In part one of this two-part series we looked at the programs to use when designing your own business card, as well as some design tips. Today we are going to finish off our card by creating a print-ready PDF. If you followed the tips in part 1 most of the hard work has been done already. You have the correct size, margins and bleed, so all you need to do is export the card to get it printed.
So this is where we ended last time. I designed this business card in Illustrator CC, but any version will do. You can also use InDesign.
Before we create the PDF let’s change all our text to outlines. This is necessary because the printers probably won’t have the same fonts as you installed on their machines. And when they open the PDF all those lovely fonts you used will turn to default fonts.
Changing your text to outlines is very easy. Simply select your text, right-click and choose “create outlines”. Remember to save this version with the outlined text under a new name, so that you can change the text again one day.
Now all we need to do is save our file as a print-ready PDF. Go to File – Save As, and choose PDF from the “save as type” drop-down menu.
A new window will pop up with settings you can choose for the PDF. For the Adobe PDF preset, choose Press Quality.
Under Marks and Bleeds, tick “trim marks” and under Bleeds, tick “use document settings”.
Under Output you normally don’t have to change anything. Just make sure you are indeed converting to CMYK, and not RGB.
That’s the only settings we need to worry about. Now click “save PDF”. Our beautiful business card is now print-ready!
If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave your thoughts below.