How to create a card layout on InDesign

Posted by Justin Posted in graphic design, Guides

I wanted to create a simple a HOW TO guide that could be easily adapted for other briefs, so i decided to create a quick and simple How to design a gift card with Indesign. The idea is that you come to learn how to create pages on Indesign, what side of the pages are what when printing and things you should look out for.

This quick and easy guide will not be focused on the design aspect of the card, rather on the technical side.

Let’s Begin!

Begin By opening InDesign and creating a new document.
We’ll be making this card quite small half an A5 so we’ll need to create an A5 page, select more options on the right and make sure you have a bleed of at least 3 mm.






This is what you will end up with once you ok the previous menu. Grab your shape tool (Rectangle box) and draw a box around the red box surrounding your page (The bleed) this box has small squared on its borders and a dot marking the center of the page. This will be your guide to the center of the page where your card will fold. Click on the ruler on the left (if you don’t have this go to View > Show rulers) and draw to the side, this will create a blue guide, place it over the centre dot of the box you created and you will now have a guide marking where the page will fold.


You can now see that the left side of your page will be the back of your card and the right will be your cover, backwards to what you make think and easily to confuse so make sure you know this.





The same goes for the inside, create a new page, on the right side of your programme is a pages tool open that and press the new page button, then do the same as you did for the first page.





This is a quick and simple example of what you can end up with, a simple card which is easily printed at home.


N.B: There are many other ways of creating layouts for books and magazines such as creating facing pages, this is only one way of doing it i wished to share with you. 

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  • Jason Vana

    Great advice Justin. I used to work for a newspaper and had the task of layi out the paper each week (it was a once weekly ads only kind of paper). Laying out cards and such like this is almost second nature to me now, after 5 years of doing it. Lol

    • Justin Bautista

      Thanks Jason, there are other ways i create layouts on indesign such as Facing pages and guides and all sorts but i thought this would be a good starting point especially for new designers, it’s true what you say though, it’s such a automatic thing to do I don’t even think about it.