How To Create A Sweet Bokeh Business Card In Photoshop

In this Photoshop tutorial we’re going to learn how to create a double-sided business card that features Bokeh and abstract effects. We’ll also create many different color schemes for it. So, let’s get started!

Final Image Preview

Here’s a preview of the front side, click the image to enlarge

And here’s how the back side would look, click the image to enlarge

As we go through the many steps of the tutorial we’ll create a beige colored design, and at the end of the tutorial I’ll show you how to easily change the beige one into other color schemes.

Tutorial Details

  • Program: Adobe Photoshop CS4
  • Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Estimated Completion Time: About one hour

External Sources


You’ll need this abstract piece, which I’ve created for this tutorial (download the image to your computer).


We’ll be using Rockwell as the main typeface. You can of course replace Rockwell with your favorite slab serif typeface! ;)

Step 1

We’ll start by creating a new document, according to the following image.

In order to view our Rulers, go to View > Rulers.

Also the guides should be viewed. So, I’ll go ahead an click View > Extras.

Finally, we’ll go to View > Snap.

Step 2

We’ll drag four new guides at the top, bottom, right, and left edges of our artboard. Which will work as the crop lines.

We’ll add a bleed area of 0.25inch. In order to do that, go to Image > Canvas Size. Then adjust your settings according to the following image:

Our artwork should extend behind the four guides.

Step 3

We’ll start creating our background by drawing a rectangle over the whole artboard using the Rectangle Tool (U). Then we’ll fill it with this color value: #c5ab78 (please note that we’ll be able to change this color later on).

Apply a Gradient Overlay to this layer. Use the image below for reference:

Step 4

Using the Rectangle Marquee Tool (M) create a selection over the whole artboard, set your foreground color to white (#ffffff) then click Shift+Backspace to fill it.

Create an ellipse using the Elliptical Marquee Tool (M) and fill it with black (#000000).

Select the pixels of the ellipse, then go to Edit > Define Brush Preset.

Open up the Brushes panel, make sure to select the brush we’ve just created, and adjust the Brush Tip Shape settings according to the following image:

Adjust the Shape Dynamics settings:

Scattering settings:

And finally, Other Dynamics settings:

It’s pretty good so far, save it for now, we’ll use it in the next steps.

Step 5

Go ahead and download this abstract piece. Then go to File > Place > Locate to where you’ve downloaded it > Place.

Reduce this layer’s Opacity to: 55%, and set its Blend Mode to Linear Burn.

Duplicate the abstract stripes at the bottom, flip it, and place it at the top of your artboard.

Nudge it up a bit, then finally reduce its layer’s Opacity to around: 40%.

Step 6

Now let’s brush some Bokeh using the brush we created in step four. Select the Brush Tool (B), choose the brush we created, set its Opacity down to: 10%, then finally set your foreground color to white (#ffffff).

Create a new layer and start brushing some ellipses. See the image below for reference:

Brush some smaller ones with Master Diameter of: 20px.

Set this layer’s Blend Mode to Soft Light.

Step 7

Create a new layer. Then brush some more ellipses with an opacity of: 100%/40% and Master Diameter of: 200px/70px/30px.

Again, brush some even smaller ones with an opacity of: 100%/40% and Master Diameter of: 30px/10px.

Reduce this layer’s opacity to: 20% and set its Blend Mode to: Overlay.

Step 8

Duplicate the Bokehs we’ve created in the previous step (the ones at the top right side) and place them down on the left side. You can of course make some changes to them at this point!

Always make sure to keep your document tidy and organize your layers. Here’s how mine looks.

Step 9

It’s time to add some information/text! Using the Horizontal Type Tool (T) type your name with the following character settings:

  • Font Family: Rockwell (get it here)
  • Font size: 130px
  • Font weight: Bold
  • Anti-aliasing setting: Smooth
  • Color: #e3e3e3

Give it a Drop Shadow. Use the image below for reference:

Write your job title using the following character settings:

  • Font Family: Rockwell
  • Font size: 60px
  • Font weight: Regular
  • Anti-aliasing setting: Smooth
  • Color: #e3e3e3

Also, give it the same Drop Shadow we’ve given the previous one.

Group the two text layers. Call this layers group whatever name – I called it: “info“.

To make sure our text is well-aligned, select the “info” group and the background layer, then click on Align vertical centers and Align horizontal centers.

Step 10

We’re done with the back side! Let’s move on to the front side. We’ll start by dragging four new guides according to the following image:

Again, type your name and job title according to the following image:

Step 11

Using the Rounded Rectangle Tool (U) create a rectangle of: 40x40px, with Radius of: 5px, fill it with white (#fffff), and set its Blend Mode to Soft Light.

Add some Layer Style to it according to the following image.

Type the letter “t” (represents “telephone“) using the following character settings:

  • Font Family: Rockwell
  • Font size: 40px
  • Font weight: Regular
  • Anti-aliasing setting: Smooth
  • Color: #82734a

Then type your telephone number next to it, using the following character settings:

  • Font Family: Rockwell
  • Font size: 30px
  • Font weight: Regular
  • Anti-aliasing setting: Smooth
  • Color: #ffffff

Make some copies of what we’ve created so far – in this step.

One final word, don’t forget to keep your layers organized. Look at mine:

Creating More Color Schemes

Very easily you can adjust the color value that fills the rectangle in the background to make more color schemes.
Here are some color schemes I came up with!

That’s All, Folks!

We’re done! We’ve created a print-ready, double-sided, Bokeh/abstract business card, and we’re able to create various color schemes for it. I hope you enjoyed this tutorial, please feel free to leave a comment below ;)

Get it from MediaLoot!

This design is available at MediaLoot as a business card template, you can get it for $5.00, or Join MediaLoot and download every item their collection and more for a low monthly fee.


  1. Steve says

    Good work, just watch your typo, the kerning around that O could be tighter.

    Excellent tutorial :)

  2. says

    I am not good with the bokeh design, so i don’t use in most designs the same concept.. But after looking into this, it makes so simple in creating the bokeh effect in any design…

  3. says

    @Mahmoud: Yeah, that texture I download it free from others blog in PSD file format. I just do the redesign ‘things’. :)

  4. Websnap says

    Not to be a hater (cause I think this background tutorial is top-notch) why would you instruct people to built a printed piece completely in Ps, when type and layout should have been done in InDesign, or at least in Illustrator for a myriad of different reasons.

    If it’s to keep the tutorial in/about one app (Ps), the pardon my comment, but I think it should be at least noted that it’s not a sound way to set up a print document.

    In any event, the BG work here is great. Thanks for putting it up.

  5. says


    Well, What are the “myriad” reasons to making the typography in InDesign, or Illustrator?
    There’s isn’t any reason not to create the typography or the layout in Photoshop.

    This tutorial already shows you how to create a complete print-ready business card. And just to you know, I have designed many business card before only in Photoshop, and got them printed.

  6. emma says

    Great tutorial for background effect

    Agree though that any print design doc should really be set up in another application. Mainly because of the ease of setting it up for print.

    InDesign will sort out your bleed, trim and crop marks and set out your colour calibration bars for print. There is no dealing with setting up a document for print output here.

    Also other applications are better for dealing with typography so your type won’t look as smooth as if you were setting it in InDesign or Illustrator which deals with it as a vector.

    This tutorial obviously by a digital designer and not a print designer.

  7. says


    Well, I agree with you that software like InDesign/Illustrator provides more options for print/typography.
    Though, and of course, that does not mean you can’t set up your files for print in Photoshop.
    If you’ve checked sites like: Medialoot: or GraphicRiver these sites are full of print deigns such as; business cards, flyers, brochures, etc. Which have been fully designed in Photoshop.
    Add on, I personally think that Websnap’s comment was a bit harsh, because if you’ve tried printing this design, I guarantee that it will be perfectly printed!

    They’re already available on my blog for free, you can get them from here: Hope you find them useful in anyway.

  8. Websnap says


    Sorry if you though that my comments were harsh, I did my best not to come off that way and even further to complement all but that one aspect of the tutorial.

    But, hey… if you say I’ve already been harsh…

    There are a lot of reasons not to set up a print job in Ps, but I’ll focus on the two main ones:

    1) File size. Photoshop documents are MASSIVE compared to any other file format (Id, Ai and PDF and exponentially better), especially with many layers and live, non-rastered type. A file with even a paragraph of text @ 300 DPI is a monstrosity in file size. This makes them troublesome to effectively email them to printers or rip them to actual output. you may be able to get away with it ONCE and a while if the job is simplistic enough, but a poster (for instance) would take the better part of an hour just to get through a RIP… and that’s if all goes well. Even then that brings me to the next issue…

    2) Type. Straight-up, not filter-applied copy looks like crap (not talking about your job, specifically) but Ps’ copy handling capabilities in general sucks ass. Once ripped (that is, if your specific printer even accepts PSD’s for output) Text never looks as crisp because the rip default rasterizes it.

    Indesign and Illustrator have, hands down, a better type engine and more efficient file export for ALL print jobs… that’s why they exist. It’s just good print practice. You CAN get away with it on SOME jobs, maybe… but for effective file sizes, type control/reproduction, edibility and all around compatibility with Rips… no matter where/what they are running – Photoshop should be avoided for as a one stop for print work. It will paint you in a corner when those tight jobs go sour… and they always tend to…

    Again, no disrespect to the rest of your tutorial – top notch Ps. I just figure a lot of young designers will be looking at posts like this and may pick up bad habits in print execution… ones that will turn into obstacles.

  9. says

    I agrere with Websnap. Although this is a great tutorial for a background, I would use Indesign for typing all the text and for setting up the card for print. Photoshop will rasterize the text. But otherwise a very nice effect, Mahmoud.

  10. says


    Well, first off, the only thing I complained about was how Websnap just thrown some words — “for a myriad of different reasons” — without even explaining them. I’m sorry, but, they just don’t make any sense, and the way the were said wasn’t so good. It’s either to explain what them, or not to comment!

    Of course, I do agree with you guys that print work should be done inside InDesign — or even, Illustrator — or why do you think Adobe has created such a software(s)?
    And also so just you know, I do use InDesign — here’s an example of a set up of one of my documents: — in my print work.

    But though, that of course doesn’t mean we can’t design print work inside of Photoshop! — Although, we shouldn’t get into the habit of doing that, — but in some cases, you’ll have to get the design work done inside Photoshop. Like in my case for example. I’m 99% sure that this Bokeh/abstract effect could not be done in InDesign or Illustrator — even if by a miracle that happened it wouldn’t be as efficient and easy as doing it in Photoshop.
    Also to prove that point, I’ve seen many great designers who design things for print inside Photoshop. For example: Nigel French who is a certified Adobe instructor with experience over 15 years as a graphic designer, I’ve seen a title for him at in which he designed things for print fully in Photoshop.

    One last thing to bear in mind, is that I designed this business card as as a template for MediaLoot. So, I had to keep the document in one software.
    I could have exported the Bokeh background to InDesign as a flattened image, but then I would consider my self ripping off, because I’m personally one of those who purchase designs mostly not because I need them, but to explore them through their different layers, and to see how they were created.
    Or maybe I could have included the PSD without the text and link it to the InDesign file, but again, it will still cause that massive file size.

    Anyways, I hope that explains to you why I have created it in Photoshop.

    Cheers, guys! :)

  11. says

    Hello, Neat post. There’s a problem together with your website in internet explorer, might test this… IE nonetheless is the marketplace leader and a huge portion of people will pass over your fantastic writing due to this problem.


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