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Andy Shore

Ask a Benchmark Email Designer: What Makes Great Web Design?

Apr 18 2012, 02:05 PM by

This week I decided to turn my focus to design. The best content can be lost in a poorly designed email campaign. Unfortunately, not everyone is an expert graphic designer or HTML coder. Luckily, there are some things that anyone can keep in mind that don’t require the use of Photoshop or coding HTML. We have an awesome and talented design team at Benchmark Email HQ to do all that for us. For you, they’re here with some design tips that don’t require any prior design knowledge whatsoever. I asked each of them for a design tip that anyone could abide by. Here are their responses.

TJ Taylor (Lead Designer): Use balance and repetition between colors, objects and text. If everything is balanced and there is nice repetition, it is hard to have a bad design. Pinterest is an example. Lots of repetition and balance.

Kristen Pon (Designer): Design for positive and negative space. (Editor’s note: For those of you who don’t know what negative space is, it’s the white space on a page. For example, it’s the arrow created between the E and the x in the FedEx Logo. For those of you just realizing that now, you’ll never un-see it. Welcome to the party.) People only think about positive space. You can use the negative space to your advantage. It brings focus and a clean look, not cluttered. It allows the viewer to focus on what’s important.

Claude Strilio (AV Education Officer): Don’t use Photospin! You can turn up some terrible (albeit hilarious) and sometimes inappropriate photos from honest searches. Plus, you don’t want to find the same photo you used on your competitor’s website as well. Use real people whenever possible. It will make it more authentic.

Eric Tordesillas (Designer): (Editor’s second note: In case you weren’t convinced our designers go above and beyond, Eric came back with four great tips when I asked him for one.)
  1. Regarding composition, elements don't need to be huge in order to be important. Subtlety can go a long way.
  2. Understand hierarchy. Make a list of the elements in your composition, and rank them according to importance. If you design according to the list, your audience will know right away what you're trying to say.
  3. Lay out a design with a focal point in mind and design around that focal point.
  4. Don't be afraid to commit to personality. Often, I see people trying to remain neutral and the design suffers because of that.

Posted in Tips & Resources, Email Design & Templates

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