This week I decided to go back to my roots and create a business starter set. A business starter set usually includes a letterhead, Business Card, and Mailing Envelope. But since stylized envelope are not widely used these days I will focus on the letterhead and business card. This tutorial will be created in illustrator for two reasons. The first is since illustrator is a vector based graphic system, any graphic you create can be used for any size design you may need later (i.e. ~ Print Ads, Billboards, or Client Swag). The second reason is you have more control over elements in your design (i.e. ~ Line smoothing, Line correction, and non-destructive scaling)
To begin we need to open a new document in Illustrator. Set the new file’s dimensions to 8″ x 12″. Then select your Rectangle Tool. Click inside our document to bring up the rectangle dimension tool. Change the width to 8 and the hieght to 12 and hit OK. Set the fill to White and remove the stroke.
Next grab your pen tool and make a slight wave in the corner. It is fine if it is not totally smooth. Once you are satified with the shape go to Object > Path > Simplify. Using the sliders smooth the shape as much as you like. Set the fill to #00B0D8
With your shape still selected hit CTRL+C(or Command Key+C) to copy. Then CTRL+V(Command Key+V) to paste a copy to the document. Then Hold the shift key and click the first shape. This can also be done using the Selection Tool and draging a selection over both objects. With both objects selected you need to align them. In the header tool bar select “Horizontal Align Right” and Vertical Align Bottom. Lastly reselect the copied shape, using the Selection Tool grab the top left corner bounding box. Holding Shift drag the shape down slightly smaller then the orgiginal. Change the fill color to #58B7DD.
Follow these same steps to create the rest of the waves. Set the next color to #AFDFE5.
The fourth color to #29AAE2.
Set the fifth color to #C7EAFB. Now using the Selection Tool select all the wave shapes and hit CTRL+G(Command Key+G) or rightclick and select “Group”.
Copy the group and past it in our document. Rotate it 180° and plac it in the top left of the document.
Select your rectangle tool and make a new box make the siz 7.8″ x 11.8″. Set the fill to white and make the opacity 50%. Place it in the center of the document.
Copy this layer and place it over the original. Remove the fill and add a 0.5 px stroke in color #808080. Set the Opacity to 100%.
Select your pen tool. Now make a straight horizontal line 430 pixels wide. Then set the X value to 233 and the Y Value to 756. Set the Stroke size to .5 and the color to #2E3192.
For the next section we are going to create the logo icon. This can be anything you want but for mine I decided to create a stylized water button. To begin select the pen tool and make a large water drop shape. Set the Fill to #E6E6E6 and nothing as the stroke.
Now that we have the base lets add a drop color behind the base. You can do this two ways. Either copy and paste the shape and nudge it to the left and down. Or create a new shape using the pen tool. Once you have the new shape set the color to #999999.
Now that we have the base and the drop. We are going to give the base a little more definition. So grab your pen tool and we are going to make a distorted water drop shape in the top right corner of our base. Set the fill to #DCDCD7.
Next make a copy of the base layer and center it over the original. To do this highlight the copy and the original respectively. In the header tool bar select “Horizontal Align Left” and Vertical Align Bottom. Then deselect the original layer and scale it to 5 pixels smaller then the base or 97%. Change the fill color to #23419A.
Copy the blue water drop layer and follow the previous steps. Only this time we are going to add a Gradient fill. To do this select your gradient in the Gradient Panel, then we are going to change the colors of our gradient. Select your end color swatch to activate it in the color panel. Next select the small icon on the far right in the Color panel and select RGB. (For print work you want to use CMYK but for the purpose of this tutorial we will just use RGB.) Once you have the RGB window open set the R to 111, the G to 204, and the B to 221. Follow the same steps to make your starting color but set your RGB setting to (R to 57, the G to 83, and the B to 164). Lastly set the location to 70.
Next make a smaller distorted drop shape like we did on the base layer but this time on the first blue gradient layer. Then add a new blue gradient. Set the start color to (R 41, G 42, B 121) and the ending color to (R 68, G 179, B 230). Lastly set the location to 70.
Next make a smaller Distorted Drop Shape and add a 90° blue gradient in these colors. Set the start color to (R 37, G 38, B 106), (add a new color swatch) the mid color to (R 35, G 100, B 135) and the ending color to (R 171, G 223, B 240). Lastly set the location between the start color and the mid to 50, the mid color to 50, and the location between mid and end color to 50.
To finish this shape off we are going to add a glare shape. Make the shape a curved acute triangle like below. Then add a new 90° gradient. Set the start color to (R 116, G 208, B 240) and the ending color to (R 195, G 232, B 247).
Next we add the company name. Select your text tool and set the font size to 24, the facing to Myriad Pro, and the Style to Regular. Set the color to #23419A. And type out “Rain Drop Marketing”. Congrats you are finished with the letterhead, now we can move onto the business card.
For this design I decided to go with a two sided card. Let’s build the front first. To begin select the rectangle tool and make a rectangle shape set the width to 252px and the height to 144px. Set the fill to white.
Copy the card layer and align both layers. Then move the copy to the right and down 5 px. Set the fill color to #B3B3B3. Lastly go to Effects > Blur > Gaussian Blur and set the Blur to 3.0
Now for our business card we are going to use design elements from our letterhead. So grab one on the wave groups. Make a copy of this group then rotate it so le long end goes from the left edge to the right and the fatter side goes from Right top to Right bottom. Then scale the group to fit in our business card.
Now make a new retangle with a width of 234px and a height of 126px. Set the fill color to white and add a .5 stroke and set the stroke color to #808080. Then center the shape in our business card and set the opacity to 50%.
Next copy the water drop icon and scale it to fit in out business card. Place it 5 pixels from the top left edge of the boxe you just created.
Now copy the Business name and place it next to the water drop icon in the business card. Change the font size to 19 px.
Now that we have our logo and layout created for our business card we need to add the contact information. Select your text tool and set the font size to 8, the facing to Myriad Pro, and the Style to Semibold. Set the color to #808080. And type out “your street address 012 (Line break) phone: 012 – 345 – 6789 (Line break) www.companyname.com”. Adjust the space of each line break to your liking.
For the last step of our business card front we are going to add a slogan under our logo text. Select your text tool and set the font size to 6, the facing to Myriad Pro, and the Style to Regular. Set the color to #808080. And type out “Making the world better one drop at a time”. Adjust the space between the logo text and the slogan to your liking.
Now we are ready to create the back of our business card. Some designers will say you don’t need to create a back side design. Personally I think it gives the card a more uniqe feel and in a sea of overturned business cards yours will stand out the most. Copy the base and drop shadows of the front business card and move them to the right and down like below. Hide the drop shadow and change the white base to #1B75BC.
Show the drop shadow layer.
Copy the wave layer from the business card and reflect it horitonally. Place in the back of our business card.
Copy the drop shape from our business card and scale it 40%. Place it left 8 pixels to the right of the wave and center it from the top and bottom.
Lastly we are going to add our website link. Select your text tool and set the font size to 13, the facing to Myriad Pro, and the Style to Regular. Set the color to #E6E6E6. Type out your business web link and you are done.
I hope you enjoyed this illustrator tutorial come back soon for even more.