Creating a Dynamic Two-Toned Birthday Card in Illustrator: Add Fun With Color, Layout, Typography

Sandra Hess, Sandra Rose Designs, Graphic Designer

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7 Videos (28m)
    • INTRO Two Toned Birthday Card

    • Video 1 Setting Up BASE Card Template

    • Video 2 Choosing Background Colors

    • VIDEO 3 Adding Text

    • VIDEO 4 Secondary Text Wishing You a

    • VIDEO 5 Inside Text

    • VIDEO 6 Final Print Set Up


About This Class



Have you ever wondered how two tone text is created in Illustrator? Let's create a greeting card from template to finished card, ready for printing! Using the word BIRTHDAY, we will use two fun colors and give a bright, fun wow factor to your card. Your choice of font and colors determines the final look and feel of your card. You will see examples of different card occasions where you can use this technique for a very effective card.

This is geared to both people with limited knowledge in Illustrator, and if you are advanced, you will learn some new tips and tricks that can be used on any design project. I will walk you step by step through the process so if you are a beginner, you will still be able to do the project. 

Join me as we work from template to finished card ready to send! I love to see students' work, and how little differences in color, size and variation can make a big difference in the final project! I can't wait to see what you made, so be sure and upload it to the gallery so I can comment!


Introduction - What you will learn and some examples of other cards with this technique.

Video 1)  Make a 5 x 7 card template. If you just want to learn the design portion, you can skip this video.

Video 2) Choose two colors and set up the background. 

Video 3) Add the main text word and create the two-toned effect. Skill: Clipping Mask 

Video 4) Add the additional wording on the front to compliment the main word. 

Video 5)  Create the inside message. 

Video 6) BONUS - if you want to print the card, download the PRINT template. 

  • TEMPLATE DOWNLOADS - Download from Class Project Area

Font: Smitten - Free Download Here 

Adobe Acrobat Pro Windows Free Download 

Adobe Acrobat Pro Mac Free Download 

2 of 2 students recommendSee All

Easy and nice looking card when done.
Sandra Hess

Sandra Rose Designs, Graphic Designer





Sandra Hess

Sandra Rose Designs, Graphic Designer

“Your 20 year old daughter MADE that card?” I asked my best friend. The card images and text were stamped and embellished with a well-placed rhinestone. A 3-D feel was created by layered focal points and a beautiful ribbon completed the look. She showed me several more cards that she received for her birthday and her recent wedding anniversary. I was in awe and felt so inspired as I saw card after card, each with its own unique charm! I couldn’t wait to learn to hand craft my own cards!

And so began my love affair with designing and creating greeting cards. That day was 16 years ago and my passion continues. I love good design. I love greeting cards. I love connecting with people and teaching what I have learned.

I started my career in the fine arts field of music as a registered music therapist. I switched to teaching private piano lessons while raising my 2 young children. Soon after they entered school, I taught general and choral music in grade school followed by high school. My music career spanned 20 years.

When my daughter was expecting her first child and my first grandchild, I closed the much loved chapter of my music career and turned my focus to a home based business of designing and selling greeting cards. The ongoing set schedule and external responsibilities of classes, student performances, concerts and music activities were replaced by flexible time, working from home, and being available for more consistent support to my growing family. 

My love of people and creativity now took a new outlet. Design classes at a local university fit nicely into my schedule. I developed my professional skills of design, typography, color theory, drawing, photography and so much more to help in my graphic design career. The sophisticated design software of Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator became my tools of choice. As my design skills grew through the computer, my handcrafted cards turned digital and a new world of sales and marketing took hold.

My first sales outlets were small local shops where I sold my handcrafted cards. My sales grew to include larger regional stores, private label cards, and organization and industry specific collections. Online sales at Greeting Card Universe and my own online card shop, Cards by Sandra Rose, selling both wholesale to stores and retail to individuals, have allowed me to expand not only across the United States but in Europe as well. The online store Zazzle has allowed me to grow my business to include related collections of gift items featuring my designs. My line has now grown to more than 5,000 cards and I have sold well over 200,000 cards.

People share with me stories of how meaningful cards are in their lives. Stories of care and compassion and how a card has helped them touch a friend’s life who was diagnosed with cancer. Stories of the joy a card brings for just saying hello to a grandfather who lives in a nursing home. Stories of celebration as the “perfect” card scores a home run with a son or grandson on his birthday. Budding card designers reach out to me to learn how a home based career works, how to use the complicated design software, and how to make money online through graphic design.