Design

As a Creative Director, you need designers to fly by the seat of their pants, take life by the horns and do whatever they need to do to get stuff done. Or, in other words, you need them to indulge their creativity, take abstract ideas and craft them into something relatable, tangible and personable — relative to a brand, of course.

But here’s the thing. 

All too often, designers and other creatives wind up with an acute case of what you might call Lone-Wolf-Tunnel-Vision-No-Don’t-Touch-My-Precious. Or non-creative folks attempt to create collateral, resulting in some seriously rogue content and off-brand hullabaloo. You’ve seen it before. And maybe you’ve experienced it yourself, too. Folks get so wrapped up in a project that it becomes difficult to remove themselves, both personally and professionally, from the execution, critique and more. 

And while either approach to design can be effective in some circumstances, it works only up till a certain point, when it can hinder your brand image.

Alternatively, steering creatives toward collaboration in design, especially when the project calls for it, can have a positive impact in a myriad of ways. 

What is design collaboration?

Simply put: design collaboration involves the collaboration between colleagues — design, dev, content and etc., — in order to bring an idea to life. 

As the name suggests, design collaboration is an immersive, collaborative experience. It relies on an innate variety of thinking, experience and more that multiple key stakeholders contribute when they, so to speak, put their heads together to problem solve and create powerful customer experiences. Ultimately, design collaboration entails a unique process in which creative teams transform an idea or a concept into a fully-fleshed out campaign or finished product. And in turn, you build a stronger team and empower them to work faster — together.

Why is design collaboration important?

Collaboration in design offers your team two critical benefits:

  1. Your brand stands to gain the benefit of collaboration between creatives.
  2. Your brand stands to gain the benefit of cross-functional team collaboration.

As far as creatives are concerned, collaboration in design helps empower creatives to take their blinders off and work together (as a team) to create powerful, magnetic content experiences. 

As for cross-functional teams are concerned, collaboration in design allows individual contributors and teams at-large to work faster, work stronger and work together more effectively. Keep in mind, the key to a successful collaboration design process lay within managing the project itself. 

How to create a culture of collaboration

Creating a successful collaboration design culture is kind of like following a recipe. There are certain ingredients, so to speak, that you need in order to foster and nurture collaboration across individuals and departments. 

So, what do you need? 

The six C’s!

Common ground — Think of this as a team’s (cross-functional or not) shared values. What unites you as a group of collaborators? 

HOT TIP: Remind everyone to keep an open mind when it comes to perhaps overzealous ideas. Sometimes the most impactful experiences aren’t the most straightforward. And part of the collaborative process entails leaning into a problem-solving mentality.

Context — Think of this as your goals. Why are you all here? What are you doing?

HOT TIP: Creative briefs are excellent contextual pieces of evidence. A creative brief doesn’t have to be super heavy-handed or in-depth, but it needs to offer the guidance, context and identification of key stakeholders for the project at hand.

Clarity — Think of this as the “how” you’ll get this project done. Clarity is critical when working in a group of multifaceted people. 

HOT TIP: You need to consider project management processes, tools, roles, deadlines and so forth. The more clear you can get about who-owns-what and when-something-is-due, the stronger your project is likely to be. 

Critique — This is probably pretty self-evident. Successful collaboration requires critique and feedback. Do not shy away from it. 

HOT TIP: Facilitate peer-to-peer feedback sessions. It’s easy for anyone and everyone to get tunnel-vision when working on a project. Or, alternatively, create a big group brainstorm that encourages everyone to feel “bought-in” to an idea or concept, that way each person feels as though they contributed to the brainstorming process. 

Communication — You and all of those on the collaboration team need to have a universal language regarding the project specifics. Even if a sales agent doesn’t quite understand the ins and outs of a UX designer’s job, doesn’t mean you can’t establish a common ground of communication. 

HOT TIP: Encourage cross-functional collaboration and communication on a regular basis. Weekly or biweekly meetings are a great way to achieve this. 

Connectivity — Think of this as the “what” that connects you back to your customers. What do you know to be true, or rather, what assumptions are you making about this project and consequential experience or initiative.

HOT TIP: Create a customer roadmap of feedback or reviews. Get an inside look as to what you know is true, and perhaps where you’re being steered wrong.

Top 4 tools that foster collaboration

Collaboration design projects usually have quite a few moving parts — along with quite a few people involved. So, to keep you on track, we typically recommend using a few tools that promote and foster collaboration, and keep you organized and on-task.

You have arrived at Collaboration Design Station

It’s worth noting that not all projects require collaboration design. Some projects are better suited as partnership endeavors, whereas others, like a high-visibility ad campaign, should probably be created using a collaborative design process.

The internet is teeming with sites vying for attention, and a poor first impression could very well be your last. It’s a fine line one walks when it comes to nailing that website design. Some get it right; many don’t. From the layout and navigation to the colors and fonts, everything has something to say about the brand behind the scenes.

Some studies suggest that it only takes 50 milliseconds for a user to decide whether your website is appealing enough. With such a short amount of time, your website needs to wow them fast and leave a strong impression.

Let’s delve deeper into three areas—design, user experience and content—that can make an impact on your viewer, to give you insight into what your website says about your brand.

Driven by design

With dwindling attention spans and fast-changing loyalties, the design of your website plays a huge role in holding the attention of fast-moving visitors and encouraging interaction.

The truth about web design

Source: Kinesis

Organizations spend top dollar to help their websites stand out amongst the noise. With special emphasis on digital marketing strategy, a great website design will help you grab your consumer’s attention.

Traits of a well-designed website

Visual appeal, but for the right audience

Looks matter.

In fact, 38% of users will stop browsing your website if they don’t find it attractive enough. So, a visually appealing website is half the job done. But remember—you are not trying to appeal to everybody.

Good design addresses the target audience with a brand personality users want to engage with. Check out this website, Crypton. It’s designed ideally for a tech-savvy audience.

Crypton homepage

Source: Crypton

Parallax scrolling heightens the user engagement here, but you don’t have to include parallax functionality on every website. Research your buyer personas and use design elements, functions and colors that make your target audience feel right at home.

Your above-the-fold section should do the job

A Nielsen study says the majority of your website visitors will spend 80% of their time above the fold. That’s the section you see without scrolling—call it the opening screen.

The best websites explain what they do in this opening screen. A general practice is to use a headline (think your company’s tagline or mission statement), followed with a brief subtitle text describing your services or products. Top it off with a CTA button to direct visitors toward the next stage in your conversion funnel.

Airbnb does this brilliantly; the headline is the CTA. While there’s no subtitle text, their call-to-action is strengthened by a slideshow of awesome travel photos. Just beneath the headline, a search bar is intuitively placed. The example text in the search bar encourages interaction.

Airbnb homepage

Source: Airbnb

Your design might be ineffective if:

The design approach you take depends on many factors. Location, age brackets, and target groups will certainly affect how your website should look. Having said that, these factors should be the starting points for your design. A well-designed website that considers all these factors will set you apart from the crowd.

User experience counts

Today, it’s all about experiences. You could have a brilliant product or service, but if your website fails to deliver an enjoyable user experience, all that will be for nothing. It all comes down to how you make your customers feel.

The kind of experience users have, good or bad, will stay with them for a long time, even after the browser window is closed. A well-thought-out homepage or landing page with content that resonates will go a long way towards creating a great user experience.

Let’s see what your website’s UX has to say about you.

Good user experience:

Crunchbase homepage

Source: Crunchbase

Airbnb 404 page

Source: Airbnb

Poor user experience:

User experience can make or break your website. To stay ahead of the game, it’s important to take feedback from your visitors. Incorporating that feedback will give your users a sense of gratification and improve future visitors’ experience.

Content will make it all work

Content might be the most important aspect of any website. Well-written content will bring you new traffic and repeat visits.

These days, content isn’t limited to the stuff you read. There’s now an increased demand for visual content. Animations, infographics and GIFs tell stories and illustrate data like never before. Compelling content with clear calls-to-action will eventually drive your users toward conversion.

Take a look at how the quality of your content reflects your brand’s personality.

Characteristics of good content:

HubSpot sales landing page

Source: HubSpot

Characteristics of poor content:

Key takeaway

With so many sites competing for dollars and attention, it’s more important than ever to offer the user an exceptional experience. By breaking down your website into these three areas of design, user experience and content, you can evaluate how well each one contributes to your brand’s success. Conversely, you can also isolate areas that aren’t working and try new ways to engage your audience. When all of these areas represent your brand authentically and consistently, you will enjoy higher traffic, conversions and customer satisfaction.

Want to learn more about building & managing a brand? Check out our free eBook: Managing your brand in the cloud.

In some ways, making a magazine today is easier than ever. The internet puts free information at everyone’s fingertips, all instantly available through mobile devices. What’s more, every person online has the opportunity to create high-quality content if they so choose. From free magazine templates to stock image libraries, there are more options than ever. Still, there’s more to making a successful magazine than simply putting images and text together. In this step by step guide, we’ll explain how to make a magazine that will not only showcase your brand in the best light, but keep your audience hooked.

How to make a magazine in 16 steps

In this resource, we’ll walk you through the work that happens before, during and after production. The first stage is brainstorming, followed by creation and collaboration, and finally, distribution. There’s a lot to cover (no pun intended), so let’s dive in.

Before production: Brainstorming

1. Developing your business plan

Before you write a single word for your magazine, you’ll want to sit down and create a game plan. This includes your mission (the reason why your magazine should exist), your overall goals, and how you’ll attain them.

Here are some of the most important questions to consider

While their brand has ballooned over the past 100 years, their commitment to “unparalleled trust and authority” remains the cornerstone of the TIME brand today. And while your aspirations might not be as grand as TIME Magazine, it’s important to nail down the ‘why’ behind your publication. 

Pros of physical magazines: 

  1. Ability to add full page advertisements and inserts
  2. Limited stock could make your publication more valuable
  3. Tactile reading experience

Cons of physical magazines:

  1. High upfront cost
  2. Bigger carbon footprint
  3. Readership is limited to how many copies printed

Pros of digital magazines:

  1. Free or low-cost
  2. Accessible to a wider audience
  3. Can include immersive elements such as scrolling text or video

Cons of digital magazines:

  1. Less advertising potential
  2. More competition

Here are a few more questions to ask yourself:

2. Research the landscape

There are a lot of magazines out there (both online and in print). Spend some time exploring some publications that you’d like to emulate, and get an idea of any potential competition. This will give you a better idea of what’s already being covered and how you can differentiate your publication. Taking stock of your competition can also reveal any gaps and opportunities that are currently not being met in the market, which you can use to your advantage as you develop your concept.

Now’s also the time to dive deeper into your target audience. Are most publications in your niche print or digital? Consider the ways you can add more value for your intended readers. 

If you’re interested in making a digital magazine, we recommend adding keyword analysis to your competitive research. Working with an SEO tool will help you find out what keywords and topics your competitors are ranking for, and can reveal gaps you can take advantage of in your own content.

3. Build your team

A magazine isn’t something you should undertake alone. Building a trustworthy team and dividing your workload will help you create faster, better results – with much less risk of burnout. The stronger your team, the stronger your magazine will be. Here are a few staff roles you might want to consider.

During production: Creation & collaboration

Here’s where we get to the exciting stuff. Don’t get us wrong – this can be a very hectic time, but it’s where the real magic happens. If you’re inspired to make your own magazine, you’re likely familiar with the following steps—but let’s review them anyway.

4. Designing your masthead

Your magazine’s ‘brand’ is defined by its masthead. Think of Time, Vogue, and National Geographic, all publications with iconic, recognizeable mastheads. These publications use serif fonts. On the flip side, magazines like Billboard, GQ, and Glamour use sans serif fonts. Consistently using the same typeface issue after issue builds a consistent brand, while your designers can play with the color of the text to match the cover image.

5. Writing articles

Finally, time to create articles and stories for your magazine. Depending on your concept, this might mean a few different things: fiction or non-fiction, short stories, journalistic articles, how-to guides, reviews, or even a blend of all of the above. This step encompasses the writing process, from conception to pitch, and from researching to drafting.

When you’re planning each issue, you’ll also want to choose an attention-grabbing cover article. This is the ‘main event’, and will often be the story or feature readers are most excited about.

Take this cover story from the Rochester Institute of Technology’s campus magazine for example. “You do what?” is an attention-grabbing headline for this inside look into some of the most interesting careers RIT alums have – a cover story most students and parents would be very interested in reading.  

Once you’ve written all of your articles for an issue, don’t forget to add a table of contents so readers can easily find what they’re looking for.

6. Editing

It’s not uncommon for articles to undergo more than one round of revisions. Far more than just catching style and grammar mistakes, editing will help the writer focus and elevate their writing. Editors can help with fact-checking as well. Together, writers and editors cooperate to make an article the best it can be.

7. Proofreading

After an article has been written and edited, careful proofreading is required to ensure quality and accuracy. Any typos or errors that made their way through the writing process will be squashed here. Unlike editing, proofreading is not an evaluation of the article’s style, tone, organization or effectiveness. The focus is solely on finding and eliminating errors, so the finished product reads professionally. The person who proofreads might very well be the editor too, but these are still two separate stages of production.

8. Graphic Design

The way we enjoy magazines is different from how we consume a book or a newspaper. Although each of these publications provides information, magazines in particular are known for being visual. From elegantly gorgeous to colorfully flashy, magazine design runs the gamut.

In the name of consistency, you’ll want to decide early on whether you want your graphic/cover design to lean more toward imagery or information – or a blend of both as pictured here.

Your graphic designer is just as responsible for your magazine’s tone and feel as your writers are—if not more so. It’s important for your graphics to match your words. Browse these magazine design templates for some inspiration.

9. Photography

Stock photos are okay here and there, but they’re no substitute for custom photography. Rather than searching for pictures to match your vision (and potentially settling for less), a photographer can work with you to capture the pictures you really want. Color, lighting, subject, quality… All of these photo elements contribute to the reader’s perception of your brand. After all, that’s why they say a picture is worth a thousand words. (Or, at least, it’s why we say it.)

10. Build out your back page

If you’re including advertisements in your magazine, a back page is a must. Among wide-circulation magazines, the back page is often a full-page advertisement – one that companies pay a lot of money to be featured in. When you’re designing each issue, don’t forget to leave room for this important page.

11. Make a prototype

Just like with any product, you can’t mass produce until you have a definitive, finalized version. All of the content, words and images must be firmly locked into place with no errors or further changes. Holding your first finished prototype (whether in your hand or on a tablet) is a proud moment. Savor it! You’ve put in a lot of work to get here, and there’s still work to be done. You are now ready to start sharing your magazine with the world.

12. Digitize

Regardless of where/how you’ve designed your magazine, you want to triple check that your digital file is ready to distribute. Different publishers and reading apps have their own standards in terms of file type, size, quality and so on. Make sure you’ve researched and complied with those standards in order to prevent delays.

After production: Distribution

13. Find a printer

Your printing partner is a critical ally on your way to distribution. If you’re only hosting your magazine online, well, you’re off the hook on this one. But if you intend to share hard copies of your magazine locally, regionally, or even nationally, you need a printer you can trust to deliver satisfactory results every time. Do your research, ask around, and interview printing partners until you feel confident that your pick is a good match.

When you’re considering printing, keep these things in mind:

14. Establish your online presence

Perhaps more than any other step, this is paramount to launching a successful online magazine. Your online presence can take many forms, from a website to a blog to social media channels, and maybe even all of the above. What’s important here is building a community of people hungry for your content. Find out where your target audience ‘lives’ online, and make sure they can find you. 

A few specific ways to drive more traffic:

15. Decide whether to paywall

This is a tricky question in today’s publishing world. If you paywall all of your content, it might be hard to attract new readers. But, you can’t give it all away for free either. Striking the right balance between paid and free content might look different for every publication, so experiment to see what works for you. A good place to start is sharing free content and article excerpts on your blog but charging a flat price or subscription for each magazine issue.

16. Build a community around content

Your readers can (and should be) be your best brand advocates. When you foster a strong community on your blog, forum, or social media pages, it gives readers a shared sense of belonging. Discussions are far more interesting when readers get involved, and they can provide you with inspiration and direction. Beyond the pages of your magazine, there are many opportunities to get creative here. For example, you could start a branded YouTube channel to share vlogs and other video content.

Congratulations!

After months of work, you’ve finished the process of making a magazine, and you’re on the track to sustainable growth and success. Once you get to this point, there’s only one thing to do… Get started on the next issue!

Making a magazine, simplified

Want to start your own magazine? Marq will streamline the design process for your whole team. With our intuitive drag-and-drop interface, you can select from gorgeous templates and customize with fonts, colors, shapes, images and more. Invite others to collaborate in real time, and when you’re done, export in a variety of print-ready formats. Explore our templates and start growing your brand today.

Our perception, to a large extent, is governed by vision. We’re attracted to visuals that make us feel good. It’s why retail stores promote special offers with balloons and other decorations, because they know shoppers will get curious enough to come over. The same principle applies to web design and digital marketing.

To illustrate just how effective visuals are in attracting visitors, consider these statistics:

Point is, visual design leaves an impression on visitors. You must learn how to use them wisely. In this post, let’s discuss how visual content like infographics and video can encourage your visitors to convert.

1. Create impact with the right typography

Unlike someone reading a book, visitors on a website don’t consume content from left to right then go down to the next line. In fact, virtually nothing happens in progression. Visitors will either go straight to what they need, or they’ll stop in their tracks if something more interesting catches their eye—like a 30% discount on another brand of detergent, for example.

Today’s designers are using typography to catch and keep visitors’ attention. The size, shape and placement of different fonts will enhance your message, and you can direct the focus where you want it most.

Consider the bold typography on this webpage. The cursive font complements the typewriter font, giving the site a vintage, personal feel. The use of color to emphasize certain words attracts the eye and sets a positive tone.

Increase conversions with visual content

Source: Intechnic

2. Present data visually with infographics

Would you rather read through a bulky PDF filled with stats and long-winded sentences, or a colorful infographic which uses simple icons and text to display information? The choice is pretty obvious. Including a well-designed infographic in your blog post or webpage will persuade people to pause and see what you have to say.

But does it increase conversion? Here’s some compelling evidence:

3. Demonstrate your products with video

Studies show that 73% of consumers are likely to buy a product after they see a video explaining it. The medium has become many shoppers’ favorite way to find information.

Unfortunately, internet users have short attention spans and will only stick around to watch your video if the first few seconds get them hooked. With this in mind, here’s how you can make videos work for you.

4. Convey emotion with creative visual design

There’s a reason why people in life insurance ads are smiling. It’s to reassure us that, despite the somber nature of insurance, these folks are happy and secure with their purchase decision—and you will be, too.

Point is, humans are empathic creatures. We base our emotions on what we perceive around us. We find ourselves smiling involuntarily when we hear someone else laughing, or feeling sad when we see someone else looking miserable.

Brands can use this tendency to their advantage. All it takes is a little creativity. Consider the image on this landing page. Combined with the clever use of typography, it sends a powerful message to anyone who sees it.

Increase conversions with visual content

Source: Scott Michael Davis

Key takeaway

To recap, even visual elements that seem simple—like the font you use—can impact conversion. Visuals that present information in appealing way, like infographics, help to retain visitors and persuade them to convert. If you’re making videos, aim for high quality polish and keep the focus on your products. Finally, visuals stir emotion. Use this to your advantage by getting creative with your visual design.

Create striking visual content in minutes with our easy-to-use desktop publishing software. Get started for free today!

Ever wondered how to improve your school or company newsletter? Follow these steps to take your mailing from “Meh” to “Wow!” To follow along and create a newsletter of your own, open the Citrus Splash employee newsletter template in Lucidpress—you can see the demo features right in the editor.

Newsletters are published on a recurring basis to keep readers in the loop. The details of a newsletter will depend on its audience. Above all, newsletters should be informative and add value for readers. Print newsletters focus on text content and are typically letter size (8 ½” × 11”). Email newsletters can vary in layout and size, but should be viewable from both the email message and in a browser.

Open this template in Lucidpress to follow along!

Free employee newsletter templates

How to create a newsletter

1. Produce good content

Make sure your content is engaging and useful. Don’t add fluff to your writing for its own sake. Before you use design software like Lucidpress, check to see that your pieces are copyedited, your photos are chosen, and your articles’ lengths are set.

This newsletter template is five pages: long enough to include a solid lineup of articles and photographs, but not so long as to be overwhelming.

2. Establish branding

Think about how you will create a consistent brand. Every aspect of your newsletter will reflect upon your corporate or academic culture and identity. Choose a succinct title, incorporate your business’s font (if you have one), and replicate your brand’s color scheme with Lucidpress’ color picker.

To place your logo onto the canvas in Lucidpress, drag the Image icon from the Content bar. From here, you can upload a .PNG file with your company icon.

How to make a newsletter in Lucidpress

3. Brevity is the soul of wit

It’s important to have a strong opening article. This will often be a message from the principal or director, or a highlight of the most exciting feature in a product. Newsletter articles should be a page or less, with carefully placed images that visually break up the text. Splitting your articles into columns gives your content a suitably “newsy” feel.

On the bottom of page 3, there is a call-out box with a colored background. There are several ways you could use this section of the template for your own content. It could be a mini-article, a call for donations or a caption for the photo above.

How to make a newsletter online

4. Be informative without being too salesy

Newsletters should provide value for their readers. If you used this template for a school, the audience should be able to tell what’s going on for alumni. Avoid too much of the hard sell; consumers are best persuaded with interesting content, not aggressive marketing.

On page 5 of the template, you’ll see an event calendar. To replace the preset dates with your own, double-click the text to edit.

Make your own newsletter online

5. Add photos and graphics

This newsletter is tied together by the images of brightly colored hot air balloons. Graphics like these provide visual consistency and make the newsletter fun to look at. A wall of unbroken text is not enjoyable to read, and it will not engage your audience as much as having well-placed images which complement your articles.

Free newsletter templates

In the template, double-click an image to replace it with your own. This will bring up the Image Manager. From here, you can import images from your computer, Facebook, Dropbox or Google Drive.

6. Optimize your text formatting

Having consistent formatting is essential to your newsletter’s success. Limit the number of colors and fonts—less is more when it comes to readability. In general, use dark text against a light background. Standard usage calls for serif typefaces for the body of your articles, and sans serif typeface for captions, callout boxes and sidebars.

Free school newsletter templates

To change the font in Lucidpress, double-click text to select it, then choose a different typeface from the Properties bar. To change the font of every text element at once, press Ctrl+A. The font you choose reflects your brand: aim for consistency over eccentricity. A clean, modern design will earn your audience’s trust more than curlicues and Wingdings.

7. Use interactivity in Lucidpress

Lucidpress makes collaborating on a newsletter simple and straightforward. In Comment mode, your colleagues can weigh in on the content and design of your documents. You can use Lucidpress to invite feedback without the inconvenience of saving multiple drafts—it all happens in the cloud. The following video illustrates how:

8. Proofread your newsletter

Newsletters are text-heavy documents, and a grasp of spelling and grammar conventions will serve you well. Taking a few minutes to proofread your writing will pay big dividends in reader satisfaction.

In Lucidpress, select your text, choose Edit from the Menu bar, and choose spell check. You can also conduct a find-and-replace search for those times when you forget “i before e except after c.”

Free business newsletter templates

9. Be reliable and consistent

Decide how often you are going to send out your newsletter. This will affect the newsletter’s length, event calendar, and expected features.

Think ahead to the season your audience will receive your newsletter. If you are sending a winter holiday-themed mailing, you have to start designing weeks in advance. The same template can have a very different mood with different color schemes. Try using red and green for December, blue and white for midwinter, pastels for spring, and jewel tones for fall.

Free email newsletter templates

Newsletters are both popular and useful. They extend your brand’s presence, inform and entertain readers, and show off your expertise to the world.

Ready to wow your audience with beautifully designed newsletters? Lucidpress will help you send the right message.

Since the time of Pythagoras and Euclid, the idea of a Golden Ratio—dimensions that are pleasing to the eye—has influenced mathematicians, artists and philosophers. The ratio of approximately 1.6:1 can be seen in the Notre Dame cathedral and the contemporary architecture of le Corbusier. Products from widescreen televisions to light switch covers copy this ratio. It would seem that a sense of aesthetics is inherent to the human condition.

Incorporating great design into your business model can seem like a daunting task. It can be difficult to know where to begin. Whether you work in development, management or communications, it’s important to know that good design is good for business. A consistent look can build your brand and establish trust with consumers and tastemakers. Communication platforms, from websites to print media to social networks, incorporate design on both the visual and product levels. Just like the Golden Ratio that repeatedly appears in art and nature, there are simple aesthetic principles you can follow to improve design in your messaging.

Elements of design

Here’s an overview of basic design principles to keep in mind as you create documents for your business.

Composition

Golden ratio in design

This is how elements on your page are organized. It’s important to nail page composition to keep your audience engaged. This year, most of the major newspapers have revamped their websites to incorporate more white space and have fewer distracting boxes. The mobile revolution has significantly impacted how designers think about document and webpage design, with a move towards flatter UIs and minimalism.

The rule of thirds

This handy rule of thumb can keep your photographs and documents looking balanced. Divide your canvas into thirds, like a Tic-tac-toe board. Your focal points should be at the intersections. Chopping your canvas in half can make it look clunky. When images follow the rule of thirds, they look better. Notice how the waterfall follows the grid lines.

Rule of thirds in design

Space and balance

On a canvas, there is positive space filled with text, shapes and forms. Then there’s negative space, which is the empty space around the text and forms. Not carefully considering the negative space can leave a page cluttered and unreadable. Margins are a form of negative space, as are gutters between columns.

Does your page have balance? One of the oldest principles of design is symmetry. This means that one side of your canvas mirrors another. You can see symmetry in building facades, human faces and book covers. You can balance out an image with a block of text.

Proximity

Proximity in design

What are the focal points on your canvas? Think about the visual connection between different elements of your design. Match the size of a text box and a photograph. You can make all your images black and white to unite the elements of your canvas. Use a consistent template in a multi-page document.

Contrast and similarity

Contrast and similarity in design

Bright colors pop against grays. Google uses the principle of similarity and contrast in their ever-changing Google doodle: a new design each day spelling out the same six letters.

This may seem to be a paradox—should a designer aim for sameness or difference? Audiences rely on continuity: when it comes to typefaces, think Times New Roman in the New York Times, or Helvetica in transit systems. Coca-Cola is associated with red, Google with primary colors, and Apple with neutrals like white and silver. On the other hand, a sense of surprise can draw your viewers in. Using a contrasting font in your header makes it stand out.

Alignment

Aligning the elements on your canvas helps to create order and organization. Just as it’s easier to find a pen or notepad on a well-organized desk, it’s easier to scan a well-aligned page. Try using a grid or guides to lay out your document. You can also place your objects on the canvas then align them once you’ve gotten them how you want them.

Typography

Although it’s easy to think of text as separate from the visual elements of your design, typography has its own rules. Your readers will notice everything from the style of your ampersands to the size of the ascenders and descenders. Don’t let your text formatting be an afterthought. For instance, follow the instructions in this image to choose font weights and sizing for headers in your document.

Heading styles in design

Color theory

Color is everywhere and deeply tied to emotion, yet it can be strangely overlooked by those putting together documents or sites. In the early days of the web, there were limited color palettes supported. Today, the possibilities to incorporate color are nearly limitless. Browsers and mobile apps are constantly improving in the sharpness of their displays, and modern printers can print documents with amazing clarity and range of color.

Understanding some fundamentals of color theory will help you become a better designer. Warm colors pop and cool colors recede. A tinted color has white added in, while a shaded color has black. Different color scheme possibilities for your document include monochromatic, analogous and complementary. This color scheme has both warm and cool tones:

Color scheme design in Lucidpress

Grow your business with good design

While these points seem interesting, you might not be convinced that pleasing design will affect your bottom line. Thoughtfully approaching the design of products, documents and sites can yield big dividends. Design-centric firms have a higher growth rate than average. As consumers are exposed to more and better layouts, they have higher expectations. You can meet and exceed those expectations by implementing a design strategy at every level of your business.

How can Lucidpress help?

Lucidpress is a cloud-based layout editor that has built-in templates designed with these principles in mind. You can create postersbrochuresFacebook banners, and magazines perfect for the digital age. Colors, fonts and alignment are carefully composed from the start but still allow a high degree of customization. Best of all, Lucidpress is free to try. You’ll be blown away by its browser-based capabilities and intuitive editor. Start designing documents that would make Pythagoras proud.

From its roots in the Middle Ages, layout design has evolved significantly. What was once the provenance of monasteries spread to the office, and later, personal computers. The overarching goals of publishers haven’t changed, though—to find an audience and communicate an important message. However, the nuts and bolts of desktop publishing are undergoing a revolution on par with the changes precipitated by Gutenberg. When planning your business’s layout design strategy, will you be ahead of the curve?

Illuminated manuscripts

Design of illuminated manuscripts

Early examples of beautiful page layouts can be found in medieval illuminated manuscripts. The work process of the manuscript creators sounds remarkably modern: they would plan the overall layout of the page, including the ornately decorated drop capital and the decorative border, then they would draw straight lines on the parchment or vellum where the text would go. The medieval publishers showed specialization in splitting the duties of the rubricators (who filled in the red text), illuminators (the illustrators—forerunners of today’s graphic designers), and other scribes and artists. By the late Middle Ages, commercial scriptoria in cities were competing with the small-shop cloisters and monasteries.

From the story of illuminated manuscripts we can see the importance of advance planning in thoughtful layout design, and the inevitability of commercialization and mass production.

Gutenberg printing press

If you’ve ever looked for a public-domain book, you are probably familiar with Project Gutenberg. How did the Gutenberg printing press change layout design? By using movable type to expedite the printing process, a single press could produce thousands of pages per day, as opposed to a few hand-drawn copies.

During the post-Gutenberg era, some of the personalization of book layouts was lost. The use of two columns of justified text looks very modern. It lacks some of the opulent artistic qualities of the illuminated manuscript page. This era can be thought of the moment when word processing and layout design split into two distinct fields. This is still reflected in specialized programs, some aimed at text-based projects, and some more specifically aimed at visual layout design.

Gutenberg printing press layout design

Pre-computer layout design

If you’ve watched a show set in the 1960s or 1970s, you know that “copy and paste” were once anything but metaphors. Before desktop publishing software, art directors, publishers, and printers physically designed their documents. Writers and journalists used typewriters, which evolved to electric typewriters, then standalone word processors. Many of the conventions of layout design were established during this period. The standardization of templates influenced the look of today’s books, newspapers, and magazines, even though they’re often consumed on different platforms.

Mid-century layout design shows that competing mediums for design can coexist. While this era saw innovation in design tools, traditional artists and printers were still part of the media landscape.

Computer desktop publishing

Thirty years ago, the arrival of “What You See Is What You Get” (also known as WYSIWYG) displays radically changed layout design. Arguably, this led to an initial decline in quality: without the ability to control kerning, letter-spacing, or font selection, the printed outputs from programs like Type Processor One or PageMaker were primitive, at best.

With each improvement in screen displays, processing memory, and style sheets, desktop publishing became a disruptive threat to traditional layout design. The swift evolution of WYSIWYG editors demonstrates the necessity of taking upstarts seriously—but of course, that’s easier to see in hindsight!

Proprietary layout software

Around the year 2000, the big names in desktop publishing—InDesign, Scribus, OpenOffice, Publisher, and Pages—rolled out their products. These are still major players in the professional market.

Evolution of desktop publishing

The quality of the output increased dramatically in this time period. As personal computers evolved to their now-familiar form, designers could control the digital page to look like the printed page.

Cloud-based layout design software

Cloud-based layout design software

In the second decade of the new millennium, desktop publishing underwent another seismic shift. Rather than only license-based options, layout design software began a transition to the cloud. Some of the major players stopped offering their products à la carte, switching to a subscription model. Many print magazines and newspapers ceased publication, either shutting down or becoming web-only.

As internet connections became faster, browsers more reliable, and memory capacity increased, creators and consumers expected to be able to do more, to do it more quickly, and to do it better. As email became dominated by web platforms, word processing went to the browser (for example, with Google Docs), and tablets and smartphones introduced an explosion of apps, desktop publishing went to the cloud, as well.

Lucidpress is one of those sleek, cloud-based desktop publishing tools. With an easy-to-understand interface, auto-saving and web publishing, and deep integration with the applications that are a part of modern business workflows (Google Docs, Dropbox, and even Facebook), it’s bringing layout design out of the sphere of specialists. You no longer need an advanced degree to create high-quality print and digital publications—nor do you have to break the bank on your design software suite.

The future of desktop publishing

The future of desktop publishing

It won’t be long until the notion of your layout design being tied to a single “desktop” will be as quaint as the idea of a monk cloistered away with his vellum, or a magazine made with actual glue. More designers use laptops, tablets, and cloud-based products than ever before. This space is opening up to the public.

Since the software-as-a-service (SaaS) landscape is changing so quickly, it’s worth re-evaluating your business’s needs. What documents do you need to design to connect with your customers? How many resources are you willing to expend on desktop publishing software? Do you need the ability to share and collaborate with your team? Are you creating brochuresletterheadsflyersreports or eBooks to be distributed?

Create striking visual content in minutes with our easy-to-use desktop publishing software. Get started for free today!

Despite how ubiquitous digital marketing has become, print collateral can still play an incredibly valuable role in your brand marketing stratgy. Businesses large and small can benefit from this versatile medium, from empowering sales teams at trade shows, to generating awareness through direct mail campaigns. 

Still, brochures often get a bad rap for being lifeless, boring, and unengaging – a problem that can stem from bad design, ineffective messaging, and low budget. To help you avoid those common pitfalls, we’re going to take a deep dive into the ins-and-outs of effective brochure design. In this guide, you’ll learn how to design a brochure that people will actually want to look at. 

When to use a brochure vs. other print marketing

If you can’t decide whether your brand would be best served by a brochure, or other printed material like a flyer or poster, we suggest looking to your buyer journey for some guidance. Flyers are great for attracting attention, building awareness, and sharing a short message. Brochures, on the other hand, tend to be far more effective down the road, when a prospect is in the information-gathering stage. Brochures offer you a chance to share more detailed information about your brand, products, and services.

Here just a few instances where a brochure can be helpful:

Marketing — Brochures can easily be included in direct marketing campaign, or handed out at trade shows or conferences.

Food service — Restaurants can create catering and to-go brochures for patrons to save for later. 

PR — Public relations managers can include brochures in press releases and media kits, so the news media can craft better, more accurate stories about a company.

Sales — Salespeople can hand out brochures to business associates, partners, and potential clients after a demo or presentation.

Standard brochure sizes and layouts

The first step in designing a brochure is choosing the right size. When thinking about brochure size, think about portability, foldability, and how much written or visual information you want to include. 

Below are the most common brochure sizes businesses use.

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Once you’ve settled on a size, it’s time to think about the layout you’d like to use. From simple bi-folds to creative spiral folds, your choice of layout determines how readers will interact with and move through your brochure.

While there are many different creative brochure layout options to choose from, here are just a few of the most common brochure folds.

Now that you’ve chosen your size and layout, let’s talk about what to put in your brochure.

How to design an effective brochure in 5 steps

Create an outline

Before you start designing anything, you’ll need a detailed plan of attack. While brochures can vary in content and length, most follow a standard format.

Identifying your target audience will help you build out an appropriate outline and flow to your brochure – and will inform your brochure’s tone, language content, and CTA.

Make note of where your target audience is in the buying cycle. Don’t waste space detailing the history of your organization if your readers have done business with you before.

Nail down these essential elements

Now it’s time to dive into the fun stuff. Like we mentioned before, every brochure is different, but all should include these 5 critical elements. 

An eye-catching cover and headline This is the first (or only!) chance your brochure has to give a strong impression, so make it count.  A high quality, relevant image combined with a brief, easily legible headline will provide your reader with a strong understanding of what your brochure is about. 

A compelling offer – Details aside, what you’re really providing with a brochure is opportunity. No matter what your product or service is, your brochure needs to offer just enough to make readers want to know more. 

Valuable information – Brochures offer limited space to communicate your message, so prioritizing which information to include is key. The best rules of copywriting apply here: be clear, be concise, and tell a good story that makes your reader the hero. 

A strong call to action – You can build a beautiful, convincing brochure that makes your audience feel exactly the way you want to… but it’s useless if you don’t set them up with a next step. A strong CTA will prompt your readers to call, visit, or connect with you in some way.

Detailed contact information – This goes hand-in-hand with your call to action.  Not everyone will make a move right away.  In fact, many people hold onto brochures to reference later, when the time is right. Make connecting with you easy by putting your contact info on the back. 

Consider adding extra information & resources

Got extra room in your brochure and want to make a bigger impact? Think about adding extra information and resources for your readers. Consider where they might be in the buyer journey, and tailor these extra resources to meet any questions or hesitations they may have. 

Some possible extra resources include:

Proofread & check for important details

No matter how much effort you put into your messaging and design, one small error or inconsistency can kill your credibility.

Before you send your brochure off to the printers, proofread everything (and proofread again). We also suggest making sure the tone of your brochure matches the rest of your brand messaging. Unlike informational brochures (which may take the third-person point-of-view), sales brochures usually use the second-person to build rapport with the reader.

Refer to your brand style guide for how to handle things like numerals, dates and titles in the text. 

Test run your prints

The last thing you want is to waste time and money printing hundreds of brochures only to realize that the sizing is off, or your imagery is grainy. Do a small test run to verify that the finished product meets your expectations.

5 brochure templates to get you started

Don’t want to have to design a brochure from the ground up? Try customizing a brochure template instead. Here are just a few of our favorites here at Marq. 

Redwood Coast Travel Brochure Template

This bi-fold brochure template has ample space to showcase immersive photography, with just enough space to introduce readers to your brand.

Visual trifold company brochure template

A traditional trifold layout makes it easy to describe your business while creating a compelling cover design.

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Health insurance company brochure template

Need to include detailed data and comparisons? This template is perfect. And with Marq’s data automation, you can auto-populate your own data by connecting your template to a Google Sheet.

Wavy Shape College Tri-Fold Brochure Template

Update your marketing with a fun, fully customizeable brochure layout. Simply update colors, fonts and images to match your brand.

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Navy Blue Wedding Photographer Brochure Template

Have a visual-first business? This template offers plenty space to showcase your photography, art, or graphic design.

Want to design your own beautiful brochure online?  Marq makes it easy. With our intuitive drag-and-drop online brochure maker, just choose a template and customize it to fit your brand.

As the great Hannah Montana once said, “Everybody makes mistakes!”. Still, when it comes to your brand, some mistakes can’t be laughed off. Bad design choices can not only cause confusion among your customers, but can ultimately damage your brand’s legitimacy and cause you to lose business. 

In this post, we’ll explore several of the most common design mistakes we see from brands, and explain how to avoid making them.

7 common design mistakes

Lack of white/negative space

Let’s say you’re designing a flyer for your business. You might think you need to cram in as much information as you can – you want people to know exactly what you’re all about, right? But good design is all about balance, and this line of thinking often creates designs that are way too busy. 

Too much text, graphic design, or competing elements can be overwhelming and intimidating for your audience. Take old website designs like this for example:

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I don’t know about you, but thinking about having to navigate through all of that clutter is already making me tired. 


How to avoid: Be intentional about incorporating enough negative or white space into your designs. Choose 1-2 key elements to highlight and give them plenty of space to breathe.

Inconsistency

Inconsistency in design can happen in a variety of ways, from using too many different fonts and colors, to simply not having a unified look and feel to your designs. And while it certainly doesn’t look good, the problem here goes deeper. Inconsistent design is at best annoying, and at worst confusing – and the last thing you want your customers to be is confused.

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How to avoid: We’re big believers in brand consistency, and we recommend brands take the time to build out a comprehensive brand style guide before getting started on any marketing materials. Your style guide will outline exactly what fonts, color palettes, and types of imagery to use so you never have to worry about publishing something inconsistent with your brand.

Walls of text

Unless you’re reading a gripping novel, no one likes having to muscle through walls of text. According to research, only 1 in 5 people actually read web content word for word. Most people skim or quickly scan to see if they want to continue looking at something in greater detail. You’ve only got a couple of seconds to hook someone – so don’t immediately turn them off with imposing blocks of text. 
How to avoid: When designing with text in mind, follow the rules of visual hierarchy. This is the idea of placing your graphic or textual elements in order of importance. Let people know what to read first, second, third, and so on. Here’s a great example of visual hierarchy in action.

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Low contrast

Have you ever had to squint to read something, even if you were holding it up close? That could possibly be because of low contrast. Check out the examples below:

Which is easiest to see? Definitely #1, right? That’s why whether you’re working with visual or textual elements, you want to be designing with high contrast in mind. High contrast means everyone will be able to read and understand your design.

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How to avoid: Double check your color palettes for contrast using this handy tool here. Anything above a 4:5:1 ratio for normal text is considered readable.

Lack of accessability

Speaking of low-contrast, let’s talk about some other common ways designs can inadvertently become inaccessible. 

A few of the most common accessibility mistakes we see are:

How to avoid: Accessibility makes your content open and available for everyone. Familiarizing yourself with design accessibility standards can help give you a new perspective, and offer valuable tips on how to design for everyone.

Poor quality, irrelevant imagery

The pictures, images, and graphic art elements you choose to use says a lot about what you’re brand is all about, and nothing looks more unprofessional than blurry, pixelated, or irrelevant imagery. 

When thinking about visual elements, make sure they make sense in the context of your overall brand or product goals. For (an extreme) example, you wouldn’t use imagery of tropical fruits and palm trees to advertise an Italian restaurant.

How to avoid: Always ensure your imagery is consistent with your brand. Then, don’t forget to use the right image format to ensure proper scalability and applicability. For example, since raster images are made up of pixels, they look pixelated when blown up. Vector images, on the other hand, can be sized however you need without becoming blurry or pixelated.

Not investing in quality software

If you want to create and publish professional-quality designs, then you need professional software. While there are many free design softwares available online today, many don’t offer the flexibility and usability that professional tools do. What’s more, many of them rely on stock images and raster graphics, which as we mentioned before, have limited utility. 
How to avoid: Investing in a quality design software can drastically improve your design workflow, from allowing you to save and reuse templates, to opening up collaboration with anyone in your business. Take a look at our platform overview for more info on the kinds of features a great design platform should offer.

Key takeaway

Your designs can uplift your business – or take it downhill. Understanding the basics of good design will help you avoid the most common mistakes, and take your creativity to new heights. Want more resources on how to build a stunning brand? Check out our blog here.

“Good artists copy, great artists steal.”

Steve Jobs

When you’re stuck on something, the best thing to do is to step away and look around. Often, the greatest inspiration comes from the world surrounding us. A great designer, like a great artist, will take in the best of what they see to make something new and unique.

Keep reading to see 21 examples of brochure ideas you’re welcome to steal from. You can browse to spark some ideas, or you can edit a template to fit your creative vision of the brand you’re representing. All of these brochure and pamphlet designs are available with a Lucidpress account.

The other thing that’s exciting about these brochure templates is that they can be used for digital or print. Digital publishing opens up exciting new possibilities like scrolling text, links within the brochure, embedded video, and widespread distribution. For example, La Presse, the oldest French newspaper in North America, used digital publishing in Lucidpress to revolutionize the newspaper industry. Enjoy, and check out the end of the post for more design resources.

1. Perennial Brochure Template

A fit for more than just floral applications, the Perennial brochure is perfect for organizations with a cheerful, springtime brand, or for any outdoor events held when the sun is shining.

brochure design

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2. Academic Brochure Template

Museums, historical landmarks, and city tour organizations can use the Academic brochure to bring their unique features to life. The Academic uses a tri-fold design and a section-based layout to highlight the different sites and items of interest that visitors or tourists will want to see during their stay.

brochure design

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3. Redwood Coast Travel Brochure Template

This bi-fold brochure template has ample space dedicated to photographs of the travel destination. Readers will be quickly transported there by the immersive images. The image-based cover is intriguing but not overwhelming, adding just the right touch to this beautiful design.

brochure design

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4. Wine Country Brochure Template

This tri-fold brochure template is particularly well-suited for agricultural or rural-oriented organizations, including wineries, family farms, and agricultural nonprofits. The elegant, clean design evokes the simple beauty of the countryside.

brochure design

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5. Alpine Vista Travel Brochure Template

The Alpine Vista brochure has an adventurous tone perfect for companies promoting mountain sports and expeditions. A stunning photograph leads out on the cover while a yellow color scheme injects a positive, exciting energy. Also, the three divisions for different destinations makes the most of the tri-fold layout.

brochure design

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6. Keynote Brochure Template

The Keynote is stylish and modern, embracing minimalist design that can be adapted to a range of industries and organizations. This template can be customized to be longer or shorter, depending on your needs. This bi-fold design lends itself well to a creative mind looking to try something new.

brochure design

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7. Passport Brochure Template

Another booklet-style brochure, the Passport balances modern sensibilities with just the right dose of playfulness, calling to mind a day spent exploring hidden wonders on New York City streets. This design separates the text and the images, giving each an opportunity to stand on their own while remaining cohesive.

Passport Brochure Template

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8. Lavender Cafe Brochure Template

This tri-fold brochure design has elements that work in harmony with the tri-fold format to create distinct sections, each with a unique layout that keeps things interesting. It works well in a restaurant application, as shown here, but could be adapted to any business.

brochure design

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9. Melody CD Booklet Template

If you’re creating an album booklet for yourself or a client, this template provides a good foundation. It can also be a springboard for out-of-the-box brochure design ideas. The image-centric, booklet-style design is a sleek, artistic format that could give your brand a professional edge.

brochure design

10. Avenues Real Estate Brochure Template

Real estate brochures are an industry standard, so you need yours to stand out. Plenty of space for images of the property as well as for your engaging descriptions makes this template a powerful tool in your real estate marketing arsenal.

brochure design

11. Visual tri-fold Brochure Template

This visual brochure template uses large photos through the middle of of each page and mixes regular text with bold to highlight important phrases.

visual tri-fold

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12. Brisk Pamphlet Template

The Brisk pamphlet template, ideal for both long-form and short-form applications, has a modern, edgy feel. At the same time, it’s clean and professional, giving your brand room to breath. Who says business can’t be stylish?

brisk pamphlet

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13. Contempo Brochure Template

Clean lines and compelling angles define the Contempo brochure. Assert your unique brand of corporate culture with a spin-off of this design. Or insert your brand colors and use it as-is for a progressive, well-groomed brochure.

brochure design

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14. Grey Skies Pamphlet Template

Sometimes just a little bit of text is all you need. The image is king in this leaflet design, letting you give a visual summary of your brand’s core ideals. First impressions are important, and this design leaves them intrigued and wanting more.

brochure design

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15. Oceanside Pamphlet Template

The Oceanside pamphlet template is still short and sweet, but gives you a little more room to write than Grey Skies, if that’s what the situation calls for.

brochure design

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16. Residential Real Estate Brochure Template

The Residential real estate template has a warm, inviting tone that also feels very fresh and current. The way the text wraps around the images resembles a tour around a property, with the realtor pointing out the highlights to prospective buyers.

brochure design

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17. Mediterranean Brochure Template

Beautiful images make up the bulk of this brochure template, giving it an immersive and open feel. Blue tones and ocean-themed photographs call to mind the gentle lull of lapping waves and warm sand. Using the design of your brochure to create a distinct feel can solidify your brand for a customer before they even read a word of copy.

brochure design

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18. Big Sky Travel Brochure Template

The Big Sky travel brochure template is highly adaptable, with a blend of elements that are easily customized to match the look and feel of the destination. The front cover has space for three photos, immediately showing the diversity of the locale, and the layout of the text makes the most of the space without looking cluttered.

brochure design

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19. Prism Brochure Template

The pronounced angles of the Prism brochure template match the mountain resort imagery it riffs on. This template is excellent for relaxing spas and massage centers, tour companies and ski resorts, or for internal company announcements like an upcoming retreat.

bad design

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20. Golden Gate Travel Brochure Template

This template captures the diverse personalities of America’s favorite state (according to me). There’s the crashing surf, the vibrant city, quiet vineyards, and the intriguing fog of San Francisco. The main image on the cover sets the tone, while supporting images show the range of the featured destination.

travel brochure

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21. Commercial Real Estate Brochure Template

A subtle triangle theme in the Commercial brochure pulls the design together, with the three points of the triangle echoing the tri-fold style of the brochure. There’s plenty of space for text, but the layout is well-spaced and clean. The highly professional look of the Commercial brochure is perfect for real estate and corporate use.

bad design

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Now that you have some inspiration, or maybe picked out a template to use, a few design resources might be helpful. The first thing to consider is making sure the brochure you create is consistent with the brand you’re designing it for. The color scheme, photos, and font choices will all contribute.

If you’re wondering where you can find high-quality photos for your brochure, check out this post with tips for finding royalty-free images that aren’t corny stock photos.

Now go make something great.

In the age of nearly free digital marketing resources, any funds spent on print advertising should be allocated with care. In other words, there is no reason to settle for a second-rate print job when you can achieve print perfection.

When you ensure each of these 5 elements are handled with precise attention to detail, the result will be a perfect print job you can distribute with pride.

Let’s get started!

Color consistency

One of the most difficult elements of print production to perfect is color matching. You will pay more for 4-color CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, key/black) printing than you will for black-and-white, so you should expect your completed color print job to mirror the exact colors of your brand, logo and ad design.

The best way to ensure an identical color match is to use the Pantone matching system (PMS for short). You can use Pantone swatches in two ways: for spot color printing or by inputting the RGB and HTML Pantone swatch numbers to color-match an on-screen design.

Paper type

The type of paper you choose for a print job will influence the success of the end result. No two paper samples are alike, and everything from the “whiteness” of the white to the texture to the weight can affect how your print job comes out.

Some papers produce a cleaner fold than others. Certain papers types are longer-lasting, while others hold accurate colors better. Heavier weight papers can convey a more luxurious, opulent message. The brightness and type of finish (matte, gloss, etc.) may make the message easier or more challenging to read.

For business card printing, consider using a UV coating that applies a clear-coat to the paper to help protect it against damages from frequent handling.

For products that will be left outdoors, use a more durable material than paper. Coroplast, a lightweight plastic board, is frequently used for a-frame printing because it can withstand all weather types.

Formatting

Formatting refers to whether or not your print job is delivered to the printer in a format that will perfectly translate at print time. In short, you want to be sure your designer delivers a “print-ready” file in PDF format that is at least 300 dpi with trim, crop and bleed marks noted. Also, the print ready file should adhere to any specific requirements of the printer type you will be using.

Without the correct file formatting, and a test print to confirm all looks as it should, you run a high risk of having to redo your job. Formatting is what ensures the design you want is the design you get at print time.

Layout

For any print job, you probably know from the start what information the finished piece must contain. Some common must-haves: website URL, contact information, company name & logo, and descriptions of products or services.

The word “layout” refers to where and how these required items are placed, as well as what space is left for items that may come later (such as a customer mailing address or postal meter stamp). Scrutinizing the layout for font size and readability, visual impact, clarity and orientation (portrait or landscape) is key for ensuring the end print job is suited to your needs.

Printing partner

Finally, your completed print job is likely to be only as good as the printing partner you choose to work with. You want to select a printing partner that can provide either an electronic or hard copy test proof for your approval.

Search for a printing partner who isn’t satisfied until you are, who has clear policies about when a re-print can be requested. Finally, you want to select a printing partner with an excellent reputation for delivering quality print results.

Translating an artistic vision from mind to screen to paper can be difficult, but with all 5 of these elements securely in place, you will see a tremendous difference in your printed materials.

Ready to design your own print ideas? Lucidpress makes it easy to create beautifully branded content in a matter of minutes.

Almost everyone has made a flyer before, whether for a personal event like a block party or a professional event like a company picnic. As a follow-up to our most recent post about magazines, we decided to put together this list of 17 flyer layout design ideasIf you want your flyer to stand out, ditch the boring old Word document and get inspired from these flyer ideas!

1. Bistro Restaurant Menu

Can a restaurant menu really be a flyer? You bet! Not everyone needs to read your full menu, unless they’re already sitting at a table. If you make a simplified, one-page version of your menu, you can print them out and keep them near the door for curious passersby. Then they can take them home as a handy reminder to return later! It’s the perfect way to advertise, tantalize, and stay top-of-mind.

Bistro Restaurant Menu Flyer

2. Block Party Flyer

Aha, there’s that block party we were talking about in the intro. Long autumn evenings are the perfect time to gather the neighborhood for a barbecue or potluck. A great-looking flyer will show them that, yes, this is a party worth attending. Or, hey, what about a street dance party? Talent show? The possibilities are endless and—given your dad’s amateur “jazz guitar” skills—endlessly entertaining.

Block Party Flyer

3. Bungalow Real Estate Flyer

Flyers have many professional purposes, too. For example, this real estate flyer makes it easy to showcase what’s on the market. With multiple places for photos, it’s easy to see how this design can be used for a single property (with photos of different rooms) or multiple properties (with photos of the outside). This flyer also includes contact details along the bottom, so interested buyers know how to get in touch.

Bungalow Real Estate Flyer

4. Cobalt Cafe Restaurant Flyer

Now here’s one idea to stand out—a horizontal layout. Neatly divided into four colored segments, this design uses shapes to create visual interest. The circular photo frames are great for showcasing menu items, or items that are part of a theme. For example, if you were hosting a game night, the items pictured could include dice, game pieces, and cards. Layouts are versatile, so you don’t have to stick to whatever the template’s called. Let yourself be creative!

Cobalt Cafe Restaurant Flyer

5. Cosmopolitan Business Flyer

With flyers, you tend to see two design choices. Either the flyer offers very little in terms of visual interest, or the content is lost in a sea of imagery. This is a pleasing balance of the two, where the upper half of the page is dedicated to rich photography while the bottom is reserved for bold copy. When you pass by this flyer on the street or in the hall, you definitely won’t miss the point. It’s a striking layout that’s easy to design and customize.

Cosmopolitan Business Flyer

6. Cut Glass Digital Corporate Flyer

As a design element, color can be used to great impact, but it’s often underused in flyers. What’s so unique about this design is the way a sash of vibrant blue cuts across the monochrome page, drawing the eye down along with it. To take advantage of its pull, the bulk of the copy is positioned over the blue hue. When done correctly (i.e. high contrast images, spare use of color), this layout can be very effective.

Cut Glass Digital Corporate Flyer

7. DJ Club Flyer

Club events are one of the most popular use cases for flyers. Surely you’ve seen them plastered around town, on college campuses, or on the walls of your favorite music shops. It’s a quick and easy way to spread the word, but because there are so many, these flyers have to be competitive. Big fonts, recognizable names, and captivating images can give your flyer an edge, so don’t be afraid to experiment.

DJ Club Flyer

8. Gym Fitness Flyer

If you’re running a subscription-based business, it’s critical to draw people in with compelling advertising. This flyer layout contains several persuasive elements that you can use to punch up your design. For example, a big “hero” image has the power of suggestion. Red is a power color that attracts the eye, so it’s smart to put a bold headline over it. This one emphasizes affordability, with a coupon just below it to sweeten the deal even further. Add bullet points and contact details, and you’ve got a solid single-page flyer layout.

Gym Fitness Flyer

9. Nature Retreat Business Flyer

Sometimes the imagery matters more than the text. In those situations, a horizontal layout offers ample space for pretty photography, like landscapes and nature shots. This design takes advantage of transparent text to include needed details without detracting from the background. Depending on the image you’re using, elements can be moved around to accommodate it.

Nature Retreat Business Flyer

10. Night Life Club Flyer

Concerts are another type of event that depend on flyers to attract an audience. The design will really depend on which artist or band is playing, since they each have their own style. But for a clean, chic layout that works for almost anyone, try out this design. We chose a triangle here, but if you open the template, you’ll find that other shapes work great, too. Each one provides a different vibe, so play around until you find one that you like!

Night Life Club Flyer

11. Origami Banner Event Flyer

It might seem difficult to create the illusion of depth on a one-page flyer, but it certainly can be done. This layout uses a couple of visual tricks to make it happen. First, the background is an image of rolling hills, giving the viewer a familiar sense of perspective. Next, the content boxes have an added flourish: a darkened, shadowed triangle. It looks as though the content is floating on folded pieces of paper!

Origami Banner Event Flyer

12. Reflections Product Flyer

Maybe you don’t want your flyer to be whimsical. Or fanciful, or fantastical, or any other flimflam. Maybe, like the lawyer Wayne Jarvis of Arrested Development, you describe yourself with only one adjective. Well, in that case, your flyer needs to match. This design is official and confident in its authority—but also rendered in warm grays to keep it from being too coldly corporate. If you need to communicate essential information, this flyer design can’t be ignored.

Reflections Product Flyer

13. Simple Educational Flyer

Flyers have their place in education, too. For students, this usually means firing up Microsoft Word and struggling to create a project that doesn’t look either boring or terrible. No more! A simple, elegant design like this is easy to fill out in minutes, and it prints out like a dream. Just goes to show that flyer layouts don’t have to be complex to be attractive.

Simple Educational Flyer

14. Simple Promotional Flyer

Short, sweet, and to the point—that’s how you might describe this flyer layout. If it reminds you of online advertisements, there’s actually a good reason for that. Unlike most flyer layouts you’ve seen before, this one is digital, hence the callout button daring you to click it. A digital flyer layout like this can be embedded on a page or used in email campaigns to help customers find your latest sales and promotions.

Simple Promotional Flyer

15. Standard Advertising Flyer

This flyer layout design is about halfway between the last flyer and a full brochure. So if a brochure would be too much, but you still want to give them a better lay of the land, this feature-packed layout might be the perfect solution. Because of the smaller font sizes, it’s not a good choice for a hanging flyer, as people will pass right by it without gleaning any details. But from person to person, especially in a sales environment, it provides valuable info with a closer human touch.

Standard Advertising Flyer

16. Swiss Alps Company Flyer

What’s one good way to create a distinctive, interesting flyer design? Don’t think of it merely in terms of what it’s for—like a company event flyer, for instance. Instead, pick a theme inspired by world culture, and incorporate its most recognizable elements into your layout design. This retro flyer borrows colors, fonts and symbols from the Swiss to promote a yearning for travel and nostalgia. Now that company ski trip looks a lot more alluring, doesn’t it?

Swiss Alps Company Flyer

17. Travel Real Estate Flyer

How can you include a wealth of information on your flyer without overwhelming the design? This layout offers some great ideas. The top half of the page features a nice, big photo. The bottom half is split into neat boxes that tell you everything you need to know. It would’ve been easy to accidentally clutter up the page, but the shapes and spacing give it plenty of room to breathe.

Travel Real Estate Flyer

And that’s our round-up! See any ideas you like? Hopefully, these examples can give you a quick burst of inspiration, so before you know it, you’ll have a gorgeous flyer that you can’t wait to share.

Ready to design a new flyer? Give yourself a leg up, with our free flyer templates & layouts. See you there!

First it was smartphones, quickly followed by tablets and now smartwatches. The move towards mobile devices is quickening, and marketers are following suit. In 2016, they spent $101 billion on mobile internet ads worldwide, $40 billion in the U.S. alone. From 2013 to 2019, there will be an estimated tenfold increase in mobile advertising spending.

So how can your brand benefit from mobile spending? And how can you make sure that your mobile customers keep coming back?

Here are some ways marketers are using mobile to increase brand loyalty and cash in on mobile success.

Mobile pay creates loyal customers

No, mobile pay is not the leading form of payment. Not yet. But things are heading in that direction. In 2014, mobile pay accounted for $4 billion of in-store purchases. By 2019, it’s expected to increase to $34 billion. Though still lagging way behind plastic with only 13% of smartphone owners having used it to make a purchase, that number will rise. Especially since marketers for companies such as Android and Samsung are starting to offer incentives like loyalty cards for customers who use their mobile pay platforms.

Retailers like Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts offer mobile pay through their apps and reward customers who use it. The Starbucks mobile pay program via its app has been so successful that over 21% of all U.S. Starbucks store purchases come from it. There’s an expectation that in a few short years, the app payments will account for 50% of business.

Richard Crone, CEO of mobile-strategy company Crone Consulting LLC said the Starbucks mobile pay app was “the most successful launch of a new payment type in history.” Marketers, take note.

You can improve customer targeting with mobile ads

Mobile is on the cutting edge of marketing technology. Where else can you seamlessly integrate geofencing, purchase preferences and history, and social media interaction with your brand? Mobile lets you isolate essential customer information to offer the most personalized and targeted marketing in history.

Mark Ghermezian of Appboy says about the future of mobile marketing:

“Brands must understand how to strategically connect with customers on a personal basis and encourage engagement, based on customer behavior, to transform them into long-lasting users. Mobile marketing automation will allow companies to collect and use data in a more actionable way and deliver personalized and timely messages to their customers.”

Companies who effectively harness mobile tools create stronger relationships with their customers by anticipating their needs, stimulating their desires, and rewarding them with exclusive offers and promotions.

Customers like to shop on mobile devices

Consumers interact with brands through their smartphones in a number of ways. They look up brick-and-mortar store locations, search for coupons and make purchases. Anna Bager, senior vice president of mobile and video at the IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau) says:

“Pressing the ‘buy’ button on mobile devices is now a regular occurrence the world over. […] Marketers and media agencies need to fully embrace smartphones and tablets as a critical pathway for all shopping activities and increase investment if they want to build meaningful relationships with mobile consumers, driving them from discovery to purchase.”

The fact is that customers like to shop on their mobiles. In a study involving mobile users in 19 different countries, 80% said they had a positive experience with mobile shopping. Also, consumers engage more proactively with mobile apps than with traditional forms of advertising. The ability to take advantage of deals and shop at their own convenience are key factors in mobile shopping’s popularity.

Mobile apps increase your brand frequency

Mobile apps not only incorporate all of the above principals, but they also effectively increase a customer’s exposure to your brand. Americans spend on average 4.7 hours a day looking at their smartphones. Factoring in sleep, that means that people are spending about a third of their day on mobile. If your brand is on their device, they’re being exposed to it constantly.

The marketing term “effective frequency” suggests that the more frequently a consumer is exposed to your brand, the higher their intent to purchase becomes. When you adopt a mobile marketing strategy, you’re exponentially increasing your brand’s visibility.

Dick Stroud, Managing Director at 20plus30 said it best when he remarked, “At the birth of the web, companies aimed to get their website bookmarked. Marketers should be in a race to get their apps on the home screen of consumers’ smart devices.”

Ignoring mobile is a big risk.

As the trend towards personalization and targeting through mobile increases, customers are changing their expectations of interactions with brands. 54% of consumers say that a poor mobile app experience would make it less likely for them to patronize that business again, and 27% of consumers say that it would give them a negative view of the brand’s products.

Marketers ignore the mobile trend at their peril. It was estimated that the UK retail industry loses a potential 6.6 billion GBP due to lack of investment in mobile. Jamie Turner of 60SecondMarketer warns: “If you’re not using mobile marketing to attract new customers to your business, don’t worry—your competitors are already using it and are getting those customers instead.”

An investment in mobile marketing is an investment in brand loyalty. Even fringe technologies like mobile pay are on the rise and some early adopters have already seen great success in using it to increase customer loyalty. Your mobile presence has a great deal to do with consumer perception of your brand. Bottom line: use mobile or lose customers.

So. You’re designing a flyer.

Where do you begin? The endless array of images, backgrounds, catchy headlines and clip art (bad idea) at your disposal can be overwhelming. Consider starting with your backdrop: the ever-so-necessary but hard-to-design flyer background.

If you’re an Adobe Illustrator master, you’ll probably just design one of your own. But if you’re like the rest of us, you might have more luck using finger paint on a canvas than trying to figure out the intricacies of Illustrator.

The simple solution? Grab a background that someone else has already designed, and grab it for free. Lucky for you, I’ve already gone through the work of putting together a list of the best resources for free flyer backgrounds. So read on, and download away.

Option 1: Microstock photography

Microstock sites include not only a variety of photos, but vector images that work great for flyer-type projects. Since microstock sites accept work from amateur artists and photographers, the prices are typically lower if not completely free. They’re all royalty-free, and a perfect resource for small businesses or DIY designers to grab icons and other illustrations in addition to abstract backgrounds.

free flyer backgrounds

Microstock sites, such as 123RF, give you access to literally thousands of background images and options.

Resources for free microstock photography:

You may have heard of popular sites such as iStock and ShutterStock, which are also great, but their free options are extremely limited.

Option 2: Textures

If you’re looking for more earthy, organic flyer backgrounds, there are plenty of free resources that include everything from grungy charcoal to dirty concrete to polished wood. Basically, whatever floats your background boat. Take a look below for a few amazing options.

best flyer backgrounds

Lost and Taken is a free stock photo site with an especially gorgeous variety of textures.

Free textured flyer backgrounds:

Check out some more great texture options here.

Option 3: Stock photography

If you’re leaning towards a more photo-based background, stock photography is your best bet. Photos don’t always work well as the background to a text-based flyer. But throw on a semi-transparent black or white layer to make your text stand out a little more and a photo can really bring your flyer to life.

flyer stock images

Unsplash is a collection of beautiful stock photos that are free of copyright restrictions.

Free stock photography:

Check out this list for more free stock photo options.

Option 4: Photo & art communities

Flickr and DeviantArt are two of the most popular open communities for uploading images. This means millions of photos and images at your disposal. Keep in mind, not all the backgrounds you find on these resources may be open for use. On Flickr, for example, you’ll want to look for these icons to indicate how you are allowed to use the image.

best free flyer backgrounds

Home to 13 billion photos, you can’t go wrong with Flickr.

Next: Insert your new background into a template

While you’re out searching for flyer backgrounds, why not look for a template too? Once you’ve found the perfect background for your flyer, you can streamline your design process by using a drag-and-drop flyer maker, such as Lucidpress.

Lucidpress provides ready-to-go flyer templates that are easy to adjust and customize according to your needs. You simply choose a template, upload your background, tweak the text, and you’re ready to send it to the printer. If only life was always this easy, right?

best free flyer templates

A few examples of pre-designed templates you can use to create your flyer on Lucidpress.

Ready to insert your new flyer background into a beautiful template?

Here’s a bummer statistic: 88% of people will throw away your business card within a week of receiving it. In fact, it is likely easier for them to just Google your name or business to find your contact info when they need you. But that’s okay, because exchanging business cards offers so much more than a way for people to contact you when they need your services.

Whether you’re at a job fair, trade show, or any other networking situation, your primary goal should be for people to remember you and your brand. With this higher goal in mind, here are 3 reasons why business cards still matter.

1. They help you create the right first impression.

In any networking situation, you typically get one shot to make a great impression.

“A business card can, if one chooses, provide more than just contact information through graphics, mottos, type face, or other visual content,” said Keith McHugh of Painted Rock Enterprises. “This additional content could elicit emotions or a message that helps you stand out from the crowd.”

2. They present your brand as trustworthy and credible.

Building new relationships with potential clients, vendors, or employers requires you to break through any walls that they might have built up. A polished business card is one way you can build up enough trust to break down those walls.

“Not having a card makes you look like a brand new, one-person company that works out of the home and can’t afford $25 for business cards,” says Perryn Olson, marketing director at My IT. “Prospective clients do not want to gamble with an unproven vendor.”

3. They’re still an effective direct marketing tool.

Here’s how the e-commerce platform Shopify defines direct marketing:

“…a promotional method that involves presenting information about your company, product, or service to your target customer without the use of an advertising middleman. It is a targeted form of marketing that presents information of potential interest to a consumer that has been determined to be a likely buyer.”

There is nothing more direct than giving a potential client a handshake and a business card.

In fact, Mark Aselstine, owner of Uncorked Ventures, describes a recent situation where his business card drove tangible revenue:

“I definitely go back and forth if they’re worth it, but I think they do help bring in sales, often in unexpected ways. As an example, I had a corporate client reorder a series of wine club memberships for holiday gifts this year, despite having the person who used to be responsible for the order leave the company. At first, I thought they had access to her email, but it turns out they found my business card in her desk after she left the company and looked up our history in their accounting software.

For me, there are times when I need to source a case or two of wine and I look through the stack of business cards to choose someone to buy something from.

In any case, as much as people want to talk about how antiquated business cards seem at times, they still do help drive sales, but often in unexpected ways!”

Ready to give your business cards a fresh look? Design your own for free right here in Lucidpress.

30 awesome business card examples to inspire you

Now that we know why it’s important to create a memorable business card, here are 30 creative business card ideas you can use for inspiration when creating business cards.

Creative business cards

lucidpress lifestyle photographer creative business card

Source: Lucidpress

Warm pastel creative business card

caserne creative business card

Source: Lucidpress

Bold impressions business card

lemongraphic creative business card

Source: Lucidpress

Surf creative business card

thearslan creative business card

Source: Lucidpress

Character creative business card

manriquez creative business card

Source: Manriquez

Simple business cards

lucidpress classic blank simple business card

Source: Lucidpress

lucidpress lupine simple business card

Source: Lucidpress

emanuele cecini simple business card

Source: Emanuele Cecini

dk design studio simple business card

Source: DK Design Studio

erica boucher simple business card

Source: Erica Boucher

the mandate press simple business card

Source: The Mandate Press

Black business cards

noeeko studio black business card

Source: Lucidpress

markus tsang black business card

Source: Lucidpress

nathan riley black business card

Source: Nathan Riley

handsome black business card

Source: Handsome

danny jones business card

Source: Danny Jones

Double-sided business cards

lucidpress outdoor photography double sided business card

Source: Lucidpress

perconte double sided business card

Source: Perconte

claudia argueta double sided business card

Source: Claudia Argueta

mark brooks double sided business card

Source: Mark Brooks

gagik mesropian double sided business card

Gagik Mesropian

mike camera double sided business card

Source: Mike Camera

Vertical business cards

lucidpress corporate portrait vertical business card

Source: Lucidpress

lucidpress monochrome design vertical business card

Source: Lucidpress

lucidpress modern vertical business card

Source: Lucidpress

lagoo vertical business card

Source: Lagoo

janne koivistoinen vertical business card

Source: Janne Koivistoinen

martina obertova vertical business card

Source: Martina Obertová

giorgia smiraglia vertical business card

Source: Giorgia Smiraglia

vik design vertical business card

Source: Vik Design

Feeling inspired? You can design and order your brand new business cards right here in Lucidpress.

A picture truly tells a thousand words. From pie charts to cartograms, infographics have been around since the first humans learned to scratch symbols into the dirt. After all, an infographic is composed of only three vital elements: visual, content and knowledge—qualities shared by the earliest of cave drawings and the most technical of modern computer-aided data visualization.

Today online tools (such as Lucidpress) empower anyone to create infographics, but this visual format is not new. In fact, they are among the oldest forms of communication, and it only makes sense that they’ve retained their function throughout human history. People are visually wired.

An astonishing 50% of the human brain is involved in visual processing, and 70% of its sensory receptors are in the eyes. It takes less than one-tenth of a second to take in new visual scene: 150 milliseconds to process a viewed symbol, and another 100 milliseconds to attach meaning to it.

Every day, people are exposed to increasing amounts of information. In fact, the average person is exposed to five times as much information today than in 1986. As our brains adapt to process more information, the infographic’s efficiency at quickly and clearly conveying a message makes it a more vital form of communication. It’s no wonder the use of infographics in literature has increased by more than 400% since 1990. Likewise, the use of infographics on the internet—where users are barraged with a constant stream of changing information—has grown nearly 10x since 2007.

People of earlier times may have had less data to deal with, but that didn’t make the infographic any less useful for them to share their understanding of the world. Early forms of visual communication helped people of long ago tell stories, document the lay of the land and visualize scientific discoveries. Here are 6 ways infographics changed the course of human history.

Cave paintings

In its most basic form, an infographic is a visual communication method that tells and records a story—and isn’t that precisely what prehistoric cave drawings did? Forty millennia ago, the first storytellers painted the tales of early human culture, recounting births, deaths, massacres and celebrations, as well as plants and animals living among them in the Ice Age. Those early recordings provide invaluable information to modern audiences. For example, the paintings within Brazil’s Serra da Capivara, thought to date back as far as 36,000 years ago, challenged the theory that humans first migrated into South America in about 9,000 B.C.

Cave paintings in Serra da Capivara

But cave paintings are more than mere artwork; they were also informative to ancient men. Western European cave drawings depicted complex designs that archaeologists believe are primitive maps of the stars. One particular French cave contained thousands of drawings of people, animals and abstract representations believed to be part of the Summer Triangle constellation. Other cave paintings studied by archaeologists are now thought to be the earliest-known depictions of volcanic eruptions and help modern scientists understand volcanic activity in the early days of human history.

Hieroglyphics

It’s been 5,000 years since the ancient Egyptian civilization thrived, but the society left vast recordings of its culture. Hieroglyphics are a form of infographic used to describe ancient Egyptians’ lives, work and religion, while fabulously preserving their way of life. Not only did hieroglyphics feature drawings that represented objects and ideas, the written language also evolved to represent sounds with symbols.

Like many infographics, Egyptian hieroglyphics were meaningless to early archaeologists without a key. Therefore, the Rosetta Stone, the 1799 discovery that deciphered Egyptians’ pictorial language, is without a doubt one of history’s most valuable infographics.

Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs

The stone engraving, a decree from King Ptolemy V, features three scripts: Egyptian hieroglyphs, Egyptian Demotic script and Ancient Greek. By comparing the pictorial decree to other known written languages, archaeologists were finally able to decipher the ancient hieroglyphs uncovered across time.

Just as the Rosetta Stone unlocked the secrets of Ancient Egypt, translation and common understanding are key in today’s global society. According to K International, translation can make or break a brand now more than ever before—all because of the e-commerce market. Since 2007, global online sales have increased 17%, and China is now the largest global consumer of luxury goods—25% of all sales.

While words and phrases may vary, images are universally understood around the world.

Maps

Maps were one of the first infographics early people designed and distributed, and cartography has remained an integral science for thousands of years. From primitive maps drawn inside caves and the ancient maps of Babylon to the Age of Exploration’s changing maps and 21st-century maps of the universe, people draw diagrams to help them navigate the world.

The earliest-known maps don’t depict cities, roads or waterways at all, but the heavens above. Dots drawn within caves map out parts of the night sky and its constellations. Dots drawn inside a French cave more than 16,000 years ago map stars as seen by ancient Europeans. The oldest atlas ever discovered, the Dunhuang star atlas, was created on an ancient Chinese scroll almost 1,400 years ago.

The earliest-known map representing the natural landscape was a crude representation discovered in the Czech Republic and has been dated to 25,000 B.C., and ancient Babylonians were already using accurate surveying techniques by 600 B.C.—although their view of the world was limited to the known environment of the time: a circular area surrounded by water.

Regional maps retained the primitive qualities of the Babylonian Map of the World for centuries, but by the end of the medieval period, Europeans were mapping their nautical trade routes using accurate navigational directions.

Ortelius World Map 1570

With the discovery of the Americas, Europeans’ interest in mapping piqued as nations struggled to control new lands and resources. The first-known cartographic representations of the Americas—as well as Europe, Asia and Africa—were designed by Spanish cartographer Jean de la Cosa, who sailed across the Atlantic with Christopher Columbus. Were it not for him and a handful of other Spanish and Portuguese explorers, the New World would have remained in darkness, discouraging the settlement that followed.

Even today, maps are one of the most common forms of infographics. Easily-recognizable locations form the basis of many efficient infographics that instantly convey a message. For example, when Fractl needed to create an infographic that was not only timely but could appeal to a large audience, it chose to map the hometowns and locations of 75 Marvel characters. The infographic was highly effective, and the map was featured in 365 publications.

“Maps are great for compiling a lot of information into a single graphic,” explained the map’s designer. “When you look at a map of the United States, you are effectively viewing 50 different data sets at once, but because we see maps all the time, the mind can easily absorb the information being presented.”

Early charts & graphs

Throughout most of human history, data visualization was limited because data was limited. Then, thanks to various sciences, scads of information—about demographics, economics, geography and weather patterns—emerged. And people needed a way to more easily analyze all this information.

By the end of the 18th century, most charts used today—histograms, pie charts, bar and line graphs—were already in use, introduced to the world in William Playfair‘s 1786 publication, Commercial and Political Atlas.

A Scotsman schooled in drafting, Playfair decided to use his skills to illustrate economic data. At the time, such information was commonly represented in tables, but Playfair transformed the data into infographics. In one famous line graph, he charted the price of wheat against the cost of labor, countering the popular opinion that wages were driving up grain costs and demonstrating that wages were, in fact, rising much more slowly than the product’s cost.

Playfair's Time Series

Playfair held a keen understanding of data visualization for his time, and he speculated that the brain can process images more efficiently than words. He argued that good data visualization is about “giving form and shape to a number of separate ideas, which are otherwise abstract and unconnected.” According to Playfair’s writings, data should “speak to the eyes,” because they are “the best judge of proportion, being able to estimate it with more quickness and accuracy than any other of our organs.”

Political diagrams

One of the greatest social issues of the 19th century, slavery was the subject of one of America’s most historical infographics. After the southern states seceded in 1860 and 1861, Union military leaders needed a strategy to invade Virginia.

Meanwhile, the federal Coast Survey department produced a map of Virginia that would prove pivotal in the Civil War. Based on data from the 1860 census, the map depicted slave populations in each of Virginia’s counties, one of the first to represent population with shading—the darker the county was shaded on the map, the more slaves were held there.

Coast Survey Slave Map

By examining the map, it immediately became evident that eastern Virginia was a slavery hotspot, while the western portion of the state was relatively slave-free. Therefore, Union forces deduced that Virginians in the western counties would likely fight for slavery less ferociously, and they might even change teams.

“It was a breakthrough map,” noted Susan Schulten, University of Denver historian and author of “Mapping the Nation.” “It was an attempt to influence how the government saw the nation, and how the military understood it. It drove Lincoln’s attention to where slavery was weakest.”

Later, when the U.S. Coast Survey produced another map that charted slave density across the Confederacy, President Lincoln consulted the infographic throughout the remainder of the war, relying on it to understand in which areas Southerners would be more and less dedicated to a fight.

Political maps and diagrams continue to influence public policy today. Although the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees consists of an 8,000 person staff that collects enormous amounts of data on global refugee displacements, the organization has struggled to communicate its information in a meaningful way.

In a new approach, the agency commissioned an infographic to narrate 40 years of refugee data. The interactive graphic highlights where and when refugees emigrate and tells the complex stories of political, social and economic turmoil that lead to each displacement.

Since launching in 2014, the project has accrued more than 5 million page views, has been shared on Twitter to millions via humanitarian organizations such as Amnesty International, and it was even awarded a Gold Medal for Interactive at the prestigious Molofiej 22 Infographic Awards.

A message from Earth

The 20th century saw the advent of mass media, and publications quickly adopted infographics to efficiently convey complex information and data. As programming languages were born, computer-generated graphics pictorially depicted massive amounts of data, advancing all aspects of science and technology. But throughout all the advancements in visual storytelling, one thing remained clear: infographics are a universal language.

Thus, when NASA decided to send a message from mankind to extraterrestrial lifeforms, it determined an infographic would most likely do the job. In 1972 and 1973, aluminum plaques were placed aboard the Pioneer 10 and 11 spacecraft, each depicting a pictorial message. Each plaque featured simple drawings of a nude male and female human, as well as symbols designed to indicate the Sun’s position in the galaxy.

The Pioneer 10 and 11 spacecraft were the first human-built objects capable of enough velocity to escape the solar system. NASA turned to world-famous cosmologist Carl Sagan to design the ultimate message in a bottle. One diagram depicted the chemical makeup of hydrogen, the most abundant element in the universe.

The drawings of the humans included a diagram that pictorially calculates their height compared to the spacecraft, and the man’s right hand is raised as a sign of good will. (Of course no person on Earth can know if extraterrestrial intelligence will identify that raised hand as a peaceful symbol, but scientists hope the gesture is universal.)

Carl Sagan holding the Pioneer Plaque

A radial pattern on the plaque consists of 15 lines emanating from a center origin, indicating the distances of pulsars to the Sun, allowing recipients to pinpoint the location of launch in space and time. Finally, a diagram of the Solar System was inscribed on the plaques, depicting the launch location and trajectory of the two spacecraft. With any luck, the universal languages of mathematics and visual storytelling will tell unknown intelligent life that we are here, and we come in peace.

We most certainly live in an era of data visualization. Graphics charting everything from election polls to physical activity are found everywhere from the newspaper and television to the computer and smartphone. But in order to understand the elements of a successful infographic, we must remember that visual storytelling isn’t a new phenomenon, and the elements that worked for the ancients are still at play today.

Ready to make history with your data? Try Lucidpress to create gorgeous infographics for your brand—no expert design knowledge required.

A good logo represents the brand positively to the world, which is one reason why there are so many agencies dedicated to designing outstanding logos. Although the names and objectives of many organizations remain unchanged for many years, their logos are often renewed periodically.

Rebranding is sometimes necessary for shaping the future of the company, but you can reap some of the benefits simply by improving your logo design. A redesigned logo goes a long way in attracting and influencing customers. Here are 9 great examples of famous brands who have successfully redesigned their logos.

Pizza Hut

best logo redesigns

Since Pizza Hut’s opening in 1958, its logo has been redesigned many times. From the original mascot Pete holding the words “Pizza” and “Hut” in both hands, the logo has evolved to feature an iconic hut-shaped roof as its main element. With this redesign, Pizza Hut has stamped its signature slanted roof in sauce—to match an upgraded menu with bold sauces and premium ingredients.

Pizza Hut’s renewed logo is simple and classically designed with a minimal color combo of red and white. Developed as a flat design, this red logo still inspires hunger.

MailChimp

best logo redesigns

This example comes from Jessica Hische, the designer of the revamped MailChimp logo. The redesign looks quite similar to the previous version; there are minor improvements rather than a complete change.

MailChimp’s old and new logos may look alike at first glance, but there’s a difference in typography which makes the new logo cleaner and easier to read. Redesigning your logo doesn’t always mean a total overhaul. In fact, improving the look and feel of an existing logo can preserve and enhance the brand identity you’ve already built.

Firefox

best logo redesigns

Firefox, the open-source internet browser, uses a logo which has gone through several iterations since 2004—but the imagery and symbolism remain the same. This logo features a dark blue globe (the web) with a bright orange fox speeding around it.

The logo design team at Mozilla have modernized the existing logo by changing several visual elements. The glossy touch on top of the globe has been removed, while the contrast of the fox’s tail has been heightened. It’s a flatter design that’s still as vibrant and fiery as ever.

Mall of America

best logo redesigns

The launch of the Mall of America’s new logo is a perfect example of rebranding. The largest retail and entertainment complex since 1992, the Mall of America has recently upgraded from its older, nostalgic brand to something new, modern and dynamic.

Before, its logo recalled the American flag with its star shape, color scheme, and waving lines. An old-fashioned serif font proclaimed “MALL OF AMERICA” at the bottom.

In contrast, the revamped logo features a multicolored star made of ribbons, along with the company’s name in a sans-serif font. This represents the changing vision and diversity of the mall, while still retaining its recognizable American star.

Motorola

best logo redesigns

Motorola’s new logo first debuted in Techweek back in 2013. Motorola was acquired by Google, and its redesigned logo represents this merger well. The flat design and letter “M” are common to both versions, but the font has changed and the colors are aligned more closely with Google’s branding. And in case that isn’t clear enough, the tagline “a Google company” is added below the Motorola brand name.

Google

best logo redesigns

Speaking of Google, its current logo was unveiled in 2015. Its original logo was designed in 1997 and digitized by founder Larry Page. In 1999, further visual elements were integrated into the logo such as an exclamation symbol, enhanced hues, and a background shadow.

Like many of today’s modern logos, the current Google logo is a flat design. There have been minor changes to Google’s logo throughout its journey, but it has always retained its classic serif typography and bold colors.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

best logo redesigns

Illustrations can certainly make your logo more visually interesting, but they can also become too complicated. Thus, the recently redesigned logo of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was simplified to look more polished but still feature the same pirate imagery.

The colors here are smartly used—a brighter, richer red calls attention to the flag, and black outlines the illustration without overpowering it. Redesigning a sports logo can be tricky business because fans are so attached to their team, but this logo retains all the crucial elements of the original, right down to the flag’s sword handle.

eBay

best logo redesigns

The disordered arrangement of letters in eBay’s logo were the main target of this redesign. eBay’s new logo looks modern, featuring a flat design with no letters overlapping. The colors have been lightened to make them easier on the eyes, as well. In this svelte version, eBay has elevated its brand from the wild early days of internet commerce to a long-standing and trusted online marketplace.

Facebook

best logo redesigns

Facebook occasionally launches different logos with new versions of its site. As the most popular social network, Facebook must keep up with its users and reflect the latest design trends—but its identity is always the same.

This new logo, like many of its digital peers, is designed in flat format with the bottom line removed. Also, the “f” now extends all the way to the edge. With its navy blue background and bold letter “f,” Facebook’s rounded square icon is still instantly recognizable across the web.

So there you have it—9 examples of logo redesigns from some of today’s successful brands. Trends like flat design and bright colors can bring new life into an old logo. As the market changes and evolves, these logos will change again, too. But most importantly, they will continue to represent and build a strong, consistent brand identity that resonates with their customers.

Wondering whether it’s time to rebrand your own business or organization? Learn more in our free eBook: How and Why to Rebrand Your Company

If you’re thinking about pursuing a design career, you probably already know that you should learn from those who came before you and left a permanent mark in the world of graphic design. Being familiar with the big names and their influential works will provide inspiration as you learn from the best.

There are hundreds of designers who have bent the rules and challenged boundaries, completely changing the way we see design. But today, we’re looking at just 5 pioneers of modern graphic design that we think you should know.

1. Milton Glaser

Milton Glaser is one of the most successful graphic designers in the world. He’s an American, most famous for his “I love New York” logo. He designed it in 1977 to promote tourism in the city, and it’s become the most widely distributed logo ever.

His other masterpieces include the Brooklyn Brewery logo, the DC Comics logo and a psychedelic Bob Dylan poster, among a number of stunning designs that made him one of the most celebrated graphic designers ever. He’s received many awards for his work, and many pieces have found permanent homes in the collections of art museums. He was also the first graphic designer to receive the National Medal of the Arts award from President Obama in 2009.

2. Stefan Sagmeister

Stefan Sagmeister is an Austrian graphic designer and typographer who started his design career at the young age of 15. He’s based in New York, where he’s co-founded a design agency with Jessica Walsh called Sagmeister & Walsh Inc. He introduced his first agency (Sagmeister Inc.) to the design world in 1993 with a nude photo and has continued to produce provocative designs that rarely fail to capture an audience’s attention.

He’s known for unorthodox, thought-provoking designs and has worked with a number of artists. Some of his famous clients include HBO, the Rolling Stones, and the Guggenheim Museum. He’s also collaborated with musicians Lou Reed and David Byrne. The artwork he created for Reed’s album Set the Twilight Reeling is particularly striking.

3. Neville Brody

Neville Brody is an English graphic designer, typographer and art director. He founded Research Studios (now Brody Associates) and works at the Royal College of Art in London as the department head of Communication Art & Design. He’s widely known for his work in the magazines Arena and The Face. He also redesigned The Times newspaper (introducing the Times Modern font) in 2006. Many of his works are included in the permanent collection of New York’s MOMA.

He’s famous for designing album covers for artists like Depeche Mode, the Bongos, and Cabaret Voltaire. He once said: “Design is more than just a few tricks to the eye. It’s a few tricks to the brain.” That is exactly what his designs accomplish—they carve their way into the mind, where they inspire us to see the world through different glasses.

4. David Carson

David Carson is an American graphic designer and art director who is best known for his “grunge” typography that defined a new era in graphic design. He was the art director of Ray Gun magazine and once used Zapf Dingbats as the font for an entire article in the magazine—a font that contains only symbols.

That is exactly why his designs are so compelling—because he is bold and not afraid to experiment with our assumptions. He thinks beyond common practices in design and typography, which makes his work unique and, often, mesmerizing. Interestingly, he was also a professional surfer and ranked as the 9th best surfer in the world in 1989.

5. Paula Scher

Paula Scher is an American graphic designer and educator whose impact and influence run deep. In 1991, she became the first female principal at the design studio Pentagram, and she’s widely known for designs that offer bold identity and outstanding visual personality.

Some examples of her design work include the logos for Microsoft Windows 8 and Office 2010, as well as branding for The Public Theater, the New York Shakespeare Festival in Central Park, the Museum of Modern Art, The Metropolitan Opera, and the New York City Ballet. She also designed the interior for the New Jersey Performing Arts Center and created a middle-school program for environmental graphics in Brooklyn. She’s a renowned painter whose works go beyond the realm of graphic design.

Key takeaway

Learning from the greats will certainly inspire you and get your creative juices flowing. Have these five inspired you in your work? Who else would you add? Tell us which designers inspire you below, and we just might include them in a future post.

Inspired to bring your own graphic design projects to life? Here’s why Lucidpress is the best choice for gorgeous online design.

Bonus: ASMR for graphic designers

Need a laugh? Put on those headphones and settle into this vector-tracing, Comic-Sans-destroying, design-thinking ASMR experience.

Imagine you are ordering a tuxedo. You call up the tailor and tell him to “design a tux for a medium-build, six-foot-tall person.” Now that doesn’t sound very informative, does it? Imagine how the tux will turn out. Then you will probably blame the tailor for poor quality work. In his defense, he did not have a lot to work with in the first place.

That is exactly how a graphic designer feels when you present him with an inadequate design brief. Considering two parties who have not worked together before, a functioning design and appealing business branding cannot be achieved if you simply coordinate over the telephone. Whether it is a tuxedo or graphic design, without detailed instructions, the final output is bound to be below par.

In terms of web design, we call this set of instructions a design brief. Let’s discuss the defining factors of a well put-together design brief.

1. Company introduction & description

A well-rounded graphic designer will always look into the company’s background before starting any design work. The audience you are pitching to, whether of B2C or B2B nature, will always matter, and it makes a difference in the type of branding and design you create. Hearing the company’s background is necessary for the designer to understand the company profile, customer profile, and corporate culture they’re designing for.

Here’s a template to help you put together an introduction to your company’s brand.

2. Objectives/aims for the project

Sometimes the design objectives can be quite clear, such as in the case of designing business cards or a corporate logo. Almost all designers will understand the significance of those. However, sometimes branding or rebranding is done for a specific purpose, such as to increase leads through better visual stimulation, to increase social media following, to reinforce brand identity through a more assertive logo design, and so on. Don’t leave your designer in the dark about these aims, because they should work on your project with a clear business goal in mind.

3. Your design budget

One of the most critical elements is the client’s budget. If you have a modest budget but want an extravagant logo or extra design items, then you are asking for trouble. Companies that know their limitations usually end up with a decent brand style compared to companies who overstretch and end up with a half-baked brand style. Similarly, if this budget is communicated early, the designer will know exactly how much to allocate to each part and have a clearer idea of how many concepts and revisions to offer. Trust me, this will avoid a lot of hassle later on.

4. Timeline

Time is another one of those aforementioned critical elements. As a designer, you must make sure the client includes the timeline for the required project—with objectives at proper intervals—so both parties are on the same page. A designer is working with his own mindset, and it is the client’s responsibility to provide him with the relevant details, especially time. To avoid later headaches, check in with the designer along the way to evaluate whether the project is keeping pace or needs to be extended.

5. Detailed expectations

“Design a website for me, and make sure it looks good.”

Was that very helpful? Let’s try again.

“Design an informative website to showcase my product catalogue, and add sliders so my website looks beautiful.”

The latter brief is slightly better… but still missing loads of details.

For instance, it is your job to let your designer know how many pages are going to be in your website and to have the supporting content to fill them. Let your designer know what framework the website will be used on; a few common examples are WordpressDrupalMagento and Opencart. Finally, explain the function of the website. If you want an e-commerce website, you must provide the requirement of a “shopping cart” in your brief. A website might look aesthetically pleasing but lack basic functions if you aren’t explicit about your expectations.

6. Design/style guidelines

Many companies have a design style that is consistent throughout their branding. This style is visible in the color scheme, imagery and other design elements. We know that brand consistency is important and adds value to your bottom line, so it really does matter.

If a client fails to provide this information to the designer, there will be major differences of opinions over the final product. For instance, as a designer, you might implement a trendy creative theme that looks great (let’s say, steampunk), but the client wanted a sleek corporate vibe. It falls upon the client to get this information into the design brief.

Here’s a template to help you put together an introduction to your company’s style guidelines.

Pinpoint the pain points

Sometimes a designer can create something wonderful, but there might be just one thing in it that the client hates. It could be a problem with the layout or anything else. The point is, it’s important to pinpoint these items and define boundaries so the designer doesn’t have to keep guessing. It’s much quicker to isolate what isn’t working and refine it than to start all over from the beginning because feedback was vague.

Responsibility is not unilateral

As mentioned above, if the client wants a seamless design process with minimum delay, they should follow these guidelines for a comprehensive design brief. However, the responsibility falls to both parties to ensure that every aspect is accounted for. If the client fails to provide something, the designer can ask for it before heading in the wrong direction.

The bottom line

Graphic designers need an instructional and informative design brief to be able to execute the client’s project to its full potential. If any of these elements are missing or incomplete, then your design project could take a massive blow. Similarly, from the business’s point of view, a failed execution means you’ll need to work harder to repair the damage to your brand identity. A successful design execution means that your corporate logo, business branding or social media channels will prosper.

Bonus: Inspirational quotes for graphic designers

Need a giggle? Did a client just ask you for “one more change”? Set down your stylus, pop in those EarPods, and enjoy a couple minutes of power quotes for graphic designers that will fill your empty Helvetica-loving soul… for today, at least.


From Facebook posts by old friends asking you to try products that “really work,” to those email subscriptions you’re sure you never signed up for, people are constantly bombarding you with information from all platforms. Everyone wants your attention, and it’s up to you to determine what makes the cut. Our eyes can only process so much—and our brains can interpret even less.

This fact is well-known to marketers, who constantly work to create new and exciting content to be consumed by target audiences. The job of marketers is growing increasingly more difficult as the days of simply creating interesting, insightful, witty, easily understood yet informative content are over. On top of everything their positions entailed before the age of social media and email campaigns, marketers now have the additional task of differentiating themselves from everyone else who is trying to do the exact same thing.

So, how is it done? How can one business’s content stand apart from the overabundance of black-and-white text being hurled at consumers across the globe?

The answer lies in visual content—like infographics. We’ve compiled a list of 32 stats and facts that demonstrate the importance of visuals in your marketing messages. These stats can help you disseminate content that is read instead of skipped.

How do we process information?

Why should you use infographics?

The importance of visual content in social media

How does this affect marketing?

The statistics speak for themselves: visual content is essential to capturing and holding the attention of potential readers. As the data shows, however, over 17% of marketers spend more than five hours per week creating visuals in order to brand their business and disseminate information. Five hours per week spent creating infographics is five hours per week not spent improving your business.

So how do you keep up with the stunning visual content of competitors but also spend significantly less time in the creation process? The solution is Lucidpress: a web-based design platform that empowers even the most novice of designers to create impressive visual content. Using our simple drag-and-drop formatting will help you spend less time branding your business and more time building it.

Create striking visual content in minutes with our easy-to-use infographic templates. Get started for free today!

What makes the design world exciting is that there’s never a dull moment. Design is continually evolving with new trends, and these trends often dominate the scene for a time. We’re in the middle of 2017, and already, there have been several logo design trends enjoying their share of popularity.

As we know, a logo is critical to your branding regardless of business type, products or services. It is the first thing that catches the attention of your target audience and establishes a strong business persona.

Keeping track of these trends is enough to make anyone’s head spin. Well, we took a dive into the subject so you don’t have to. Today we present you with what we believe are the 5 most popular logo design trends in 2017.

1. Minimalism

“Through simplicity comes great beauty.” It is often the simplest of logo designs that catches attention. Perhaps this is why flat design is currently dominating the business world. Its popularity has been spurred by the likes of PayPal, Airbnb, Foursquare and Netflix. Minimalist logo designs are purpose-driven, easy to remember, and can be identified at a glance. No matter what trends come and go, a minimalist logo design has timeless appeal.

Example: Nike

Can it get more minimal than the classic Nike swoosh? The logo design for this popular sports brand is simple, iconic, and anyone can understand the message behind it.

Nike logo

2. Negative space

Negative space refers to the space in or around an object that is creatively used to form another shape within the logo design. Logos with negative space are popular because they encourage the audience to pay attention and discover the hidden clue. A logo with negative space can be cleverly designed, witty, and come with a deeper message.

Example: FedEx

The FedEx logo was created in 1994. Since then, it has won around 40 design awards and been ranked as one of the best logos in the last 35 years.

If you take a closer look at the space between the E and the X, you will see a tiny arrow hidden within it. This arrow symbolizes FedEx’s fast speed coupled with accuracy.

There is significance in the color choices, too. To creatively separate the whole of FedEx from its individual services, they use different colors for “Ex.” For example, the orange Ex stands for “Express,” while the red Ex is for freight. FedEx has managed to pack a whole lot of information in its simple, clean logo.

FedEx logo

GIF logo design features animated images that are continuously moving. This kind of logo design is like a hybrid between static images and video. It’s caught on recently because they offer a whole new way to capture a viewer’s attention.

Thanks to social media sites like Twitter and Tumblr, GIFs are enjoying a new heyday of popularity. Including tiny animations in the logo design is fun and can be done fairly quickly.

Example: Giant Owl

The logo of Giant Owl (a London-based production company) features two giant, owl-like eyes that illustrate the company’s name and resemble digital tape spools. The logo is further brought to life by animating the eyes, which grabs a viewer’s attention because the movement is so unexpected.

Giant Owl logo

4. Letter-stacking

Letter-stacking is a technique designers use to place long phrases and text without spreading across a large area. Logos can include vertical or horizontal inscriptions along with complimentary graphic elements—a great visual combination. Letter-stacking logos are compelling: spending a few extra seconds to unravel what it says results in increased memorability.

Example: Oakland Museum

The Oakland Museum of California created a logo which playfully arranges the letters of its lengthy name into three sections and emphasizes its initials. Letter-stacking logos are a great option for incorporating long, verbose business names.

Oakland Museum of CA logo

5. Hand-drawn style

Despite the name, hand-drawn logos are not technically drawn by hand—rather, they give the impression of a free-form sketch. These logos offer a retro sense of charm and connect with audiences on a personal level. The warm, down-to-earth appeal that hand-drawn logos offer is sometimes hard to achieve with a purely digital design.

Example: The Fitness Lab

In this case, a hand-drawn logo design perfectly expresses the fun, quirky and casual vibe the brand is aiming for. Your business logo doesn’t always have to feature pristine digital design—a cheery doodle or sketch can be a great starting point (like this version!).

The Fitness Lab logo

Wrapping up

Your logo is possibly the most significant branding tool in your arsenal, so make sure you have a strong one. These logo design trends will help you stay on top of the game even as they keep evolving.

Learn more: Do you know the 10 essential brand assets for digital success?

Managing a client’s expectations is not an easy task, especially if you are a designer. As much as you want to keep clients happy and live up to their expectations, things don’t always go according to plan.

While designers rely on their creativity to deliver great results, clients sometimes undervalue the effort or attempt to control the process. It’s a cycle that can make even the most ambitious projects crumble in a matter of seconds. This is why maintaining good rapport with clients is instrumental to a project’s success. Although there’s no one-size-fits-all solution, we have some ground rules that can help you manage client expectations and take your collaboration to a whole new level.

1. Communicate your ideas clearly

Communication is an integral part of any successful project. To maintain good communication, keep it simple. Communicate your ideas without using professional terms or slang that your clients might not be familiar with or understand. Also, don’t depend only on words. Share examples and visuals to help clients conceptualize the goal you’re trying to achieve. This way, you set up clear ideas from the start—and leave less room for misinterpretation down the road.

2. Set clear boundaries

No matter how smoothly we try to meet a client’s expectations, there will always be a few bumps in the road. For example, after sending over your first mockup, clients will nearly always request changes. This is an expected part of successful collaboration. If, however, they continue asking for alternatives time and time again, this may lead to revising the entire design, extending deadlines and causing frustration on both sides.

While it’s perfectly normal to listen to your client’s feedback and answer their needs and requirements, falling into a never-ending cycle of revisions will not have a positive effect on the project—or your relationship. To avoid this scenario, set clear boundaries; be transparent about what you can achieve and how much time you can dedicate to revisions. Otherwise, the client might undervalue your knowledge and skills and eventually stop trusting you.

3. Define your communication channels

The easiest, most efficient way to nurture a client is to keep them regularly updated about your progress and any changes. However, thanks to the inbox overload we all face, communicating with your client via email may no longer be enough. Build trust with your client by letting them become an integral part of your project, follow its different stages, comment and give feedback. Here’s a comparison list of the best project management tools that give clients a clear view of what you’re working on.

4. Identify your key contacts

While keeping your client regularly updated is important, too many messages between your team and your client may lead to annoyance, confusion or burnout. To prevent this, select one point of contact between the client and the design team. This will streamline communication so it’s straightforward and easier to prevent any misunderstandings or conflicts from bubbling over.

5. State your payment terms

Whether you need more resources to complete a project or you’ve run into an obstacle that you must tackle before moving forward, there are many reasons to extend project deadlines. If this happens, it’s better to ask your client to pay in parts rather than the entire sum. This makes it easier to add late payments and fill any gaps before it’s too late. Make sure you state your payment terms clearly and as early as possible so it’s a win-win situation for you and your client.

6. Make it personal

Small gestures can do wonders. If you’re working with a client who’s willing to pay for your services and appreciates your work and time, you should nurture the relationship by going above and beyond. For example, send them a personalized thank you card. Whether you provide advice that might have a positive impact on the brand, invite them to a fun activity or take them out for lunch, it will encourage ongoing collaboration in the future.

7. Have a detailed contract

A clear and concise contract is a major prerequisite to successful communication and collaboration with a client. Your contract should cover the following items:

Keep in mind that besides delivering a contract to your client, you must carefully review it with them to make sure they understand and agree to all the details.

The best projects are a result of clients and designers working together to achieve a common goal, and the expectations you set will influence how the project’s success is perceived. By following these 7 guidelines, you’ll create a respectful, collaborative environment that will encourage everyone to do great work together.

When it comes to design, effective typography has become a necessity—not only because the text reflects your content, but also because it adds to the look and feel of what your users consume, while also dictating how they consume it. In the context of user experience (UX), good typography has everything to do with how long a user is willing to interact with your service or webpage plus their attitude towards it.

The subject of typography is broad, involving many different techniques and methods, but that doesn’t change the fact that it should be treated like a priority. Luckily, even knowing a little bit about typography can drastically improve UX, which makes it an investment with immediate pay-off.

The purpose of typography

Think about your favorite brands. What do they have in common? Strong brands consistently work with a selected font style that appears in everything they produce (a result of having great brand guidelines). Typography helps brands build a personality, stand out and be memorable. [Tweet this]

Take the Nike logo, for example: the bold block text, combined with the slant to the right, gives the impression of strength and movement—making it perfect for a sports apparel company. Imagine how much the impact would be lessened if it used light, lowercase letters.

It’s best to think of typography as a handshake: it’s the first impression you make, which makes it even more important if you’re running a website for a small business or brand.

Before users read through your text, they visually register it first. Is the text too small or too large? Are the lines too close or too far from each other? Do your color choices impact readability? Is everything written in big unwelcoming blocks?

The bottom line is that it must be easy to read, or users will choose not to read it at all. For web designers, creating a successful and comfortable UX means choosing the appropriate typography for your content.

Give users what they want

When trying to create a positive UX, it’s important to understand how users think. Through different studies and surveys it was found that, on the average webpage, users will only read 50% of the context and move on—and a lot of them don’t even scroll down. According to information gathered by Conversionxl.com, post length doesn’t always matter… but how pleasing it is to the eye does.

The Gestalt Principle of Perception states that we have a tendency to organize visual elements depending on things like similarity, closure and proximity, and these things carry over to our reading behaviors. You can work this to your advantage by creating a clear hierarchy and using bigger fonts (called headers and subheaders) to separate portions of text. You should also keep in mind that emphasis (such as italicsbold and underline) should be used sparingly to retain its effect.

Delivering the right message the right way

Beyond visual appeal and impact, good typography can be used to your advantage. Often, new brands and websites can earn positive reactions from users by providing attractive, easy-to-read text. The reason for this is both simple and logical: it’s a sign of credibility and expertise, which users then associate with the brand presenting the message.

There are a few basic rules to sending a clear message via typography. The first is to keep it simple by using as few font styles as possible. Most webpages and designs only need two font faces; using more runs the risk of looking too cluttered or busy. It is also worth noting that, despite the thousands of free fonts found on the Internet, many websites pay for fonts with proper kerning, spacing and style variations. This makes it easier to use the same font face to evoke different feelings and reactions.

Typography is a lot like a picture: it speaks for itself. The color of your text will clue in users to what they can expect (like how red can be alarming but blue can be calming). Font faces tell users how to approach the text. Think about why script fonts are popular for party invitations, or how fonts that look handwritten feel more personal.

Improving readability and legibility

Since effective typography goes hand-in-hand with great UX, you should also know how to keep users’ interest in your message all the way through. That’s where readability and legibility come in. To keep your text visually pleasing and functional at the same time, here are a few basic guidelines.

Typography tools and further learning

Today, typography can be a casual hobby for some and a full-blown art for others. Wherever you place yourself on the spectrum, there are easy ways to learn more. For instance, there are many tools that can help you apply what you know to ease UX on your website.

Once you’re more comfortable with your knowledge, it’s time to experiment and have fun with it. Websites like @font-face, Adobe Typekit and Typotheque can help you get started, but don’t be afraid to do some exploring.

Integrating typography into UX is more than just using presentable text. It’s often the difference between comfort and disinterest in your users—and the thin line between failed and successful conversion in your marketing.

Learn more: Do you know the 10 essential brand assets for digital success?

To the average person, designing logos seems like a simple task—you just make a small circle or rectangle and put the brand name on it. But of course, it’s not nearly that easy.

To help a brand capture its personality and really stand out takes a lot of careful consideration and design iteration. If you’re new to the field of logo design, here are 8 tips for designing logos that don’t tread on overly well-worn ground.

1. Avoid clichés

Instagram gradient logo design trend

Every year, we see innovative trends in logo design. It’s good to keep up with trends and experiment with them for yourself, but don’t fall into the trap of using the same idea over and over.

For a few years, the “hipster” logo was very popular. Featuring a pseudo-vintage look, these logos eschewed simplicity in favor of lots of text and symbols. This look became so ubiquitous that it became a joke within the design community, spawning satirical sites like Hipster Logo Generator.

A current design trend to keep an eye on is gradients. Gradients have been a big no-no for at least two decades, but they’re now enjoying life in the limelight again. You don’t have to look any further than the recent Instagram rebrand to see it in action.

In the long run, it’s a better idea to stick to solid design principles and avoid clichés.

2. Embrace unique design

Coca-cola logo custom lettering

Originality and uniqueness make it easier to catch a viewer’s eye, and custom lettering is a great way to embody both traits. Additionally, it’s harder to copy than a commonplace font.

The quintessential example of custom lettering is, of course, Coca-Cola’s logo. As one of the world’s oldest and most established brands, Coca-Cola’s logo has stood the test of time and continues to be instantly recognizable.

3. Create a visual double entendre

What’s a visual double entendre? Essentially, it’s a double meaning. If designed in this way, a single logo can give the impression of two different images.

Lion Bird double-meaning logo

For example, in this logo for Lion Bird, you can see two animals: a bird opening its wings and the face of a lion. Viewers love designs like these because, once they discover the double meaning, they feel like they’re in on a secret.

4. Don’t underestimate color

Color plays an integral role in logo design, and its importance cannot be understated. A brand’s color palette sets the tone for its communications, and people often remember a logo by its colors.

Facebook logo blue color

You know these by heart: Home Depot is orange, Target is red, Starbucks is Green, Facebook is blue, UPS is brown, and Apple is white. While colors are shared with countless other brands, these brands have been able to lock down these colors in consumers’ minds.

5. Create a sense of motion

Twitter logo sense of motion

It’s possible to create dynamic logos that invoke a sense of motion without actually moving. The advantage of this over, say, a GIF design is that GIFs aren’t supported in every medium—like print, for example. Creating a sense of motion in a still image will help to preserve the brand message everywhere.

Twitter’s logo is a great example of this. In the past, the bird was sitting down in a passive stance. Now it’s moving upward in flight, reflecting Twitter’s speed and its evolving technology. This tactic works well for brands which have mascots.

6. Keep it simple

In logo design, simplicity is certainly the best policy. Simple, powerful logos are often the winners in the long run. For example, Apple and Nike’s logos are simple but well-known among millions of people.

Apple and Nike logos

Remember: even though simple design is the goal, it’s still important to be unique. Would Nike still have succeeded with a traditional check mark? Would Apple’s logo still be as compelling without that bite taken out?

7. Remember balance & symmetry

Keeping the previous examples in mind, you can see that balance and symmetry are vital factors in logo design. Look at how Apple’s logo employs proportionate circles along with symmetry to maintain balance and aesthetic quality.

Every logo has its own story. In some cases, the story is almost as interesting as the logo itself. Either way, storytelling can draw people into your brand, so make it count.

Do you know the story behind Apple’s logo? Ronald Wayne (sometimes called Apple’s third founder) designed a logo in which Isaac Newton sat under a tree with a bright apple shining above his head. A year later, Steve Jobs commissioned another logo. The reason? He thought people might confuse the original image for a tomato. Thus, the apple with a bite was born.

We hope these simple tips offer a peak into the complex world of logo design. By following this advice and avoiding the pitfalls, you should be well on your way to brainstorming a compelling logo for your brand or business.

Learn more: Do you know the 10 essential brand assets for digital success?

As designers, we know how important it is to deliver creative and compelling designs. Designs that catch the eye and gets the viewer thinking “That must be one hell of a product!” And over time, ads have gotten so creative and innovative that our expectations only get higher every time we see a head-turning advertisement.

Even in the age of digital marketing, print media advertising still plays a decisive role in the effectiveness of a marketing strategy. And as today’s world gets increasingly digitized, it might be easy to dismiss the idea of traditional print advertising, from cheap business cards to print flyers and product brochures.

If you want to increase your brand’s favorability and improve purchase intent, you must learn to adapt to the latest design trends and adopt new ways of doing print ads. Here are a few ways you can play with print layouts to achieve print perfection.

Experiment with your layouts

When designing print ads, you attempt to piece together the elements of the ad into a visually pleasing arrangement. The number of patterns you can use are endless, and it’s your duty to fit them into print advertisement mediums. You can do so by structuring them according to different layouts.

The frame-up

Easily frame a layout with the help of borders. This keeps the elements within bounds and sets them apart from other aspects of the page. The composition emphasizes a central component which surrounds the entirety of the ad, be it partially or wholly, focusing the attention on its center.

The big type

Types, especially in their larger forms, hold a particular appeal for viewers and even for artists themselves. Big types command greater attention due to their curves and stroke orders. They work seamlessly without the need for additional artwork or images, and designers can play with the typeface’s readability to convey different moods, from professional to playful.

The multi-panel layout

You can use panels for an variety of functions. They can be used to tell a story, or to display a set of information, or in our case, show off the products we want to advertise. This layout uses several frames to compare different perspectives or different features.

Designers often keep a proportional variation between every panel block to set the headline apart from the body and the signature. One of the most common examples is when you order business cards or promotional flyers online. You may notice that many designers opt for the clean, paneled look to help readers glide through the content.

Look at the bigger picture

“Big Picture” layouts, also known as the picture-window layout, highlight the main visual—usually a single, large illustration that dominates the canvas. This type of layout shows the importance of the main visual without any further accents, other than the brand logo and a line of text. The image should speak for itself.

The Mondrian-esque

Inspired by Dutch painter Piet Mondrian, the Mondrian layout consists of black bars and solid areas of primary color, divided across the canvas into squares and rectangles. A Mondrian layout focuses on the proportion as the main design principle that proves to be an easily workable and logical way to showcase art and typefaces.

Incorporate different strategies

You have your product and design concepts with you, but the industry remains competitive, and consumers have higher expectations for your ads. To meet these expectations, here are four techniques to try out.

Show, don’t tell

“Show, don’t tell” is a well-known technique across many creative fields. It states that you should always take the chance to show something rather than explain it. Use your print designs to help consumers conceptualize the product with their five senses.

This Curtis tea poster is a great example. Instead of telling you how the tea would taste, they visually appeal to our senses of smell and taste to convey what the teas are like.

Play with the medium

Make your design interactive using the physical parts of your print. You can make your centerfolds show motion every time you flip through the pages. Use your pages as transitional devices if you want to tell a story. For instance, you can print business cards with thin sliding panels that contain more information about your company.

Food for thought

Print media is all about imagery and visualization. Use a series of images to draw the viewer into your message and show them what’s hidden underneath your clever design. Keep this famous mantra in mind: “If you have to explain it, then it probably isn’t that good.”

Invoke an emotional response

Be it via humor or deep subject matter, engage your audience through emotion. Designers can use emotional appeal to evoke sentiment and nostalgia from viewers. Consider your topic and tweak your design to enhance the emotional effect of your ads.

Key takeaway

As Pablo Picasso said: “Learn the rules like a pro so that you can break them like an artist.” To be a good designer, you need to know how to look at your product from the viewer’s perspective. You need to know how to apply different rules and techniques to create a compelling print ad. It’s up to you to decide: play by the rules, or dare to be different.

Ready to design your own print ideas? Lucidpress makes it easy to create beautifully branded content in a matter of minutes.

When it comes to design in communications, there are generally two types of artwork: design driven by narrative or design driven by information and data. The former relies more on conveying meaning and subtle messages through nuanced design, whereas the other relies on turning potentially incredibly complex or technical data into something that is much easier to digest for the average person.

Given the nature of corporate design, it will normally be brands who are requesting this type of work. These can be big money clients, so it’s important to make sure that you’re giving your client what they need. With that said, here are some tips to make sure your corporate designs hit the mark.

Know the brand inside-out

Unless you’ve had the fortune of pulling together the branding guidelines yourself, chances are you’re going to be unfamiliar with the brand. You need to spend time getting to know its identity. If there isn’t a set of guidelines anywhere, there are generally two things you can do:

Speak with your contact at the company.

Whoever has commissioned you to do this design work will most likely be willing to talk with you for 20 minutes or so and answer any questions you might have.

Put yourself in the position of their audience.

Have a look at their social media channels, watch the videos they’ve released, read through their website, and make sure you jot down notes about what messages you are getting from these. Mention these to your contact at the brand and check to see if that’s the message they want to portray.

“Peruse their back catalogue of materials in your spare time. It will help you know where the company has been, which will help inform you where it should be going. There have been countless times when I thought I came up with a great idea only to find out that we already tried it ten years ago.”

Aperitif5Destruction, via Reddit

Have the confidence to say no

Remember that, in any client relationship, you are the designer. They aren’t just paying for your time to deliver a service; they are paying for your skills, your experience and your influence. If the client gets back with some suggested changes that don’t fit in with the brand, you need the confidence to explain why their idea might not fit their guidelines.

“[As designers] our job is to educate clients on why we make the decisions we do, based on precedent, legibility and/or function. If a client is telling us how to design, they’re probably not a client worth having.”

Jesse Reed, via FastCodeDesign

Know the difference between internal & external communication

I spoke with my friend Neil who works in-house for a global technology recruiter and asked for his advice. He made a great point about the importance of separating design for internal use and for external use, and considering separating flagship publications from the brand.

“What we’re saying is ‘this is a great piece of marketing that you’re going to want to read,’ a lot of great stats, a lot of great information, and it’s presented in a way where it looks different, but it’s still within the branding guidelines, and it’s still within the context of FRG Technology Consulting (formerly known as Pearson Frank). And that’s the same with all of the salary surveys; they look different visually, but the context of which they’re promoted, of which they’re delivered, is within the brand.”

Neil Robinson

Key takeaways

Great corporate design doesn’t have to be difficult. Know the brand better than anyone else, put yourself in the position of the audience, have the confidence to defend your design rationale, and know the difference between designing for internal communications versus external. Follow that advice, and you will be delighting clients with your designs.

Ready to design corporate documents? Create beautifully branded reports, business cards & more in a matter of minutes.

When done well, flyers can be an incredibly effective (and inexpensive) way to promote your business, no matter your size. In fact, 89% of folks remember receiving a flyer, more than any other form of advertising. What’s more, 45% hold onto the flyers they receive for future reference. 

Still, while flyer distribution is one of the most widely used marketing strategies, simply copy and pasting something together isn’t enough to stand out in today’s busy marketplace. If you want to grab people’s attention long enough for them to actually read your flyer and then act on it, you’ll need to be intentional in your messaging, design, and distribution. 

Below you’ll find our comprehensive guide to flyering. From how to design a flyer for maximum impact to tips on distribution, we’ll help you create the perfect piece of print marketing for your business. 

How to design an incredible flier

1. Create an attention-grabbing focal point

What’s the first thing that you want people to notice? Intentionally designing your flyer around a singular focal point will catch people’s eye and make sure your message comes across loud and clear. 

Using unique, professional imagery, bold colors, and easy-to-ready fonts will help you stick the landing. 

For example, we love how this Cinco de Mayo flyer immediately draws your attention in with a beautifully drawn taco that conveniently tells you exactly what the flyer is about. Fun colors + a casual, handwritten lettering style make this super easy on the eyes and a joy to read.

image3-2-1024x768

2. Speak to your target audience

Who’s your target audience, and how do you want them to respond to your flyer? For example, you might want them to stop by your shop, visit your website, or call for more information. 

Knowing your target audience will help you craft messaging that appeals directly to them. 

The goals of this flyer’s messaging and design are clear:

  1. To highlight the event is one night only, so people should act now to buy tickets/mark their calendars
  2. To catch the attention of film and poster enthusiasts
  3. To establish legitmacy by including the names of well-known print artists who will be featured

3. Focus on the benefits

It’s not enough to grab your customer’s attention. You need them to stick around so you can convey your whole message. Keep them interested by rewarding their attention. Answer their main question, “What’s in it for me?” 

4. Keep the content simple

When it comes to creating flyers that stand out, less is more. Remember that you only have a couple seconds to capture the attention of your potential customers, and only one or two more seconds to hook them in with your product. That’s why you need to be straight-to-the-point content when describing what your product/service/event is, its benefits and other important details. 

This funky design let’s people know exactly what kind of guitar lessons are being offered, what level they’re for, and how to get in contact.

image1-2-1024x768

5. Include a call-to-action

After conveying your message, tell readers exactly what to do next, whether that’s to order now, call now, visit your website, etc. Get them excited about what they’ve learned on your flyer. 

Be clear how you want them to interact with you by including important details about your business, like your website, contact info, location and more.

6. Print in high quality

Another vital element to creating attention-grabbing flyers is the final print. A quality print finish can be just as important as everything else you put on your flyer. Using a glossy finish and quality paper for your flyer creates a great first impression and can reflect the same quality of your products or services. Need a printer? Marq delivers high-quality prints of any design you create in our software.

7. Consider the impact of folds

Different folded finishes can create a unique impact and lasting impression. F Adding folds to your flyer will not only make it stand out but can also guide your audience through your intended information flow. Just remember to plan how you’re printing your flyer before you start with the design.

image4-1-1024x576

How to nail flyer distribution

Now that you’ve learned how to design a flyer, we want to make sure that flyer gets as much attention as possible. Design is only ‘half the battle’ so to speak – nailing your distribution strategy is key. 

Here’s how to make sure your flyers get the attention they deserve:

1. Consider your timing.

We might be stating the obvious here, but flyers aren’t known for being particularly durable. If you’re hanging flyers outside, their lifespan could be substantially shortened by the elements. Before you get out the staple gun, check your local weather forecast for rain, snow, and heavy winds. If harsh weather is on the horizon, you might have to adjust your plans.

While we’re on the subject, take holidays into account as well. Around certain ones, like Halloween and Christmas, your flyer will be competing with a lot of decorations. Space might not be as readily available as it was before. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t advertise around a holiday—especially if your message is seasonal or topical—but you should still take note.

2. Consider your distribution method.

How are your flyers getting to your intended audience? You have a few choices. The most popular methods are:

The method you choose will have critical ramifications on your distribution plan. For example, how many flyers will you need to accomplish your goal? How long will it take to get rid of them all?

No matter where you’re flyering, make sure you get the right permissions. Not all places that are open to the public are open to flyering as well. Parks have maintenance staff. Neighborhoods have soliciting policies. Storefronts and cafés have managers. Schools have approval forms.

Don’t give up hope, though. Many times, you can chat with property owners to determine whether they’re open to flyering. If you see shops with flyers already out front, that’s a good sign. Many places, like college campuses and laundromats, have corkboards especially for flyers and local ads. Take a look around, and don’t be afraid to ask!

3. Build your distribution team.

If you’re hanging or handing out flyers all by your lonesome, it’s going to be a long ride. Flyering moves much faster in a team. Fortunately, you can call on your support network for help. If you’re announcing a new store, employees can help. If it’s a party or a concert, you can recruit family and friends. If it’s a club or organization, it shouldn’t be hard to find volunteers.

The lower the quantity, the easier it will be to get all those flyers out into the world. However, if your back’s against the wall, you still have options. If you don’t have the time—and no one else seems to, either—give a flyering agency a call.

There are specialized businesses out there who take care of the entire distribution process, from start to finish. They can help you create a smart plan that targets your audience in a timely fashion. Some even offer GPS tracking so you can watch in real-time. Just keep in mind that you can’t control how the staff does its job, so choose your agency partner carefully.

4. Target your distribution.

Finally, take a good hard look at your distribution plan and make sure you’ve accounted for all the steps up to this point. Now that you have all the basics in line, you can make some advanced adjustments. Targeting your distribution is the final consideration that will have a major effect on your success, and there are two ways to do it.

Key takeaways

No matter your level of experience, flyers can be a powerful tool to grow awareness around your brand or business. Just make sure to follow these tips and you’ll be set.  
Check out our extensive library of flyer templates and get started designing yours today!

Some businesses naturally lend themselves to sharp design. Walk down any street in a hip neighborhood and you’ll see fashion boutiques, cafes and gastropubs displaying beautiful branding. Stylish typography, trendy color palettes—the kind of design that creates an enviable brand image.

When it comes to the service brands of the world—your plumbers, HVAC, pest control, any “man-in-a-van” type of business—design and branding are often an afterthought. The service comes first.

After all, there’s nothing cool about getting your drains snaked or having rat traps set up. Service brands don’t cater to a specific set of people the way a bar or boutique does. They sell a skill that everyone needs, not another form of self-expression. Beyond providing the best service possible, it’s hard to find ways to differentiate yourself from all the other service brands out there.

The result? Barebones websites, a lack of stand-out branding, and an endless supply of boring marketing materials. But it doesn’t have to be this way. In fact, investing in some simple branding & design can help your business stand out from the pack.

Why: The market is crowded

Service businesses, particularly in major urban areas, are incredibly competitive. A search for “plumber” on Yelp in Chicago will yield more than 2,000 results. In New York, that same search turns up over 6,000 results. Local plumbing businesses, nationwide franchise networks, and general service companies are all competing for the same work.

In a market that’s so incredibly competitive, you need a way to stand out from the crowd. When you ask a service brand what makes them unique, and how they’re different from competitors, you tend to get answers like “We’re really knowledgeable and honest with our customers.” Which is probably true. For them and just about everyone else.

That’s a great business model, but it doesn’t captivate the imagination. Before you can display your expertise, you have to get someone’s attention—and tradesmen, not being particularly design-focused, often overlook that the path to new revenue starts with awareness.

If your business has a bland website with sparse information, and you’re driving a white van in a city full of service vans, trucks and dispatch cars… how are you standing out? If you’re mailing brochures to potential clients, what saves that brochure from ending up in the trash?

In order to thrive in these competitive markets, you need to capture that initial attention. Marketing alone isn’t enough—you can drive visits to your website all day, and you can mail a flyer to every homeowner in town. On average, you have 8.25 seconds of their attention. Do you really think someone is going to look at a white-and-blue website that says “We’re trustworthy!” for more than 8 seconds?

Probably not. But then, how do you do it?

How: Color, design & user intent

So now, let’s welcome design back into the picture. We need it to capture the attention of potential customers, to stand out from the 2,000 other plumbing businesses in Chicago. But service brands don’t always have graphic designers—or even the budget to hire one. It’s tough to even know where to start.

Color

Design

User intent

When: Right now

It’s easy to put off projects like updating a website, improving flyers or repainting trucks. But, the sooner you can develop strong branding, the better off you’ll be down the road.

For many service businesses, winter represents downtime, which offers the perfect chance to brush up on your design skills and revamp your brand’s image. Imagine starting the next busy season with the right collateral in place to drive more sales. It’s within your grasp, and easier than you think.

See how Marq makes it easy to create attractive, professional marketing materials—no expert design skills required.

Stationery—including letterheads, envelopes, labels and business cards—can be a useful addition to your company’s branding strategy. Even with the widespread use of email and other electronic means of communication, old-fashioned stationery still has its place in your business. However, the design of your stationery is just as important as the information you’re delivering.

Whether you’re sending out a company-wide memo, bringing your business card to a networking event, or just delivering a friendly letter to a client, your stationery should represent your brand clearly and appropriately. We’ve put together a list of four concepts to remember as you design your stationery.

1. Keep it simple

While it can be tempting to bring all desired elements into one design, this can overwhelm the recipient and may even downplay your template’s branding. Instead, you want to keep your stationery clean and simple. Remember, its task is to support your content, not overshadow it.

What exactly does this mean?

Overall, keep in mind that your stationery design shouldn’t overtake the content; it should complement it.

2. Incorporate your brand

From color schemes and typography to your logo and other imagery, your stationery should represent your brand in all aspects. Of course, you shouldn’t feel obligated to incorporate your brand elements in any particular way.

With many different stationery items (like letterheads, business cards and labels), you have many inclusion options. For example, you can make your company’s logo the background image of your business card while also using it on your letterhead as the break between your business information and content.

3. Use the best software

The software you use to design your stationery is just as important as the design itself.

Photoshop and InDesign are great, but they’re also costly and overwhelming for the initiated. Fortunately, Lucidpress offers its own alternative design software. The free, intuitive editor makes it easy to create your own designs (or edit any pre-designed templates from the gallery). You can even upload your brand’s fonts, images and logos, as well as other elements.

4. Organization matters

Last but not least, the organization of your stationery can make or break your design. After all, you want your stationery to be beautiful, but also functional and legible.

To further distinguish your content, you should keep obvious branding separate. Keep a distance between your logo, imagery and business information. This will keep the focus on the content but also make it possible for your information to be noticed.

As you’ll see below, Lucidpress’s pre-designed templates fall in line with all of the above advice. From classic and traditional to sleek and modern, you have plenty of choices for your company’s stationery.

Are you ready to bring your own stationery ideas to life? Create your own design in the Lucidpress editor, or use one of our professional, pre-made templates to get started!

12 creative stationery design ideas to give you inspiration

Now that you know the mechanics of creating effective and beautiful stationery, here are a few online designs to inspire your creations.

Letterhead templates, stationery examples

Source: Ana V. Francés

Letterhead templates, stationery examples

Source: Itembridge Design & Development

Letterhead templates, stationery examples

Source: Hunt & Co.

Letterhead templates, stationery examples

Source: Tim Jarvis

Letterhead templates, stationery examples

Source: Lucidpress

Letterhead templates, stationery examples

Source: Tom Cavenau

Letterhead templates, stationery examples

Source: Gloria Villa

Letterhead templates, stationery examples

Source: Lucidpress

Letterhead templates, stationery examples

Source: Islam Yossry

Letterhead templates, stationery examples

Source: Lucidpress

Letterhead templates, stationery examples

Source: The Branding People

Letterhead templates, stationery examples

Source: Noeeko Studio & Michal Sycz

Are you feeling inspired and ready to take on your own stationery design project? Feel free to use the Lucidpress templates within this post, or create your own stationery with the help of Lucidpress’s interactive editor.

Ready to bring your own stationery project to life? Create your own design in Lucidpress, or start with one of these free letterhead templates!

Back in older days, your name, address and contact details at the top-right of your client correspondence constituted a letterhead. Today, letterheads have become a visual art, delivering a first impression of who you are, what you do, and why you do it.

Take a flight of fancy and imagine your letterhead as sort of a haiku for your brand. For instance, are you a fast-moving tech startup or a dependable financial services provider? Are you a freelance nature photographer, or do you sell vintage clothing online? Your letterhead should creatively reflect that brand identity.

Today, letterhead is no longer just a printed heading on stationery; it’s the look and feel of the entire page. Sometimes letterheads are, as we’ll see, really “letterfooters”—and they’re just one element of your brand stationery, from business cards to envelopes.

3 keys to designing great letterhead

The keys to making a great letterhead are:

Before we present our visual smorgasbord of design ideas, let’s review some quick tips on how to preserve brand consistency while creating letterhead, and how Lucidpress can help you simplify the process.

Already know what you want and don’t want to be sidetracked by other designs? Dive in right here with Lucidpress’s free online letterhead maker.

14 creative examples that’ll change how you think about letterhead

Fill up that white space

If a stark white page feels too plain, adding a background image can provide some much-needed visual interest. Just make sure your design contains enough contrast so the text remains easy to read.

Letterhead examples

Source: Lucidpress

Color me beautiful

Color can breathe new life into most simple free templates you can download on the internet. And no, you don’t really need to worry about web-safe colors these days.

Letterhead examples

Source: Lucidpress

Zebra crossing

On a printing budget? You don’t need to go into the red (ha) with black-and-white designs. In Lucidpress, it’s easy to create layers with elements. In this example, the logo (top layer) would live on top of the background (bottom layer) so it’s easy to drag & drop your logo anywhere on the page.

Letterhead examples

Source: Envato

Moving elements

The letterhead design police will not penalize you for moving the position of your contact details, or of anything else. It’s your party, so dance how you want to!

Letterhead examples

Source: CIPMANN

The spirit of the season

Why stick to the same letterhead all year ’round when you can get a little fun and festive around the holidays? Bring a smile to your recipients’ faces with a taste of the unexpected.

Letterhead examples

Source: Lucidpress

A picture says a thousand words

Don’t have a logo yet? All is not lost. Use free graphics and images to visually describe your products and services until you have a custom-made logo of your own.

Letterhead examples

Source: Vistaprint

Fortune 500

Be inspired by the greats of graphic design. Turns out you don’t have to be a big brand to look like one.

Letterhead examples

Source: YAGWYD

Turn branding on its head

The significance of lines and shapes in logo design make it both an art and a science. When done correctly, your brand can deliver surprising style while still being completely recognizable.

Letterhead examples

Source: Turnstyle

Stylish & eye-catching

Nearly 93% of people say a product’s visual components are the most influential factor in making their purchasing decisions. Use this to your advantage with a striking color palette and close attention to detail.

Letterhead examples

Source: Graphicsegg

A complete visual identity

When you design your logo, make sure it fits on all your marketing collateral, from brochures to business cards. Don’t be afraid to play around with your color palette to create a diverse and visually interesting library of templates.

Letterhead examples

Source: Logo Design India

Contemporary & artistic

Beautiful photography can elevate your brand identity from sufficient to stunning. Why not splurge on a professional photo session to make your letterhead truly one-of-a-kind?

Letterhead examples

Source: Nonola

Modern & funky

Your imagery should use a theme, but it doesn’t always have to be precise—just recognizably your brand. Play around with how and where you place your design elements to create different templates.

Letterhead examples

Source: ID Vision Studio

Keeping it simple

Letterhead doesn’t have to be fancy or ornate. If you find most designs too distracting, take it back to basics with a clean and simple letterhead like this one.

Letterhead examples

Source: Lucidpress

Small business savvy

This letterhead, unusually but effectively, includes important information about the business—including its opening hours. It’s a great way to remind local clients when and where to find you.

Letterhead examples

Source: Colorshop

Answering the 5 W’s

An effective letterhead serves as your calling card—both business communication and brand identity design rolled into one. Here are some questions you should consider before you start designing.

Who? Who are the targets of your correspondence—e.g. new clients, colleagues, investors—and what information needs to be included? (Read more on how to imagine your target audience here.)

What? On the internet, many brands omit contact details and opt to use contact forms instead. If you don’t want customers to phone you directly, it might be easier to include a website link or QR code to a contact form in your letterhead design. In Lucidpress, it’s easy to add links via shapes, images and text.

When? For what occasions will you use this stationery? For example, is it for sending out debt collection notices or to announce the winners of a competition? In the first instance, a bright, cheery letterhead could understandably get on customers’ nerves—the message will be clear that this is a standard form letter sent without a moment’s thought about who it’s going to and why. Additionally, how do you intend to distribute your correspondence: in digital, print or both? Lucidpress supports both RGB (ideal for digital) and CMYK (optimal for print) color profiles. This is key to making sure your brand colors appear consistent across the board.

Where? Two questions here: Where do you store your business collateral, and who is allowed to change it? Lucidpress uses advanced template locking so you have the flexibility of adapting your designs when necessary but limiting the privilege to admin users. You can also lock down important elements like logos, fonts & sizes. That way, you can give edit access to whoever needs it—like sales agents—safe in the knowledge that they can update the text without altering or ruining the brand assets.

Why? One of the first mistakes brands make while designing letterhead is including redundant information. Invariably, your stationery will be used for different purposes. For instance, it’s unnecessary to include your company’s address on internal memos. And if you have international clients, you may want to design a letterhead that accommodates more than one language—or even design letterheads for each one. Lucidpress supports the full gamut of branded collateral, from letterheads to business cards and brochures to newsletters. Simply clone your template and update it any way you like. For more ideas, the University of Waterloo provides some great examples of how to customize a letterhead for different uses.

Wrapping up

Follow these tips and, with a little inspiration, you should end up with a beautifully professional letterhead that represents your brand. Graphically challenged or on a deadline? If you’re really stuck, simply grab one of our professional, easy-to-use letterhead examples. Our designers have crafted these letterhead templates with care and expertise, so you don’t have to start from scratch. Just add your logo and text details, select your brand colors, and make any other edits you desire with intuitive drag-and-drop tools. It really is that easy to design a new letterhead that you’ll love!

Ready to bring your own letterhead project to life? Create your own design in Lucidpress, or start with one of these 7 free templates!

Poster design has come a long way since the 1880s, changing in style for different eras and often strongly influenced by political or social events of the day. Posters have become a powerful and popular medium for advertising (sometimes referred to as street or guerilla marketing).

Let’s take a look at some of the creative poster templates from our Lucidpress poster collection and how you can use them effectively to convey your unique message and reach your targeted customer base.

Choosing a design

We admit it’s not always easy to choose a design, so to help you make up your mind, we’ve assigned two keywords to each poster. These keywords capture the mood of the poster and what it’s ideally suited for. We’ve also identified “niche” posters, such as real estate or restaurants. Still, remember: Lucidpress templates are fully customizable. If you wish to use our restaurant poster to promote your software business, go right ahead. You can easily change the tone by using different color schemes or fonts.

The ins and outs of poster design

Poster design — like colors, shapes, lines and patterns — plays a central role in creating memorable content. All poster templates here were inspired by different combinations of these key elements.

99Designs succinctly illustrates the six core elements of great design. Some tips:

Getting started only requires an internet connection — which you clearly already have. Imagine a blank wall. To decorate it, head over to our free online poster maker. Bring your ideas to life!

Blue and pink empowering poster template

Make someone’s day sparkle — try adding more shapes and sparkles

template poster

Click on the image to see the template

From motivational quotes to inside jokes, the blue and pink empowering poster template is bound to uplift a special someone’s day. The simple execution of this poster’s creative design lends equal parts positivity and inspiration.

Delivery and curbside pickup poster template

Allowing only three customers in the store at a time? Customize based on your needs

curbside pickup

Click on the image to see the template

An ideal poster design for storefronts and buildings whose occupancy limit has been impacted by the pandemic, changes in fire regulations or construction, this poster empowers you to communicate clearly and easily.

Campaign poster template

Keep copy simple to avoid distracting the reader

campaign patriotic

Click on the image to see this template

Make your campaign’s purpose loud and clear with this patriotic campaign poster template. Change up the layout design by swapping out the flag for an illustration, or insert different colors instead of using blue.

University poster template

Pick a background image that reflects the event

university poster

Click on the image to see this template

An excellent choice for schools and alternative education platforms, this poster design assures your org’s message will stand out. Bold colors make your advertisement feel loud and clear — swap out your organization’s logo for the provided one.

Nature quote poster template

Too moody for your vibes? Brighten things up by overlaying shapes and color

nature quote

Click on the image to see this template

Whether you’re looking to meditate, motivate or inspire, the nature quote poster is here to do it all. Customize the graphic design with your own photo or use a stock image to change things up.

Coming home movie poster template

Make the text pop with a border or shape

coming home poster

Click on the image to see this template

Quick, somebody grab the popcorn! And don’t forget the sour gummies! Shhhh!!! It’s time to cozy up and get ready for the character arc, story development and more with the Coming home movie poster template.

Duo campaign poster template

Keep your tagline simple

duo campaign poster

Click on the image to see this template

Give them a reason to try and name a more dynamic duo with the Duo campaign poster template. Showcase your running mate, as well as upcoming town hall events or speaking sessions. Don’t forget to include your campaign’s motto!

Orange & blue passion quote poster template

Don’t stop at one version — make a few till you get it just right

passion quote poster

Click on the image to see this template

Equal parts jazzy and simple, the orange and blue passion quote poster template keeps the eye centered on your quote of choice. Be sure to include or note who originally said the quote. Everyone appreciates credit where credit is due.

Blue soccer game day poster template

Be sure to include important details — like event times and such

blue soccer

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Get your fans ready to rumble with the Blue soccer game day poster template. Use the colored overlay to highlight your school or team’s colors — plus you can swap out the image to feature one of your very own athletes!

Student council campaign poster template

Limit CTA usage to one — get folks out and votin’

student council poster

Click on the image to see this template

Make an impact on your school experience with the Student council campaign poster template. Swap out the stock image for a candid, congenial photo — and be sure to include a little bit about yourself and your campaign initiatives.

One day movie poster

Use the image and icons to tell a story

one day movie poster

Click on the image to see this template

Lean into your zany, mad scientist side and use an abstract image to tell a story about your movie. The font is completely customizable, as well as the copy and text box placement. Wherever this template inspiration takes you, may it be nothing short of magical.

Blue and green track schedule poster template

Create a visual timeline aid to help keep folks informed

track poster

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Keep your school and sports teams on track to win (ayyy, see what we did there?) with the blue and green track schedule poster template. Customize the colors however you see fit, and swap out dates for any upcoming events, like the homecoming match or what have you.

Forests research poster template

Let your content do the talking

Forests research poster template

Click on the image to see this template

Created with research and educational projects in mind, this poster provides ample space and graphic design opportunities for images and content in a structured, brochure-like design. The slideshow is both modern and practical, and you can easily add or duplicate pages. The beauty of a one-page template is that your design remains consistent.

Western wanted poster template

Get what you want while paying homage to the original poster

wanted-robbery

Click on the image to see this template.

Our designers created this poster design tongue-in-cheek. It’s eye-catching and memorable with an instantly recognizable theme. Have excessive quantities of stationery gone missing at work? This is a fun and subtle way to draw attention to outlaw behavior in the office or at home.

Standard advertising poster template

Swap out the red placeholder with your brand’s color palette

Standard advertising poster template

Click on the image to see this template.

This 3-page poster design is perfect for marketing your business at trade shows and exhibitions, or it can be used for an online catalog to advertise special offers. The format is deliberately simple so as not to distract from the content and to make it easy to update if you have regular campaigns.

Motivational quote poster template

Use an action verb for maximum inspiration

Motivational quote poster template

Click on the image to see this template.

Motivational quotes and typography are powerful tools to inspire innovative thinking and promote a sense of well-being. Psychologist and motivation expert Jonathan Fader, PhD, says well-structured messages that use strong imagery and appeal to our aspirational nature can be powerful in changing our thought patterns and behavior.

Heartland business poster template

Don’t have quite the right photo for the event? That’s okay — try Unsplash!

Heartland business poster template

Click on the image to see this template.

This business poster design template provides a surprising and unusual variety of content placeholders so you can sneak in a wealth of information. The placeholder and graphic design space demand your customers’ attention, and the longer they’re looking at your poster, the more likely they’ll absorb your message.

Homegrown event poster template

Keep your colors simple — avoid using discordant color combinations like purple and green

Homegrown event poster template

Click on the image to see this template.

We call it Homegrown because this poster design has multiple layers, just like a home-baked pie. If you really want to stand out from the crowd, putting a bit of effort into creating a layered poster will help you to demonstrate the depth and originality of your company’s vision.

Ecosystem scientific poster template

Avoid large walls of text — use illustrations or graphic design to break up walls of copy

Ecosystem scientific poster template

Click on the image to see this template.

Blue is the new green — and this eco-theme disrupts the traditional color mold quite innovatively. This huge 36″ x 48″ poster gives you the physical space to cover even the most complex research projects without having to resort to smaller fonts or cropped images.

Weekend away photo poster template

Start simple with an easy-to-read font and play around from there

Weekend Away photo poster template

Click on the image to see this template.

This trendy poster design showcases your professional photographs, however, your message still takes center stage. It’s ideal for travel and tourism businesses, for exhibitions, and for luxury brands to announce corporate events and exhibit their products. The Weekend Away is a great example of design layering.

Swiss Alps travel poster template

Want to make a bold statement? Use a vivid, contrasting color for your font

Swiss alps travel poster template

Click on the image to see this template.

Contemporary and bold, this poster paints a strong message. It’s a single-focus design, and you should customize it with your own bold background photograph and daringly creative fonts. The unusual text layout makes it a unique and original choice for technology startups and entrepreneurs.

Nature retreat poster template

Don’t love the included typography? That’s ok, customize with your brand’s font

Nature Retreat poster template

Click on the image to see this template.

Inspired by the layout of quality print magazine covers, Nature Retreat is eminently versatile. Our customers have used it in projects as diverse as publishing upcoming event information and showcasing their portfolios, and for school projects. The style is informal and slightly whimsical.

Origami banner event poster template

Concise and clear, make the most of this simple layout design

Origami Banner event poster template

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Origami is the Japanese art of folding paper into decorative shapes and figures, dating back to the 1880s. This template combines traditional origami with a fresh, modern look to create a perfectly structured design ideal for formal and professional corporate posters.

Block party poster template

Use colors, be it bright or soft, to communicate the vibe of the party

Block Party poster template

Click on the image to see this template.

Everyone likes a party. Its vibrant graphic design and no-nonsense block layout works well for invitations and holiday events. It’s a one-pager, easy to modify and with placeholders for the “who-what-when-where-why” information. The blocks and frame design are reminiscent of the calling cards of yesteryear.

Night life poster template

Juice up the tone with an abstract illustration for your background

Night Life poster template

Click on the image to see this template.

Evocative of torn classic denim and multi-layered dresses, this poster design and typography ushers in a new trend of visually captivating posters that challenge design rules — you could even say that we wouldn’t be surprised to see it in the MOMA one day. Light and dark are juxtaposed to evoke excitement and anticipation.

Real estate poster template

Highlight the diversity and variety of your selling history through various images

Real Estate poster template

Click on the image to see this template.

Arguably the most versatile and stylish template in the Lucidpress collection, this block design is ultra-bold and is anything but lacking in the design inspiration department Rather than simply invite, the poster compels customers to attend a home viewing. We’ve incorporated vintage and trendy elements both formal and informal… and the result rocks.

Cobalt café poster template

Avoid using stock photos if you’re looking to highlight a unique restaurant

Cobalt Cafe poster template

Click on the image to see this template.

When it comes to real estate, location is everything. And when it comes to food, presentation is everything. The design for this creative poster mimics those used for magazine food pages, arousing your taste, visual and smell senses. The Cobalt is warm, welcoming and very practical.

Cut glass marketing poster template

Use this template to communicate official corporate events

Cut Glass marketing poster template

Click on the image to see this template.

Cut Glass presents a sharp graphic design look and feel, perfect for technology startups and real estate innovators. Diagonal lines are more striking than horizontal or vertical ones. As explained by Vanseo Design: “Their kinetic energy and apparent movement create tension and excitement.” Use this template boldly and aggressively.

Cosmopolitan business poster template

Swap out the included stock photo for a snap of your city or HQ

Cosmopolitan business poster template

Click on the image to see this template.

Cosmopolitan means cultured, suave, polished and refined… an image you may want to cultivate, particularly if you have an international, sophisticated client base. The hallmarks of cosmopolitan design include the avoidance of “fluff,” subtlety, attention to detail, intricacy and cohesiveness. Would these graphic design and marketing tactics serve your brand, too?

Reflections company poster template

Have official health comms that need relaying to employees? Look no further

Reflections company poster template

Click on the image to see this template.

The creative inspiration for this design was the subtle reflection of images in water, clouds and shadows, conveying the impression of depth and intelligence. This poster would work particularly well for a beauty technologist, health spa or clinic, or even a luxury brand.

Poster design with Lucidpress is simple thanks to our user-friendly, intuitive interface. It gives you all the functionality of traditional desktop publishing software—but without the learning curve needed when using professional packages. Now it’s time for you to grab one of our free poster templates and get creative.

Feeling inspired? You can design and order your brand new poster right here in Lucidpress.

Choosing the right newsletter design isn’t easy. There’s a seemingly infinite number of designs out there, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. (And in many cases, more weaknesses than strengths.) Finding the right colors, shapes, text formats and image placements can take up a huge amount of time.

But with these professionally designed newsletter templates, all you need to worry about is customizing. The designs are already in place, suggested color palettes chosen, and even some images added (though adding your own is recommended). 

Newsletter design tips

There’s a few principles to keep in mind as you concoct your newsletter, even if you start with a pre-existing template. Though, in the end, you’ll have a fantastic-looking newsletter in less time than it will take to find a template from Microsoft Word or Publisher. Your readers will thank you. Also, it’s worth noting that we’ve organized this blog post based on newsletter type — i.e., newsletters for schools, businesses, holidays, digital and more.

Consider the layout type

As in — do you want your newsletter to be: fixed, fluid, responsive or adaptive? To avoid overwhelming you with information (and empowering you to learn on your own terms), we recommend checking out UX Alpaca’s article on layout types.

Grab attention with a header

Let your header do the talking for you. Your header should do one of two things (or both): First, it should draw the reader in. Copy can be witty and sharp, or directly address a pain point you know they have. Either way, you need to grab their attention and endeavor them to keep reading. Without telling them to keep reading. 2.) You need to say something. There’s an approach to copywriting that can be best summarized as “Say it straight, then say it great.” But whatever you do, it has to say something of substance.

Let your body copy do the ‘splainin

Remember: Your header doesn’t have to carry the weight of your newsletter — body copy can come in with the assist. The body copy is where important information should live. How you choose to present that is up to you, but keep in mind that big walls of words can be overwhelming for readers, so we recommend keeping the information as scannable as possible.

The devil is in the details, right? Be sure to include links to webinars, listings, school flyers and more. If you want people to show up, you gotta give them a reason to show up! Or whatever.

Newsletters for schools


Skyline High classroom newsletter template

skyline newsletter

This classroom newsletter template stands out from the rest with muted colors, an inspiring header image, and lots of room to share your message. Whether you’re simply giving updates on what’s happening or sharing important news about conferences, exams or standardized testing, your message will come across loud and clear. 

Blossoms school newsletter template

Blossoms newsletter

Flowers are perfect for school newsletters: they imply growth, potential, purpose, and they lend a positive, happy feeling to everything. Just add your school’s logo, the content of your newsletter and a few custom images, and you have a newsletter that parents will want to read. 

Newsletters for business

City events newsletter template

City events newsletter

Keep your community apprised of upcoming events — both virtual or in-person — with the city events newsletter template. Insert photos from previous events (as well as your own city hall building or town committee) — or use stock images if you need to — and leverage the ample writing space to communicate with others about changes in local regulations, upcoming town halls and more.

Polaroid real estate newsletter template

Polaroid newsletter

Real estate is all about pictures, and this newsletter template captures that feeling perfectly. The iconic rectangular format gives you tons of room to show off your best properties, and choosing a scrollable digital format allows for all the text you need to describe it. Optional blocks of color help your newsletter stand out from the rest, too. 

Merge financial business newsletter template

business newsletter

The time of boring business newsletters is over. Modern companies need to grab readers’ attention with bold colors, interesting shapes and arresting images. This financial business newsletter design has all of those ingredients in spades. The newspaper-style columns let you share different stories or ideas, and the header is great for recurring newsletters with featured authors.

Black Widow company newsletter template

blackwidow newsletter template

Company newsletters are often bright and airy or monochromatic and, well… boring. But this template finds a balance with bold red accents, striking blocks of black, and plenty of whitespace to make reading easy. Add images to spice things up a bit, and you have yourself a professional — but unique — newsletter template.

Citrus Splash employee newsletter template

citrus newsletter template

Employee newsletters have a reputation for being rather boring—and that starts with the template. Don’t settle for bland colors and cheesy iconography! This template is full of bright colors that immediately set a positive tone for your newsletter. Whether you’re in a tropical climate or a temperate one, your employees’ days will be brightened by it.

Angles company newsletter template

Angles newsletter template

There’s something dynamic about angles in bold colors—and this newsletter template takes full advantage. A combination of bright and calm tones adds even more energy to the template. If your company is pushing forward, the vitality in this template will fit it perfectly. Plenty of room for images and multiple text sections make it as useful as it is engaging. 

Bold business newsletter template

bold business newsletter template

Business newsletters are so often really boring, but with big attention-grabbing text, this template will help you grab your readers’ attention. It’s not all flash, though—there’s plenty of room for the headlines and text you need to share important information with customers, colleagues, shareholders, and anyone else interested in your business. 

Corporate business newsletter template

corporate newsletter

We know that not every company wants lots of bright colors in their newsletter template. But that doesn’t mean it has to be boring. This template uses a cool, muted palette to maintain a professional look. The professional design, room for images, and well-laid-out pages ensure that your newsletter shares information effectively while maintaining the tone you’re looking for.

Holiday newsletters

Holiday Christmas newsletter template

christmas newsletter

There are tons of Christmas newsletter designs out there, but most of them look the same: full of too many snowflakes, baubles and presents. They’re distracting and, frankly, a bit tacky. This Christmas newsletter keeps things simple with seasonal colors, clean layouts, and just a few ornaments. 

Photo Christmas newsletter template

photo Christmas newsletter

Spread some holiday cheer with the photo Christmas newsletter template. Just pop any of the year’s recent photo sessions (both impromptu and professional) into the layout, and be prepared to warm friends’ and families’ hearts from afar. 

Digital and email newsletters

Restaurant email newsletter template

restaurant email newsletter

The restaurant email newsletter template is :chef’s kiss: — Highlight your restaurant and the staff that make everything possible with this easy-to-customize template. You can easily communicate any upcoming closures, events or changes in menu. Or you can simply give folks a mouth-watering reason to come back with a coupon or friendly reminder about your hours.

Conference email newsletter template

conference email newsletter

When it comes to attending conferences, attendees need you to get straight to the point — there’s no need for fancy, floral language or walls of text. Give the people what they need with the conference email newsletter template. The simplicity of this newsletter empowers you to cut to the chase, therefore keeping the agenda and end goals clear and concise.

Real estate email newsletter template

real estate newsletter

Need an easy way to keep clients, brokers and fellow agents up-to-date with the fast-moving market? Look no further than the real estate email newsletter template. Customize the images based on the MLS listing, along with any noteworthy callouts in the copy sections.

Data email newsletter template

data newsletter

Highlight important wins, transformations in ROI or dips in sales performance with the data email newsletter template. Whatever numerical information you need to present, this newsletter helps you compile the information in an orderly and easy-to-digest format. And if you need to send the newsletter out monthly, all you have to do is make a copy of the doc and you’re off to the races!

Business email newsletter template

business newsletter

Regardless of what arena or industry you’re in, keep your business top of mind with the business email newsletter template. Whether you’re looking to periodically update board members, customers or even fellow colleagues, this easy-to-customize newsletter template.

Terra Cotta digital newsletter template

digital newsletter

Digital newsletter designs don’t have the same requirements as print ones—they can be more image-based, use different colors, even include scrolling effects. This template allows for a wide variety of designs, all of which capitalize on ample space for powerful images. Combined with clear text and the ability to add your own images and videos, you can share any information you want in a clear, visually appealing package.

Orbital digital newsletter template

orbital digital newsletter

This template is all about creating the right feel with a big, powerful image. Whether you use one of our images or upload your own, you’ll be setting the tone for your entire newsletter. It could be inspirational, topical, or just an image that speaks to you. And because this digital template has room for scrolling text, you can include as much information as you want. That makes it one of the most flexible and versatile templates out there.

Textual e-newsletter template

textual e-newsletter

It’s easy to get carried away with images, photos, links, and other distracting things when you’re building an e-newsletter. It’s important to remember that your main goal is to share information in an easy-to-read manner. The clear fonts and white background of this template let you do that without over-complicating things. Sometimes simple really is better.

Be a memorable point of contact

A newsletter is an important point of contact. Whether you’re designing one for a school, a business, another type of organization, or just for your family and friends, you want it to reflect your message. These designs give you a wide variety of looks to do just that

So, what are you waiting for? Find a template that fits the feeling you’re going for, customize it in a few minutes with your own photos and colors, and get your message out there in style.

Ready to wow your audience with beautifully designed newsletters? Lucidpress will help you send the right message.

How many advertisements do you remember fondly? Probably not that many, considering we’re bombarded with content on a daily basis.

But the ones you do remember seem to creep into your subconscious. It’s like a catchy song that you can’t help but remember.

Good visual content has a lot to do with psychology. Appealing to human emotions will influence people to react to your ad a certain way.

Corporate Executive Board did a survey on this in partnership with Google. They contacted marketing leaders, vendors, consultants, and over 3,000 B2B buyers to understand the rise of emotion-driven content marketing.

In their report From Promotion to Emotion, it’s revealed that 86% of buyers believe that brands are all selling the same stuff. Unique value propositions are not turning out to be… not so unique. But, brands that connect with customers on an emotional level will see 2x more impact than those trying to sell based on functional value alone.

If you’d like to tap into that influence, here are 7 emotions that drive people to connect with brands—and real-world examples of each.

1. Urgency

Even when your customers want your product, they can still be hesitant. Maybe they feel like they can buy from you any time, so why spend money now? Later, they say, later.

This is when you need to infuse a bit of urgency. Add a timer or an expiration date in your email newsletter or video ad, and buyers will take the cue. No one wants to miss out on a good deal.

Using urgency in an ad

Source: McDonald’s

Big retail & e-commerce brands use urgency (tick-tock) to promote instant consumer action or purchase decisions. However, make sure you have a good reason for incorporating urgency in your offer. For example, countdown timers are often used for festive occasions or limited product runs.

Urgency even works better when you pair it with scarcity. Use phrases like “limited stocks available,” “limited tickets,” or “first come first serve.”

Using urgency in an ad

Source: 4YFN

A similar psychological catalyst is FOMO. Fear of missing out is a social worry that if you don’t participate in time, you won’t be able to enjoy the same rewards other people are reaping. One study reveals that around 69% of millennials experience FOMO when they can’t attend a popular event. You can use that fear to your advantage.

2. Desire

Desire is a powerful emotion. Almost every action we take and purchase we make is driven by desire. Many brands channel desires into their visual ads to capture an audience’s interest.

One way to do this is through before-and-after images. Olay took this concept even further with their “Identical Twins” campaign, where one of the twins uses the product and the other does not.

Using desire in an ad

Source: Olay

But, before-and-after images don’t have to be about skin care or weight loss products. Check out this GIF, for example. SiteFlood creatively uses the before-and-after concept to show prospects what kind of results their service delivers.

Using desire in an ad

Source: SiteFlood

Similarly, most explainer videos use a “problem-and-solution” format to identify prospects’ needs, then provide a solution to help them fulfill that desire. This video explores the desire to live in the Caribbean, the problems one faces to achieve this, and the solution.

At Lucidpress, we used the same animated format to introduce our brand management platform—complete with white knights, bodyguards and Mama bears.

3. Compassion

We’re social creatures, and that’s frequently reflected in our behaviors and reactions. We care about our family, our friends, and even random strangers. Doing something for others makes us feel good.

Thai Life Insurance produced a series of heart-warming videos that showcase the sentiments of altruism and care, even in adversity. In the end, it’s wrapped up nicely as part of the brand message.

Attaching your brand to feelings of love, care, attachment, altruism and charity can give your visual content a strong emotional pull.

4. Delight

Humor provides more delight than almost any other emotion, but it can be difficult to pin down and execute well. You must know your audience and their sensibilities, so you don’t end up missing the mark, falling flat, or even offending them instead of making them laugh.

Old Spice has perfected the art of appealing to its demographic in a variety of fast-paced, cinematic ad campaigns. It’s delightful, humorous and exciting to watch.

5. Personal care

Advertising is everywhere, and it rarely feels like an ad is speaking directly to you. In this constant deluge of content, personalization is valued more and more. If you want my business, make me feel special. Show me that you care.

Starbucks is no more “special” than any other coffee brand, but they show their patrons that they care. It’s a brand synonymous with warmth, comfort and convenience, and it’s easy to make it your own.

Starbucks personalized cups

Source: Tumblr

Starbucks proves that it cares about the individual experience by providing a casual meeting space, a work environment, a place to relax, free Wi-Fi and other comforts. Perhaps more importantly, they ask each customer for their name and write it on every cup of brew they order.

In some ways, Starbucks has come to resemble a hospitality brand without actually being one, simply by extending a comforting personal touch.

Introducing customization or personal touches to your brand can make you far more appealing to your audience, because they will feel special and cared for.

6. Trust

Your customers have their own personal tastes, values and opinions. Likes and dislikes. Movies or music that they love or hate.

It turns out that personality will largely determine a customer’s shopping behavior. They buy products and experiences that either reinforce their personality or help them get closer to who they want to be.

So it stands to reason that if you associate your brand with a celebrity they like (or want to be like), that would give them a reason to trust in your brand and buy from you.

Using trust in an ad

Source: Nike

This is why brands hire celebrities and influencers to drive brand awareness and adoption.

The idea here is to create an image your target customers will like or aspire to. Do some research on who your customers are (or who you want them to be). Once you’ve sketched out a buyer persona, including their likes and interests, you can solidify brand messaging that speaks to their personality and values—and earns their trust.

7. Motivation

Participating in social causes you believe in can be very gratifying. But, that gratification often comes from harrowing personal experiences, or at the very least, a visualization of others’ worst experiences.

CoorDown, an advocacy group for people with Down syndrome in Italy, made a beautifully profound video featuring people with Down syndrome delivering their own messages of reassurance to a future mother who’s worried about what kind of life her child will have.

The video is a rollercoaster of emotions that culminates in the promise of a happy, fulfilling life.

Find a cause that speaks to your brand values or to your employees. You can draw on personal experience or the hardships of others to create stories that inspire hope and motivation for your audience.

Key takeaway

Emotions are fundamental. You don’t need a PhD in psychology to figure out what makes people tick. You just have to do some research on your buyers. Draw up a buyer persona, then create visual content that will resonate with that audience.

Regardless of your industry, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to gain and keep an audience’s attention online. You have mere seconds to capture their interest, so it’s critical that you create engaging content.

While we all understand the value of content marketing, how you develop your content is just as important as what you actually put out there. Providing consistent, interesting content will boost traffic, which will increase brand recognition, engagement and (eventually) sales.

But, how do you provide engaging content in a world where everyone is fighting for the attention of the consumer? Answer: Include visual assets in your content strategy. The human brain processes visual information quickly, and people remember more of what they see than what they read.

What is visual content?

Visual content is any piece of content that incorporates visuals or is primarily image-based. Visual content examples include video, infographics, photos, charts and GIFs.

Why create visual content?

We often say not to judge a book by its cover, but our brains are hardwired to do just that. It’s the reason why we ‘eat with our eyes’—we like when things look nice. The visuals that accompany your content are what viewers will see first, whether that content is an advertisement, the packaging of your products, your business card, a social media post or anything in between. Thus, these visuals are the first impression potential customers will get of your brand, and they’ll use them to decide whether your brand appeals to them or not.

To illustrate just how effective visuals are in attracting visitors, consider these statistics:

Point is, visual design leaves an impression on visitors. You must learn how to use them wisely.

Beyond first impressions, the importance of visual stimulation doesn’t diminish. Once the eyes aren’t engaged anymore, the brain knows it’s time to move on. Digital marketers pay close attention to engagement metrics because they show how many consumers were driven to react or interact with the content. Of all the possible customers that were reached, those that engaged with the content were the ones that stayed from beginning to end. Visually stimulating content helps engagement because it compels users to continue watching, reading or experiencing the content.

Additionally, visually exciting content is much more memorable. When someone is stimulated with pleasing, compelling visuals, the brain has a much easier time paying attention and remembering the information it processes. You may encounter an online lead who doesn’t need your product or service yet, but in the future, they will. By visually stimulating them during their interactions with your brand, they’ll be more likely to recall you when the information is relevant. This also makes visually pleasing content more shareable, because the longer someone can recall it, the higher the likelihood of finding it relevant to a friend or family member.

How to make visually stimulating content

Visual stimulation has long been a primary concern for marketers. If the eyes are bored and unstimulated, then the brain will tug the viewer’s attention to something else. In the digital age, where consumers are exposed to several different brands and messages all at once, that “something else” is likely going to be a competing brand’s content. In other words, if your visuals don’t provide high levels of stimulation, then your online leads will be more likely to defect to a competitor.

All these reasons make a compelling argument for the relationship between visual stimulation and client retention, which might’ve started the wheels turning about how you can produce more visually stimulating content. Before those wheels drive you in the wrong direction, it’s important to look at how you should improve your visual content.

Image by Contemporary Communications - High resolution vs low resolution

Source: Contemporary Communications

Types of visual content

In this post, let’s discuss how visual content like infographics and video can encourage your visitors to convert.

1. Create impact with the right typography

Unlike someone reading a book, visitors on a website don’t consume content from left to right then go down to the next line. In fact, virtually nothing happens in progression. Visitors will either go straight to what they need, or they’ll stop in their tracks if something more interesting catches their eye—like a 30% discount on another brand of detergent, for example.

Today’s designers are using typography to catch and keep visitors’ attention. The size, shape and placement of different fonts will enhance your message, and you can direct the focus where you want it most.

Consider the bold typography on this webpage. The cursive font complements the typewriter font, giving the site a vintage, personal feel. The use of color to emphasize certain words attracts the eye and sets a positive tone.

Increase conversions with visual content

Source: Intechnic

2. Present data visually with infographics

Would you rather read through a bulky PDF filled with stats and long-winded sentences, or a colorful infographic which uses simple icons and text to display information? The choice is pretty obvious. Including a well-designed infographic in your blog post or webpage will persuade people to pause and see what you have to say.

But does it increase conversion? Here’s some compelling evidence:

3. Incorporate video

It’s estimated that adding video to a marketing email can improve click-through rates by a whopping 200-300%. Need more proof? Additional research indicates that 73% of adults in the U.S. are more likely to purchase a product or service after watching a video that explains what it is.

Videos can be used to evoke emotion, explain how your product or service works, or introduce your company. It helps potential customers put a face to your name, which makes your company more relatable. The keys are to keep it under 2 minutes (even 30 seconds might be ideal for certain social channels), optimize it for mobile, and ask a question or tease the content in the caption.

4. Create a gifographic

Speaking of using video, you can also upgrade a static infographic by incorporating animation. Gifographics are still relatively new, which means your content will stand out. While some marketers worry that gifographics might be difficult to make, it’s worth the effort to present your information in a way that’s more engaging and dynamic.

5. Use quality photos with text overlays

Using compelling photography is a strategy that should always be in your back pocket as a marketer. Images make content more interesting, and it’s easy to overlay a quote if you have a quality image to start with. Photos with quotes or callouts are super shareable and can gain traction on social media very quickly.

Using high-quality images is obviously important if you’re creating campaigns for Instagram, but it’s also effective on Twitter. Tweets with photos are 150% more likely to be retweeted than those without pictures. If you’re concerned about your ability to create shareable pictures on your own, don’t worry. Plenty of companies like Lucidpress have templates you can use to create clear, engaging visuals for your next post or status update.

6. Incorporate comics or memes

If you’re looking to bring a little humor into your marketing strategy, creating a comic or meme is one of the best ways to do it. Memes—like those tweeted by restaurant chain Denny’s—offer excellent social engagement if you do it right. Watch out, because you’ll have to take care to not overstep your brand. Comics are also easily recognizable. If humor isn’t part of your brand voice, comic-style fonts and formats lend themselves to a more lighthearted vibe and make it easier to explain complex products or topics.

7. Present information in a tool

Making content interactive is another way to engage with potential customers while demonstrating the value of your product or service. This runs the gamut from tools that help readers figure out which streaming services they want to bandwidth speed-test calculators.

The benefits here are two-fold: you can garner a lot of traffic on the main tool page itself, and you can also include smaller widget versions of the tool on other pages to inspire readers to act. Clickable graphics that link to your tool can also grab the attention of readers who are scanning another article or blog.

8. Develop a quiz or checklist

As a marketer, your job is to convert leads into sales. Use a visual quiz or checklist to help prospective customers figure out what they already have, which services they need, and how your product can get them to the next step.

You can also use interactive graphics to gather email addresses and create custom ad targeting. For example, if someone takes a home security quiz, they’ll likely be interested in follow-up information about how they can fill in the gaps to keep their family safe. Then you can provide that info and, eventually, lead them to a sale for a product to meet that need.

9. Go back to basics with charts and graphs

Charts and graphs are a quick and simple way to visualize information. They make complex information very easy to understand and are regularly shared because it saves other people the effort of creating a graphic to explain the original concept or statistic. Just make sure you don’t sacrifice clarity for style. If your reader is short on time, clear and direct charts are often the best way to go.

10. Leverage screenshots

If using screenshots in your content sounds easy, that’s because it is. Include screenshots to show client testimonials, create step-by-step tutorials, or introduce a new feature in your product. Screenshots provide clear context if you’re talking about something that people can customize (like a toolbar), making your point easier to understand.

11. Try flowcharts

A lot of online content deals with complex and sometimes confusing processes. In those cases, try simplifying concepts with a flowchart. Breaking down an idea will give your readers insight into the bigger picture—and where they fit into it. Don’t be intimidated by building a flowchart on your own. There are plenty of tools out there that can help you create clear, customized charts to take your ideas from start to finish.

Key takeaway

To keep up with other brands, it’s imperative to incorporate visual design into your marketing strategy. The key is to do it purposefully so that your content stands out from the rest. If done well, we’re confident you’ll see a great return on your efforts.

A well-designed website is a valuable investment that will generate revenue for your business—but 38% of people say they won’t explore a site if they find it unattractive. If your website hasn’t been updated in a while, your web design could unintentionally be hurting your business by turning people away at the door.

If it’s time to refresh your website, we’ve put together a list of 10 website design best practices and coupled them with the do’s and don’ts of great web design. Follow these best practices as you update your site.

1. Target audience

Always keep your target audience in mind. Your point-of-view, as a professional, might be very different from that of the user. Pretend you’re visiting your website with fresh eyes. Walk through the user’s journey as they explore different pages. Focusing on this experience will help you create a user-friendly website.

Good design addresses the target audience with a brand personality users want to engage with. Check out this website, Crypton. It’s designed ideally for a tech-savvy audience.

Crypton homepage

Source: Crypton

Parallax scrolling heightens the user engagement here, but you don’t have to include parallax functionality on every website. Research your buyer personas and use design elements, functions and colors that make your target audience feel right at home.

Websites that don’t rank well on Google and other search engines have very little chance of breaking through the noise. As you update your website and add new pages, make sure you’re following the most recent SEO guidelines. Your page titles, meta descriptions, and content are all important players in driving better search signals.

2. Layout

Have you seen websites that look like rows of boxes—all different sizes and arranged haphazardly? Would you spend more than two seconds sorting through it? Probably not. That’s because cluttered websites are visually confusing; the viewer doesn’t know where to direct their attention. A well-organized layout, on the other hand, guides the viewer where you want them to go.

So, where do you want your visitors to go? It depends on the purpose of your website. An e-commerce site will drive visitors to purchase, while a SaaS site might drive visitors towards a demo or a free trial. Whatever purpose your website serves, make it the focal point of your homepage.

The first things that attract a visitor’s attention when she lands on your homepage are the headline and call-to-action. Not the contact info, articles or product specs, but these two elements. For this reason, the more action-oriented your headline and CTA are, the higher your chances of success rise.

CTAs are designed to incite an immediate response from a customer. That’s why clear, concise CTAs are more effective. One software company reported that their site’s conversion rate increased by 106% after it got a makeover that included a clear, direct call-to-action.

3. Color scheme

Using too many colors will make your website design clash. Colors have strong psychological impact, and they will affect a viewer’s opinion of your brand. If you’re unsure how many colors to use, the rule of thumb says your design should not use more than three colors. If you’re working with a brand palette, you might be able to use more, as long as you balance them well.

Your website’s colors should reflect the brand, complement the content, and visually delight viewers. [Tweet this] Avoid selecting random colors just based on what you like. Instead, think about the brand and its users. If you have a primary color but don’t know how to make color schemes, you can use an automatic color scheme generator to help fill out your palette.

4. Text placement

Just like the layout, you don’t want the design to be cluttered with text. If you have long-form content on the website, create a clean, spacious design that divides the content into readable chunks. You can do that by adding ample white space, using images, and creating proper flow.

If your pages are easy to scan, you have a better chance of luring readers to the bottom. Attention spans are short online, but if you can make your content easy to absorb, readers will get more value from it. In addition to high-quality writing, use headings, bullets, quotes and blocks to emphasize the essentials.

Potential customers are less likely to enter their contact information or make a purchase if they suspect that your website is not secure or trustworthy. Communicate your trustworthiness by featuring customer testimonials, case studies, reviews, security badges and your privacy policy. Make sure your contact information is easy to find so visitors know they can reach you. All of these signals will help you establish trust and credibility as a reputable brand.

Use compelling language to convince and show readers how your brand will add value to their lives or resolve their problems. What benefits can customers expect to enjoy by making a purchase or signing up for your service? What features make your products better than what your competitors offer? If you can excite your visitors with your value proposition, you will see your conversion rates improve.

5. Search & navigation

Everything on your website should be easily searchable. Whether it’s the sign-up form, the “About Us” page, or your contact information, readers should not have to spend more than a few seconds finding it. To make things even easier, include a search box so people can find things that don’t align with the page’s primary focus.

If your site requires users to sign up, use colors to make the navigation simple. For instance, if your navigation headers are blue, make your sign-up button green or some other color. Organize your content into categories that users can browse if they like. You can also organize content on various hub pages.

With good UX, your website tells the world that you think clearly about the end user. See Crunchbase’s website; its UI is done beautifully. There’s the search bar on top if you want to explore specific results, or you can click the menu on the left side to browse sections that interest you.
 

Crunchbase homepage

Source: Crunchbase

6. Fonts

A website that uses five different fonts loses users in seconds because it takes too much effort to read. Too many fonts on the screen can make a website look chaotic and unprofessional. The ideal number of fonts is three: one for main headings, another for sub-headings, and the third for the body text.

Font size has a huge impact on legibility. It’s important that they’re neither too big (taking up half the page) nor too small (uncomfortable to read). The sizes of your fonts should reflect the importance of each element. For example, section titles and taglines are more significant than the body text, so they’re bigger. This helps readers scan the content, too.

7. Images

Too many images will crowd out your message, so use them sparingly and impactfully. Remember, search engines can’t read images very well, so don’t rely on them to convey text. If you’re using a background image, keep it under 1 MB. Large images slow down your site’s loading time.

People think visually, which is why images are so effective. Feel free to use images in your web design, but find ones that are visually attractive, high resolution and not pixelated. Make sure the images you use reflect your brand’s personality. Don’t forget that you can also use textures and gradients to add visual appeal.

8. Mobile compatibility

57% of mobile users won’t recommend a website that’s not optimized for mobile. More people are browsing and shopping on mobile devices, and they expect websites to provide great mobile experiences. Invest in responsive or mobile-first design so you don’t miss customers during crucial moments.

It’s not enough for your website to look good on mobile—it needs to be fully functional as well. Give your mobile users the tools to get things done, such as product search, store locators, service details, and more. If you can seize these opportunities, you won’t lose customers who are searching on the go.

People are not patient, and slow-loading webpages will almost certainly lead to a higher bounce rate. If your page takes longer than five seconds to load, it’ll frustrate your visitors and give them a reason to search elsewhere. To increase the loading speed of your webpages, consider removing any nonessentials, such as videos or large images that take extra time to load. Compressing images will also reduce loading time. Finally, utilize browser caching for storing cached versions of static resources to speed up your pages significantly.

9. Conventional vs. unique design

People are used to certain structures and formats on the web. This familiarity makes it easier for the brain to absorb content and make decisions. Your visitors shouldn’t have to be detectives to figure out who you are and what you offer. The power of traditional web design is that users will understand what your website is about with a single glance.

Your above-the-fold section should do the job

A Nielsen study says the majority of your website visitors will spend 80% of their time above the fold. That’s the section you see without scrolling—call it the opening screen.

The best websites explain what they do in this opening screen. A general practice is to use a headline (think your company’s tagline or mission statement), followed with a brief subtitle text describing your services or products. Top it off with a CTA button to direct visitors toward the next stage in your conversion funnel.

Airbnb does this brilliantly; the headline is the CTA. While there’s no subtitle text, their call-to-action is strengthened by a slideshow of awesome travel photos. Just beneath the headline, a search bar is intuitively placed. The example text in the search bar encourages interaction.

Airbnb homepage

Source: Airbnb

It’s very frustrating for users to have to move all the way to the top or bottom of a page to navigate the site. What many websites have now are floating menus: menus that move along the top or side of the screen as you scroll, making navigation a lot easier.

AMD, a giant in the computer hardware business, uses floating “share” buttons that visitors can use to share the content they find interesting across a variety of social sites like Twitter and Facebook. This helped AMD drive a whopping 3600% increase in social sharing, as more and more people found and shared their pages.

Still, you do want your brand to stand out from the crowd. Be creative, and use elements that make your site unique without disrupting the flow of information. Whether you experiment with moving images, video, or other design elements, try different things and monitor the results. You might be surprised what works.

10. Test it out

Once you’re done designing the site, test it to make sure everything is working correctly. Use multiple devices to navigate your website and see if it’s doing what it’s supposed to do. A user’s experience can vary depending on device type, internet browser, and location. Try to recreate different scenarios so you can catch any bugs or performance issues before they do.

A successful web designer needs to think like a CEO as well as an artist. This will help you view the website with business strategy in mind. Critical evaluation will give you a site that looks good, is user-friendly, and helps the business reach its goals.

Ready to design? Try Lucidpress today to create professional, compelling graphics for your brand’s website.

As you’re building your brand with new ideas and projects, you might not always have access to an in-house designer to assist with all your creative needs. Leaving you, someone with less creative experience, to face the perils of graphic design alone.

Okay, okay, it’s not (usually) that dramatic.

But to those of us who aren’t used to creating aesthetically pleasing or practical designs, creating a line of marketing labels or flyers can be a daunting task.

These 5 design tips go out to the non-creatives of the world. You, too, can make beautifully branded designs if you start with this advice.

1. Seek & gather inspiration

Etsy shop banner template

Source: Etsy shop banner template

One critical element of good design is starting with a strong idea of what you want to create. But without much creative experience, you might be at a loss for where to begin.

Start by visiting some of your favorite brands’ websites or artists’ portfolios and look for designs that stand out to you. Save a few examples that catch your attention (in the creative biz, we call this a “swipe file”). Try to gather different styles to begin learning how to differentiate between them.

Once you’ve gathered a good number of examples, open that folder up and review your selections. Pay special attention to the following aspects of design:

You’ll begin to see that all design can be broken down into a number of basic elements. As you start to build your own designs, focus on these elements one at a time to create a cohesive finished product.

2. Use negative space correctly

Large promotional banner template

Source: Large promotional banner template

Have you heard of negative space?

Negative space is the area of a design where things are simply left blank or unfilled. Not every inch of the flyer or booklet you’re making needs to be covered with visuals—and in fact, that makes the design look too busy.

Instead, use negative space to your advantage. By leaving certain areas blank, you ensure the eye will be drawn to the most important information.

There are a few easy-to-identify areas where you can intentionally make unique shapes or words within negative space:

Using negative space can be tricky but effective. Why? Because our minds search for messages in everything, even in blank space. By using negative space deliberately, you’ll stimulate the viewer’s mind and capture their interest.

3. Limit your fonts

Block party flyer template

Source: Block party flyer template

When beginners get into design, they’re likely to be amazed and overwhelmed by the sheer number of fonts available. From pre-programmed fonts to free-use fonts that can be found online, there are literally thousands of options… and that can lead to some design disasters.

Beginners and non-creatives have been known to use five, six, or even more fonts within a single project. While it can be fun to choose these fonts, the end result will usually be messy.

Follow these guidelines to keep the fonts clean and classy:

4. Consider your color palette

Contempo modern brochure template

Source: Contempo modern brochure template

Choosing the right color scheme is an essential part of design. Colors have strong psychological effects on the viewer, so you want to be sure that your colors send the right message and match your brand palette.

Think about common color associations that people’s minds make:

Now that you see the reactions different colors can evoke, let’s see how you can inspire those feelings with your color palette.

  1. Create a mood board of photos that represent your brand’s personality. Once you have a large collection, find six colors that appear regularly in those photos.
  2. Try out different tones, shades and variations of these colors until you find a balance between them.
  3. Check out pre-existing color palettes to see if any of them line up with your colors.

There are more concepts that can help you finalize your color palette—such as monochromatic, analogous and complementary—but most non-creatives probably won’t need to get into the weeds quite this much.

Instead, it’s time to move forward with what you’ve already created.

If you’re using a design template, you have access to a range of color options. These pre-selected color palettes are well-balanced and specially created for those designs, so copying them can make your project simpler. You can also choose a color scheme that matches previous in-house designs.

5. Creatively challenged? Don’t worry

Cosmopolitan business poster template

Source: Cosmopolitan business poster template

Even with these design tips, those of us who are creatively challenged may still struggle to create a design we feel confident in.

And that’s okay! There are ways to keep it simple and still create a great design.

Lucidpress offers hundreds of templates for various types of marketing materials, and they already include font selections, color palettes, and all of the design aspects covered above without you having to think about it. Better yet, each of these elements is customizable, so you can quickly and easily adjust templates to match your ideas.

In some ways, starting a magazine today is easier than ever. But in others, it can be more difficult. All of this is due to the internet. The web puts free information at everyone’s fingertips, instantly available through mobile devices, which has transformed the magazine industry. It also gives every person online the opportunity to create high quality content and express themselves to a wide audience.

In this beginner’s guide, we will discuss how to start a magazine online. The guide is broken into three stages, outlining the work that happens before, during and after production. The first stage is brainstorming, followed by creation and collaboration, and finally, distribution. There’s a lot to cover (no pun intended), so let’s dive in.

Ready to start producing your magazine? Dive in right here with Lucidpress’s free online magazine maker.

Before production: Brainstorming

1. Develop your business plan

Before writing a single word for your magazine, sit down to develop a business plan. This includes your mission (the reason why your magazine should exist), your goals, and how to attain them.

Important questions to consider in your plan:

start a magazine

2. Research the landscape

There are lots of magazines out there already, both digital and in print. Now is the time for you to spend some time at the newsstand (or in your reading app of choice) to evaluate the competition. This will give you a better idea of what’s already being covered and how you can differentiate your publication. It can also reveal gaps and opportunities that are currently not being met in the market, which you can use to your advantage as you develop your magazine concept.

3. Build your team

A magazine is a heady endeavor, one that you shouldn’t undertake alone. Build your team and divide your workload in order to prevent burnout and deliver faster, better results. Your magazine will be stronger for it. Here are a few staff roles you might want to consider.

During production: Creation & collaboration

Now it’s time to start creating content and collaborating with your team. This can be a very hectic time, but it’s where the magic happens. If you’re inspired to publish your own magazine, you’re likely familiar with the following steps—but let’s review them anyway.

4. Writing

Finally, time to create articles for your magazine. Depending on its concept, this might mean a few different things: fiction or non-fiction, short stories, journalistic articles, how-to guides, reviews, or even a blend of all of the above. This step encompasses the writing process, from conception to pitch, and from researching to drafting.

5. Editing

It’s not uncommon for articles to undergo more than one round of revisions. Far more than just catching style and grammar mistakes, editing will help the writer focus and elevate their writing. Editors can help with fact-checking as well. Together, writers and editors cooperate to make an article the best it can be.

6. Proofreading

After an article has been written and edited, careful proofreading is required to ensure quality and accuracy. Any typos or errors that made their way through the writing process will be squashed here. Unlike editing, proofreading is not an evaluation of the article’s style, tone, organization or effectiveness. The focus is solely on finding and eliminating errors, so the finished product reads professionally. The person who proofreads might very well be the editor too, but these are still two separate stages of production.

7. Graphic design

The way we enjoy magazines is different from how we consume a book or a newspaper. Although each of these publications provides information, magazines in particular are known for being visual. From elegantly gorgeous to colorfully flashy, magazine design runs the gamut. Your graphic designer is just as responsible for your magazine’s tone and feel as your writers are—if not more so. It’s important for your graphics to match your words. Remember, magazines are less about the information and more about the lifestyle. Browse these magazine design templates for some inspiration.

8. Photography

Stock photos are okay here and there, but they’re no substitute for custom photography. Rather than searching for pictures to match your vision (and often, settling for less), a photographer can work with you to capture the pictures you really want. Color, lighting, subject, quality… All of these photo elements contribute to the reader’s perception of your brand. After all, that’s why they say a picture is worth a thousand words. (Or, at least, it’s why we say it.)

9. Make a prototype

Just like with any product, you can’t mass produce until you have a definitive, finalized version. All of the content, words and images are firmly locked into place with no errors or further changes. Holding your first finished prototype (whether in your hand or on a tablet) is a proud moment. Savor it! You’ve put in a lot of work to get here, and there’s still work to be done. You are now ready to start sharing your magazine with the world.

10. Digitize

You probably created your magazine using computer design software, but that doesn’t mean your file is ready to distribute. Different publishers and reading apps have their own standards in terms of file type, size, quality and so on. Make sure you’ve researched and complied with those standards in order to prevent delays.

After production: Distribution

11. Find a printer

Your printing partner is a critical ally on your way to distribution. If you’re only hosting your magazine online, well, you’re off the hook on this one. But if you intend to share hard copies of your magazine locally, regionally, or even nationally… you need a printer you can trust to deliver satisfactory results every time. Do your research, ask around, and interview printing partners until you feel confident that your pick is a good match.

12. Establish your online presence

Perhaps more than any other step, this is paramount to launching a successful online magazine. Your online presence can take many forms, from a website to a blog to social media channels, and maybe even all of the above. What’s important here is building a community of people hungry for your content. People who share the lifestyle and values of your magazine, so they’ll appreciate its message. Find out where those people are online, and make sure they can find you.

13. Decide whether to paywall

This is a tricky question in today’s publishing world. If you paywall all of your content, it might be hard to attract new readers. But, you can’t give it all away for free, either. Striking the right balance between paid and free content might look different for every publication, so experiment to see what works for you. A good place to start is sharing free content and article excerpts on your blog but charging a flat price or subscription for each magazine issue.

14. Build a community around content

Your readers can (and should be) be your best brand advocates. When you foster a strong community on your blog, forum, or social media pages, it gives readers a shared sense of belonging. Discussions are far more interesting when readers get involved, and they can provide you with inspiration and direction. Think about how you can use various types of content to delight your audience. Beyond the pages of your magazine, there are many opportunities. For example, you could start a branded YouTube channel to share vlogs and other video content.

15. Congratulations!

After months of work, you have started an online magazine, and you’re on the track to sustainable growth and success. Once you get to this point, there’s only one thing to do… Get started on the next issue.

Ready to begin?

Want to start your own magazine online? Lucidpress will streamline the design process for your whole team. With our intuitive drag-and-drop interface, you can select from gorgeous templates and customize with fonts, colors, shapes, images and more. Invite others to collaborate in real time, and when you’re done, export in a variety of print-ready formats.

Inspired to create your own digital magazine? These free magazine templates are a great starting point.

Attracting a steady stream of new customers is one thing, but building customer loyalty is integral to a brand’s long-term success. And it begins with making a good first impression.

Think about it: when looking up a brand online, what do you remember about the ones that stand out? More than likely, it’s their logo or their overall style—like meeting a person wearing a great suit. When you run across that brand again, that image can stick with you—more so if you keep on seeing it in different places. This is a brand’s visual identity, and it’s what you want potential customers to remember.

How to create a visual brand identity on Instagram

Related: 6 Instagram post ideas to boost sales

Having a memorable visual identity is important for social media, now a standard tool in the digital marketer’s arsenal. Instagram in particular is a powerhouse for using visual content to promote products and services, with Instagram stats showing 71% of U.S. businesses have an Instagram profile (25 million business profiles total). Standing out and earning engagement and followers depends on how well-defined your visual identity is. Here’s how to do it.

1. Know your brand inside and out

Before you create a visual identity, you need an actual identity first. Know the key aspects of your brand you want to communicate to your audience, then translate them into a visual medium. [Tweet this]

Essentials for this step are copies (in writing!) of your brand’s mission, vision and values. These should be easily accessible on both your official website and any internal marketing documents. When you have them, answer the following questions to figure out what you’ll need to base your visuals on.

Using your answers to the questions above, you can isolate a set of keywords closely associated with your brand.

2. Create a set of branding guidelines for social media

How to create a visual brand identity on Instagram

Source: Spotify

Do not underestimate the logistical power of good documentation. Brand guidelines enforce consistency in your branding, graphic design and marketing—keeping everything together so that everyone is on the same page when it comes to how to visually present your brand.

While it does take time and effort to create, having all these details in one place saves more time in the long run. It’s also a mark of professionalism: no having to go back and forth, emailing each other files and instructions every time you design something new.

Looking at some great branding examples, here’s what to include in your brand guidelines:

3. Make social media post templates

How to create a visual brand identity on Instagram

Source: Sephora

If you want to be remembered for a certain color or type of imagery, or if you want your logo to be visible on the feed and not just in your profile photo, turn to Instagram post templates. Some examples are backgrounds for text posts or borders to place around photos. They might include your logo, brand name or slogan and should be used when appropriate—not all the time, but just enough to be noticed.

You can use these templates when you share some of your favorite quotes to Instagram, which can make an otherwise plain text post look interesting. You can also place template borders on user-generated content that you’d like to share on your profile—especially useful if you’re running an Instagram giveaway or photo contest using a particular hashtag that can be incorporated into the template.

Remember to mix it up once in a while as well. While you want it to be memorable through retention, you don’t want it becoming stale. Try mixing it up every month or two and changing it according to season or campaign.

4. Have a consistent photo-editing style

How to create a visual brand identity on Instagram

Source: Alfred

Once you’ve identified the feel of your brand and the colors you associate it with, fold that into the way you edit photos. Color has long been known to be a powerful force in marketing, and by post-processing images before you post them online, you can influence what they convey.

Use a similar editing style with your pictures so they all communicate your message—and slowly, users will connect that feeling to your brand. Away from your computer and need something quick? For extensive editing on the go, download a reliable photo application like Instasize to your mobile phone.

5. Do social media right

Last but definitely not least, make the effort to use Instagram right.

What does this mean? No matter the amount of content you share, and no matter how elaborate your photo editing is for each image, your efforts won’t matter if you don’t make use of the rest of the platform. Instagram has boomed—and so has its features.

One of the biggest don’ts of Instagram right now is to post strictly to the feed only. Instagram also has Stories and IGTV, the former of which can be an informal way to connect with your customers, while the latter gives space for long-form videos that followers would otherwise miss.

Of course, don’t let all your efforts towards keeping your visual identity end with social media. After all, using Instagram is just one step in the marketing funnel. Creative consistency builds trust, showcases reliability and improves customer perception—especially in visual branding. Keep your branding consistent across touchpoints before, during and after purchase, and you’ll be crafting a brand story customers won’t forget any time soon.

Want to know more about the power of brand consistency? Download our free 32-page report, chock full of stats & great insights.

“We need a logo” is a loaded request that designers and creative agencies hear from their clients. High expectations are always involved—that’s a fact. Every client wants a remarkable logo for their brand, and they’re counting on you to create it.

How do you deliver an innovative, impactful design on demand? If you’re running low on creativity, we’re here to fill in for your muse as she turns a blind eye to your deadline. Load up on logo design inspiration from the guidelines and examples below to get those juices flowing again.

Logo design examples for your inspiration

Consulting Logos

Consulting logo idea #1: Accenture

Accenture is one of the biggest management consulting firms. The company offers strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations services. Their revenue was around $40 billion in 2018, so we could definitely learn some design lessons from them.

Accenture - consulting logo design ideas

Consulting logo idea #2: Capgemini

Capgemini is another consulting giant that can teach us a valuable design lesson.

Capgemini - consulting logo design ideas

The key lesson here is that you can build a financial empire… even if your logo isn’t closely related to the services you’re selling.

The Ace of Spades has been present in their logo since its inception, but it has little to do with their business. In fact, it refers to bridge—a card game that the founder of the company, Serge Kampf, enjoys. In bridge, the Ace of Spades is the highest-value card.

Consulting logo idea #3: DLA Piper

If you’re offering legal consulting services, here’s what you can learn from one of the biggest global law firms. (How big? DLA Piper has lawyers in more than 40 countries and over $2 billion in revenue—that’s how big.)

DLA Piper - consulting logo design ideas

The open-ended shapes represent out-of-the-box thinking. Something you might actually want from a lawyer, right?

If you look at it from a different angle, the logo seems like a talking bubble, which shows they value the art of communication… or that they’re friendly. You decide.

Lucidpress: Click the image to use the template

Use one of our consulting logo templates as inspiration for your own logo. Switch out colors, fonts and texts to create your logo in seconds.

Browse all logo templates

consulting logo
in depth consulting
Del Mar Consulting

Real estate logos

1. Smith Mountain Homes

First up is this beautiful logo from Smith Mountain Homes.

Best real estate logos

2. Cabo Cribs

If you’re looking to buy property in Cabo, I’ll bet Cabo Cribs’ logo catches your attention.

Best real estate logo designs

3. Williams & Williams

If you’re in the market for a luxury property, you’ll love Williams & Williams’ logo.

Best real estate logo ideas

Lucidpress: Click the image to use the template

Use one of our real estate logo templates as inspiration for your own logo. Switch out colors, fonts and texts to create your logo in seconds.

Browse all logo templates

sunset realty logo
happy home logo
For Sale Logo

Health and fitness logos

1. Heavy Mettle Fitness

When you have too many ideas, just stick to the basics, even if it’s cliché.

Fitness logo samples

Source: GLDesigns

2. Peachy

What’s that number-one thing your audience wants? Point it out, and people will remember you as that gym or that fitness instructor or that nutritionist who can help them get it.

Fitness logo design ideas

Source: 99designs

3. Necessary Payne

If your ideal audience is into hardcore training, a logo like the one below could be a great strategic move.

Fitness logo design inspiration

Source: Design your way

Lucidpress: Click the image to use the template

Use one of our health and fitness logo templates as inspiration for your own logo. Switch out colors, fonts and texts to create your logo in seconds.

Browse all logo templates

Fitness Logo
Fitness logo samples
Gym Logo

Striking use of color

Powerful colors make a logo vibrant and eye-catching. In recent years, logo design trends favored simple and spirited colors that appeal to new generations of customers.

Best logo design examples

It’s interesting to see the process behind this logo and Volusion’s brand identity design.

Best logo design examples

TeleMadrid’s rebranding is another example of a colorful and adaptable logo design.

Best logo design examples

And Duolingo’s 2019 logo update builds on their playful and energetic brand.

Memorable use of layout

Another way to make your logo unforgettable is to surprise people with an unexpected layout.

Best logo design ideas

This example from Bajo Protección invites a second look with its 3D effect.

Best logo design ideas

The Dutch National Opera & Ballet logo has us peeking from the balcony.

Best logo design ideas

And Moonpig champions creativity by updating their logo to match their surreal name.

Beautiful use of typography

Fonts are another excellent source of inspiration.

Typography can help you balance simplicity and intricacy in logo design. It’s also an essential element for your brand creation process.

Best logo design inspiration

Typography was just what Tom Sands needed to make this logo a timeless presence on their acoustic guitars.

Best logo design inspiration

Typography can also create a sense of motion, as it does in this example.

Best logo design inspiration

And sometimes, like in the case of UK-based creative agency Dry, fonts are all you need to capture your brand spirit.

Clever use of symbols

The symbols you include in your logo give people a glimpse into the brand’s spirit and generate emotional connectivity.

Best logo designs

This redesign concept uses the nave ship, a historical symbol of Paris.

Best logo designs

Airbnb logo redesign is a great example of mixing various symbols into a memorable logo.

Best logo designs

Chairish provides an honest and straightforward testimony of their dedication to their craft.

Creative use of patterns

You can incorporate different patterns into logos while still maintaining brand consistency—and these examples are proof.

Best logo ideas

The redesign of Melbourne’s logo provides a playful space for patterns and placements.

Best logo ideas

The German Historical Museum’s logo uses juxtaposed shapes that can fit well in intricate contexts.

Best logo ideas

In this example, patterns and negative space convey a message of unity.

Surprising use of negative space

“In the end, creativity isn’t just the things we choose to put in, it’s the things we choose to leave out.”

Austin Kleon

In this quote from his book Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative, author Austin Kleon captures the inspiration negative space can unleash.

Logo design ideas & inspiration

The Swan & Mallard logo challenges you to find the intertwined characters.

Logo design ideas & inspiration

Whether you’re into cats or bears, you can’t help but spot the figures that hide behind this typeface.

Logo design ideas & inspiration

This Flight Finder logo creates a sense of motion and pleases the eye with its symmetry.

Surprising use of animation

We live in the golden age of GIFs, and their cultural impact now influences logo design ideas as well. These examples show how you can add animation to a professional logo.

Logo design inspiration & ideas

PetCloud’s logo has adorable spelled all over it, wouldn’t you agree?

Logo design inspiration & ideas

I bet the designer behind this logo knew his clients would be over the moon with its design.

Logo design inspiration & ideas

And this creative used animation to deliver his logo design with a bang!

Before you go, remember this

As a designer, you know coming up with cool logo ideas is a complex process. What helps is to lead with a deep understanding of your client’s business and brand values.

It’s equally useful to draw inspiration from diverse sources and experiment with your ideas until you find the right fit. Play with colors, layout, typography & symbols to design the creative, custom logo your client expects.

Once you have it, use the logo to build branding that’s consistent across all channels. Give customers a familiar and reliable presence to count on and build meaning with.

Use this 5-step process to design creative logos

Unfortunately, a clear creative brief for logo makers is a rare occurrence. That’s why designers and agencies explore, select and clarify ideas before proposing anything.

Here’s a secret experienced creatives know: Sometimes you can reach your best ideas by using a systematic approach.

Whether you’re building a brand from scratch or planning a thorough rebranding, this 5-step process can help you come up with cool logo ideas.

1. Understand the customer’s business

The logo is central to a brand’s identity. In fact, the best of them are deeply rooted in the company’s mission. If you’re lucky, your customer has their mission clearly articulated. If not, roll up your sleeves and focus on research.

First, observe and analyze how their customers talk about them.

Explore:

Logo design ideas & inspiration

Source: TrustPilot

For brand new businesses, you can look for similar details in their competitors’ activity to give you a starting point.

2. Map out the brand’s values

The best branding relies on a deep understanding of what people want when they buy something. Tweet this

A custom logo that builds differentiation has to speak to customers’ psychological needs. A powerful design triggers a reaction and influences the choices consumers make when they see it.

Define what the business stands for to ensure your logo design speaks to the brand’s values.

For example, Patagonia strives to “build the best product.” They aim to “use business to protect nature” and do so in a way that’s “not bound by convention.”

Buffer commits to “default to transparency,” “cultivate positivity” and “improve consistently,” among other values.

Logo design ideas & inspiration

Source: Buffer

Using your customer’s brand values to guide your logo design can be incredibly inspiring.

3. Choose a series of adjectives

Now that you know what the business is all about, you use this information to pin down specifics. Make a list of adjectives that capture the brand personality.

For example, when you think of Patagonia, words like humble, altruistic & adventurous may come to mind. Buffer inspires words such as helpful, calm & dependable.

Examples of adjectives you could use:

  1. Bold
  2. Serious
  3. Rational
  4. Imaginative
  5. Idealistic
  6. Generous
  7. Clever
  8. Humorous
  9. Whimsical
  10. Luxurious
  11. Glamorous
  12. Rugged
  13. Brave
  14. Rebellious
  15. Cooperative
  16. Edgy
  17. Gentle
  18. Playful
  19. Old-fashioned
  20. Youthful

Want to go the extra mile? Analyze the vocabulary customers use when they talk about your client and dig up adjectives from it.

Single out associations that point to what makes the company different. Narrow your list down to 3. Now you have the emotional substance that fuels your logo.

4. Collect inspiring ideas

Logo design ideas often come from unexpected sources. Take it from people who faced the same challenges as you do now:

“I use weird sources for inspiration. I look at forms in nature and try to reduce them to basic shapes. I’m always trying to invoke a sense of humanity to a logo.”

Josh Baron, Media Art Director at Sparxoo

Multiply the opportunities for creative inspiration to kick in and increase the chances to get that grand idea. Look for compelling symbols, icons and patterns.

Check out fresh photography from sites that offer free stock images. Peruse design websites like Dribbble, Behance, Designspiration & Dunked.

Even better, browse countless logo examples on Logoed, Logospire, Logo Gallery, Brand New, Logo Moose & Logo Design Love.

Collect fonts & color options to create a mood board. This collage of elements helps define your concept at this stage. Include notes to explain your thought process so you can give your client a consistent overview of your creative direction.

Logo design inspiration & ideas

Source: Dribbble

Ask for feedback at this stage. Get input from your client to save you time and energy down the road. For example, knowing which elements your client notices can help you come up with better, more relevant logo design proposals.

Feedback in hand, it’s time to create the best logo you can.

5. Choose & validate the best ideas

Fast forward through dozens of iterations to logo_v27_final_FINAL.indd.

You’ve received feedback, integrated it and designed (what you assume will be) the final version.

Logo design inspiration & ideas

Source: Tubik Studio

Your moment of glory awaits, and so does your deadline.

Use this time constraint to strengthen your creative process. Stop before you get caught up in a never-ending cycle of “I know I can do better.”

Instead, focus on shaping a logo that can outlive design trends. Give people a chance to build meaning into your logo over time. Tweet this

Here’s what experienced creatives recommend:

“All logos should be four things: simple, memorable, timeless and flexible.”

Cory Schearer, Creative Director at Ferebee Lane

Keep in mind adaptability when you design your client’s logo. Your creation will be used in print, in emails, on social media, on websites and digital advertisements.

Wherever it may be featured, the logo’s role is to get an emotional reaction.

Ready to design your logo? Give us a try.

Despite the prominence of digital marketing, print collateral still has an important role to play in a balanced marketing strategy. A professionally produced brochure suggests a high budget and an established reputation.

Related: How to make a stunning travel brochure

Not only that, but brochures are versatile marketing tools. You can distribute them at trade shows, put them in brochure racks, send them via direct mail, and even publish them on your company website.

(They’re also very portable. Many people would prefer to grab a brochure and read it at their convenience rather than engage with a salesperson.)

Most brochures are just a few hundred words in length, so you don’t have a lot of space to get your message across. It’s important to make every word count. Here are eight tips for writing a brochure that signals professionalism and competence — and spurs your readers to action.

1. ) Create an outline or plan of attack

Brochures vary in content and length, but most follow a standard format.

Please note: At the end of this post, we’ve included a cheat sheet of content types you can put in your inner panels.

Before you start writing, identify your target persona for the brochure including age, gender, location, role, income, interests and challenges.

This information will guide the tone, language and content of your brochure. It’ll also help you choose a call-to-action that appeals to your readers. For instance, an offer for a free white paper would likely be of interest to an executive, whereas a mobile app download would be more fitting for a college student.

Make note of where your target audience is in the buying cycle. Don’t waste space going on about the history of your organization if your readers have done business with you before.

Also consider the level of understanding your prospects already have about the topic. Are they experts, novices or somewhere in between? Keeping this in mind will help you avoid alienating readers by talking down to them or confusing them.

2.) Write a compelling headline

Your headline will determine whether a prospect picks up and reads your brochure or tosses it aside.

Avoid using headlines that don’t tell the reader anything about the contents of the brochure — for example, “Make a Good Impression.” What does this mean, who are you making a good impression on? And for what purpose?

You can provoke a reader’s curiosity without being vague. These example headlines spark interest while also telling readers exactly what they’ll get from reading the brochure:

Don’t be afraid to use “power” words like free, quick, easy, results, exclusive, proven, etc. What they lack in originality, they make up for ineffectiveness.

3.) Be concise and use plain language

Your brochure should focus on one product or service. A trifold brochure only has space for about 350-450 words, so keep words, sentences and paragraphs short. Edit ruthlessly and include only the most relevant information, leaving room for white space and images.

Big walls of unbroken text look intimidating to readers, so use subheads liberally. Try not to put more than a couple of paragraphs in a row without introducing something else to break up the monotony, such as a subhead, bullet-point list or image.

With the help of Lucidpress’s online drag-and-drop editor, you can quickly design a professional-looking brochure with elements like callouts, pull quotes and tables.

4.) Limit the copy to 1-2 typefaces

The typefaces you choose should be easy to read and consistent with your branding. Often, if the subhead copy is in a serif face, the body copy will use a sans-serif face, and vice versa. There are some great free tools available to help you select a complementary font pairing.

Select font size, spacing and color with readability in mind so your prospects don’t have to work to read the brochure.

5.) Give readers a reason to keep your brochure

If you can, include a handy reference of some kind in your brochure to dissuade readers from throwing it away—for example:

Also, consider printing the brochure on a high-quality glossy paper to boost its perceived value.

6. Include next steps or a call-to-action

The goal of your sales brochure should be to persuade your readers to take a specific action.

This call-to-action is usually placed on the last panel of the brochure, along with the contact info. To boost response rates, offer an incentive, such as a promo code or free product.

The following are some example actions you might want your readers to take:

7.) Proofread your brochure

No matter how much effort you put into your messaging and design, errors and inconsistencies in your printed literature can kill your credibility.

Verify that the tone of your brochure matches the rest of your brand messaging. Unlike informational brochures (which may take the third-person point-of-view), sales brochures usually use the second-person to build rapport with the reader.

Refer to your brand style guide for how to handle things like numerals, dates and titles in the text. If you don’t have a brand style guide, use an established style reference like AP Stylebook. And of course, look everything over for correct spelling, punctuation and grammar.

8.) Double-check for important details

Before the brochure goes to print, check that your logo and contact information are present and error-free. Also look for details you may have forgotten to include, such as:

You can also create branded templates for your brochures so you don’t miss anything important when you start a new project — Lucidpress handles printing as well.

Bonus: What should I put in my brochure?

For inspiration, here’s a cheat sheet of content types often found in sales brochures:

Experiment with a few of these items and see where it takes you. You might be surprised at how quickly you run out of space!

What are you waiting for? Try your hand at design with any of our design templates.

Open source learning. A global economy. Shifting demographics. These are just a few realities impacting your college recruitment strategy.

According to the National Student Clearing House Research Center, Spring 2018 college enrollment across U.S. campuses was down from the previous year. University and college recruiters have shifted to overdrive in response.

Some focus on radio ads, alumni referrals and online recruiting fairs. Others build interest on social media and at live events.

Regardless of the outreach method, one thing is clear: In today’s higher education landscape, recruiters must be increasingly creative and strategic to attract new students.

A varied college recruitment strategy

“The times, they are a-changin’,” sang Bob Dylan. Want to keep up? Pay attention to your audience.

Today’s students don’t want a cookie-cutter version of their parent’s university experience. They’re also not impressed by (pun alert) old-school marketing tactics.

Instead, create a varied strategy that will reach your top prospects on multiple channels. Essentially, you want to provide engaging information that helps your college sell itself.

Use multi-channel enrollment marketing

Most colleges and universities know their target demographic well, and they market to basically the same audience year after year.

However, success also depends on reaching new targets via a multi-channel approach:

Now, for a few of the most helpful enrollment marketing strategies…

Recruiting college students online

It’s no surprise that most prospective students live online, particularly on mobile technology.

So, today’s recruiting strategies must be mobile-friendly. End of story.

How to create a college recruiting strategy, examples

Source: Lake Superior State University

Responsive web design is no longer optional. But, you’ll stand out even more by offering mobile-friendly instruction and interactive pages.

For instance, students are wondering what they’ll learn on your campus. Why not show them instead of tell them?

Continuing education is common enough. But, standout institutions are experimenting with AR, game-based platforms and social learning models. Just one interactive feature on your site can put you ahead of the curve.

Even without all the technological bells and whistles, you can still provide value to new recruits.

Offer valuable resources

Don’t just throw a bunch of content on your website and call it good. Instead, create a user-friendly path that puts visitors at ease.

Which resources are clicked on the most? These might include:

Simplify the application process

Of course, what you don’t include on your homepage can be equally important.

Generally, anything that simplifies your navigation and motivates would-be students to apply online is a good thing. Often, it means including more white space in your webpage design.

Face it—applying for college can be a daunting task even for the initiated. So, a user-friendly interface is essential.

Why not include a pithy video tutorial or a colorful step-by-step checklist to make the application process less painful?

Also, non-traditional students (e.g. adult learners, international students) generally want to know about credit transfers, flexible course listings, and financial aid options.

Build your blog

Most colleges today have a blog. What about your college?

More importantly, does your blog cover the topics your prospects care about most?

Boston University’s blog regularly shares pithy thoughts and videos by faculty members.

Likewise, Cornell University publishes “life on the hill” posts that help wannabes sample current students’ daily academic routines.

How to create a college recruiting strategy, example

Source: Cornell

Your blog might also feature guest posts by alumni, video tours, listings of popular courses, and user-generated content.

And of course, the most popular blog posts should factor into your upcoming email campaigns.

Direct interaction with prospective students

As you can see, a successful recruiting strategy contains many moving parts. But, personal interactions (phone calls, campus visiting days, etc.) are still the most powerful of these.

According to Hanover Research:

“Despite increased digital activity, a recent survey found that the most effective marketing strategies for universities are nevertheless events‐based and involve direct interaction with potential students.”

After all, sometimes it really is about your newly upgraded facilities, swanky campus and student perks.

Most prospects who’ve gotten this far already know about your tuition costs, financial aid options, and faculty-to-student ratio. A successful campus visit just helps close the deal.

International student recruitment

Quick—what’s the Chinese version of Twitter?

If you’re recruiting students from China, you already know the answer to this question. (It’s Weibo, by the way.)

How to create a college recruiting strategy, stats

Source: Statista

As you can see, international student recruitment is alive and well at American colleges and universities.

As discussed earlier, your website needs to be user friendly and easy to navigate. This is particularly important if you’re appealing to international students.

Your site should help this target demographic understand the advantages of studying in America—and at your institution specifically.

Simple videos and infographics can also help smooth potential cultural barriers.

Do you already feature international students in your recruiting videos? If not, now’s the time to help them share their story—in their language.

As appropriate, include video links in your email campaigns. Share these on international social media channels.

Your website should also include pages dedicated to the specific needs of international students and recruits.

How to create a college recruiting strategy, example

Source: Cornell

Reduce educational jargon

Higher education is adrift in educational jargon, which can be painful even to American-born students.

All those acronyms can be excruciating to international applicants. Whenever possible, cut them out and use a simpler description.

In the end, remember: Every positive interaction with a brand depends on clear communication.

Key takeaways

Now that you’re familiar with what it takes to build a successful recruiting strategy, let’s wrap things up by considering the real-life example of Western Colorado University. WCU’s creative team struggled to manage their recruiting strategy and materials, as they were too busy trying to keep their head above water.

Read Western Colorado University’s full case study here to learn how they dealt with their recruiting and marketing problem.

Is your school delivering a strong, consistent message with its brand marketing? Learn more in our free ebook: Branding in student recruitment

Interactive marketing is a customer-oriented approach to marketing that engages the user and requires their participation. The most popular forms of interactive marketing content are polls, surveys, quizzes and games. This type of content can help you drive awareness, engage your audience, generate high-converting leads, convert to sales, or nurture brand loyalty.

Let’s take a look at the four types of interactive content that are most likely to bring you results.

Polls & surveys

Polls and surveys are probably the simplest and oldest form of interactive marketing. They’re a great way to get in touch with your audience, but despite their simplicity, you can use them in several different ways to help you build a genuine connection with your followers.

The easiest and most straightforward way to use polls and surveys is to ask your audience or customers for opinions about your product, service or content.

Interactive content examples

Source: Twitter

For example, many content creators run regular polls to inform their content creation strategy.

Interactive content examples

Source: Twitter

While many marketers use polls as part of their content creation process, it doesn’t have to be the only way to engage with your audience or customers.

You can use polls to obtain relevant statistics from your industry and later turn them into a valuable source of unique content that will boost your authority in the business field.

Interactive content examples

Source: Twitter

Of course, polls don’t have to be all work and no play — if your brand relies on aligning with your customer’s lifestyle, values and interests, you can always use entertaining content to nurture friendly relationships.

Interactive content examples

Source: Twitter

If you have any doubts on whether polls draw engagement, you can see the number of votes, likes and retweets in each screenshot. Even though the likes and retweets are often low, the number of people who voted in the polls is much higher, showing that polls really do engage your followers.

Incorporating polls in your content marketing strategy is pretty much a breeze — polls are a regular feature on both Facebook and Twitter, and it only takes a few clicks to create them.

Contests

Another well-known marketing strategy that still delivers amazing results is the gamification of various contests and challenges.

In terms of content marketing, challenges and photo/video contests are a great way to gather user-generated content that can later be used or repurposed for brand development.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you probably remember the famous ALS “Ice Bucket” challenge that managed to raise awareness about a rare neuron disease, engage 17 million participants, and collect $115 million in donations that led to a breakthrough in determining the cause of ALS.

Interactive content examples

Actors Henry Cavill & Amy Adams do the ALS challenge. Source: YouTube

The ALS awareness campaign challenged people to dump a bucket of ice over their head (or have another person do it to them). Then, participants nominated the next participant — the only way to opt-out of getting showered with ice was to donate money to the ALS Association.

Similarly, you can challenge your audience to a little photo or video contest with a unique hashtag on social media in exchange for a fitting reward. Of course, whatever the topic of the contest is, it has to align with your brand values and product. There’s not much point in organizing a photo challenge depicting the wonders of nature if you’re selling used car parts — but there are plenty of other challenges that would fit splendidly.

Interactive content examples

Source: National Geographic

In the end, your contest should neither be too easy nor too difficult. You want people to put some time into connecting with you in exchange for a prize or benefit that seems attainable and worthy of the work it requires. You don’t want to frustrate people or make them feel cheated.

A good challenge will bring out people’s natural curiosity and competitive spirit. The better you are at that, the greater your chances of going viral. If your contest is engaging, people will be eager to share it.

Quizzes

You’ve probably procrastinated by doing dozens of absurd quizzes with titles like “Tell us your favorite One Direction member and we’ll tell you which garlic bread you are.” Apart from being addictive and fun, quizzes can also be a great way to boost your content marketing and sell more. How?

Quizzes have high completion and click-to-conversion rates. They satisfy our need for introspection, self-confirmation, recognition and belonging — making them super clickable, convincing and shareable (qualities you definitely want in your marketing content).

For example, you can capture people’s attention by running a quiz on your website or social media, promising they’ll discover something about themselves (ideally, something relevant to your brand). The results they get can direct them towards a landing page or collect their email address in exchange.

But, don’t think that quizzes are only good for retailers and entertainment websites. This type of interactive content is also a great way to reach out to business clients. By identifying the unique challenges of your B2B buyers, you can create quizzes that offer them practical, customized solutions in the form of quiz results.

Interactive websites

Interactive websites engage and inspire your potential customers to explore content in a way regular blog posts don’t. Take, for example, this piece of sponsored content in The Washington Post.

Interactive content examples

Source: The Washington Post

The National Association of Realtors published an article with the goal of reaching their target market of first-time homebuyers. As the younger generation is more cautious and skeptical about purchasing real estate, realtor marketers knew they had to step up their game.

Interactive content examples

Source: The Washington Post

And the article itself does feel like a game, constantly requiring the reader’s attention and interaction. (For example, there’s an interactive infographic.) Content sections are intertwined with relevant survey questions about personal experiences, opinions and expectations.

Interactive content examples

Source: The Washington Post

Apart from reaching a skeptical audience with content that responds to their common complaints and questions, the survey was also a way to help realtors gather data about their ideal customer.

Interactive content examples

Source: The Washington Post

While interactive websites require extra work and time in development, that investment pays off. Try it on yourself — even if you’re not a first-time home buyer, did you feel compelled to check out the article anyway? Exactly. A great interactive website encourages visitors to explore, click and read(!) your content.

Key takeaway

As the digital sphere grows more personalized, interactive content is becoming the norm. Software developers are keeping up, providing marketers with tools that turn interactive content creation from a daunting task into a 10-minute routine.

If you decide to dedicate more time and resources to this type of content marketing, keep in mind the reward: more pageviews and more conversions. Why not give it a try?

Infographics are a creative, interesting visual presentation of your ideas, statistics or research. These can be used throughout your brand’s marketing plans—whether on Pinterest or in proposals.

You don’t need to be an expert graphic designer to create your own infographic, as there are several pre-made infographic templates available in Lucidpress. The key is to find an infographic design that best suits your communication goal.

To give you a dose of inspiration, check out these unique and creative infographic ideas you can use to set your brand apart.

For the business startup: develop your brand.

Infographic design ideas

Give a clear, brief breakdown of your product or brand development with this clean infographic template. Creating a visual map of your business brand will help keep things on track, as well as provide an overview for your contractors, investors or employees.

This infographic template is clear, clean and includes enough room to get into the details without overloading your reader. Use each section to outline your brand vision from brief to delivery. Include this infographic in your marketing strategy or print it out for a quick reference.

For the chef: share your recipe.

Infographic design ideas

Share your passion for the delicious by customizing this infographic template with your own recipe, step-by-step. Food, drink and other recipes make up some of the most shared content on social media sites like Pinterest, Tumblr and even Facebook.

This template has room to break down even complicated recipes. Each step has room to expand with details, as well as editable titles. Share this infographic on your blog, or print and fold into the size of an index card for your kitchen.

For the entrepreneur: sell your product or pitch.

Infographic design ideas

Minimize your speech anxiety by using this infographic template to plan out your business pitch. Using an outline is a proven speech tactic to look and feel more confident in your presentation. Notate your key points to keep yourself on track.

Each of the ten bullet points has room for a short paragraph. The clean, colorful and professional design is perfect for leaving with your audience to review later. Print it out after easily customizing it, and fold it into the size of an index card.

For the financial advisor: break it down step-by-step.

Infographic design ideas

Build trust with your clients by helping them understand complicated processes without causing an overload of information. Educating your clients will help them make decisions and build your credibility as an expert in your field.

This template allows full paragraphs in a beautiful, professional presentation. The right side features steps, while the left serves as an in-depth description. It is color-customizable to accommodate your brand colors. Create a handout with this infographic template to explain taxation, loans, collections and other processes.

For the manager: guide your team to success.

Give your employees clear direction with this visually interesting infographic. This roadmap to success may be used to outline goals, instructions or steps. Your team will love the change of pace, and you’ll love the results.

Provide a title and in-depth introduction, then edit the short descriptions under each of the colorful five steps. The leading lines guide your reader to the next step. Print this out for your staff members’ desks or include it in the new hire orientation.

For the marketing specialist: present your audience demographics and traits.

Infographic design ideas

Buyer personas are often used in marketing strategies to organize audience characteristics, goals and needs into a visual representation, based off real research and data. Help your team picture clients or customers with this vibrantly professional infographic template.

This template gives you plenty of room to play, while leaving enough space to breathe. Each persona has a customizable title and description. The simple illustrations prompt your mind to imagine your real clients. After making this infographic template your own, add it to your annual marketing strategy plan, board presentation or product proposal.

For the personal trainer: remind your client of their goals.

Infographic design ideas

Help your clients visualize their health success with a visualization of their plan. Starting a new health and fitness routine might seem overwhelming, but this infographic will simplify instructions into an easy-to-digest quick guide.

This infographic features blocks of text and in-depth instructions without clutter. Use each segment to outline forbidden foods and daily exercise routines. After customizing the infographic template, print or email a digital version to your client as a portable, visual reminder of their game plan for success.

For the professional: stand out against the competition.

Infographic design ideas

First impressions are important—and most employers expect one page that briefly summarizes who you are in the workplace. Make your resume stand out with a beautiful, unique resume.

This template takes advantage of the full page with multiple sections and columns. It feels professional but with a modern twist. Make it your own by customizing the color scheme, graphics and, of course, the text.

For the real estate agent: educate your client.