Thursday, May 15, 2008

Cropping tips for business card design

This is an advanced topic for Adobe Photoshop users.

Starting with an average size digital photo (3872 x 2592), composing and cropping the image down to business card size (615 x 1062)can be a challenge. To solve this problem, I created a Photoshop template with an outside border, an inner translucent border, and a transparent center rectangle. I copy and paste this template image into a separate layer in the digital image I'm working with, and I can move the business card sized crop frame around the larger image so I can easily visualize and select the business card composition.

For this example, I am using Dreamstime stock photo of Multnomah Falls, # 921724 by Polish photographer Leszek Wilk. This particular photo is available for free download from Dreamstime, subject to its Limited Royalty Free Licenses (RF-LL).

Multnomah Falls - photo by Leszek Wilk

The Photoshop business card frame file is created to VistaPrint business card technical specification. The file, vistaprint_frame-Horizontal.psd, is available for download, here. By copying the cropping template file image and pasting into the working photograph in Photoshop, the relative size and dimension of a business card is easily visualized, as seen in the image above.

Multnomah Falls - photo by Leszek WilkThe floating crop-frame can be repositioned anywhere on the larger image. The framed area of the photograph will be selected using the Photoshop selector tool to grab and copy an exact-sized copy of the photo.

Once you have framed the business card composition you like, use the Photoshop slector tool to grab both the transparent inner rectangle and the wide translucent white border of the crop frame. Then switch to the underlaying photo layer, copy the contents, open a new file, and paste. This is the result:

Multnomah Falls - photo by Leszek Wilk

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