December 15, 2014

Make Your Own Printable Menu Cards With Photoscape


It's been quite a while since I shared an image editing tutorial on the blog. Lately, most tutorials have been about Blogger and Blogger design, but this week will be all about card design. With Christmas around the corner I though it would be a nice idea to show you how you can easily make your own printable menu cards for Christmas dinner. So let's get started!

NOTE: I'm using the free image editing program Photoscape for this tutorial. You can download it for free over here.


STEP 1 - CHOOSING SIZE & BACKGROUND

When you've downloaded Photoscape and installed it on your computer you can open the program to start designing. Choose the option 'Edit Photos' on the start screen.



Now you are in the opening screen of Photoscape and we can start designing. I have decided to use a 6x4.25 inch card for this tutorial. Of course you can make your menu card any size you want, and I will share another blog post this Wednesday on how you can easily find out how much pixels you have to use per inch for you card. Because Photoscape works with pixels and if I want to make a card of 6 by 4.25 inches I will have to know first how many pixels that is.

For now, all you need to know is that 6x4.25 inches is 1800x1275 pixels. And later on this week we'll dive into this subject a little deeper so you can start making cards of other sizes as well. But for now we are going to create a card background of 1800x1275 pixels. And to do that you need to click the 'Album Sheet' tab on top of the screen: 



You will now get an album sheet background on your screen. Mine is square, white and according to the sidebar 400x400 pixels in size. You see that the album sheet is divided into photo areas. You can add photos to these areas, but I just use this option to create a colorful background for my card. So stay with me.



First, we are going to change the size of the background. Right now mine is 400x400, but I really want 1800 (height) and 1275 (width) for my card. So I'm going to fill in these values in the pixel size boxes. The first value displays the width of the background, and the second one the height. Notice that the background in the screen increased in size.



Now that we have set the right size it's time to choose a nice background color. You can of course leave it white if that is what you are going for, but if you like a bit more color then click the Background Color button in the sidebar. A little screen opens where you can select the color of your choice, so browse around here and choose the color you like, you can even select the 'more colors' option. I'm going for rich, dark purple.





Now select the 'Edit' button in the sidebar and you will go to this screen, where your card background will be displayed in full:





STEP 2 - ADDING TEXT TO THE MENU CARD

Now that we have the background and the size covered, it's time to add text. Go to the menu bar below the screen and select the second tab which will say something like 'Additions'. Now you will have the option to add text by clicking the 'T' button.



A small screen now pops up with the option to start adding text. You can type your text in the little text screen. Then select a font, a font size and a color. And if you want to take things to the next level you can even add a shadow to the text or a line around it. Just play around with this menu until your text looks nice.



Now your text is ready to be positioned. I started with the text 'Christmas Menu' which I want to position centered on top of the card. So in the text option screen go to the 'place text' options and select where you want your text. I chose the 'On Top' position and then let the text slide down a little further because I didn't want it to be right at the top edge of the card. I did that by typing in the value of 150 pixels at the 'Y' box. The Y stands for vertical alignment and the X for horizontal alignment. So if you want to move your text around just add a numeric value here and see what it does. You can even give it a negative numeric value in these boxes, just type -150 in that case.



Okay, now you know how to position the text, and don't forget to save everything by clicking the 'save' button. But what if you have set your text to size 100 (which is the largest option) and it still looks too small for your taste? Don't worry, we'll just drag the text to a larger size. For that you need to close the little text option screen. Now place your cursor on the right lower corner of the text box and start dragging outwards until you have the size you like. Then let go of the cursor. 



Of course the text isn't centered anymore after this last action. All you have to do is double click on the text and you're back in the text option menu. Now you can center the text again with the 'place text' option.

Now fill in your whole menu with the font style, font size and color of your choice till you like what you see.



STEP 3 - SAVE YOUR CARD FOR GOOD QUALITY PRINTING

When you design something that needs to be printed you will get the best print quality when you save it as a high resolution .JPEG file. High resolution for printing is 300 DPI. Don't worry about what it all means, you only have to know how to save your file the correct way. So let's do that!

My card is ready for saving, so I pressed the 'Save' button. Now a screen pops up and you will notice that there is an option here to select the DPI value. Set it to 300.



Now, click the 'Save As' button and make sure you save it as a .JPEG/JPG file. That's it! You're card is now ready for printing!




TAKE IT TO THE NEXT LEVEL WITH BEAUTIFUL FONTS & IMAGES

You can take your card design to the next level by adding images to it (clipart, photos etc.). If you want to know how to do that, please view this tutorial: http://www.thedutchladydesigns.com/2014/05/how-to-add-clipart-to-digital-images.html

And if you want to go over the top with gorgeous font styles, just download a nice free font style at www.fontspace.com and learn how to install it to Photoscape so you can actually use it with this tutorial: http://www.thedutchladydesigns.com/2014/05/how-to-add-more-fonts-to-photoscape.html

I hope this tutorial will get you on the way with designing your own cards. Now you know how to make a background and add text to it, so the possibilities are endless. Let's be creative!

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