How to Design a Deck of Cards in Adobe Illustrator

By Anthony King

Adobe Illustrator is a computer program that can help you become your own picture and image editor right on your desktop. You can make professional-looking birthday cards, business cards and even your own personalized playing cards. Personalized playing cards make nice gifts and can be used as a non-traditional photo album of sorts to commemorate vacations, parties or other special events.

Things You'll Need

  • Playing-card template
  • Playing-card printer paper
  • Scissors

Step 1

Download one of the many free playing-card templates on your computer. Two websites that offer free, quality playing-card templates are and

Step 2

Open Adobe Illustrator by double-clicking the icon if you have a shortcut for it on your desktop. If you don't have it saved as an icon, find it in the list of your computer programs by first clicking the start windows button, sliding your mouse up to highlight the "All Programs" tab, and finally scrolling through and clicking on the program in the list.

Step 3

Click "File" and the "Open" from the top right corner of Adobe Illustrator, once it has loaded. From the "Open File" window that opens, search your hard drive for the location where you've saved the blank playing-card template. Double-click the file to open it in Adobe Illustrator.

Step 4

Customize your blank playing-card template by uploading personal pictures and re-sizing them to fit inside the borders of the playing cards. Or select images and designs you create or find online. One idea: Take pictures of all of your friends or family members and put each of them on an individual playing card.

Step 5

Print each playing card image on special photo-quality printer paper. The paper is available at any office supply store. Once you have printed both sides of the image, carefully cut along the card borders to make each of your 52 playing cards.