Photoshop Trading Card

Using your newfound Photoshop skills, you will design your very own trading card in the style of a hockey/baseball/football/basketball card, or perhaps a Pokemon style card. Your job is to be creative and original while using something like that as inspiration. You will design both the front and the back of the card.

Here is my example:

You can almost certainly come up with something better than that! I have a few sample cards on my desk that you could look at, or just google a hockey card and see what one could look like.

You DO NOT have to use yourself as the subject of the card, although that would be a lot of fun! You are encouraged to make one about yourself, of course, but can make one about your favourite athlete/musician/Pokemon, etc.

A standard trading card is about 2.5 inches by 3.5 inches. You can decide whether to design it in Portrait orientation (tall) or Landscape (wide.) Make sure your resolution is 300 pixels/inch and you are using the CMYK color mode.

If you come up with something good, I’ll even print it out and give it to you! When we cut them out, it is difficult to cut precisely on the line, so we often end up with a strip of white paper on the outside. To prevent this, we add in something called a BLEED, which is an extra bit of the background that extends past the edge of the intended page. This area gets cut off, so you don’t want to put anything important in there.

We actually want our card to be 2.5 inches by 3.5 inches, but we’ll add in an extra .25 inch bleed on all sides:

By default, Photoshop files always start out with one page/canvas, but you can add another.

If you go into the Layer menu, then choose New, then Artboard…

You can have multiple pages/canvases/artboards, which show up in the Layers panel

You’ll notice two pages that you can work on side-by-side:


In order to properly keep that Bleed area separate, you need to set up some Guides. In order to do that, you need to be able to see your Rulers.

Go into the View menu and choose Rulers (or press Ctrl + R)

Click on the ruler at the top of the page and pull down. Do this OFF of your page (beside it)

Drag down until you’re just onto your page.

You should see a light blue line appear on your page. With the Move tool active (press v on your keyboard), click on the line/Guide to select it. Then Right-click and choose Edit Selected Guides:

The top guide should be .25 inch into the page.

Repeat this process, placing guides at the top and bottom of the page. The next one should be at 3.75 inches

If you’ve done it correctly, those guides will extend out onto both artboards and all you’ll need to do is add the vertical guides on both sides

Drag from the left ruler onto the page and set a guide at .25 in

And another at 2.75 in

The other artboard requires a bit of math because the spacing is a bit odd, but lucky for you, I’ve done it for you! Put one at 3.583 in

and a final one at 6.083 in

In the end, you should see something like this, with guides marking off that bleed area on the front and back of the card


Those guides are just for your information. They will not appear on the printed card!

When you create your background, make sure it extends out to the edge of the page. Remember that the section between the guide and the edge of the page is designed to be cut off, so never put anything important in there!

Remember that the guides will be the edge of the page when cut, so never put anything important too close to those guides! Keep a bit of a margin area blank all the way around.

Here’s what that might look like:

Anything important should be in that area that I have grey (Safe area.)




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