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Design it Yourself Logos, Letterhead, & Business Cards

The Non-Designer's Step-by-Step Guide

About.com Rating 5 Star Rating


Design It Yourself cover
Professionally designed printed stationery packages are crucial to making a good first impression. For many small businesses, professional design is out of reach. Chuck Green comes to your rescue.

This review is an older edition of this book. You may find it online or in used bookstores. It's still a good read. Other similar titles by the same author:

  • Design It Yourself Graphic Workshop: The Step-by-Step Guide (compare prices)
  • Design It Yourself Newsletters: A Step-by-Step Guide (compare prices)

Step-by-Step Guide

Chuck's approach in this book is to present you with both a finished product for inspiration and with instructions on how to recreate each look and adapt each design to your own needs. Subtitled "The Non-Designer's Step-by-Step Guide," I have no problem recommending it to those who also make a living as designers. Seeing another designer's approach to the entire process is valuable to developing and improving our own skills.

Breaks Down the Design Process

Do it Yourself

Page from Do it Yourself Logos, Letterhead, and Business Cards

Part 1 of Design it Yourself breaks the design process down into easy to read and absorb chunks. You'll find 15 steps to designing your own logos, laying out letterhead, business cards, and envelopes along with tips, illustrations, and checklists.In her own review of Do it Yourself Logos, Letterhead, & Business Cards, our Graphic Design Guide observes "There aren't that many books on the market that really explain the logo design process, but this one does." I concur. One of my favorite parts (especially evident in Part 2) is how he breaks down each logo into its individual components and shows how the parts come together into the final design. Along with the design process, the book helps demystify the process of getting your creations professionally printed.

Recipes for Successful Identity Design

The second part of Design it Yourself Logos, Letterhead, & Business Cards presents a fabulous 25 styles or "Design Recipes" which you can use as-is or borrow elements and ideas from to help you design your complete identity system. Each recipe highlights a different design element such as bleeds, circles, outlines, or vertical bars. The business cards, envelopes, and letterhead are shown at nearly full size with rulers indicating actual dimension. There is a list of typefaces, sources for graphic elements, list of colors (whether spot or process) for each design. A "What You Need" paragraph with many of the steps and styles suggests the appropriate types of software needed for some elements of each design; however, no specific software is needed to enjoy or benefit from the lessons and ideas presented here.

Recommended Reading

Do it Yourself

Page from Do it Yourself Logos, Letterhead, and Business Cards

I recommend Design it Yourself Logos, Letterheads, & Business Cards by Chuck Green for small business owners and other non-designers tasked with creating an identity system for their business or organization. For designers, it is also a valuable addition to your own design reference library.
Disclosure: A review copy was provided by the publisher. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.

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