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  • March 31, 2011

From Print to Email

From: American Eagle Outfitters

Subject Line: Over The Top! Last Chance - 25% Off AE Tanks, T's & Shirts.

Date: Wednesday, March 9th, 2011

From: Kate Spade

Subject Line: deborah loves...

Date: Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

From: FreePeople.com

Subject Line: Which Girl are You?

Date: Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

As a formally trained and experienced print designer, jumping into email has been an interesting transition. I had to lose the xacto knife, file away my paper samples, and change my Photoshop unit preferences to pixels. *Sniff*

The thought of designing in tables while background images didn't show up sounded terrifying to me. And with there being less email-safe fonts than there are web-safe fonts, I wondered how I would make anything look good. Fortunately, it proved to not be so bad. Just because I was designing for email, didn't mean it had to look like an email. I was able to find a lot of ways to utilize my print skills and expertise when designing for the inbox by keeping the following 4 tips in mind:

1. Design with type.

With limited resources, you can still spruce up your typography but playing with sizes, widths, colors, and placement. Using fancy fonts is also possible, it'll just have to be an image, of course.

2. Invite them in with textures.

Although I no longer have a need for recycled stock or Lettra 120gsm (does anyone else fondle paper like I do?), I can still incorporate those types of textures in a design. If you want to avoid using texture in the background, use textures far enough around text that images along the borders (top, bottom, left, and right) can be sliced. Adding subtle gradients can also add just the right amount of depth.

3. Break that grid.

Just because you're coding in tables doesn't mean it has to look like you're coding in tables. You can easily add zest by breaking out of a grid with what seems like overlapping images. Slightly rotating images are also a way to disguise a table-based design.

4. Lovely photos and colors will go a long way.

Don't forget that visual stimulation can occur in simple ways like stunning photography and a fresh color palette.

Check out the samples below that incorporate great photography, layout, colors, type, and textures. Fellow print designers, be inspired!


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