Designing your own personalized business card is not as difficult as it seems. You can prepare yours in less than an hour. Let’s see how you can do it with open-source and free Scribus.
Scribus is available for Windows, macOS and Linux. You can download the exe / dmg / tar file from his website.
If you’re using Ubuntu, Scribus is already available in Ubuntu Software Center, so you can install it from there. Otherwise, open the terminal and enter:
Once the installation is complete, find it in your Applications menu and run it.
If Scribus does not present you with a “New document” window, choose “File -> New” or press Ctrl + NOT on your keyboard to create a new blank document.
We will not use margins for our simple business card design. So, set all the “Margin Guides” values at the bottom left of the window to zero.
When printing content that will be cut into small pieces, use bleeds to avoid wasting paper and ink.
“Bleeding” is a safe space included in your design. They are there to make sure that when you cut your business cards to their final size, you will not dangerously cut near useful information.
To do this, go to the “Bleeding” tab at the bottom left of the window. Enter a typical value of “0.1250 in” for each of them.
One of the most popular standard sizes for business cards is 3.5 x 2 inches, but does not include bleeds. Enter “3.75” as the width of your document and “2.25” as the height (actual size of the card + bleeds).
Click OK to accept the settings.
Classic, simple and eye-catching design
Your card will appear relatively small in the Scribus workspace.
Keep Ctrl press and use the mouse wheel to zoom in. Space to move to the move tool. Move the screen to center your map. hurry Space to return to the previously selected tool.
The easy way to import a logo that you have in image format is to drag and drop it from your favorite file manager onto the Scribus window.
Is your logo frame too small / large? Right click on it and select “Image -> Fit frame to image”.
To resize your logo, left-click on one of the corners of its selection frame and drag it. Keep Ctrl + Alt held while doing so to keep its proportions and avoid any distortion.
With the Select tool active (VS on the keyboard), move your logo wherever you want on your map. We intentionally placed it at the top left, then balanced the design of our map by adding the rest of the information at the bottom right.
Note: do not place anything useful, such as the logo or your contact details, outside the purging limits of your card. They are “the red outline of your workspace”.
Select the Shape tool (S on the keyboard) and define a rectangle covering the upper half of your map.
If you don’t see the Properties window on your screen, tap F2 on your keyboard.
Expand the “Colors” category and in the “Fill” tab, select the color you want for your rectangle. We opted for a classic black. Go to the “Stroke” tab and set it to “None”.
Scribus places new layers in front of existing ones. This is why your new rectangle will cover your already existing logo. To solve the problem, “send your rectangle layer behind” your logo by right clicking on it and choosing “Level -> Bottom down”.
Choose the “Text frame” tool (or press T on your keyboard) and define a text frame where you want your details. We have chosen the bottom right to, as we said earlier, keep our design balanced.
Type your name in this box. Since we wanted our details to appear on the right of the map, we also opted for a right alignment of the text. You can find these settings, as well as options for the font family, type, size, etc., in the “Text Properties” panel.
Continue adding your details. Use a different line for each piece of information to make it easy to read. Select them and reduce their font size, keeping your name – the most important item on your map – larger.
Preview your card with the shortcut Ctrl + Alt + P. Press again to return to normal editing mode. If you do not like the appearance of your card, you can play with the arrangement, placement and size of its elements.
When you are satisfied with the results, export them to an image file to print them using “File -> Export -> Save as image …” or by pressing Ctrl + Offset + E on your keyboard. You can also export your document in EPS, PDF, SVG or XPS formats if you prefer to keep its elements evolving.
The last step is, of course, the printing itself. If you do it yourself, you will be able to immediately see the results and, if necessary, stop the process and apply adjustments. If you’re using a professional service, it’s best to ask them for a sample or start with a small batch of test. It is a shame to pay for thousands of printed cards that do not look like you would imagine.
If Scribus isn’t right for you, check out this list of graphic design tools for non-designers or Adobe Indesign alternatives.
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