This entry was posted on May 18, 2011.
Common publishing programs such as The Print Shop or Print Master let you print a simple 4-fold greeting card quickly and easily. By printing in a 4-fold layout, the software is designed to let you print your greeting card on a standard sheet of 8.5"x11" paper.
Printing greeting cards or invitations on plain white copy paper might seem OK at first, but you can achieve much better results using "2-up" high-quality coated card stock. "2-up" simply means that 2 cards come per sheet, so these are especially useful if you need to print more than one of the same card (which is often the case!).
This tutorial and its accompanying video show you how to use your software's 4-fold greeting card design feature to print on high-quality 2-up cards. In the video, we present two versions of the same card. The card shown already printed at the beginning of the video is a 4-fold greeting card on plain white paper. By the end of the video, you will see the difference in quality that is realized by printing on 2-up cards.
In the video example, we use The Print Shop version 22 as our design software, but the method we describe here works with any layout software that can print simple 4-fold greeting cards.
The first step is to select your software's 4-fold layout and format the card. In The Print Shop, we do this through the following steps: - On the starter screen, click "Invitations." - Select the option to "Start From Scratch" and use the Quarter-Fold layout. Then click "Next." - Format the card according to your project. In our example, we select "Wide" for the Format and "Top Fold" for the fold style. Once the format is chosen in The Print Shop, click "Finish."
Next, insert your image into the card. In The Print Shop: - From the Insert menu on the top toolbar, select "From File..." - Select the file to open through the standard dialog.
After inserting any images you want on the card, you design the card as you normally would. For cards that feature just a single image on the front cover (as in our video example), we recommend using an image that is large enough to cover the entire card. This way, you can stretch the image so that it extends past the edges of the card, which will allow you to print right up to the border of the card for a very professional look (if your printer supports printing to the edge).
After designing your card, you are ready to print it from your software. Before printing on high-quality 2-up cards, we recommend setting your printer to its optimal print quality settings. If the option is available to tell the printer what paper is in the tray, select "glossy," "photographic," or "premium" stock. And if you are printing to the edge of the card, be sure to enable your printer's borderless printer capability if the option is available.
Print a single card onto the 2-up sheet. Then you will want to place the just-printed sheet back into your printer such that it will print on the card across from the one you just printed. On our HP Photosmart D7200, we turn the sheet over by its short side so that the first image is facing down, then place the sheet back in the printer. (You may have to turn the sheet differently, depending on your printer).
Print the same card again, and it will print onto the other card on your sheet, giving you two cards. Fold this sheet down the middle and break the two cards apart. Then, fold each card along the score for a perfectly even-folded card.
From our video, you can clearly see one difference between using 2-up glossy cards and plain paper. The glossy cards developed during the video are of much superior quality to the plain paper card presented at the beginning; the plain paper card actually looks faded compared to the professional look of the glossy 2-up card.
In addition to the higher quality, don't forget the other advantages of using 2-up cards: - The cards are scored for guided folding. This means you only have to fold them once, and they will fold perfectly even. - You print 2 of the same card per sheet. The cards are perforated down the middle so they can be easily broken into 2 cards. - The stock not only looks nicer than plain paper but is thicker and has a more professional feel.