Need urgent help with a design, please


New Member
Hi there all

I am not a trained designer, but I work for a registered charity that has a teensy weensy marketing budget, so I end up having to do most things.

Our department uses a template for most of our marketing mailers (cost reasons). Our current design has been heavily influenced by the previous year's (which was designed by someone else) and now we are worried that it is too similar. We print the course name (quite large) on the front and where the block is we put the booking form. The course information goes on the other side and the whole thing is then folded to A5.

Also, we have chosen three images that I am now worried about. The idea was - we are a training company that trains book publishers in various things like editing and also digital courses. The images are a www icon, a stack of books and a quill - we wanted bright colours. But I have seen a similar idea on someone's website (oh, I'll be using the images for the templates and the website) and I am worried that the idea is not fresh enough.

I also would love some input on the design itself. We have moved things around all over the place and it is driving me nuts now. This is urgent as we have used up all our templates and now need to order more.


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That's a teeny tiny jpg!

I understand that you're worried about your design being a little similar to the last one but that's one of the simplest ways to build on a brand.

I'd be tempted to knock the gradient off. It doesn't do your logo any favours having it isolated in a white box. By killing the gradient you'll be able to remove the boxes around your three images, giving them room to breathe. They'll immediately stand out. If you do knock the gradient off, put the web address in blue as the yellow won't be very readable.

Try using an image library like istock for some nice, cheap stock photography. Maybe instead of having three small images vertically, why not use three stock photos in a horizontal block towards the bottom third of the page? Quick tip though, if you are buying stock photos to use in print, make sure you go for larger images over 300dpi.
Sorry, I didn't want to load a too big file.

Thank you so much for the help with this! The three little images are from iStockphoto and I will definitely make sure that I get the large dpi - thanks.

Regarding the gradient - I know that this is something that is a design no-no at the moment. Our previous brochures (which I didn't design) had a gradient and we ordered 1/4 in blue, 1/4 in green, 1/4 purple and 1/4 orange. That allowed us to do a cheap print job and change just one plate on the print to change the look and feel of the brochures. It means that recipients would get something that is at least a little different for their different mailers. (Hope that lot made sense)

Anyway, if I don't use a gradient, what can I do to make the design a little less bland than a logo and three pics? And also give it a bit of variation without making the print job too expensive? Any ideas would be most welcome.

I have thought of putting the three images slightly overlapping in the corner, rather than in a row.