I have been trying to improve my design skills and one area I have never 'properly' learnt is EDM design.
I know industry standard is to design in Photoshop, is that correct? I have a lot of trouble laying out a design in Photoshop, I find I am quite slow and typography is not as easy to manage in Photoshop as it is in Indesign.
I have also tried a few where I will design in illustrator and drag it across to Photoshop.
What is the best way to do these?... any links to tutorials or advice?
Someone also mentioned that text needs to be 'live' / editable if sending to a digital person or agency who does the coding, is that the case?
Depends what EDM platform you're using. If you're just doing the design then use photoshop. Keep text editable if handing over to a coder.Some platforms you can design, build and test. The key thing is to understand the limitations of EDM.
Thanks Dan, I am trying to fill in some gaps of things I never learnt at uni. Is this something you would normally learn on the job?
I have done an EDM once before, however I made it in Indesign, exported it and saved as a flat .psd file which was then passed onto to someone else to slice up. And that was fine.
Can I design in indesign export as a jpeg or pdf and place into photoshop? or is that completely wrong?
I know some other companies also use mailchimp instead.
I prefer using Indesign to layout but would love to learn this properly. If anyone has links to tutorials? I have even been trying to look up short courses to learn this..
I don't know what they teach in uni's these days. But there's many things you learn on the job. Anything to do with the web, the landscape is constantly changing. **The learning never stops.**
I guess it doesn't matter what tool you use, but i use photoshop since it's pixel based. I don't see any reason to use indesign or illustrator since you wont have the fine type control in the eventual EDM anyway. And if there's huge chunks of text in your design then that's not really a good thing from a UX perspective.
I prefer campaign monitor over chimp. But each has it's own pro's & cons.
Mailchimp and Campaign Monitor are kinda like Dreamweaver for EDMs - it provides a WYSIWYG+ code editor to build email templates (amongst other things).
I find Mailchimp and Campaign monitor useful to setting up quick simple designs using the templates in their systems - I'd recommend registering for a free account with both and having a play around. The benefit to this is you can offer your design within the system your client will use to send the email without needing to get a developer involved.
If you don't plan to get involved in the coding itself, I'd recommend working backwards by finding a dev to partner with first then ask them their preference. That way they can tell you all the other little artwork set up preferences they have at the same time and your work transition will be much smoother.
Campaign monitor has useful design manuals and a great online forum for asking questions. Check it out, you may well get better information there.
I certainly wouldn't recommend going from one design app to another.
I've done a LOT of EDM design, coding and campaign management over the years, and the two main ways to designs EDMs are:
1) Photoshop, create a design with enough knowledge of what you can and cannot do in HTML emails, it's not the same as coding for web (ie. no background images).
2) Start with a pre-built HTML template from the service you're using (Campaign Monitor, Mailchimp) and "design"/customise with css/html as you go. More for when it's internal and you don't need to have the "design stage" before starting coding.
::Can I ask everyone how you learn all of this when you first started out?::
Read a LOT. Then do a LOT of work. EDM's are not that hard. Just keep it simple.
::I feel like I almost need to take another course after already having gone through university.::
Your education doesn't stop once you leave uni. You either decide to specialise in one area or be a jack of all learning as much as you can.
Thanks all, I am trying to improve my skills I am just finding it hard doing so solo, even 'basic' things like EDM's, I am excruciatingly slow at layouts in photoshop.
I feel that uni missed out on so many practical skills.
I even have started looking up courses like Shillington (just seems very $$ for me at least)
I feel like I just don't know enough of what I should even for a junior role.
If you want to get into the code, do what Dave recommended, do simple deconstructions and test/edit as you go to customise how you want the EDM to be. As you learn you will slowly customise more and more from the template and get better and better.
If you don't want to touch the code and just want to code then you just need to practice. You say that you are slow in Photoshop to layout compared to Indesign then it's all just practice and knowing where to focus.
If you want to get better and quick then you have to manually setup some of the grids that are more streamlined in Indesign or Illustrator. Download Guideguide plugin and just focus on working with the grids that will help you structure your design layout better, and you improve with time. (whatever you do never flatten graphic layers, rasterise shape layers, or outline text before sending over to dev)
Sketch has some more grid & layout tools built in and the character/paragraph styles work better than Ps and might be more beneficial to you. Sketch however will have a bit of a learning curve rom CS suite apps, but nothing a good day with easily findable some tutorial videos won't bring you up to speed with.
As people mentioned though it depends where you want to focus your career and what you want to learn. Looking for Jnr roles an EDM is a junior relevant job that is something worthwhile to be able to get your head around.