Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking around how to to raise the bar for email creative on a macro scale. What would it take to see the majority of emails where the design was intentionally designed to perform in this specific medium/channel?
If you already make a habit/living of designing emails, this is not for you. If you have to design emails yourself AND/OR you design for other media but have yet to do an email design, this might be for you. I could certainly add more dialogue to accompany each of these points, but I think they’re pretty self-explanatory.
1. Use Photoshop (Not InDesign, Illustrator or Microsoft Word)
2. Set the Canvas size to 600 pixels wide
3. Set the resolution to 72 dpi
4. Use these fonts for body copy
5. Design on a grid
6. Leave white space
7. Avoid using gradients
8. Include one rectangle button that draws your attention
Mastery of these basics will not only make your HTML developers happy, it’ll also prepare you for the slightly-more esoteric/advanced conversations around personalization, dynamic content, mobile optimization, etc.
Did I miss anything? Let me know!
(Title of this post is a tribute to Robin Williams’ series of Design books for Non-Designers. When I first cut my teeth on QuarkXpress and Photoshop almost a decade ago, her books helped me immensely.)