So you want to design your own brochure, or sign, or business card, or vehicle wrap.  My first piece of advice is, don’t. Suck it up and hire a graphic designer. Then listen to what they have to say. It may be a pain in the pocketbook right now, but in the long run you’ll be glad you did.

The reality of the situation is you are going to ignore my advice and go ahead and do it yourself. At least this time.

To save you, and whoever you use to turn your design into something tangible, a lot of aggravation I am creating a series of tutorials to lead you through some of the tricks and traps you might encounter.

A few general rules:

  • Don’t use “nephew art” unless your nephew is really a graphic designer or sign maker.
  • I don’t care if your company colors are red and black, don’t use red lettering on a black background or black on red. It may look great on your monitor but it doesn’t work in real life.
  • The colors you see on your monitor and what you’ll get from your printer or sign maker will rarely match.
  • The colors that come out of your home printer will not match what comes from your commercial printer. It probably won’t match what you see on your monitor either.
  • Pretend like you never heard of Microsoft Publisher. Don’t use it for any of these projects. Ever!

There will be more specific rules in each tutorial. It’s my intent to give you the tools you need to create files that your commercial printer and sign maker can use with minimal editing. This saves them time and saves you money.

Remember, the reason you’re doing this yourself is to save the money, so spend the time and effort to do it right.