As a graphic design artist, I love creating my own special designs and photos for my kids, but I also appreciate using some easy online photo sites. By utilizing these tools, great photos can be designed in minutes with impressive results. If you can navigate your sponsor account to write emails and upload photos, then I can guarantee that you can use these tips to design extraordinary photos for your emails.
Here are some simple tips for creating fabulous designs for your emails. I sponsor with both Compassion International and World Vision, so I’m familiar with their email templates, and love using this option, but if you sponsor with another organization that gives you an online tool, you can easily adapt my ideas to your format. These organizations offer email template forms to choose from, but after a number of emails to your child, you may be wondering how to make them look different. I’ve found the easiest way is to add creative designs to the photos that I want to use.
The easiest method is adding a predesigned frame to your picture from a site like Loonapix. I totally appreciate the efforts of other graphic designers in making all of these. Just choose one design, and voilá! There it is! They have tons to choose from, and I have found many that work with my photos and email templates. You can find great seasonal frames, and make sure to check out the “travel” and “other” sectionals as well for some great frames. There are even some fun cartoon frames in the kids’ section that your kids might enjoy, such as this Mickey Mouse design, or the Cinderella princess, or Cars…
World Vision Emails
World Vision only has a few simple border designs available for the emails, so I generally choose to make my emails without one of their borders, and instead add photos with fun or beautiful designs. Here is one of my favorite photo frames, the white tiger design in a setting that looks like the Pacific Northwest where I live, minus the white tiger, of course…
See how the plain white basic letter was instantly made into a letter with great visual interest?! I found also that if you stick to using only one photo per page, the photo will be larger, which looks much better for creating a design of interest. Now you have an open door to endless possibilities for creating interesting email designs, rather than being limited to the handful of template choices that are offered.
Now for my Compassion emails, with a little bit of planning, I can come up with some really great variations for their wonderful email templates. Compassion offers quite a number of different choices already, some of them which are quite nice, but even so, after a number of email letters to my kids using the same templates over and over, I’m ready for some variety.
Tip #1 ~ Coordinate Your Photo Design with the Email Template
There are a few basic things to keep in mind when planning photos for Compassion emails. First of all, choose a photo design that coordinates with one of the templates. Fortunately there are a few templates which work quite well, and I can make some of the others work for me. The blue linen template will obviously go with many different designs, such as with this seashell design, but let me show you how to coordinate with some of the other designs.
For example, picking up on the blues and greens, I used the blue birthday present template with this tropical scene, and this letter doesn’t have to be anything about birthdays. I can write about how their recent letter was a very special gift for me. :o) The letter now can be about celebration… celebrating an achievement of your child, or just celebrating him or her! This template can work for a lot of different photo frame designs in blues and greens, such as this fun tropical fish design.
Or if you do want a birthday themed letter, but want something different, here is a fun party photo frame to use with the birthday presents templates, though I’ve also used this frame for a celebration theme letter that had nothing to do with birthdays. I love the way the stripes and circles, pinks and greens all coordinate. It’s like this template was designed for this photo frame!
Coordinate the photo design with the colors of the template, such as the blues, greens, and yellows of this dolphin photo frame. This makes such a fun looking letter, and with the dolphins and fish of the photo, the very young juvenile template design was upgraded for something that can be used for other age groups, because now the focus is on the dolphin photo frame, and the alligator/zebra design becomes an accent.
Here is another simple favorite, coordinating the yellow dandelions with the yellow daisies in the photo frame, along with all the delightful little white daisies in the grass of the original photo. This also shows adding in another photo to coordinate with the decorated one.I’ve used this dragonfly template quite a bit, and it’s one of my favorites. Here I can coordinate it with a rather dynamic “on the lake” photo frame, which creates an emphasis on the action of the photo rather than my face. This photo design can work great with outdoor photos with lots of greens and blues, such as when at a lake, by trees, or just sitting on your lawn.Or I could use my same photo in the pink Paris photo frame with the sweet spring birds template (another favorite!)
Follow Trusty this way for more easy (but important) tips on designing your emails…