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Should I use a template?
We recommend it, unless you have a lot of experience with desktop publishing. It is easiest to start with a predesigned template, no matter what medium you are designing for. This way you don't waste time reinventing the wheel, and you can also be sure that the end result looks professional.
I like to mix up fonts and colors. Is that OK?
Just like your message should be consistent, as mentioned in the section on copywriting, so should your overall look be. Why? It makes you look professional and like you know what you are doing. So, even if you are a small grassroots group, you will look "bigger" simply by presenting yourselves a certain way.
- Keep your colors consistent. Pick one main color, or perhaps two. You don't need to get into the specifics of "hex" color codes and all that, just somehow note somewhere what those main colors are. Then, whatever you do, stick with those colors. Please note: black and white don't count here, neither does gray.
- Keep your fonts consistent. Pick one main fancy font for headers and such, and one easily legible font for text, maybe another one for the Web. For example, that combination you see at work all over the Shoestring Collective (American Typewriter and Montserrat for all of the infographics and other print materials). Check out the information on Google Fonts (they will provide you with pairing suggestions on their site as well) and our document regarding how to install a font.
We need a logo. Do we need special software for this?
No. Please check out our article on how to design a simple (text) logo.
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