We also reduce its opacity significantly to around 30%.
Great! Now, we paste in the LOGO for our business card. It is better here to use a Silhouette of your logo, so you will have to access to something like that. Use any color you want as this will not actually matter too much. White is what we used in our example to be neutral. Also press CTRL+T to scale and rotate our logo as necessary. In this example, we just used a butterfly shape as an placeholder.
Next, we will use a special trick. Hold down the CTRL key, and then click on the layer thumbnail of the logo layer. This will select its area. We then remove its visibility and select one of our central color brush layers.
Then, using the eraser tool, we erase the selected area. This will only affect the layer currently active in your document. So you basically cut out the layer shape in one of the central color layers.
We then just repeat the process for the rest of the layers (except the background layer), leaving a nice cutout of our logo in the design.
Once you are done with the logo, it will be time to place in our text. Simply use the text tool to type in the crucial information.
Select all the text layers you just selected. Then right click on them to bring up the context menu. Select the option to “convert to smart object”.
Using the same trick as before we select the area of the text layers, then go to each brush layer to erase the text shape from them. However, we will not remove the smart object layer totally out from the design. We just removed its visibility for now to make us see the effect.
Now, for the final touches. Bring back the visibility up on the smart object and text layer. Double click on it to access its layer style. First, click on the blending options section. In the advanced blending area, look for the Fill Opacity slider. Reduce it to around 50%.
Then, click on the “gradient overlay” option. Change the gradient to “White to transparent”. Click on the reverse tick box, and then set the angle to 0 degrees.
Once you check our text, you will see that our white gradient, makes the right side more visible, whilst keeping a better the “inscribed” style on the left side.
That should finish our creative brush paint style business card. Just customize the steps with your own colors, text and logos and you should get a nice, creative and memorable design of your own. Good Luck!