Printed marketing materials lend credibility to your business, and well-designed brochures, direct mailers and other printed pieces can show off your company’s high standards.
But designing a beautiful print piece from scratch is a lot of work, especially when you’re a busy entrepreneur. Fortunately, templated designs make the process much faster, and they can easily incorporate your logo or other images. These out-of-the-box layouts can be customized to reflect your business and brand. Put them to work with these tips.
Templates exist for almost any type of collateral, from business cards and letterhead to product flyers and posters. Find designs specific to your industry, such as retail or manufacturing, or layouts for special occasions, like grand openings, events and clearance sales. You can also search for styles like whimsical, vintage or modern. You can even filter by the number of images you’d like to include or by horizontal or vertical orientation.
Incorporate your brand elements
The beauty of templates is that you can seamlessly drop in your own logo or images to create a professional look that also showcases your own branding. Your images must be crisp, though — make sure you understand file resolution so every aspect of the final product looks sharp.
Resolution describes the amount of detail in graphic files, which include photos, illustrations, logos and even fancy fonts. In most cases, the higher the resolution, the sharper the graphic or picture will appear in print. Resolution is usually measured in dpi (dots per inch) and ppi (pixels per inch). A general rule is to save graphic files at 300 dpi for most print pieces. Larger items that people will view from farther away, such as banners, can be saved at 150 dpi.
Plan for photos
Photos liven up printed materials — you want to include images of happy customers or beautiful products to show off your business. If you plan to snap pictures on your camera or phone, update your settings to capture the highest-quality images possible. This will help them appear crisply in print.
Google Android phones and some Samsung Galaxy phones let you adjust for image quality through the settings menu. iPhones automatically shoot in high resolution, but if you’ve set the phone to optimize storage, you’ll want to download full-resolution photos from iCloud to use in your pieces. A test run will help you make sure your settings will yield good results.
Customize your design
After you’ve uploaded your logo or other signature images, explore background and accent colors to make sure the template synthetizes with your branding. Make sure you select colors and fonts that match or complement those branding elements. For example, if you have an eye-catching, colorful logo prominently placed on the piece, make the background a muted, complementary color.
Connect with a print and marketing expert to get help with using design templates to streamline your next print project.