Graphic 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.

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.

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.

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?

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?

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

Click on the image to see the template

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

Click on the image to see this template

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

Click on the image to see this template.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Infographic design ideas

Real estate agents and realtors are well-known for providing personalized customer service. Educate your client on their new neighborhood or city with a quick guide to the local population, population density, area and other demographic insights.

Using this infographic shows your clients you care about taking the extra step. Each section is customizable and easily changed so you can update it as needed. The clean layout makes it easy to focus on the numbers. Add this infographic template to your client’s portfolio or to your personal website and listings.

For the teacher: give tips to success.

Infographic design ideas

Help your students prepare for the SAT, ACT, SASVAB or other test by outlining effective study habits and tips. Outline a timeline or provide six different methods—it’s up to you with this very customizable template.

Knowing how to study is half the battle. Update the six titles and descriptions with your tips and other helpful information. Each segment allows for several lines of text. The thin dimensions make this a great bookmark for your students.

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

Are you sitting at your desk waiting for that sweet, sweet logo inspiration to strike?

No matter whether you’re a consultant looking to brand your business or a designer looking for new ideas, this article will get you unstuck.

Below, you’ll discover different types of consulting logo ideas from some of the biggest consulting brands in the world.

Whether you’re looking for designs with hidden meanings or something more traditional, the examples below are bound to stir up some creative juices.

Before diving into our pool of inspiration, though, let’s see what makes a good consulting logo and what mistakes you should avoid.

3 golden rules to create a modern consulting logo that stands out

Make sure your logo doesn’t misrepresent your business

The color, the weight of your fonts, the spacing between the letters—everything stirs an emotion.

Why fonts matter

You have to make sure your logo conveys the right story, the right emotion and the right voice for your brand.

For instance, if you want to be perceived as an expert, you wouldn’t want an overly playful design.

Make sure your logo is clear and not too complicated

Yes, it’s true, your logo should tell a story. But, this doesn’t mean a person should figure it out in the blink of an eye.

Here’s what I mean. If you look carefully at Amazon’s logo, you’ll see an arrow pointing from A to Z. This is because they want to show people that they can find almost any product on their platform.

Amazon - consulting logo design ideas

This story now makes sense because I’ve just told it to you. It only took a few seconds, and a logo which was already effective before now seems even more so. It goes to show that you don’t need to overcomplicate your logo to tell a story.

Make sure your logo doesn’t look old or outdated

What would be your first impression if you saw a consulting logo like this? (Yes, we know Hot Wheels is not particularly known for its consulting prowess, but please bear with us for the sake of example.)

Hot Wheels - consulting logo design ideas

A vintage font combined with a childish design… If this actually were a consulting company, you’d probably think they don’t care about how they look—and maybe they don’t care about their customers either, right? Not great.

Of course, this doesn’t mean you have to update your logo every year just to keep up with the trends. You just have to make sure you’re not hanging on to outdated design elements that were only trendy 20 years ago.

And with that, let’s move on to our round-up of consulting logo ideas.

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

The sign for “greater than” is placed above the letter t to represent the future—a future where you’ve ascended and grown to be greater (>) than (t) you (u) are (re).

As you can see, your next consulting logo can be clean & simple and still have a deeper message to communicate.

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.

It’s simple, it’s sweet, and it works. The lesson? You don’t necessarily need to hire an expensive designer to create a custom logo that’s meaningful to your brand. There are plenty of free logo makers out there that can help you get started.

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.

Do you see how the story starts to make sense after you receive more information? And how quickly this story can change, depending on the interpretation?

The point is this: If you’re just starting out and you’re not a giant corporation, don’t fret too much on pinpointing the right story behind your logo. You can refresh the design and infuse more meaning as your brand grows and develops.

Consulting logo idea #4: Deloitte

Deloitte’s revenue was over $40 billion in 2018, and they use one of the most basic design elements in their logo: a dot.

Deloitte - consulting logo design ideas

What could we possibly learn from this? Actually, it makes a great point. (Ha!)

Timeless shapes (like the point) and simplicity will never go out of style. You don’t need an overwhelming design that distracts people from getting your message.

Plus, a simple logo will be much easier to integrate in almost any sales collateral or marketing material you develop later.

If you need further proof, just study the logos of some of the biggest brands out there: Nike, Apple, Adidas, Dell, Intel, etc. Enough said.

Consulting logo idea #5: McKinsey & Company

McKinsey & Company is undoubtedly one of the biggest consulting firms you can study and look to for inspiration.

McKinsey - consulting logo design ideas

And it can teach you two important lessons.

The first is that you don’t need a fancy or even a creative logo to express professionalism or extensive experience within a field.

In fact, quite the opposite is true. If you study successful companies, you’ll see that most of them refined their logos into simpler, cleaner versions as they matured.

The second lesson here is that even your choice of font can tell a story.

At its core, McKinsey & Company uses a classic custom font because experience, heritage and legacy are what represent them best.

Consulting logo idea #6: L.E.K. Consulting

Want to make your consulting logo stand out while still maintaining a professional, bold look?

L.E.K. - consulting logo design ideas

Here’s a key takeaway from L.E.K. Consulting, a global company established in 1983.

Their logo stands out because of some basic design elements and principles like composition, contrast and negative space.

For instance, they draw attention to their logo by using the contrast between the negative space in the top-left corner and the logo in the bottom-right corner.

They also give a bold look to the whole design by leveraging one of the most basic elements—the rectangle—all in combination with a deep-colored background.

Consulting logo idea #7: KPMG

If you’re afraid that your consulting logo won’t be perfect right away, don’t fret.

KPMG proves that no design should be set in stone, even if it’s a logo. You can always change it, and there’s no tragedy in doing that. It doesn’t mean you have to lose sales or credibility.

For instance, here’s how many iterations their logo’s had throughout the years:

KPMG - consulting logo design ideas

Source: KPMG

As you can see, these weren’t minor changes—in fact, many were radical redesigns. Even its name changed each time the company got a new partner or the shares were redistributed.

Still, the company is one of the largest professional services companies in the world with over $28 billion in revenue for 2018.

Consulting logo idea #8: FedEx

FedEx isn’t a consulting company, but if you want your consulting logo to be more creative and have a hidden meaning, it’s a good example to follow.

If you look carefully, there’s a hidden arrow that communicates speed and accuracy to those in-the-know.

FedEx - consulting logo design ideas

Of course, now the question is, how do you come up with such clever ideas?

It’s simple. It all starts with your unique value proposition, the core message you want to communicate.

Find out that one thing, that most important thing that makes people want to do business with you. Then, incorporate it in your design.

Consulting logo idea #9: Sony Vaio

Sometimes, the hidden meaning in a logo can come from the product itself.

Here’s a clever logo idea from Sony Vaio. Even though it’s not a consulting company, it’s worth mentioning because they managed to create such a simple logo with a hidden meaning behind it. Take a look:

Vaio - consulting logo design ideas

Consulting logo idea #10: Eighty20

If you’re looking for creative consulting logo ideas, Eighty20 is probably one of the best examples you can use for inspiration.

Eighty20 is a business consulting company that uses big data to inform its market research, then they use these insights to help marketers and companies better sell their services.

Their brand is a combination of geeky and creative, and they express that well in their logo. How? Each of the horizontal lines represents a binary sequence. The blue squares represent 1s, and the grey squares represent 0s.

Eighty20 - consulting logo design ideas

In binary sequence, the top row is 1010000, while the bottom one is 0010100. If you transform these numbers from binary to decimal, it reads… you guessed it: 80 and 20. Pretty clever, right?

Before designing your next consulting logo, do this

There are thousands of logo design ideas out there. The problem is, the more you see, the harder it is to choose one.

Here’s a method professional designers use to come up with great ideas quickly (and easily decide on the right one).

First, stop looking for ideas. Then, define the core message you want to communicate.

Are you fast and precise? Do you offer a complete range of services? Do you have the most innovative solutions or the most comprehensive research? Are you affordable for SMBs, or do you only serve large enterprises?

Only after you define your core message should you start looking for inspiration. Don’t worry—we’ll be right here when you come back.

Ready to start exploring your new brand identity? Try creating a few logo variations in Lucidpress, using your brand colors.

Not sure how your next fitness logo should look and want a few examples to get your imagination’s wheels in motion?

Maybe you want to see some design ideas from well-known brands in the fitness industry. Or, perhaps you’re looking for creative logo ideas that stand out from the crowd.

No matter whether you’re a fitness consultant, own a gym or have any other fitness business, by the end of this article, you’ll have plenty of ideas to get you started.

But, first, let’s see what makes a good fitness logo and what mistakes you should avoid.

3 fundamental rules to create a fitness logo people will remember

1. Make sure your logo doesn’t communicate the wrong message

Every aspect of your future fitness logo will evoke an emotion, from the colors to the fonts and shapes you choose.

Fitness logo design

This is why you have to be careful about the first impression your visual identity makes.

For instance, a dark, sober color isn’t something you might want for a fitness logo if you’re also helping people keep a balanced, fresh and healthy diet.

2. Keep your logo simple and clean

Ideally, your logo should tell a story. Maybe the origins or the philosophy of your brand. Or, maybe just your unique selling proposition.

This doesn’t mean you have to overcrowd your logo with all kinds of elements in order for people to get your message. When you try to convey too much in a single logo, it comes overly complex and difficult to recognize and replicate.

Fitness logo examples

Imagine someone hands you a business card with a logo that looks like this:

Fitness logo ideas

What’s your first impression? Other than nostalgia, probably not a good one, right?

Of course, you don’t have to update your logo every time a new design trend comes along. Just make sure your logo doesn’t look like it’s stuck in the ’90s.

These are three critical aspects you should take into account when creating a logo. Now, let’s dive into our pool of fitness logo ideas and see what you can learn from each one of them.

Fitness logo design ideas for your inspiration

When you have too many ideas, just stick to the basics, even if it’s cliché

Sometimes we spend too much time brainstorming and browsing through thousands of logo ideas just to find that “perfect one.”

And, too often, the result is a complicated design that few will remember.

Fitness logo inspiration

When this is the case, it’s better to stick to something classic that anyone can recognize as a fitness business.

Plus, you have the advantage that most free logo makers have these elements in their gallery so you won’t have to customize your design too much.

Fitness logo samples

Source: GLDesigns

If you want to be compelling, point out something your audience wants

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.

Notice how, in a second, you know this fitness business can help you just by looking at their logo. Then, note how it brings us nicely to our next point…

Fitness logo design ideas

Source: 99designs

Make sure your fitness logo doesn’t drive away parts of your audience

Let’s say you’re a fitness trainer, and you chose the logo below to represent your business.

Fitness logo design inspiration

Source: Design your way

It’s great for people who are looking for hardcore training. But, there are lots of people who just want to stay in shape. Your logo might tell them that you’re not a good fit for them.

Of course, if your ideal audience is into hardcore training, this could be a great strategic move. What’s important is for you to think through these considerations before you make your final decision. For example, take a look at our next point.

Make sure your logo isn’t limiting future expansion of your fitness business

Let’s say that you start out as a yoga fitness trainer, but you plan to grow your business beyond the yoga niche.

Fitness logo examples

Unless you go through a complete rebranding, your logo will limit the growth of your business.

When you’re looking for design inspiration for your logo, make sure you also take into account any future plans. If you can spot them now, ahead of time, you’ll save yourself an expensive and time-consuming rebrand in the future.

Use a well-known symbol

Sometimes keeping a logo simple and clean can be most effective at showing what your brand is about.

Fitness logo samples

Source: Lucidpress

Incorporate a top benefit into a classic fitness logo design

In logo design, it’s efficient to incorporate an element that people can easily recognize, such as a gear or muscles if you’re in the fitness business.

But, these elements are also a bit overused, and you might want something more creative for your logo.

Well, why not incorporate additional benefits that your brand has to offer—such as good music, for example. Now people have two reasons to choose you over the competition instead of one.

Fitness logo samples

Source: Design your way

Apple’s logo has nothing to do with phones. Nike’s logo doesn’t represent shoes, clothes or sports gear. Subway doesn’t have a sandwich in their logo.

Your fitness logo doesn’t have to be related to muscles, fit bodies or any kind of elements related to sports. It could be something as simple as two shapes that convey motion.

Fitness logo inspiration

Source: Design your way

Use a color combination that stands out

Even if you don’t have a super creative logo layered with hidden meaning, you can still stand out from the crowd by using a powerful color combination.

Take Google, for example, or FedEx. Or, this fitness logo below.

Fitness logo ideas

Source: Logojoy

A highly detailed concept might look great on a large banner.

Fitness logo designs

Source: 99designs

But, how would this logo look on a small business card? Would it be as effective?

Fitness logo designs

Suddenly, all those details become so small that people can’t recognize them.

Before you finalize your logo design, make sure you test it in all the different scenarios you know you’re going to use it.

Let’s review a classic example for this one. FedEx uses negative space to hide an arrow that subliminally conveys speed and accuracy.

Fitness logo design ideas

Source: Pixellogo

You, too, can use different elements in a clever way to give your logo a double meaning. For instance, here’s a clever way to incorporate the infinity symbol as a yoga fitness instructor.

Best fitness logos

Source: BrandCrowd

Incorporate a sense of motion

As a species, we seem wired to detect motion, thanks to our neural underpinnings.

And since motion is a key aspect of your business, why not include it in your fitness logo? A dynamic design attracts attention and motivates people to get more active.

Best fitness logo designs

Source: Design your way

Before you create your next fitness logo, do this

If you want your next logo to be something creative or to have a special meaning, you first have to understand your brand’s identity. What is the most important message you want your business to communicate?

Only after you answer this crucial question can you start looking for ideas for your next fitness logo. Otherwise, you might find some good inspiration, but it won’t represent your business. So, take your time and do your research—then try out a few ideas.

Ready to start exploring your new brand identity? Try creating a few logo variations in Lucidpress, using your brand colors.

You likely already know that a logo is an important part of any business’s branding. Not only does it make your modern real estate company stand out from the competition, but a solid logo can attract and win over new customers. That’s what we’re always aiming for, right?

But, it’s tricky to design a custom logo for your real estate firm. You’ll need to think about the colors, fonts and shapes you’re using—not to mention arranging each individual element to create an impressive design.

So, we collected eight of the best real estate logos to help inspire your own.

The logo you’re creating for your real estate agency is one of the first things you’ll need to nail. But before we share some of our favorite modern real estate logos, let’s chat about what makes a logo so great.

A strong logo usually is:

Yet above all, the logo you’re creating for your real estate company needs to be on-brand. There’s no use in having a bright and colorful logo if your website, social media channels and letterheads are black and white.

Your audience won’t understand it, and you won’t see the 23% average revenue increase that businesses with consistent branding experience.

(Remember, that’s the aim of a logo: to make your business stand out.)

8 awesome real estate logos to inspire your own

You don’t have to start from scratch when you’re creating your own real estate logo. Take a look at these examples, pick out the ideas or concepts you like, and find a way to work them into your custom logo.

However, we’re coming at you with a word of warning: Please don’t directly copy these logo examples. The best logos are unique, innovative and stand out from the crowd, so take these ideas and try to put your own spin on them.

1. Smith Mountain Homes

First up is this beautiful logo from Smith Mountain Homes.

You can quickly understand the type of homes they sell, right? And it’s not just because the word “mountain” features in the brand name; they’ve used graphics to signal the type of property they sell.

Granted, the design and font choices are simple—but that’s often the best way to create a memorable logo.

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.

Similar to the real estate logo above, this design is simplistic, but it doesn’t scrimp on the essentials of a good logo. It’s easy to understand, elegant, and has a small graphic that makes it obvious they’re selling homes.

Best real estate logo designs

3. Williams & Williams

If you’re in the market for a luxury property, you’ll love Williams & Williams’ logo.

Take one glance at this logo and tell me what you interpret. It’s gold-themed, has elegant writing, and shows palm trees with the properties they’re managing. It ticks one huge element of a great logo: It’s perfectly on-brand for their commercial real estate company.

Best real estate logo ideas

4. Compass

Who said a logo had to contain words?

Think of the world’s most recognizable logos. McDonald’s, Nike or Adidas will likely make their way onto that list—and none of them have a brand name in their logo.

Real estate firm Compass looks like they’ve drawn inspiration from those huge brands with their word-free logo. Although you can’t clearly see they’re selling properties, it’s a great way to make their audience stop and pay attention. After all, what are realtors for if not providing their clients with valuable guidance and direction?

Real estate logo inspiration

5. Blue Key Property Management

I’ve included this logo concept for Blue Key Property Management here purely because it’s so simple, yet so effective.

You might’ve seen by now that many real estate logos contain property-related graphics. But instead of taking the standard route of a house, this firm opted to use keys—a factor that helps them stand out from the competition.

Real estate logo design

6. Delicious Real Estate

A simple—yet effective—way to build your real estate logo is to think about your buyer personas and their pain points. What are they looking for when they’re purchasing or renting a home from your firm?

It seems like Delicious Real Estate think it’s a reasonably-sized home. That’s why they’ve portrayed the situation their customers are usually stuck in through their logo.

Real estate logo examples

7. Crown Real Estate

Remember how we mentioned real estate logos should be simple and easy to understand? Take a look at Crown Real Estate’s logo, which does exactly that while using simplistic fonts, a black-and-white color scheme, and a basic crown icon to match their brand name.

Crown Real Estate

8. Live Dubai

The final logo on our list comes from Live Dubai.

Much like the other real estate logos we’ve listed, this one is simple. But, what we really love about this design is the way lettering is used to create an interesting logo that’s totally unique to their brand name.

This gives them two options: use the graphic & text together as their logo or crop the image just to use the lettered graphic.

Real estate logo ideas

Feeling inspired and ready to start designing a new logo for your real estate company?

You don’t have to hire an expensive graphic designer to create a custom logo design. There are thousands of templates you can customize, making a DIY logo the best way to create a professional brand for your real estate business—even if you’re on a tight budget.

However, if you do have some cash to splash on a fancy real estate agency logo, hiring a graphic designer is a great way to make sure your logo is unique. …Just make sure they’re sticking with your brand guidelines.

Key takeaways

As you can see, there are tons of incredible real estate logos that can inspire your own.

Remember, the most effective logos are unique, bold and easy to understand. And while each real estate logo design we’ve listed here ticks those boxes, you’ll need to add your own spin to each design when you’re creating your own.

Ready to start exploring your new brand identity? Try creating a few logo variations in Lucidpress, using your brand colors.

Everybody loves a good poster. From colorful movie posters to out-of-the-box wood cut prints and more, there’s something about this versatile medium that always grabs our attention. Still, creating a memorable design can be challenging. Unlike a magazine or flyer, you’ve got much less wiggle room to include information, and your graphic elements need to immediately capture someone’s eye. With the right understanding of design principles though, designing an incredible poster for your brand or business can be a breeze.

Working on your own graphic design poster? Take a look through this quick guide to explore our top tips and advice on designing a fluid, unified, and memorable poster.

6 essential elements of graphic design posters

Typography

One of the most important but often overlooked aspects of poster design is font usage. Whether loose and flowy or strict and rigid, your choice of font can go a long way in relaying your poster’s message. 

While it may be tempting to pick multiple creative fonts, ideally, you want to choose two or three total fonts for your design. Fonts used for titles should be a display typeface (either creative or sans serif fonts), while fonts used for text should be serif fonts because they are designed for readability. Your chosen fonts should be different enough to be easily distinguishable from one another, but also similar enough to convey a unified design.

We like how this graphic design poster incorporates two main fonts – one to immediately grab your attention, and one to convey more detailed information.

image14-695x1024

Balanced

The second element of graphic poster design to consider is balance. Balance in graphic design is exactly what it sounds like – how unified and cohesive something looks. When designs are unbalanced, they feel off, and can be uncomfortable or confusing for your audience. 

In general, there are two different ways to create balance: through symmetry and asymmetry.

Symmetric layouts

In a symmetrically balanced layout, similar design elements are aligned in an equal way on either side of the vertical axis. This often results in a mirror-image effect, making it a great layout for a formal or static look. If you’re designing graphic posters for formal events, art gallery viewings, or informative gatherings, a symmetrical approach might be just right.

Essential elements of poster design

Asymmetric layouts

In an asymmetric layout, balance is achieved with an unequal arrangement of elements. Often, with the asymmetric layout, there could be a large object on one side balanced by a small object on the opposite side.

In general, these designs are more difficult and complex because the visual weight of each element and its arrangement need to be carefully considered. Asymmetric designs appear more casual than symmetric layouts and create excellent posters for rock concerts, museums and personal services.

Below are three excellent examples of asymmetrically balanced graphic design posters.

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image1-1

Color

Color is incredibly powerful, not only in conveying meaning but creating a cohesive look and feel to your graphic design poster. No matter who your audience is, color can be universally appreciated and used to communicate a variety of things. Learn more about color theory and color meanings here. When deciding which colors to use, consider how they will look together. Harmonious color schemes are based on balance, and can help tie your poster together. Below are a few different types of harmonious color palettes:

image4-2
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Contrast

Like balance, contrast is an essential element in creating a memorable, easy-to-look at poster. To create contrast, place two elements in opposing ways. This helps draw the eye and create a focal point within your design.

The elements you can use to create contrast include shapes, colors, lines, size and negative space. In the image below, you can see how the juxtaposition of distinct colors makes certain elements stand out.

image6

Poster design hierarchy

In addition to contrast, utilizing visual hierarchy in your poster design can also create a focal point. Visual hierarchy is the arrangement or presentation of elements in a way that implies importance. Put simply, it provides an intuitive direction for your eyes to move from most important information to least important information.

Here are a couple of ways to create hierarchy in your design:

Here’s a great example of a poster using the size, scale, and color/contrast of its typography to create a sense of visual hierarchy. 

image13

Shapes in poster design

A seemingly basic element, shapes have the power to help create a path for your eyes to follow as they scan a poster. When used intentionally, shapes can also give emphasis to the most important information in the poster. For example, designers often place text in front of squares or rectangles to draw attention. 

Shapes can also alter the mood of your design. Softer shapes with curves, circles and organic lines can create a more fluid and relaxed mood. 

Take the easy, breezy, flowing lines of this St. Tropez poster, for example:

image15

Triangles, squares and other geometric shapes with sharp edges, on the other hand, are often associated with more serious, elevated, or masculine ideas.

5 graphic design poster templates to help inspire you

University poster template

With a bold color palette and a clear place for your call-to-action, this poster template makes a great choice for universities and educational centers. Just swap out your logo and choose a picture that best represents your school.

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Duo campaign poster

Great for speaking engagements, local government, or other events, this template makes it easy to grab attention quickly with its asymmetric design.

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Nature retreat poster 

Inspired by the layout of print magazine covers, this informal, slightly whimsical poster template is super versatile – especially when it comes to drumming up hype for events. 

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Into the unknown movie poster 

Sometimes the best way to make an impact isn’t through your messaging. If you’ve got a beautiful piece of art or photography you want to showcase, this is the poster template for you. 

image10

Cobalt café e-poster

Great for highlighting visual businesses like restaurants and real estate, this balanced poster template makes it easy to highlight your unique brand imagery and provide detailed information for readers.

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Ready to design your own poster? Explore our full free template library here.

Today, most companies prefer the ease and lower costs of digital marketing as a substitute for regular print marketing. But while social media and digital advertising might now be the default, print advertising can still be an incredibly effective way to reach your target market.

Studies show that nearly 80% of consumers act on messaging they’ve seen in magazine ads, compared to just 45% of consumers who act on online advertisements. There’s a huge opportunity for influence here. In fact, 82% of consumers trust print ads the most when making a purchase decision. 

When used in conjunction with digital marketing tactics, print marketing strategies like placing magazine ads can make your campaigns even more effective. In this guide, we’ll walk you through how to design and make a magazine ad that will help get your business in front of the right audiences.

How to design a magazine ad

There’s a lot that goes into creating a successful magazine ad. From understanding who you’re trying to reach to choosing the right publication, there’s plenty of strategy at play here. 

In this blog though, we’re zooming into the design process. To help your ad stand out on the page, we’ve assembled some basic design principles that will give you the foundation you need to begin.

First off, one of the most basic (but most important) principles of good ad design:

Use color to your advantage

Take a look at a color wheel. When designing your magazine ad, you’ll want to not only choose colors that represent your brand, but colors that provide good contrast. If you’re having trouble, consider using complementary colors –  these work well together and can be found opposite each other on the color wheel. 

But don’t be afraid to get creative with other color palette options as well, as pictured below.

To mix up your color scheme, you can use different hues, shades and tones of the colors you’ve already chosen. 

Check out this great example of using complementary colors (blue-green and red-orange) to make this Colgate ad pop.

When choosing your palette, don’t forget to consider the psychology of color as well. For example, yellow is often seen as cheerful and playful, while grey and black can signify luxury or utility. 

Be careful when using bold, bright or loud colors on your print ad. It’s easy for the focus of your main message to be lost in a see of loud colors if you’re not intentional. You can use bold color for accenting or to make a certain message or image stand out, but use it sparingly. For example, pay attention to how Nike uses the color red to draw attention to its signature ‘swoosh’ here:

Create a sense of balance

While your design doesn’t have to be a perfect mirror-image on both sides, it should have some sense of balance that creates unity and ties your whole design together. An easy way to create balance is to use the rule of thirds. Basically, this means that if you divide your image into thirds, you should center your main focal point on the outer vertical line and center it on the horizontal lines. This makes your photo more dynamic and interesting to look at. For example, check out how this ad centers its main subject – the couple – on the horizontal lines.

If you’re having a hard time finding the right way to balance your design, try viewing your layout under a grid. This will help you create an underlying unity and structure for your design.

Use the right font

You’ll want to make sure your font and font size are consistent with your other marketing materials. Additionally, make sure your font is applied consistently throughout your magazine ad design. 

Typically, sans serif fonts are used for headings, while serif fonts are used for body text. Here are a few examples of popular font pairings:

Using sans serif versus serif fonts can provide contrast between your heading and your paragraph type. You can also contrast type by using different:

Just remember as we mentioned before, it’s not a good idea to use a different font than you use in your other marketing materials. Sticking with the same (or a similar) font will build brand consistency over time, helping people remember your brand.

Apply the Gestalt principle

The Gestalt principle argues that the human eye sees objects in their entirety before perceiving their individual parts. You can use this principle to help you make a better design. There are five parts that make up the Gestalt principle:

Use signs and symbols that are significant to your consumers

Are there any symbols that carry a significant meaning to your customers?  You can use them to help your consumers create quick associations within your magazine ad.

For example, seeing a “stop” sign automatically creates a subconscious signal to stop and pay attention.

More best practices for making a magazine ad

Here are a couple other general tips for creating a great magazine ad design

Write a good headline

It should go without saying, but writing a powerful headline takes time. Don’t just go with the first one you come up with. Take the time to craft a headline that catches the reader’s attention and draws them in.

Use powerful images

What do you want your images to convey? Intentionally choosing your imagery can help your message make that much more of an impact. Also, don’t forget to make sure your images look professional and aren’t pixelated.

Use engaging copy

Keep it simple. You can let the images do most of the talking here, and chances are, there won’t be a lot of room for copy. Be concise, point out a problem, then identify your solution to that problem.

Proper logo use

Your logo will need to be included somewhere, but don’t make the mistake of making it the most important thing on the page. If possible, let it become part of the overall design. And, don’t hide your logo away in the copy — give it some space so it stands out.

Include a call-to-action

Ask yourself what you want your readers to do because of your ad. Include a call-to-action at the end of your copy that encourages them to take action and gives them the resources to do so. For example, if you want people to engage with you on social media, include a branded hashtag they can use to tag your company with.

Well-designed print ad campaign examples

Here are a few recent favorites we’ve come across – can you identity the design principles they use?

Key takeaways

Print is a classic form of marketing that we don’t ever think will go out of style. These five basic design principles and best practices will help give you all the foundation you need to get started on your magazine ad design. Want even more of a head start? Check out Marq’s free library of templates.

Ready to design your own magazine ads? These free magazine design layouts are a great starting point.

We’ve all heard “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” but I suspect we’ve all been guilty of it at some point.

A quality book cover design is your chance to make a positive first impression. Although first impressions aren’t everything, a bad one is hard to overcome. You could string together some of the most impactful and moving words ever combined in history only to see them fade away because the book cover looks like amateur hour.

The book industry is growing more competitive and more digital. Ebooks now make up 30% of all book sales.

Instead of taking several minutes to find a good book by casually strolling through the library perusing book titles, readers now scroll through the internet’s webpages in seconds. With vats of information competing for everyone’s attention, visual clues can help viewers identify superior content.

As we go over these 10 ideas to design the best book cover, feel free to jot down a few of your own observations to inspire your own design.

1. Set the tone with your design

Book cover design ideas

Source: TIME

The verdant design of The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein reflects the simplicity of a children’s book and depicts the dependent nature of a child. Instantly, you understand the themes explored in the book and feel an emotional connection with both characters.

Book cover design ideas

Source: Behance

“Little Spines,” an anthology of creative writing by students at RMIT University, uses the image of a single tree in two different seasons to depict a story of change — revealing the poetic theme of the book.

2. Speak to your audience’s emotions

Book cover design ideas

Source: WTTW

The Shack by William Paul Young is a good example of using design to appeal to one’s emotions. The conflicts of sorrow and hope, fear and faith are illustrated in the sunshine cutting through the snow and darkness.

3. Create a focal point

Book cover design ideas

Source: Amazon

On the cover of The End of Food by Paul Roberts, the use of white space helps the reader focus. The white tag on the product packaging draws attention to the title which, after reading, the image effectively illustrates.

4. Use custom photography

Book cover design ideas

Source: Barnes & Noble

In The Diary of Anne Frank, photographs of the young author help the reader relate and empathize with her on a more intimate level. This is why custom photography is highly effective for biographies and documentaries. It is also helpful if you are trying to build personal recognition.

5. Your design should function as a thumbnail, too

Book cover design ideas

Source: Brandon Hill Design

Given the digital nature of book shopping these days, it pays to create a book design that makes a great thumbnail. On Making the Climb by John C. Bowling, a brown shoe print is easy to identify and will be recognizable even as a small image.

6. Include reviews & awards in the design

Book cover design ideas

Source: Books & Books

Working awards and reviews into the design of your book cover helps establish credibility to the reader. As humans, readers are social creatures, and testimonials from literary authorities provide enticing and trustworthy social proof. You can see this principle demonstrated elegantly on the cover of The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins.

7. Use imagery to spark imagination

Book cover design ideas

Source: Paul J. Bartlett Art

On this modernized cover of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum, images of a tin pipe hat, feline eyes, a girl’s face and a burlap necktie allude to the main characters in the book. The green tint hints to the Emerald City. This is a good way to weave your narrative into the cover design without giving too much away.

8. Let typography take center-stage

Book cover design ideas

Source: Barnes & Noble

Here, on the cover of The Shallows by Nicholas Carr, the words are the imagery and help expand on what the author wants to communicate. By utilizing typography, the design is kept simple, not distracting the flow of the reader’s eye from one design element to the next.

9. Figure/ground Gestalt principle

Book cover design ideas

Source: Pinterest

Things get interesting when the foreground and background contain two distinct images, as shown on this cover of Peter and the Wolf. Impressively, this creative use of negative space doesn’t distract from the main focal point.

10. Keep colors simple

Book cover design ideas

Source: Pinterest

On this cover of JAWS, blue and black are the only colors used. The dark shading of the blue makes it identifiable as the ocean against a white background. The darker tip of the letter A reveals a shark fin breaching the surface of the water.

Key takeaways

An effective book cover is both planned out and meaningful. It’s a billboard on the highway directing readers to your pages. Your book cover’s role as a marketer is important and shouldn’t be treated like an afterthought. Use these tips to design a book cover you’ll be proud to share. You can start by customizing a book cover template in our gallery.

Ready to design your own book cover? Customize one of our professional book cover templates online for free.

Creative briefs are a lot like lighthouses: they provide essential guidance and direction for creatives working on large and small projects alike. Without a beacon, it’s easy for your project to get moored or lost at sea — think Castaway but at your job. And no Tom Hanks or Wilson by your side for company or relief.

You want your creative briefs to be both concise and thorough. A good creative brief goes a long way. It helps maintain efficiency across teams and ensures individual contributors feel supported, happy and appreciated. But it also takes time. To help you maintain steam and produce creative briefs that (ahem) get the job done, we compiled a shortlist of questions to consider as you write:

Answering these questions provides you with the clarity and structure needed to fully flesh out your creative need. So whether you need a one-page press release or a 15-page ebook, you can trust your brief to communicate your project’s scope effectively.

Now, let’s cover some basics.

What is a creative brief?

A creative brief is a detailed summary of a creative project.

Typically a brief is filled out by whoever is making the request. At a baseline, it needs to include The Basics:

That said, different types of briefs have different kinds of requirements — but don’t worry about that right now, we’ll touch more on that shortly.

What are the benefits of a creative brief?

Two parties benefit the most from creative briefs: the requesting party and the creative team.

For example, say a sales agent needs a unique one-pager for an event they’re planning to attend in a month. That sales agent would fill out a creative brief and then send it to the creative team. From there, the creative team can slot the project into their production queue, quickly fill the request using a pre-templatized format, or temporarily backlog it depending on their workflow.

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s dive into how to write a creative brief for copy, design, and PR departments.

What are the main types of creative briefs?

Creative briefs are built to cover a broad spectrum of project needs. We’ve identified three different types of briefs:

What do I need to include in a creative brief?

A copy brief is going to be a little bit different than a design or PR brief. No matter what, you’ll want to cover your bases thoroughly. We recommend using a pre-formatted brief template to make your life easier. (You can mark the fields N/A if they don’t apply to your project.) And keep in mind all creative briefs need to include The Basics — plus a few extra tidbits.

But, how do you know what information goes into what brief? We’ve outlined what you’ll need to include in 3 different types of briefs (copy, design, and PR) to help you get the ball rolling.

Copy brief

Design brief

PR brief

Examples of creative briefs

In case you wanted a frame of reference before you get started (visual learning style, anyone?), we’ve included some modified creative brief examples from our template gallery.

Copy brief

Modified from our Simple project proposal template

Design brief

Modified from our General project proposal template

PR brief

Created in Lucidpress

In brief

At the end of the day, creative briefs bridge the gap between good ideas and polished projects. They empower creative teams to stay on-task, on-time, and on-brand. And with the help of a pre-formatted creative brief template, you can quickly and easily insert information, send and process requests, and do more as a team. After all, who doesn’t want to save time and energy — while getting more done as a company?

Okay, so, now that you’ve been briefed on how to write a creative brief, it’s time to let your colors fly. Show us your briefs!

Download a free creative brief template to get started

Editor’s note: Originally, the Lucidpress blog featured two different blog posts that highlighted two eras — past and present — of Black graphic designers. In an effort to ensure the post accurately reflects the folks featured in it and to honor the need for diverse representation in graphic design, we have combined the two blog posts into one and audited them with up-to-date information.

At Lucidpress, we’re passionate about great design and inspiring everyone to create beautiful things. So we’re delighted to bring you this list of influential Black designers, reaching back to the beginning of the 1900s and continuing up to the present day. Let’s dive in!

Charles Dawson

We start with Charles Dawson, who was born in 1899. He became well-known in the 1920s-30s for his illustrated advertisements, especially for beauty products and Black artists. Unsurprisingly, his journey includes many firsts which paved the way for students after him to pursue their passions.

O Sing A New Song musical poster by Charles Dawson

“O Sing A New Song” musical poster

In 1907, Dawson was the first Black student admitted to the Art Students League in New York. It was a challenging environment where he faced many instances of bias and discrimination. In 1912, he took the summer to work in a buffet car and save tuition for the Art Institute of Chicago, which he observed was “bias-free.” An active student, Dawson was involved in several jobs and student organizations. He was a founding member of the Arts and Letters Society, the first Black artist collective in Chicago.

Dawson started working for Chicago Engravers in 1919 and departed three years later to become a freelance designer. With fellow alumni from the Institute, he established the Chicago Art League, an exhibit group for Black artists. Throughout his career, he would break more barriers:

For much of the 1930s, Dawson worked for Valmour Products. In 1944, he became the curator for both the Museum of Negro Art & Culture and the George Washington Carver Museum, where he served until his retirement in 1951.

Learn more about Charles Dawson at AIGA.org.

Aaron Douglas

Aaron Douglas was also born in 1899, but his contributions to the Harlem Renaissance (then called the “New Negro Movement”) helped to propel the art style forward. He blended the geometric shapes of Art Deco, the linear rhythm of Art Nouveau, and the rich traditions of African art to create something entirely new.

Aspects of Negro Life mural by Aaron Douglas

“Aspects of Negro Life” mural

Graduating with a BFA from the University of Nebraska in 1922, Douglas taught art in Nebraska and Missouri high schools. In 1924, he moved to New York to apprentice for Winold Reiss. After designing magazine covers for Opportunity, The Crisis, FIRE!!, and Harlem, he became a highly sought-after cover illustrator, especially among Black writers.

Douglas continued to shape the Harlem community, crafting several murals including the famous Aspects of Negro Life. In 1938, he moved to Nashville, Tennessee, to found the art department at Fisk University—a department he chaired for nearly three decades before retiring in 1966.

Learn more about Aaron Douglas at AIGA.org.

LeRoy Winbush

We jump forward a few years to LeRoy Winbush, who was born in 1915. His ambition might be summarized best this way: though it took him 11 years to be accepted as the first Black member of the Art Directors Club of Chicago, it took him only five more to become its president.

Album cover designs by Leroy Winbush

Album cover designs

Winbush started designing in 1936, merely one year after high school. He apprenticed making signage, murals and flyers. When he joined the sign shop at Goldblatt’s department store, he was the only Black employee. Seven years later, he was the company’s Art Director, overseeing a staff of 60 people.

In 1945, he founded Winbush Associates, his own design firm. Colleagues say he split his day between art-directing for Consolidated Manufacturing Company and for Johnson Publishing (Ebony, Jet). His career spanned many highlights:

Winbush also gave back to his community through education. Despite having no formal education himself, he taught visual communication at School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He also developed a long-term exhibit about sickle-cell anemia for Chicago’s Museum of Science.

Learn more about LeRoy Winbush at AIGA.org.

Thomas Miller

Thomas Miller was born in 1920. When he graduated from the Ray-Vogue College of Design in 1950, he was the institution’s only Black student. Soon afterwards, he was one of two to be accepted into the Society of Typographic Art.

Founder's mosaic at DuSable Museum by Thomas Miller

Founder’s mosaic at DuSable Museum of African American History

Miller enjoyed decades as a successful commercial designer. After working for Gerstel/Loeff, he joined the international design firm Morton Goldsholl Associates, where he worked for 35 years on large ad campaigns, such as 7-Up’s major redesign in the 1970s.

When he wasn’t working, Miller still followed his own artistic passions, creating oil paintings and monotypes in his signature style. One of his most well-known projects can be seen today in the DuSable Museum of African American History: he created mosaic portraits of the museum’s eight founders.

Learn more about Thomas Miller at The History Makers and Wikipedia.

Emmett McBain

A graduate of the Illinois Institute of Technology, Emmett McBain (born in 1935) also studied at the Ray-Vogue College of Design as well as the American Academy of Art. He became a designer for Vince Cullers and Associates, the first Black-owned ad agency. But that wouldn’t be the last time he was a pioneer in African-American advertising.

What Color is Black? poem advert by Emmett McBain

“What Color is Black?” poem advertisement

McBain enjoyed a varied design career, from being Playboy’s promotional art director to designing album covers for Mercury Records. He worked for J. Walter Thompson and Associates, where he took part in Ford’s 1964 campaign to introduce the Mustang.

In 1971, McBain partnered with Tom Burrell to form Burrell McBain Inc. This ad agency pioneered advertising to African-American markets and introduced corporations to the concept that “Black people are not dark-skinned white people.” Their campaigns recognized and emphasized the demographic and cultural differences that had been previously ignored in mass media. Though the agency is still around today as Burrell Communications Group, McBain left in 1974 to pursue art and support Black artistry.

Learn more about Emmett McBain in this NewCity article.

Archie Boston

In one of his most famous ads, Archie Boston leans over a table of pens and eyes the camera. “I told Pentel what to do with their pens,” the headline declares. “And they did it.” It’s a single example plucked from Boston’s long career of self-aware, provocative work.

Pentel packaging designs by Archie Boston

Pentel packaging designs

Born in 1943, Boston attended Chouinard Art Institute (later called CalArts) in 1961—and nearly dropped out to take a job in advertising. Instead, he took an internship at Carson/Roberts during his senior year. After working with his brother Brad on a variety of projects, the two founded Boston & Boston design in 1967. They never shied away from race in their work, opting instead to acknowledge it directly and challenge audiences to rethink their assumptions and prejudices.

In 1969, Archie joined Botsford Constantine and McCarthy for eight years. During his time there, he also founded Archie Boston Graphic Design and began taking clients in 1973. Later he became the first Black president of the Los Angeles Art Directors Club.

From his 20s onward, Archie has been a teacher. He started at Chouinard, and currently he’s a professor at California State University Long Beach (CSULB), where he’s taught for nearly 40 years.

Learn more about Archie Boston at AIGA.org.

Sylvia Harris

The first female designer on our list, Sylvia Harris was born in 1953. She earned her BFA in communication arts and design from Virginia Commonwealth University, and her MFA in graphic design from Yale University.

Exhibit design for The Women's Museum by Sylvia Harris

Exhibit design for The Women’s Museum

Harris spent much of her career in the public sector, planning and improving the communities around her. She started as a designer for WGBH, Boston’s public TV station. From there she moved on to The Architects Collaborative (TAC) headed by Walter Gropius, and then the prestigious Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM). It was at SOM that Harris got involved in environmental urban planning; her clients there included the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority and the U.S. Department of Transportation.

In 1980, along with two partners, Harris founded Two Twelve Associates, a graphic design consulting firm. She worked on projects for many clients, including the New York State Council of the Arts, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and the Central Park Zoo. She also taught design students at Purchase College State University and at Yale.

Learn more about Sylvia Harris at AIGA.org.

Gail Anderson

Gail Anderson was born in 1962 and studied at the School of Visual Arts in New York. The art of words and letters have played a major role in her design career, starting from the beginning when she worked at Vintage Books and The Boston Globe Sunday Magazine. As an expert in conceptual typography, she works with all sorts of materials—traditional and non-traditional—to create eclectic expressions of style.

New Vintage Type by Gail Anderson

“New Vintage Type” book cover

Anderson was an impressive fixture at Rolling Stone Magazine for 15 years. Starting as an associate in 1987, she rose to become its Senior Art Director before departing in 2002. From there, she joined SpotCo, one of New York’s largest entertainment design agencies. Again, she rose to the top to become its Creative Director before departing in 2010.

Residents of New York City are likely familiar with Anderson’s work without even realizing it. Her poster designs for Broadway and off-Broadway plays have been hung all around the city and featured in outdoor transit advertising.

Currently, Anderson is a partner at Anderson Newton Design with Joe Newton. She’s also a faculty member at the School of Visual Arts, and she’s co-published several books on typography and graphic design.

Learn more about Gail Anderson at AIGA.org.

Eddie Opara

Born in England in 1972, Eddie Opara studied at the London College of Printing and at Yale University. After earning his MFA in 1997, he moved to New York City to work for Imaginary Forces.

Fast Co. infographic by Eddie Opara

Infographic about infographics for Fast Co.

It wasn’t too long after that when Opara became the Art Director for 2 x 4, the influential design studio. In 2005, he founded his own interactive design studio, The Map Office, in New York and began work for clients such as the Studio Museum in Harlem, the Architecture Research Office, the Queen Museum of Art, and New York University. In 2010, Opara joined Pentagram as a partner.

Opara’s work sits at the intersection of design and technology. He has earned numerous awards in his career, including a Gold Cube from the Art Directors Club. His work is the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). In 2012 and 2014, he was named one of Fast Company‘s 100 Most Creative People in Business. Today, he’s also a senior critic at Yale.

Learn more about Eddie Opara at Famous Graphic Designers.

Michele Washington

Michele Washington, who studied at the School of Visual Arts and Brooklyn’s Pratt Institute before working for Vogue Butterick Patterns. Her career in media is wide-ranging, from newspaper design at the Chicago Tribune and The New York Times to editorial art direction at Essence and Self magazines.

Mausam packaging by Michele Washington

Mausam product packaging designs

Washington has taught a grad-level exhibition class at New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT). She founded and leads her own design firm, Washington Design, in Brooklyn’s DUMBO neighborhood. Today she also provides creative direction for Cox Matthews Associates and user research for Cerebral Design.

Multi-cultural influences abound in Washington’s work, as her colorful designs often incorporate language, patterns, and textures from many cultures around the world. One example is the bright and earthy product packaging for her line of natural home & body products. Many of her design influences are featured in articles she’s written for her website, CulturalBoundaries.com.

Learn more about Michele Washington at AIGA.org.

Dana James Mwangi

“Creatives can do good business.” That’s the headline on Mwangi’s website , and this mantra captures her holistic approach to web design, branding & entrepreneurship.

If you’re worried you’re not creative enough, or your ideas are just too far-fetched to work, Mwangi has something to say about that — her words are inspiring and certainly ring true if you work in design or any creative field.

Black branding & design experts

@danajamesmwangi | @cheerscreative

Timothy J. Hykes

Tim Hykes is a UX consultant and frequent speaker at design conferences including Adobe Max, Design + Diversity, and AIGA. In fact, he’s become a leader in AIGA, the largest community of design advocates in the nation.

He’s also a co-founder of the Design + Diversity conference. “The Design + Diversity conference explores proactive ways to make the design industry more diverse…This is the only conference that focuses on diversity issues in the design field. This event provides a platform for constructive conversation among those who design, innovate, and lead.”

@timothyhykes | @plusdiversity

Hassan Rahim

A self-taught artist and designer, Hassan Rahim has developed an enigmatic style and dark sensibility that’s landed him work with clients like Nike, Urban Outfitters, Warp Records, and Marilyn Manson. According to an interview with Eye on Design, his big break came when a skate brand noticed his designs on MySpace and reached out to offer him work. He was 17 years old.

@hassanrahim | @hassanrahim

Antionette Carroll

Antionette Carroll sees design differently. In a world where everything has been designed—including systems of inequality—we can use design as a system to create a more equitable world. In her powerful TEDx talk (Carroll is a 2018 TED fellow), she introduces this concept and challenges us to find ways to intentionally redesign our communities.

In line with this mission, Carroll founded the Creative Reaction Lab, a nonprofit that “educates, trains, and challenges cities to co-create solutions with Black and Latinx populations to design healthy and racially equitable communities.” She calls this new form of creative problem-solving Equity-Centered Community Design.

Black branding & design experts

Currently, Carroll is an AIGA National Board Member. Along with Timothy J. Hykes (who we introduced earlier in this list), she’s also a co-founder of the Design + Diversity Conference.

@acarrolldesign

Jewel Burks

Jewel Burks has the distinction of working for and partnering with some of the biggest brands in the tech industry, from Google and Amazon to Collab Capital. Even more impressive is the fact that she founded and sold a tech startup called Partpic, a program that uses visual search algorithms to streamline the purchasing of manufacturing parts.

Burks is currently a board member for Goodie Nation, a nonprofit that supports innovative problem-solving in underserved communities. “The big thing I want in starting a business is to make a difference in my community,” she says on her website. As one of Forbes’ 30 Under 30, she’s off to an incredible start.

@jewelmelanie | @goodienation

Nakita M. Pope

Nakita M. Pope is an experienced branding strategist with nearly 20 years in the industry. She holds the fabulous title of Chief Chick at Branding Chicks, her boutique branding agency. Branding Chicks specializes in women-owned businesses and female-centric brands. She works with them to narrow their focus, boost their confidence, and clarify their messaging so it resonates with their audience.

Black branding & design experts

Pope is currently a diversity and inclusion officer for The Creative Circus, an advertising school where students can build their portfolios. She’s also a board member of AIGA Atlanta and a member of the AIGA National Diversity & Inclusion Task Force.

“I love the strategy of design. I love how designers think and solve problems visually,” she says in an interview with 28 black Designers. “As I’ve morphed into a brand strategist, I realize just how much strategy I was already doing as a designer and how that is what makes the difference between design that is simply aesthetically pleasing and design that is smart and achieves an objective.”

@brandingchicks | @realbrandingchicks

Dian Holton

Dian Holton is the Deputy Art Director for AARP. When she isn’t designing and overseeing creative work there—such as AARP’s The Magazine and TheGirlfriend—she also creates compelling window displays and mannequin styles for The Gap. Her vibrant, fresh design sensibility makes her portfolio (and her social media feeds) a visual delight.

Black branding & design experts

A graduate of the Yale School of Management, Holton serves as the Mentoring Director for AIGA’s Washington, D.C. chapter, where she oversees a mentoring speaker series with a local high school.

A post shared by Dian Holton (@dianholton) on Feb 1, 2018 at 8:52pm PST

Check out Holton’s awesome Daily Digits series, where she photographs numbers made of daily objects (like flowers, hairpins and gummy worms). The project just surpassed 1,000 posts, and we can’t wait to see what’s next.

@dianholton | @dianholton

Wrap-up

This is only a handful of the incredible Black designers who’ve shaped our visual culture and continue to influence it today. It’s important to recognize not only their talent but their determination to overcome any obstacles and pave the way for future designers. Major thanks to the AIGA for being an invaluable resource in researching this post. Another round of gratitude for the African American Graphic Designers group on Facebook for being a constant source of inspiration and for introducing me to many of the folks on this list.

Most companies provide ready-to-use software on their computers and one of the standard choices is the Microsoft Office suite. Because of this, PowerPoint has become a default option for business presentations. PowerPoint’s layout is similar to other Microsoft Office software like Word and Excel, making it an easy and familiar option for creating creative presentations. But it may not be the best option for you.

Small companies may not use Microsoft Office because of the cost, and some freelancers may not have the budget or need for the entire suite. Additionally, PowerPoint isn’t exactly the most stunning option and lacks some much-wanted features like locking capabilities.

We’ve rounded up some of the best PowerPoint alternatives that small business owners may find as a better option for business presentation creation.

1. Lucidpress

Lucidpress’s free presentation maker comes with two different kinds of presentation templates: basic or premium. With Lucidpress, you can use the presentation aid to drag and drop images, text, logos, and more into an easy-to-use editor.

For large businesses, you have the option of “locking” presentation templates so that specific items stay in place on all presentations such as logos or brand elements. It also comes with the ability to share your presentation templates across any device. Since it’s web-based, users can access professional presentations in minutes. Lucidpress is also perfectly compatible with Dropbox, InDesign, Unsplash, and more and everything is stored on the cloud.

There’s even a free plan option.

Pricing

Lucidpress offers four different plans: Free, Pro, Team, and Business.

2. Haiku Deck

Our runner-up of PowerPoint alternatives is Haiku Deck. With Haiku Deck, you can create amazing presentations from your desktop, iPhone, or iPad. Haiku Deck has removed some of the fancy or more complicated controls that other presentation softwares offer. This feature forces users to focus on their message in the slides and offer a crystal-clear presentation without all the frills.

Some of Haiku Deck’s top features:

Pricing

There are two plans to choose from with Haiku Deck — Pro or Premium.

Haiku Deck also offers special pricing to nonprofit organizations, educators and students.

3. Beautiful.ai

Unlike other PowerPoint alternatives, Beautiful.ai’s design of slides is completely controlled by, you guessed it, artificial intelligence (ai). The idea is that presentations will turn out perfect every time with very little effort from the user. However, customization is limited like with Google Slides.

Beautiful.ai comes with the following features:

Pricing

Currently, there are two available plans: Basic, which is free, and Pro.

There is a Team plan option set to launch in August 2020.

4. Visme

In addition to offering presentation templates, Visme also offers the ability to create data visualizations, infographics, resumes, product demos and even reports. Visme has ready-to-use presentation templates with professionally designed layouts — a great alternative to the oft-seen PowerPoint visuals. Visme also comes with millions of free images, graph tools, hundreds of fonts and thousands of vector icons.

You can publish presentations from Visme anywhere including sharing a URL or embedding into a site. You can also control who can see your presentation with their privacy management, present offline, add animation and interactivity to any element, and even search for the exact slides you need from 900+ layouts.

Pricing

Visme has three tiers (Individual, Business and Education), and each has its own pricing plans. 

5. Google Slides

One of the most popular alternatives to PowerPoint is Google Slides since it’s completely free with a Google account.

Google Slides offers hundreds of presentation templates with different, simple color themes to choose from. Because it’s connected to the cloud and Google servers, everything in the presentation is automatically saved. Another great feature is that you can change an entire presentation with the theme and color picker. It offers the ability to collaborate with team members on slides in real-time and to export finished presentations as PowerPoint files. Google Slides is great for anyone looking for a PowerPoint alternative with no frills, especially since its design capabilities are quite limited.

Pricing

Free with Google account.

6. Microsoft Sway

Ironically, Sway is Microsoft’s very own alternative to PowerPoint. But it’s so different from PowerPoint, you wouldn’t even know they come from the same company. Unlike PowerPoint, Microsoft Sway is a cloud-based app that is accessed through any Microsoft account such as Outlook or Hotmail.

Top features of Microsoft Sway:

Pricing

Microsoft Sway is free with a Microsoft account, it’s the best among free PowerPoint alternatives for any small business, company, or individual who is already paying for Microsoft Office suite and doesn’t have the budget for new presentation software.

7. Slidebean

If you need a PowerPoint alternative but don’t have time to design your own slides, then checkout Slidebean

Slidebean has taken pitch deck presentations from big-name startups and offers them as ready-to-use templates. All you have to do is punch in your content. Slidebean offers great presentation templates for startups, businesses or marketing endeavors. It also gives users access to thousands of flat icons, the ability to share and collaborate with others, and the option to search and insert curated images or GIFs from Giphy or Unsplash — all within the presentation software.

Other great features include curated color palettes, a chat feature to communicate with others, the option to import CSV data to create charts and access to viewers’ actions for each presentation. One downfall to Slidebean is that it doesn’t offer animation.

Pricing

Plans start at $96 per year, per user (that’s $8/mo.).

8. Canva

Canva is another among free PowerPoint alternatives. It comes with 8,000+ presentation templates and is a great option for anyone who’s new to creating presentations. The layout is extremely user-friendly and makes creating slides easy and quick. Canva offers video tutorials for new users and also has two paid plans along with the free option. With Canva, you can also download your slides in multiple formats including PowerPoint or present directly from the Canva platform.

Pricing

Canva has a free plan and two paid options.

With each of these eight different alternatives to PowerPoint, you have several new and better options for creating some truly stunning professional presentations. Thankfully, most of these software options provide a trial run so you can find the right software and presentation templates for your business’s needs.

Try your hand at creating a presentation today with Lucidpress.

We all know the importance of branding. 

Your brand experience, and thus your branding, is the sum of all impressions and interactions customers have with your brand.

Everything, from the moment a potential customer sees an unboxing video of your product on YouTube to how you communicate your return and refund policy, impacts the brand experience.  

Many managers get preoccupied with equating brand management to aesthetically-pleasing pictures on social media, brand ambassadors and influencers, or the number of followers a brand has. These are relevant aspects of the brand experience, but ultimately, branding is so much more than these things.

For example, take a moment to consider the role that branding plays for the first physical touchpoint that an e-commerce brand has with its customer: i.e, packaging. 

A critical component to ensuring your brand’s packaging is memorable lay within the impact of brand consistency. You want your brand’s content to be consistent across all touchpoints — so no matter where your customers encounter your brand, be it in-person, 

But what does good, memorable and consistent packaging design look like? How do you imbue your unique brand experience onto physical packaging? 

Well, take note from these inspiring brands!

11 brands with consistent brand experiences and packaging design

It’s easy to look at brands like Nike and Apple, or unicorns like Dollar Shave Club and Warby Parker and think to yourself, “that’s just what they do!”\

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But it’s not just what companies, like the ones listed above, do. It’s because their teams know the importance behind consistent brand experiences and how packaging design is a direct reflection of that. 

It’s worth noting that most of these large companies and organizations likely have an entire team dedicated to packaging design, or in the very least the work is outsourced. So, if you’re a small business owner, what are you supposed to do? How do you create consistent brand experiences through your packaging design…without running yourself ragged?

In this article, I’ll — your fearless writer Phil — showcase some smaller and medium-sized e-commerce brands, D2C brands and retail brands that have nailed their packaging design. Regardless of whether or not you’ve heard of any of these brands, it’s time to grab a pen and paper and dive into what makes these brands memorable.

Concrete Jungle

Concrete Jungle is a direct-to-consumer, German brand that sells women’s jewelry. As the name suggests, Concrete Jungle uses concrete as the main ingredient. Now, the thought of a rough, cold and lifeless material such as concrete being used in a product that’s delicate and subtle fine jewelry surely couldn’t work, could it?

Well, with the right branding, Concrete Jungle has managed to make it work perfectly. 

cj-3

Design choices and brand consistencies worth noting:

What’s to love about the packaging?

Concrete Jungle’s brand experience is consistent across all packaging and digital touchpoints.

cj-2

Much of the color palette remains the same but thoughtfully reimagined into new textures. For instance:

Concrete Jungle is a mix of textures — rough, cold concrete used in delicate women’s jewelry – and their custom box design complements that eclectic mix of textures. 

cj-1

Malimo

Malimo is a German brand that upcycles intricate and stunning fabrics, transforming them into clothing that looks and feels like a work of art. 

malimo-3

Malimo’s patterns are anything but subtle. They’re loud, eye-catching and maximalist in every sense of the world. 

Conversely, their packaging is extremely simple.

malimo-2

What’s to love about the packaging?

It’s this subtle and understated packaging that we love because upon opening the box, those loud and incredibly detailed patterns spill out of the box and into your eyeballs.

malimo-1

The hangtags feature the brand’s font, ensuring the content experience remains consistent and memorable. Furthermore, the copy itself echoes the brand’s tone of voice and vivacity — it’s somewhat human, honest, funky and down-to-earth. 

Malimo’s product packaging fights traditional branding but still complements the overall brand experience.

Hemp Juice

This Polish manufacturer of CBD oil puts a bright, happy and positive spin on a product usually associated with cliche imagery and unfounded stereotypes.

hemp-4

Hemp Juice leverages color to break up the product range, ensuring that customers can quickly identify which product is best for them — without going off-brand.

hemp-3

All collateral produced supports Hemp Juice’s core values: to educate consumers while giving them the product they need to live a happy, healthy life. So, whether customers are looking for educational information regarding CBD oil, best practices or shopping for a new product, they’re able to experience consistency across Hemp Juice’s branding.

And, as a result of the consistent and comprehensive branding experience, consumers invest more in the brand as they’re getting the support they need to get the most out of the product. 

What’s to love about the packaging?

Hemp Juice’s CBD packaging is a fantastic example of packaging design that echoes the brand’s values. 

hemp-2

The visual experience is bright, cheery, and happy without being in your face about the product’s medicinal constitution. Say you were to look at Hemp Juice’s product amid a rough day, you don’t think about the rough day, but rather that moment you get home, unwind and take care of yourself.

hemp-1

On the other hand, by not having the typical “green leaf” imagery as a staple of their branding, Hemp Juice winds up being more appealing to consumers on the fence about using CBD oil for the first time or those worried about the connotations of using CBD oil. 

Monokel

Monokel is a boutique supplier of custom-made men’s clothing. Based in Berlin, the luxury brand prides itself on crafting high-quality garments tailor-fit to the individual. 

monokel-3

luxury-inspired brand like Monokel doesn’t require loud branding or lengthy copy to explain or justify itself. Hence why Monokel’s logo leverages a simple typeface and elegant execution.

What’s to love about the packaging?

Monokel’s packaging reflects a sort of “take-home” elegance. 

monokel-2

Monokel uses a classic, two-piece product box, with the logo printed smackdab in the middle. Not only does this consumer experience reflect the brand experience, but it ensures a consistent, memorable feel from store to home.

monokel-1

If you’ve had the chance to visit the Berlin store, you’ll see that the shop also reflects the packaging design’s clean minimalism. 

Anthem

Anthem, an Italian-based brand, sells organic clothing inspired by casual, California “hippie” vibes. Anthem blends the quintessential surfer’s attitude (i.e., relaxed and laid-back) with the tactile nature and feels of organic, sustainable and eco-friendly apparel. Anthem’s key color is a sort of retro orange and the round logo is somewhat reminiscent of a VW van from the 1960s, both of which tie back to the “chill vibes” inspiration that grounds the company.

anthem-3

What’s to love about the packaging?

Anthem’s target consumers demand packaging that reflects the organization’s sustainable mission. Meaning, Anthem can’t just walk the walk; they need to talk the talk too. 

anthem-2

That’s why Anthem uses biodegradable and compostable mailing bags as their go-to packaging solution. These plant-based mailing bags are slightly off-white, lending a sort of natural look and feel while appealing to the environmental concerns their target consumer likely has. 

Again, Anthem offers a unique take on the consistent brand experience, catering to customer expectations while staying on-brand. 

anthem-1

Oase

Oase is a Dutch manufacturer of vegan hair supplements. The company’s branding is very minimalist and is done so deliberately to ensure the customer focuses on the ingredients and what the supplement can do for you — not the branding. 

oase-2

Minimalism is a trend echoed by many high-end companies, as it reflects confidence and elegance without being gaudy or ostentatious. 

What’s to love about the packaging?

Oase based their design on the actual product — i.e., a red, strawberry-flavored gummy. The soft red and pink hues offer a sort of non-threatening look and feel and ultimately suggests that the product is gentle yet dependable.

Notice how the primary color of soft pink is a fainter hue of the product itself. The subtle hints of black text and the small gold logos (at the rear of the product) connect the supplement to the rest of the branding experience.

Polu

Polu is an Australian-based company that sells reusable coffee cups made out of bamboo. Australia’s coffee culture means it’s responsible for a lot of waste in the form of single-use paper cups — a problem that Polu wanted to solve.

polu-1

Polu developed a unique, durable and sustainably-sourced, bamboo-based product that allows consumers to reuse the coffee cup over and over. Plus, the coffee cups are available in a wide range of color options, thus creating a need for packaging that complemented all colors — without going off-brand.

What’s to love about the packaging?

The brand gleaned inspiration from the Hawaiian ‘Ū’ character and used that horizontal line to break the packaging’s design literally in half. The use of negative space and attractive blend of white ink on natural kraft makes the packaging pop without watering down from the cup’s unique look and feel. And again, the packaging and brand experience all tie back to the mission statement of the company.

polu-2

Stay Cold

Stay Cold is a clothing brand that definitively knows its target market: i.e., tattoo culture. Stay Cold’s apparel and branding pays homage to the thick lines, bold colors and definitive look and feel of traditional flash, so subtle branding was never an option.

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What’s to love about the packaging?

The striking use of the color black harkens back to tattoo culture and makes a bold statement on the packaging. And all imagery, from goats to skulls and roses, tie back to the various thematic range of clothing designs. 

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For Stay Cold, user-generated content plays a significant role in their organic marketing, hence why the inside of their box has an Ikea-like instruction manual for customers to create and share content around their new Stay Cold purchase.

Raylo

Raylo has a unique business model. Rather than telling folks to buy a brand new phone, users buy a SIM-free phone from Raylo for 12 or 24 months. At the end of the term, users send the phone back for a free upgrade, and the old phone is given to families or individuals in low-income communities so that they can still be digitally connected. 

So, environmental good is done by keeping phones out of the landfill, and social good is done by helping out those that can’t always afford simple conveniences. 

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Due to the unique business model, Raylo also had a unique hurdle to overcome: the organization sells Apple and Samsung products, meaning customers are bound to associate Apple or Samsung’s branding with Raylo. To ensure customers would remember Raylo (as opposed to Apple or Samsung) and associate Raylo with the cause, they needed a unique and memorable brand experience. 

What’s to love about the packaging?

Raylo initially used a standard-sized mailer box to deliver all products but soon found it used too many materials that contradicted its environmental mission. Raylo then worked with a packaging engineer and designed packaging from scratch, specifically for their set of items that are sent together. 

So in turn, the packaging provides a unique brand experience and reflects the company mission.

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The result is stunning and visually very captivating. Furthermore, by using value-engineered packaging, Raylo decreased packaging costs by 11% and lowered packaging weight by an impressive 20%. 

Monday’s Child

Monday’s Child is a London brand that specializes in creating beautiful, heirloom-quality pieces for young girls. Monday’s Child pride itself on crafting timeless dresses that feel special and are made to last. 

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To that end, Monday’s Child wanted to connect the dress’s special memory with that of children’s playfulness through its packaging.

What’s to love about the packaging?

Monday’s Child has used innovative packaging design to turn their mailer boxes into a doll house for their customers — well, rather, the children of customers.

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Monday’s Child brand knows the importance of imagination and bridges the gap between the feeling of wearing a “special dress” and creativity. 

Brahmaki

Brahmaki is a Swedish brand that sells exclusive, handmade kaftans. A quick look at the homepage and you can get a feel of what the brand stands for: i.e., simplicity and serenity.

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Looking at the brand’s lifestyle shots and it’s easy to extrapolate colors, moods and overall experiential brand goals.

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What’s to love about the packaging?

While the kaftans themselves are breezy and unique, yet ethereal and simple, the mailer box is equally as symbolic and carries the brand experience over onto the in-person experience.

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You’ll notice that at the front and center of the box is the logo, name and slogan of the company, whereas the side panels (with the vibrant and bold pattern) push your focus back to the logo and the kaftan presentation. Again, there’s no lack of continuity between the branding and the product itself, providing a consistent experience regardless of whether the customer is opening a box or shopping online.

The pinnacle of brand experience

Connecting the brand experience with the creative process and packaging design can be tough! The ideation process either flows like water or feels like getting blood from a stone. Regardless of which of those euphemisms you regularly experience, one thing is crucial — creating a consistent and unique packaging design experience empowers your brand to create more memorable customer experiences, therefore adding value to your brand overall.

So you’re wondering how to how to design a brochure that will impress. Dealing in the medium of brochures is a tricky thing, because they’re all just one step away from the garbage. But don’t worry, this post will show you how to make a great-looking brochure that’s not destined for the recycling bin. You’ll learn how to master the 2 most important components of brochure design: the copy and the photos.

For a brochure to be a success, your copy and images should be an integral part of the design, not just an addition. The finished product should also be consistent with your brand. Let’s jump in.

Brochures are a powerful sales tool and have been around for decades.  Today, anyone can make their own.  But what is a brochure, really?  Let’s review standard layouts, sizes, folding options, and suggested brochure content. 

What is a brochure?

A brochure is a folded document that presents information in a segmented, easy-to-digest way.  Brochures are similar to other printed documents, but with key differences. Like pamphlets, they are informational, but brochures are designed to advertise a particular brand, product or service.  Unlike flyers and posters, brochures are folded into sections, so they can retain their size but present more information.

In previous decades, making a brochure was far more complicated, requiring long lead time and cross-departmental cooperation to bring together photography, hand-drawn elements, and typography. A design would go through several physical drafts before the final version was painstakingly created. Changes weren’t easy to implement, either. Today, one person can create a brochure from scratch using modern design software, and the brochure can easily be tweaked and edited to perfection.

When to use a brochure

It’s not uncommon to wonder when it’s appropriate to use a brochure rather than another format, like a flyer. The answer lies in the **buyer’s journey**. Flyers are great for attracting attention, building awareness, and sharing a short message. But brochures are far more effective down the road, when a prospect is gathering the information needed to make a wise purchasing decision. Brochures provide more information about a company, its products and its services, at a deeper level than a flyer can. For that reason, they’ve remained an essential marketing tool for many companies and organizations. Here are 12 excellent examples of when to use a brochure. There are many, many more, but these will give you an idea of the possibilities. +

Direct marketing — Brochures can easily be included in a marketing campaign like direct mail.

Financial — Banks can provide brochures in the lobby to explain their account options, loans, and other money-related services.

Food service — Restaurants can create catering and to-go brochures that patrons save for later. The best ones will include a full or simplified menu, along with contact information.

Healthcare — Doctors and hospitals can introduce themselves to a new community with a brochure explaining their services. Brochures are also handy for patient education on a variety of illnesses and other health concerns.

Marketing — Marketers can hand out brochures to interested visitors at trade shows and expos.

Offices — Offices with heavy foot traffic can provide brochures about their services in the waiting room. Visitors can read them while they’re waiting, and the staff won’t have to spend as much time explaining their services to each person.

Personal care — Spas and salons can use brochures to list all of the different services they provide, as well as their prices.

Politics — Politicians can use brochures to inform voters about their platforms and stances on important community issues.

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.

Retail — Stores with heavy foot traffic can provide brochures at the front of the store. A brochure of popular product highlights is far less expensive to produce than an entire printed catalog.

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

Travel — Airlines and travel agencies can use brochures to advertise exotic destinations and affordable vacation packages.

Standard brochure sizes

brochure sizes

5.5″ x 8.5″  Often called a half-fold, bi-fold, or statement. This layout is created by folding an 11″ by 17″ sheet neatly in half, so that it opens and closes like a book. Commonly used for menus and event programs. If you fold it in half again, you can create a quarter fold brochure with 8 miniature panels.

8.5″ x 11″  You’ve likely seen many brochures of this size, since businesses often use them as sales and marketing pieces. This is the most popular size because it can be folded into several useful configurations that fit easily in an envelope. A tri-fold creates 6 long panels, and we’ll discuss the different tri-fold layouts in the next section.

8.5″ x 14″  Slightly larger than its predecessor, this size also makes for great tri-fold brochures. More space means more folding options, such as double gate or parallel folds. In fact, a double parallel fold creates a slender brochure that has become a staple in tourist information racks.

11″ x 17″  Larger brochure sizes are most helpful as visual aids. This size is often used for amusement parks or other tourist attractions, because there’s enough room for a map. It’s a great size for showcasing travel destinations as well.

11″ x 25.5″ The largest standard brochure size. What it lacks in portability, it makes up for with visual impact. Brands who depend on gorgeous, detailed photography benefit from the extra space. For example, real estate agents can show off their properties with full-color photos of a house and its rooms.

Custom  If you’re hoping to make something unique, you can always talk to your printing partner about custom sizes. Just be prepared to discuss pricing, because custom printing will be more expensive than sticking to the standard. For some creative inspiration, check out this Pinterest board of unique brochure designs.

Bi-fold

The simplest brochure layout is a bi-fold, where a single sheet of paper is folded in half. This results in 4 consecutive panels that can be read from left to right like a magazine. The vertical layout is more popular, but a bi-fold can be oriented horizontally, too.

bi-fold brochure

Tri-fold

The most popular layout is the tri-fold, a single sheet of paper folded into thirds. Tri-folds are versatile, giving you multiple folding options. Even though they each contain 6 panels, how you fold the paper will determine which panels end up where. 

Z-fold

French fol

A French fold is created by folding a sheet of paper vertically and then horizontally. This separates the paper into quarters, resulting in 8 panels overall. With a French fold, your brochure is small and portable, but it expands to the size of a flyer or poster. If you want to present a large design across multiple panels, this fold can be very effective.

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Gate fold 

Sometimes called a window fold. Though this is technically a tri-fold, it does not result in 6 equal-sized panels. Instead, the right and left sides of the paper fold in to meet in the middle. This makes the center panel twice as large, creating more space for visual design inside the brochure.

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Double gate fold 

To make a double gate fold, follow the steps above to create a gate fold brochure. Then fold it in half again, vertically. This creates a central fold down the center panel, resulting in a slender brochure that can fit more easily into envelopes and other narrow spaces.

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Double parallel fold

A double parallel fold requires two vertical folds. Take a sheet of paper and fold it in half, then fold it in half again. That way, half of the sheet is nested within the other. In the end, you’ll have 8 panels. Depending on the size of the paper, the resulting brochure might be narrower than a typical tri-fold, or it could be roughly similar in size but with the addition of 2 panels.

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Spiral fold

Lastly, our standard set concludes with the spiral fold. It’s similar to a C-fold, but with more panels—typically 8 in total. The spiral effect is achieved by folding each panel inward so that they nest inside one another. Because of this, the inner panels should be slightly smaller than the outer panels, so that the brochure lays flat when folded.

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Designing for your fold

If you’ve chosen a layout but are unsure how to design it, try folding a blank sheet of paper and numbering each panel. That will make it easier for you to keep track of where each panel goes while you’re designing onscreen. It’s a handy reference tool!

Templates

Templates are the brochure maker’s best-kept secret.  It doesn’t make sense to start from scratch every time you need to create a new brochure, especially when many software tools provide free brochure templates designed by professionals.  If you have no idea what you want your brochure to look like, templates can provide inspiration and samples to work with.  If you already have a vision, the right template can save you loads of time.  For examples, take a look at our gallery of free brochure templates.

Essential brochure elements

Because brochures are most often used in advertising, it’s important to consider what your brochure should inspire the audience to do.  Like many marketing materials, a good brochure will be visually interesting, tell an engaging story, and prompt the reader to take a certain action—like purchasing a vacation package, for example. 

When you layout your brochure, make sure the following elements are well represented. 

1. An alluring cover

This is the first (or only!) chance your brochure has to give a strong impression, so make it count.  The cover is a promise, so it should reflect what’s inside.  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. 

2. A compelling offer 

Details aside, what you’re really providing with a brochure is opportunity.  It shows the reader a whole new world of possibilities to improve their life.  No matter what your product or service is, whether it’s catering plans for a wedding or security alarm systems for an office building, your brochure needs to offer just enough to make readers want to know more. 

3. Valuable information 

Brochures offer limited space to communicate your message, so prioritizing which information to include is critical.  Dedicate space to the features and (more importantly) benefits of your offering, and consider other details like prices, dates and times, if applicable.  The best rules of copywriting apply here:  be clear, be concise, and tell a good story that makes your reader the hero. 

4. 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 provide the next step.  A strong call to action will prompt the reader to call, visit, or connect with you in some way, so that the relationship can proceed further.  Sometimes this means making a purchase, but not always, so think about what you want your audience to do after reading your brochure—and direct them accordingly. 

5. Detailed contact information 

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.  Don’t make them search for ways to get in touch with you.  Make it easy by putting your name, phone number, email/web address, and physical location on the back.  Some companies even put a simplified map to help people find them.  That might be a little old-fashioned in the age of GPS, so you could include an interactive QR code or other helpful tidbit instead. 

Other ideas to consider

The 5 elements listed up there?  Those are the basics.  If you really want to knock it out of the park, here are some tried-and-true brochure sections that you might not have considered before. 

Answers to FAQ 

It’s likely that your readers share similar concerns, resulting in frequently asked questions.  Save time and overcome objections early by including a FAQ section in your brochure.  Don’t dive too deep; a brochure should be brief and present your brand in its best light.  But for concerns that can be quickly and easily resolved, a helpful FAQ section is worth its weight in gold. 

How-to guides

Knowledge is power, which is why information is valuable.  Sharing helpful information with your audience builds trust, and a how-to guide is a great example.  Empower readers to spot or solve a problem on their own by breaking down the process, step by step.  It could be instructions on how to test your product, but it doesn’t have to be. 

For example, if you’re a pest control company, you could offer tips on how to identify the presence of certain insects or rodents.  If you’re a photographer, you could include tips on how to dress for an outdoor photo session.  Take a few moments to brainstorm about your brand, and an idea will likely present itself. 

Testimonials

No one can speak to how your brand improves lives the way your customers can.  They know because they’ve experienced it firsthand in a way you cannot.  That’s why we, as consumers, trust friends, family, and online reviews more than any slick sales proposal.  Including testimonials in your brochure adds a layer of humanity and credibility that can reassure your readers that they’re making the right choice. 

How to make a brochure

Here are the basic steps involved in creating a brochure. If you’re ready to learn more, we have a longer, detailed article that covers each step in depth. Visit our guide on how to make a brochure to learn more.

  1. Consider your layout / size. Before you can start designing, you have to decide how big or small you want your brochure to be, as well as how it should be folded. 
  2. Write compelling copy. Brochures don’t offer a lot of space, so each word should be purposeful. Make your message consistent, easy to read and easy to understand.
  3. Provide visual interest. Illustrate your message with visual elements, including high quality photos, that make your brochure more interesting to the reader.
  4. Choose your colors. Color is closely tied to emotion. Using colors effectively in your brochure will enhance your message and emphasize specific points. 
  5. Test-run the print version. Before you print (or order) hundreds of copies, it’s critical to test-run it first. Verify that the finished product meets your expectations.

Want to design beautiful brochures online?  Lucidpress makes it easy.  With our intuitive drag-and-drop online brochure maker, you can select a template and customize it with fonts, colors, shapes, images and more.  It only takes minutes to create a high quality brochure that you’ll be proud to print and share. 

The copy

Words. We throw them around every day, but how often do you carefully consider what you’re saying? When it comes to brochures, word choice is paramount. Remember that your objective is to entertain, persuade, and inform. Here’s how you do it:

1. Check your grammar and spelling

Read your work twice, then have someone else look it over. A misspelling or grammatical mistake can slay your professionalism and doom your brochure to the open jaws of the trash can.

2. Make evergreen content

You don’t want to create a quality brochure only to make a new one next year because the content is out of date. In copywriting, a principal objective is to make sure your content is evergreen. This means that your content will (theoretically) always be relevant. So, you might want to avoid including references to upcoming holidays or this year’s Super Bowl winners.

3. Be international

Your copy will potentially be read by people from many countries and cultures. Every culture has idioms and colloquial expressions that may not transfer well. For example, if you talk about killing two birds with one stone to someone who speaks English as a second language, they might call the animal cruelty hotline.

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Of course, using colloquial or idiomatic language can humanize your brand and keep things lighthearted. It becomes a problem when you use so much culture-specific language that your writing is unintelligible to someone who has a different background. Knowing your audience will help you strike the right tone.

4. Know your brand and stick to it

Every line you write should align with the larger brand experience of your organization. This creates a consistent experience for your customers—and helps potential customers know what to expect. Just like we speak differently in different social settings, the copy in your brochure should adjust to your brand.

Yelp’s Eat24, an online food delivery service, has settled nicely into a brand that really works for them. The tone is playful and lighthearted; for an example, check out this messaging from the Eat24 website:

how to design a brochure

This copy is clever and it also matches the overall feel of Eat24’s site. The humorous, slightly sarcastic branding of Eat24 could work for your brand, but you also might need to take a different approach. Imagine if you saw an ad from your bank that said, “We’ll watch your money for you. Probably.” Customers would be confused and concerned, so again, know what’s acceptable to your audience.

For more examples of standout copy, check out this post from Hubspot’s marketing blog.

The photos

Just like your copy, the photographs in your brochure send a message. You’ll want to make sure that message is professional and interesting. Before we get any further, I think I need to make one thing very clear:

Beware of stock photography.

Millions of Americans struggle with stock photography every year. You know it when you see it—models with unnatural facial expressions, dressed in stereotypical clothing, all bathed in lighting that even a moth wouldn’t fly toward.

Just thinking about it makes me shutter (get it?), and I don’t want you to feel the same pain. Luckily, there are alternatives. What follows is a list of my favorite sites for free images that aren’t awful (in no particular order).

1. Unsplash

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I find myself visiting this site most often. I think the images are gorgeous, and they’re always very high quality. All the images are free, and no attribution is necessary. It’s a pretty great deal, and you also don’t have to sign up for anything to download the image.

2. Pixabay

how to design a brochure

Pixabay has a ton of images on their site, and, like Unsplash, there is no attribution required. There is a pretty diverse range of photos on Pixabay, though the quality does vary. You can find some great stuff though!

3. Stocksnap.io

how to design a brochure

Again, no attribution required here, and there’s a great selection of high-quality images. Many of the images are comparable to Unsplash, and sometimes the two overlap a bit. Stocksnap.io has definitely come in handy for me.

4. Flickr

how to design a brochure

Flickr has a lot of great stuff, you just have to be aware that not all of it is free for commercial use. You can filter your searches to only include photos that are open to commercial use and modifications, and you’ll usually have to credit the image to the original creator and link back to the source, just as I did on the photo above.

There are a few more options out there, but those are a good place to start. Fantastic photos will draw your brochure readers in and stay their trash-tossing hand.

Ready to get started? Choose one of our free brochure templates and dive in!

Creating content without a cohesive content strategy makes it harder to focus your efforts and find success, but there are a host of content creation tools at your disposal to help you plan, research and even create your content. Check them out below.

Content creation tools for visual content

1. Lucidpress

Lucidpress homepage screenshot

A stellar solution for any organization, Lucidpress offers a slew of options for creating your own content. From brand templating to banner ads, Lucidpress is easy to use and laden with user-friendly features. Lucidpress also offers team management of assets, real-time collaboration and tool integration.

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2. Venngage

Venngage homepage screenshot

Venngage is content creator software filled with hundreds of unique templates you can choose from to visually tell a story. Pick a template, add charts, text and visuals, and then customize your new infographic with colors and fonts to make it your own.

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3. Stencil

Stencil homepage screenshot

Stencil is a wonderful option for easily creating compelling ads, social media graphics, impressive blog headers and more. Its graphic design tool is user-friendly for anyone, whether you’re a social media marketer, business owner or blogger. All paid plans even come with a 7-day money-back guarantee.

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4. Creatopy

Creatopy homepage screenshot

Bring your designs to life with Creatopy (formerly known as Bannersnack). Transform stagnant content into designs that move with Creatopy’s video editing tool. Creatopy delivers templates based on your industry, expert guidance, timely resources and more all in one graphic design platform.

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5. Visme

Visme homepage screenshot

Need help with your visual content? Visme offers an extensive library of templates, objects, icons and so much more to choose from. You can build infographics, ad banners, reports, charts and social media visuals while also creating interactive assets.

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6. Ceros

Ceros homepage screenshot

Ceros allows anyone in design or content marketing to create immersive content without having to write a single line of code. With Ceros, you can transform your emails, documents, and even Snapchat quizzes.

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7. Foleon

Foleon homepage screenshot

Content creation software meant for driving engagement across multiple devices, Foleon helps customer-facing teams to create on-brand, high-performing content at scale. Foleon provides access to customizable templates, role setting and theme controls for everyone in your organization.

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Content creation tools for copy

8. WordPress

WordPress homepage screenshot

Blogger or not, coder or not, WordPress is a solid option for creating copy. This user-friendly platform allows just about anyone on your team to build, post and share blog content.

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9. Socialbakers

Socialbakers homepage screenshot

If you need inspiration for the right content to create, check out Socialbakers. This content ideas tool helps you tap into the best performing content across social media platforms and lets you curate your own, knowing it’s going to work.

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10. Scoop.it

Scoop.it homepage screenshot

Scoop.it gives you the ability to curate content from a range of third-party sources, all selected and editorialized for you. Create and share the content you want in a range of different ways, whether internally or on your social media.

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Google Trends homepage screenshot

Google Trends analyzes the popularity of search terms across timeframes, regions and languages. It sounds technical, but it’s a truly useful tool that will help you create highly sought-after content without doing too much work behind the scenes.

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12. Hemingway Editor

Hemingway Editor homepage screenshot

Email requires short and concise copy, which can sometimes be hard to create. With Hemingway Editor, you can make your copy more readable and quickly shorten sentences. Run your written copy through the web app and you’ll see the opportunities to make it better for your readers in seconds.

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Content creation tools for email

13. Lucidpress

Lucidpress homepage screenshot

Not just for creating visual content, Lucidpress is a great solution for email. Access our library of 1,000+ free templates to help grow your brand no matter what industry you’re in. You’ll never see a stretched logo or off-brand content again.

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14. Movable Ink

Movable Ink homepage screenshot

Movable Ink is designed to provide unique visual experiences based on a user’s individual preferences. It lets you target your audience based on their location, weather, time and even device.

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15. GetResponse

GetResponse homepage screenshot

In our list of email content tools, this one is pretty cool. GetResponse gives you the tools needed to build powerful emails that look stunning on tablets, mobile devices, laptops or desktop computers.

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Content creation tools for video and audio

16. Animoto

Animoto homepage screenshot

Start creating and sharing your own videos with Animoto’s easy drag-and-drop video maker. Pick from one of the video templates, fill it with stock images and music, and make it all your own with Animoto’s customization tools.

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17. StreamYard

StreamYard homepage screenshot

StreamYard is a live streaming studio in your very own browser. You can share your screen; interview guests; stream directly to YouTube, LinkedIn or Facebook, and so much more.

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18. Biteable

Biteable homepage screenshot

Used by Airbus, Virgin and Panasonic, Biteable is a great option out of the wide array of content creation tools. Biteable has a ton of templates that let you create powerful videos with a professional air.

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19. WebinarNinja

WebinarNinja homepage screenshot

Famous for its simplicity, WebinarNinja is the perfect one-stop content creation tool if you want to launch your own webinar. It has an extensive template library that will help you create professional-looking sign-up pages without needing a developer or a designer.

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20. Zoom

Zoom homepage screenshot

Zoom comes with a cost-effective price tag, so you can not only host webinars but also customize and brand your registration forms and emails.

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21. Renderforest

Renderforest homepage screenshot

Renderforest is a cloud-based branding tool that allows users to create video, infographic animations, slideshows and music visualizations. Even better, you get access to Renderforest designers who can help you build your own website or create a logo.

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22. Audacity

Audacity homepage screenshot