Affinity Designer for iPad – How to Create a Business Card Design

Affinity Designer for iPad – How to Create a Business Card Design


How everyone will come back home your host Elias Sarantopoulos In this Affinity Designer tutorial I’m going to teach you how to create a business card design and take you through the process We will set up the document guides for both the Bleed area and the Trim area and focus in adding our content. We will create artboards for both sides of the Business Card, we will add Text on a Path, icons and shapes, you will learn how to create your own Asset library to store your icons for your projects and export the final Business Card design. All that in your iPad with Affinity Designer. The standard dimensions of US and Canada printed business cards are 3.5 by 2 inches, but with the addition of the Bleed area, which is an extra 1/8 inch of space for design elements and backgrounds that extends beyond. So the total business card size we are creating is 3.75 by 2.25 inches. In addition we have an extra 1/8 inch of space for the Trim area where the card is going to be cut. The remaining is the Safe area where we keep all text and graphics that we don’t want to be cut off by the printing machine that size is 3.25 by 1.75 inches. So inside Affinity Designer let’s go ahead and create a New document so tap on the New Document icon, for Device go ahead and choose Print (Press Ready), Color profile CMYK that’s what we’re going for, instead of Millimeters for units I’m going to choose Inches and for dimensions the total size of the Business Card including the Bleed area is 3.75 inches by 2.25 inches. Don’t forget to create an Artboard so tap on the Artboard icon here and then tap OK. And now we have an empty New document with an Artboard 1 The first thing I’m going to do is tap on the Document menu and I’m going to set up my Snapping options. So I’m going to Enable Snapping, Snap to Grid, Snap the Guides, Snap to Layer Bounding Boxes and tap Done. Now Let’s go ahead and set up our Guides which is of course very important since we are creating a Business Card. And the first is I’m going to set up the Bleed area so that’s 1/8 inch all around, so tap on the Add Horizontal and from the top, that would be 0.125 inches, tap another horizontal Guide here and from the bottom that will be 2.125 inches. Now let’s add the vertical guides so the first one from the left is 0.125 and from the right there will be 3.65 inches, OK, so we just define the Bleed Area. Now we also have the Trim Area. That’s an additional 1/8 inch, OK, so a tap on the Add Horizontal guide so the from the top that would be 0.25 inches and from the bottom that will be 2 inches. Let’s add the Vertical guides so from the left 0.25 inches and from the right 3.5 inches, like so, see there we go. So now we have set up the Business Card correctly. Now what remains is the Design area or the Safe area where all the critical elements will be kept inside and the total size of that if I draw a rectangle you see is 3.25 inches by 1.75 inches. and that’s exactly the Safe area we’re going to be designing our Business Card. So now it’s time to design our Business Card by first adding a background color which will extend to the Bleed Area and for that I’m going to use the Rectangle tool just going to tap and drag to create one like so. I’m going to change its color to Black There we go. And for the next tool I’m going to use another shape tool and that will be the Cloud tool OK, so first let me go ahead and change its color, there we go, and then just tap and drag to create one Like so. Now before I let go at the bottom, we have the Context Toolbar and we have some options here. We have the Bubbles which sets the number of protrusion on the shape 12 is fine but for the Inner Radius which controls the length of the bubbles relative to the width of the shape I’m going to bring the percentage number up to let’s say to 95%, like so, OK. I just want to make sure that it sits right in the center there we go. OK, now for an icon here in the middle, let’s see some kind of a logo I’m just going to bring up the files that I have on the Cloud, it’s just a sample icon here I’m going to bring that in and then I find myself many times That I like to resize things using the Transform Studio. So I’m going to tap on that and then I’m going to tap on the Lock icon under the Dimensions. so the width and the height are adjusted in proportion to each other, maintaining the aspect ratio. So I’m going to tap on the number, I’m going to use your 0.4, like so, then I’m just going to tap and bring this right at the center. OK. Let’s go ahead and add a Circle, so I’m going to use the Ellipse tool So I am going to tap and drag one Let’s see… Let’s say around there, OK. Center this, let’s change the color to Black. But as you can see the first issue we have here is that the Ellipse sits right on top of the Skills icon? So I’m going to tap and hold I’m going to bring this under and then for the Skills icon. I’m going to change its color I’m going to use the Layer FX Studio here and under the Color Overlay, I’m going to use the Color Overlay so tap on that, make sure it’s ON and then at the bottom we have the Context Toolbar so tap on the color and just use a color of your choice like so, just make sure this also sits right at the center, there we go, let’s look at the circle, the circle is also is fine and on the next part we can actually work on the Text on a Path. For creating Text on a Path I will first go into the Layers panel and under the Artboard 1 I’m just going to swipe to the left to select all the layers underneath it. Tap on the Layer Options and just tap on the Lock icon to lock them up. Then I’m going to use the Ellipse tool, just going to tap and drag to create an Ellipse, like so. I am going to make sure the center sits right on the center. And as for coloring doesn’t really matter either Fill or Stroke but just for reference I am just going to swipe this to the right to just have a Stroke and then I’m going to make a duplicate of this ellipse so I’m going to tap on the Edit menu and tap on duplicate because we will have 2 Text on Path. Alright, so we want to use the Artistic Text tool, specifically the Art Text so you want to tap on the outside and and I’m just going to write my name and this is Aligned centered and this is the beginning and end point So you want to bring this right at the center? Let’s make sure that the font I’m going to be using is Avenir, black color is fine, I’m okay with that. Let’s go back to the layers here and then I’m going to have that ON. Again tap on the Art Text tool and we have to do this on the inside and that will be Helping you Develop OK Again I have to play around with the end, the beginning and end I am just going to select all this text… Let’s go on to typography, I’m not going to use All Caps The size is fine Just going to leave it as is. OK, so I got those two right now and as you can see the Helping you Develop is… because we do this on the inside, I need to size this up so they’re on the same Radius. So I’m just going to Tap this and size it up just a bit Like so and then select those two and make sure they’re sit around the center, there we go. And another thing I’m going to be doing is actually select the Ellipse tool, just going to tap and drag to create just a couple of circles here, there we go. Let’s change its color so instead of Stroke. we want to have a Fill, White is fine and I’m just gonna bring this right the center right there Then I’m going to make a duplicate of it and just bring it to the other side, like so. So as you can see we are pretty much done on the backside of the Business Card but you know you can actually rename Artboard 1 so go inside the Layer Options, tap where it says Artboard 1 and then Going to use the name of Backside, there we go. That should take it soon, there we go. And for the for the next part we’re going to work actually on the front side. For creating the front side of the Business Card, the first step is to duplicate the Artboard So I’m just going to tap on the Layer Studio here, going to tap to select the artboard backside Just make sure you have your Snapping ON and I’m going do this with Gestures. So I’m going to tap two fingers of the canvas and then I’m just going to tap and drag, like so, there we go. Let’s go ahead and rename Back Side to Front Side so tap on the Layer Options here tap where it says Backside and Rename this to Front Side, there we go, like so OK. So why do we need from this Front Side artboard? Well, we don’t need the Ellipse or the Text on a Path, we just need the rectangle and the Skills icon. So tap on the Trash icon, there we go. I’m also going to tap on the lock icon to unlock this I’m just going to size it up just a bit, there you go, just move it there. Now I’m going to select the rectangle Go to the Edit menu and duplicate this And I’m going to change its color, there we go. I’m just going to tap and bring this in right in the center, let’s see Just make sure this is right in the center as well and now we are ready to work on the half side of the Front Side of the Business Card. The remaining side of our Business Card is where we will add our personal information with perhaps some social icons, text or what have you. So instead of me spending time adding text fields I want to show you how to bring in and save your own icons inside Affinity Designer, under the Assets Studio. So for that I’m going to bring in the Files app as a floating app and up on the Cloud I have stored some PNG icons. So I’m going to tap on the LinkedIn icon, I’m going to save this locally And then I’m going to bring in the Photos app as a floating app, here it is, I am going to tap and drag this and bring it inside the canvas. OK. So let’s go ahead and tap on the Assets Studio and by default we get these iOS 12 category with subcategories like Miscellaneous Controls and so on. If I tap again, you can see that I’ve created my own category here, Social Icons with a subcategory called Icons. So let me show you how you create your own Category and Subcategory. Tap on the top icon, tap where it says Add Category by default you get Unnamed so you want to tap again and rename category instead of unnamed let’s say My Stuff OK, then tap again to create a Subcategory, by default we get the Name Assets so we want to rename this. So rename subcategory, let’s say Social OK, now before I add this into the social subcategory I’m going to tap on the Layer FX Studio and tap on the color overlay and turn it on and I’m just going to change its color to white. OK, make sure this selected, back on the Assets Studio, tap and then Add Asset from Selection, there you go. I can just delete that and if you want to bring it into your project tap once and then tap Insert, like so, OK. Another thing you can do is you have the ability to save your category so you can export that. So tap on the top icon and then tap on the Export Category option, that will prompt you to export it up on the Cloud or what have you so anytime you wish to insert icons or shapes into your Affinity Designer Assets Studio just import that And so I finished adding some text fields and social icons to the business card and now we are ready to export it personally, I always save my projects first as an Affinity Designer native file so tap on the Document menu and then tap on the Save a Copy and as you can see under the File name we have an Affinity Designer default extension. So I’m just going to cancel that out and then I’m going to export this as PDF so tap on the Document menu and then tap on Export and here I’ve selected the PDF Preset and under the File name double tap and perhaps give it a name of Business card. As for Use Document Resolution from 300 dpi I’m going to bring this up to 600 and I’m also going to include the Bleed. Just going to tap OK and I’m just going to save the file up on the Cloud. Well, there’s a lot you can accomplish inside Affinity Designer including creating professional business cards. In this tutorial we cover the essentials and beyond so you can produce your own designs. Thank you for spending time with me, let me know if you have any questions below the comments section and don’t forget to subscribe to my channel and share the knowledge. Elias Sarantopoulos.

19 thoughts on “Affinity Designer for iPad – How to Create a Business Card Design

  1. Thanks. Very informative

  2. All the things I was trying to figure out couple days ago were answered in this video, thanks

  3. Hello Elias. I just want to say that your video was amazing! I've seen others that only show little information and not the print and bleed part. Thank you very much and keep up the good work.

  4. Wow! I was looking for a tutorial like this for a long time, which shows how this app can do professional design. I wasn’t sure to buy affinity designer for iPad because nobody that I’ve watched on YouTube point out the existence of guides and that’s crucial for a graphic designer. I would like to know, how exactly do you set the inches value for the guides. I lost myself a little when you started to set numbers for all the four sides of the canvas. Is there any rulers or something that can guide you?

  5. Amazing video. Continue with the hard work 🙂

  6. Great video but could you please provide link for the skills icon you used or one that is similar. Being able to do the tutorial as your talking really helps me. It will help more people to subscribe because we are able to get a full hands on experience and not just a talk through still a very great video many thanks.

  7. Excellent tutorial ???

  8. Thiel is so helpful! Can you make one tutorial about logo design on affinity designer? Thank you, subscribed!

  9. Thanks a lot

  10. I don't know if this is the best way to do it. It seems like a workaround. Illustrator is better in this so I hope they will fix it or maybe there is an better option to do cut contours and save a preset for the dimensions….

  11. Really nice tutorial. I love affinity designer. Definitely the best app of its kind for iPad. I’ve struggled with developing a workflow with it though. It’s tricky to get precision with it. And I’m coming from Adobe which I’ve been using for a long time. Anyway, your tutorial has helped with a few things. Thank you.

  12. Please can you show how to print one artboard from these because on my ipad affinity all artboards print and I cannot find how to only print one.

  13. Hi Elias, I am sorry but unless I am mistaken (and it could be, as every single comment up to now has praised how brilliant the demonstration was, so please let me know) the bleed does not work on Affinity Designer for iPad, period. In fact the solution (with guides) you showed does not work either in a real workflow that is not just a screen demo (i.e. when one one wants to really produce such business cards, printing and cutting them with a paper cutter or board shear).

    When including a "bleed" (which is not a true one) within the artboard area, and displaying it with guides as you've done, then the crop marks won't be at the right place (whatever you've selected "include bleed" option or not when exporting to PDF)! This is because these crop marks are located on the four corners of the whole artboard, i.e. outside of the (pseudo) bleed area which is completely useless for cutting cards. Absolutely no printer-publisher would accept such a PDF file.

    Crop marks in a PDF made with Affinity Designer are always set at the outer limit of the artboard and the inner limit of the (real) bleed, which is what it is made for. Alas, although Serif made it possible to include a bleed of whatever width in Affinity Designer for desktop, they never proposed the same for the iPad version.

    A (single) workaround does exist, but it needs Affinity Designer for desktop too. You have to set a true bleed first on the desktop version, save the file to iCloud, and import it in the iPad to finish the job there. Then the real bleed settings will be kept, with correct crop marks at the right place (I've tested it too). This is the only working solution for now.

    Therefore AD for iPad is not an independent (complete) solution for a print workflow yet, and this is quite sad as this is still the case in 2019. I hope a future update will bring True Bleed to iPad 😉

  14. How can I export the files to a client but so that it's set up easily for them to view and access?

  15. When I want to export it keeps loading generating export and don't give me the option ok.

  16. You’re amazing. Thanks

  17. A growing fan of yours and I have a peaking interest in working with vector as I have a pretty good handle on doodling and procreate. I was wondering if you would do tutorials like this and logo making for Vectornator as well. Maybe I will eventually come around go affinity but as of right now I dont see myself getting it.

  18. Thank you, thank you, thank you!! All of the other business card tutorials for Affinity completely skipped the color profile, dot pitch, bleed area and everything else to assure that the document was print ready for a professional printer. Heck, they weren't even using business card sized art boards. I can only guess how many people had to reconfigure their settings because their print configuration was set to something like web.

  19. For everyone wondering about bleed and cropmarks. If you use a single document for each side (and not use the artboards as instructed here), there is now an option to have the bleed set up directly on the document. Then it works correctly with the crop marks in the export.

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