Many companies choose to design their own direct mail pieces. Some prefer to save money on the graphic design; others want to be in control of their brand. Whatever the reason, if you’re tackling your own graphic design, we’ve got a few great tools, fonts and tricks you can download and use for free!
Nifty Free Tools and Software
One of the most expensive parts of graphic design is usually the software, but there’s good news if you’re on a budget! Here’s a short list of some of the best free tools available:
- This free graphic design software is without a doubt the best free graphic design software out there. There’s a bit of a learning curve involved, but fans and users of Photoshop and CorelDRAW will soon feel right at home.
- If you need a free photo-editing package, you can’t go wrong with Gimp Shop. It’s been the leading free alternative for years and shows no signs of going anywhere.
- Need free stock photos? Pixabay offers a great selection of images that are free for commercial use. Wikimedia can also reveal some gems, although you do need to make doubly sure about licensing on that site.
- If you need help with layouts, Brother.com has some great templates in their creative center. Even if you don’t use the template, you can pick up some great ideas.
Finding Free Fonts
If you’re doing your own design, there’s a good chance you’re going to look at the selection of native fonts in your office package and find it lacking. Everyone does at some point.
Fortunately, there are loads of great, free ways to get the perfect font. Here are a few ideas:
- If you need something specific or you know the name of the font you want to use, you can simply type it into your search engine. You’ll be able to choose from several places to download the file, and then it’s just a matter of installing it.
- If you want a particular look and feel to a graphic text element, the website CoolText.com is a great place to generate a unique style for free! There are tons of styles to choose from, and you can download the results for use in direct mail graphic design.
Direct Mail Design Tips
Finally, if you are taking a DIY approach to graphic design, there are a few tips you can use to create better pieces:
- Make your message the focus. The words, your offer and the copy on your mailer are more important than the design.
- Be sure copy is easy to read, clear and has good contrast with any backgrounds or images.
- Remember: plain and even “ugly” direct mail pieces sometimes do better. The reason? People have simply become so immune to well-designed mail that they don’t even notice it. If yours stands out for being garish, it may be jarring enough to get the message across.
- Follow the K.I.S.S. principle. Keep It Simple, Sunshine. Don’t try to design a catalog when a postcard will do the trick!
Hopefully these tips and resources will help you master the graphic design of your next direct mail campaign – but if you do need help, we’re always happy to oblige.