How to draw on the computer with a Wacom Tablet & Stylus | FREE tutorial for complete beginners

How to draw on the computer with a Wacom Tablet & Stylus… ( updated 2024 )

To those who have never drawn anything on a computer, it can feel overwhelming to know where to start.

Before investing my time and money in using a professional Wacom tablet, I first started out with a basic roller ball computer mouse and MS Paint. Yes, it was that long ago!

This method of drawing on a computer with a Wacom tablet predates how I learned how to draw commercially on a computer. Before attending design college and building a design career.

When drawing on a computer, the mouse is the first obvious tool to use. As you invest your energy and education into drawing on a computer, you will want to seek out better hardware and software to support your digital drawing journey.

The mouse should be your first step, but don’t stop there!

This post is a great introduction if you are considering using a tablet to draw on your computer.

How to draw on the computer with a Wacom Tablet & Stylus - Title graphics - picture of purple vector Wacom tablet overlaid onto dark background

Drawing with a tablet | overview – why use one?

One of the best ways to draw on a computer is by using a Stylus & Graphics Tablet in conjunction with a powerful art creation program. Using a tablet will afford you a greater degree of artistic freedom and finesse once you have become accustomed to the nuances and sensations of using one. However, This is also assuming that you can draw to a certain degree in the first place.

How to draw on the computer with a Wacom Tablet & Stylus- Blue ball raster graphics
How to draw on the computer with a stylus & tablet – blue vexel ball example

How to draw on the computer with a stylus & tablet – Quickfire answer

In terms of how to use a stylus and tablet ( or ‘drawing tablet’ ) from a technical standpoint, it is typically a case of plugging your tablet into your computer, downloading and installing the latest drivers and software, and then calibrating your drawing tablet.

Once this core set-up is completed, you can then set about installing drawing in programs such as Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop.

The technical setup is not that complicated when comes to how to work with a drawing tablet.

How to draw on the computer with a stylus & tablet with regards to technique.

Treat the tablet as you would a sketchpad and pencil. Apply light strokes and heavy strokes, bold strokes, and small strokes. Get used to the pressure and sensitivity of your tablet. Learn to ‘feel’ the tablet ( cringe ). And give it time.

The video below is me drawing a blue ball using a Wacom Tablet and Photoshop.

*If you have applications installed on your computer.

This is a hyper-lapse of myself creating the blue ball above – ‘vexel’ a combination of Vexel and Pixel.

For more information on how to create digital artwork on the computer, read on!

“you will need to practice, practice and then more practice.”

Wacom tablet and stylus example
Tablet & Stylus – Wacom
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How to draw on the computer with a stylus & tablet | Managing expectations

Not wanting to lead any readers or budding designers astray, I feel one of the first things I should touch upon when learning how to draw on a computer with a drawing tablet such as a Wacom, is managing expectations.

Although knowing the technicalities of how to draw with a stylus and drawing a tablet on a computer sounds like a golden bullet. The technicalities are only the first part of the journey when it comes to drawing on a computer.

The real knack for making your own artwork comes with practice – not the tools. A piece of high-tech equipment won’t provide you with the soulless magic results like an AI generator.

That is not how it works if you want to create your ‘own’ artwork.

To get your digital artwork or design to the place you want it, you will need to practice, practice, and then more practice.

If however, you are of an arty-illustrator vein. Then ignore what I have said above. You may take to drawing or designing on a computer like a duck to water if you are already a proficient artist or illustrator! Let your flair flourish and shine!

Here are a few examples of what I have illustrated ( drawn ) on a computer with my Wacom Tablet. Followed by some simple steps.

What I have drawn ( illustrated) with a Wacom Tablet on a computer

Character illustrations I have created with my Wacom tablet
Characters illustrated for a board game.
Board artwork illustartion - How to draw on the computer with a stylus & tablet
Illustration of a stylus
Drawn a wacom - illustartion of stylues base / well

Step ‘0’ ) How to draw on the computer with a stylus & tablet – Be able to draw

As a pre-step, I can’t assume too much.

You will need to make sure you can draw to a certain degree with a pencil or pen before you can expect to draw on a computer with Wacom or a digital tablet. No matter what hardware you own.

If you want to create your own artwork away from AI art generators, you will need to be able to draw to some degree.

The technology and hardware, will not magic your hand and eye into creating what you want.

Even if you can only sketch, this will be a huge advantage when drawing with a stylus on a computer. This is a pre-step warning!

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Step 1 ) The required equipment to draw on a computer

To draw on a computer with a tablet … you will need to own the required equipment. Or borrow. This should be a given. I have used the following bits of equipment in the past ( aside from a mouse ):

  • Wacom Bamboo and pen – a more entry-level drawing tablet at the time ( now legacy)
  • Or a Wacom Intuos Pro & Pen ( medium ), this is what I’m using at the moment.
  • * Or a Cintiq ( I’m jealous )
  • A working keyboard
  • A computer that is compatible with a tablet
  • An operating system that is compatible with your drawing tablet
  • *Your computer will also need to be able to run both the drivers, the tablet, and the software
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Step 2 ) Understanding the type of digital art you want to create ( not genre )

When considering how to draw on the computer with a stylus & tablet, you may wish to consider the type of artwork you want to create.

This can steer the type of software required to draw on your computer. I have attached an example here.

Vector Art and raster art example - How to draw on the computer with a stylus & tablet

style examples, Photoshop Vs Illustrator

You will notice the different styles above I have created using certain software with my drawing tablet. You can create certain types of finishes in varying programs.

Vector Illustration ( left blue ball )

Imagine drawing with cut-out shapes, knives, sprays and pieces and pieces. With the types of programs that allow you to draw and create vector artwork, you can create a range of slick illustrations.

With vector artwork, the appearance can appear clean and tidy. You can also scale the work up and down without loss of quality. Vector artwork lends itself well to commercial logos, large format graphics, icons, and UI’s.

Here is an example of some of my other vector artwork.

Token vector illustartions for board games - drawn in Adobe Illustrator

Bitmap based artwork – Raster ( right blue ball above )

You may notice the ball on the right has a more painterly feel ( refer to the illustration above). For this more textured appearance, I digitally painted this in Photoshop. Some may find this approach more akin to drawing or painting using traditional methods.

Bitmap format or digital painting in particular lends itself well to a more painterly, textured, or grainy appearance. If you have painted in acrylics for example, you may prefer this approach. But it doesn’t always lend itself so well to all circumstances in print.

Blue ball painted in Adobe Photoshop

Is creating digital art easy?

Yes and no, getting started with creating digital art can be very easy and low cost. Getting to a stage where you could call yourself a professional artist takes time and years of practice. The best way of getting started with creating digital art is by downloading graphics software and practicing to improve your digital drawing techniques.

I wish I could find my very first digital drawing, it was created on a Windows 3.2 in the era of the awesome floppy disk – you can read a bit about me here.

This is perhaps a topic I would like to dive into again in another post.

Digital art can be accessible with the right tools and equipment. Working with the Wacom Tablet for example can streamline the process further.

Step 3 ) What digital art software should ‘I’ use?

There are so many to pick from, but for the sake of just creating something you can call ‘digital art’, as a hobbyist begin with something you may already have, MS Paint In Windows.

Gimp Icon
Gimp Logo

There are other art programs out there that are also free such as Gimp and Krita. I have personally never used Krita but the results on the website show what it is capable of and it has also been given a recommendation from a reputable digital art magazine IFX. This magazine is dedicated to creating fantasy, digital, and traditional artwork.

Advanced digital artwork software ( what I use )

As both a designer and digital artist, I use 2 main programs to create my art and design work, these programs being: Abobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop.

Adobe Illustrator

Adobe Illustrator often gives a very clean-cut appearance that you may see in books, posters, lifestyle magazines etc – this is called ‘vector art’.

Adobe Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop is a versatile piece of software that behaves like a drawing and painting tool and offers an intuitive workflow.

It should be noted that these programs can both be tricky to master and you may be more drawn to one than the other. You can get a free trial or purchase a subscription to use the software by going to Adobe Creative Cloud.

If you are just starting out on your journey to becoming a digital artist or illustrator, I would test a free program first.

Use the images above as a reference if you are just starting out or if this is part of a hobby. For me, it works like so.

Simple differences in what type of artwork Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator creates.

  • Clean cut, modern vector artwork = Adobe Illustrator
  • Grainly, textures, and painterly = Adobe Photoshop

How to draw on the computer with a stylus & tablet | Deciding on software

As a budding digital artist, designer, or illustrator you will want to consider how you want to draw with a Wacom Tablet. What sort of outcomes are you looking to achieve?

If you are unsure and just trying your hand at creating digital art on a computer, you may want to consider the selection like so.

Adobe Illustrator may suit you more if you want to become a designer or a clean-cut vector artist. The way a vector drawing behaves inside a program is quite different from a raster art program such as Photoshop.

Adobe Photoshop is great If you want to work as a traditionally styled illustrator, digital painter, game artist etc.

There are thousands of examples of digital artists on social media with websites and professional blogs.

Here are some examples here of my vector artwork.

This person here is a terrific vector artist and designer – Vicky Doodles

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Step 4 ) Grab Your stylus, and your Wacom Tablet and start drawing

Assuming that you have now decided on the type of artwork you want to experiment with, now is the time to start using the equipment.

To continue with an overview of how to draw on the computer with a stylus & tablet. Make sure you have plugged in and installed your tablet correctly.

If you have started with Adobe Illustrator as your application of choice. I would recommend starting the tool that is in tune with the Wacom Tablet, eg the brush or pencil. My first port of call would either be the Pencil or the Brush tool.

Start making small strokes with the stylus on your Wacom and see how the stroke behaves.

Or if you prefer, start working with some of the most basic shapes first and move these around your artboard as you would with a mouse.

Short overview of how to draw with a tablet in Adobe Illustrator

  • 1 ) Firstly you will want to start up Adobe Illustrator.
  • 2 ) Create a new document of your choosing. You can start with A4 for the sake of experimentation.
  • 3 ) Select the brush tool “B” and start making some marks and feel how the tablet responds to you and Adobe Illustrator. You can always undo it if you make a mess.
  • 4 ) If you prefer, you can also try to create an image with shapes first if you are familiar with working with vector graphics.

Illustrations – working in Adobe Illustrator and making marks.

Short overview of how to draw with a tablet in Adobe Illustrator - demonstration
(M) for rectangle tool in Adobe Illustrator

If you read on, I have also created some short exercises to play with – for free! Hopefully, these will get the juices and familiarity working when using your Wacom Tablet.

How to draw on the computer with a Wacom Tablet & Stylus - method fro drawing in adobe illustrator

Short overview of how to draw with a tablet in Adobe Photoshop

If you have decided you would prefer to create artwork in Photoshop on your computer then this is the paragraph for you.

How to draw on the computer with a Wacom Tablet & Stylus - using adobe photoshop for practice
  1. ) Goes without saying, but open up Adobe Photoshop – and create a new document.
  2. ) Select a brush tool and start painting/ drawing onto your blank document. Remember, this is only to get used to using your Wacom Tablet and Stylus. I used black.
  3. ) Press ‘F5’ to open your “brush settings”, select a tip you like and tick “transfer”.
  4. ) Now start painting and building a feel for your Wacom tablet. Another tip, play around with the opacity to help build your brush strokes on top of one another.

When learning how to draw on the computer with a Wacom Tablet & Stylus, the snappy overview above will hopefully get you started. But, I have also created some exercises for you in the next step, to really give yourself some time when drawing with a Wacom Tablet.

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5 ) How to draw on the computer with a Wacom Tablet & Stylus | Exercises

To further develop and play with your Wacom tablet. I invite to to take part in these exercises I have created for you for free. The illustrations below should guide you on what you need to do when drawing on a computer with your Wacom.

Exercise for drawing in Adobe Illustrator with your Wacom & Stylus

How to draw on the computer with a Wacom Tablet & Stylus - Exercises and practice, adobe illustrator
When practicing drawing with a Wacom Tablet, it may be easy to save and download the reference exercise above. If you want to use this for learning feel free to take it and save it to your computer. Although it cannot be used for commercial purposes. Feel free to credit and link back to this page – How to draw on the computer with a Wacom Tablet & Stylus

Exercise for drawing in Adobe Photoshop with your Wacom & Stylus

How to draw on the computer with a Wacom Tablet & Stylus | exercise, drawing in photoshop

How to draw on the computer with a Wacom Tablet & Stylus | Concludes Steps

That concludes the step and general over of how to draw on the computer with a Wacom tablet & stylus. By all means, feel free to revisit the steps and stages above. Or if you feel this was a lot to remember, why not save this page as a favourite or bookmark. ( thanks )

But hey, I am not yet finished, I have also noted some key differences when drawing on a computer.

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Wacom & stylus vs drawing with a mouse

Very old computer mouse for drawing on a computer!
If you are actually drawing on a computer with these legendary relics… Kudos to you. Image Source – Wikpedia

If you are still wavering as to whether you want to draw with a Wacom. I have gone into a little bit of additional depth. A bonus section that is a supplement to the ‘how-to’.

A computer mouse in action

This example shows the end result of some digital artwork created using a mouse in Photoshop. It’s a bit trickier to use although it’s not bad for straight lines!

Drawing with a mouse! Visual example
Drawing with a mouse! (An Apple Smart Mouse)

I would advise moving on from a computer mouse at some stage if you are thinking of getting serious with drawing on a computer, be it for graphic design, illustration, or your own sanity.

If you are thinking of spending many hours drawing and creating digital artwork, using a different input will save on potential wrist aches.

The day I plugged in a Wacom graphics tablet, was the day I changed the way I created digital artwork on a computer. Using a drawing or graphics tablet can make the experience of creating artwork on a computer much more organic.

A Wacom & stylus in action

Below is an example of me sketching something in Photoshop using a stylus + tablet. It’s a quicker, smoother, and much more human way of creating a drawing.

Drawing with Stylus and Tablet example
Drawing with Stylus and Tablet. Handles, curves and waves, and is much easier to flow with

After using a Wacom Tablet for a few years now, I would struggle to return to drawing with a mouse. Outside the less control, the amount of RSI I used to get from drawing with a mouse, would be enough to put some off the profession.

Give a drawing tablet a try. I love them.

Summary | How to draw on the computer with a Wacom Tablet & Stylus

And that should conclude the basic overview in steps of how to draw on the computer with a Wacom tablet & stylus. As an overview, here is what we can do.

  1. Buy a stylus and drawing tablet of your choice.
  2. Install the hardware on your computer.
  3. Check the drivers are up to date – calibrate the software to your computer
  4. Download a graphics program such as Photoshop or one of free applications mentioned previously.
  5. Open the software.
  6. Start creating digital art!

Aside from the technicalities of the hardware, the real skill comes from lots of practice. Make sure to follow the short tutorial/exercises above to get you started with drawing your Wacom tablet.

Credits – All the best with your digital art journey and creating digital awesomeness on your computer

Thank you for reading, hopefully, this post has given you some insight into how to create digital artwork with a Wacom Tablet and an idea of tools you can use to draw on a computer.

If you would like any professional assistance please feel free to contact me on my website.

You may be also interested in reading this :
Handling black in print
Creating artwork for game
Reducing Banding in Photoshop
How to reduce banding on Photoshop
Editing text on your playing cards in Indesign

Case study | graphic design and making a game
Home » Designers

Okay Aardman! Wallace & Gromit Project

Aardman Wallace & Gromit Project – flex those Adobe Illustrator muscles. I have a new post to share… kindly, the team over at Paper Engine has now said that I can share and discuss my part in creating some of the packaging concepts for a new range of Wallace & Gromit themed products.

The artwork shown in this post was used to pitch to Aardman for a new range of British designed card products, otherwise known as – Build Your Own, For Paper Engine.

Aardman Wallace & Gromit Project - box
Aardman Wallace & Gromit Project Wrong trousers

Aardman Project | The Brief

The Brief | I was commissioned by Paper Engine to help create the core design for the packaging concepts for a new range of of Wallace and Gromit themed paper products.

Aardman had set up an agreement with Paper Engine for them to come up with a range of products, themed around Wallace & Gromit.

If you don’t know Aardman, they are the animation studio behind Wallace & Gromit, Chicken Run, Arthur Christmas, and Shaun the Sheep to name a few.

Paper Engine got in touch with me and asked for assistance in coming up with the core packaging concept to pitch to Aardman.

I won’t lie, I was excited and honoured.

Under a strict NDA, I was called in to help come up with some of the core concepts for the new eye-catching packaging.

The NDA has been relaxed now, as the products have been released onto the market. So don’t worry. And I asked the crew over at Paper Engine and they were happy to allow me to show my my part!

(All artwork on this page is the intellectual property of Aardman and Paper Engine. Do not copy, save, or download any of this content for commercial use ).

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Packaging For Paper Engine… Which was actually for Aardman

To spill the beans on the projects.

Here is a bit of extra information on the project process. Once Paper Engine had sent the brief across to me, and we did all the admin, the project was set in motion!

Aardman Wallace & Gromit Project | The design process involved…

  • Coming up with some very early ideas for speech bubbles, titles, typography, backgrounds, and other accents and parts for the project.
  • Creating a variety of packaging front ideas for both products.
  • Developing rough designs into polished designs.
  • These were presented to Aardman ( gulp ).

It should also be said that this project was quite particular and that there were 2 companies involved in the approval process. Nonetheless, it still allowed room for design creativity.

Aardman Wallace & Gromit Project
Aardman Wallace & Gromit Project
Aardman Wallace & Gromit Project
Aardman Wallace & Gromit Project
Aardman Wallace & Gromit Project Typography
Background idea

Aardman Wallace & Gromit Project | Developing The Design

While I was allowed to work conceptually and creatively, I also had to adhere to 2 sets brand guidelines! One set was supplied by Paper Engine for Paper Engine and, the other was for Aardman!

Aardman Wallace & Gromit Project
box
Aardman Wallace & Gromit Project - 2 rockets
badges

Aardman Wallace & Gromit Project | The Delivery

After working on the polished designs, Paper Engine pitched the artwork to Aardman. I was told on the grapevine that they were pleased with the project – with very few changes to the pitch!

Thank you Paper Engine, it was an honour! From there the look and feel for the range was set. It was an awesome project.

How I approached the project

When creating the packaging, I tried to create artwork that was exciting and matched the tone of Wallace & Gromit. I also tried to create packaging concepts that would excite both children and adults if they saw them on the shelf!

‘wow look at that!’

type of thinking with the hopes somebody would pick the product up and purchase it. The product did most of the selling in all fairness, these are very cool products.

Aardman Wallace & Gromit Project | Paper Engine Testimonial

‘We worked with Jimm on some early packaging concepts for our collaboration with Aardman on three Build Your Own kits. He delivered some superb designs which enabled us to get ahead of the curve by keeping the client on board with approvals and saved us some valuable in-house studio hours. We would definitely work with Jimm again in the future when the occasion arises. Top marks. 5 stars.’

Geff – Creative Director, Paper Engine Ltd.

Aardman Wallace & Gromit Project | You may be interested in some of the following

Retail packaging projects
Stem Project samples
Snakes & Ladders type board game
Board game playtesting post

Why not read more on my playtesting post?

3rd Party

Jimmsdesign Services

Dragon Bone Games ( Board game website )

How do I design an email marketing campaign for old leads?

So “How do I design an email marketing campaign for old leads?”… overview.

This post offers some potent tried and tested methods you can implement into your email marketing campaign to get those old leads to sit up and pay attention! They may be asleep now, but hopefully, by the end of this list, they will feel as refreshed as your with your marketing ideas.

Reading on – nuggets of juicy information on how to design an email marketing campaign for your old leads. Rock on!

Get responses from old email marketing leads - picture of old people
Get a response from old email marketing leads!

Who are your ‘old leads’?

A good starting point, who are your old leads? Why do you regard them as old? What have they done to warrant being targeted and regarded as ‘old’. Another way to look at your old contacts and subscribers is to view them are as loyal customers and clients. The list below covers tried and tested ideas, but perhaps a good place to start is how you perceive them, and how in turn they may come to perceive you.

1 ) Most important, offer something ‘they’ want

I wanted to start with this point as I felt it was actually the most obvious but possibly most overlooked. If you are failing to get the enquiries or interest are you failing to engage the reader? Are you selling a product that they no longer want or need? Are you talking about a topic they no longer care about? If so, how can you change it?

How to do it

Make your marketing about ‘them’ and their business – not yours. Tell and show them how you can help them to grow.

Fulfil their needs first!

2 ) Offer a loyalty scheme

So they have been on board for a long time but there has been no activity from them? You could potentially offer a discount to try and coax them back to life and become an active subscriber. Give a bumper service to the loyal ones and offer a reward.

3 ) Treat your ‘old email marketing leads’ as special customers.

In the body of your email consider using wording that makes your trusty old subscribers feel special and acknowledges that they have been loyal for a long time. Perhaps, writing a message along the lines of :

“Dear (name), as a loyal customer we have decided to offer you (x service) for a limited time. The company wouldn’t be where it is today without its loyal customers such as yourself and that is why we have decided to offer you this excellent reward!”

4 ) Talk about something new

It’s a very strong possibility that your old leads are bored with what you have to say, your brand your message anything and everything – people get bored very easily, and especially the internet user. In the past, I have noticed a strong correlation in campaigns with the wording “New” generally pushing more interest. So, create something new, or talk about something new.

5 ) If you have a tidy list, address them directly

If you have a contact list with all the personal *contact names as and where they should be you could write an email campaign addressed directly to them. But this only works as well as the cleanliness of the list. For example :-

Clean List

Dear Dave Higgins

Vs Untidy List

Dear 123 at qwqwq

Why is the second example like that? Because the name field was left with a trash name or a number in the field because somebody forgot to change it or the subscriber didn’t give you their actual name.

In other words, the form – personal name – form field will pull in whatever data is in the “name” column. be it good or bad.

6 ) Change up your email design to catch the attention

Visuals do work. Have some catchy images, logos and importantly a Call to action! Click me!

How do I design an email marketing campaign for old leads - example
Example of a responsive mailshot

My Old leads – They are still playing backgammon?

Made it this far down the list eh and your old email marketing leads still haven’t turned their heads away from their game of backgammon? Don’t worry just yet, we still have some thoughts and ideas yet that will hopefully help you in getting responses! Continue reading – How do I design an email marketing campaign for old leads!

7 ) Use stats and numbers

Analytics’ data or sales figures can be a good way or proving how good your service is – with numbers! It makes you look authentic. I also believe (my opinion) people love data and numbers as it makes information easy to digest.

Hey! don’t lie about your numbers or stats. There will come a day when people won’t believe what they read – if that day hasn’t arrived already.

8 ) Use a timed offer to encourage an urgent response from your old leads

I have mentioned this in a previous post (link) but placing a timed response or a limited offer can encourage urgent action. This approach can be a little pushy in my opinion but I can’t deny that I have seen it used effectively including by myself.

9 ) Consider who your old leads are – your message, your tone.

This is important, who are you talking to? Your messaging needs to resonate with them. It needs to talk to them and it needs to be useful to them – create good content for your quality readership. Connect.

10 ) Solve their problems, help with their pains

Companies/businesses/people have pains – not ones for a real doctor, business ones I mean. These pains can vary from: How to get more leads, how do I get people to stay on my website, how do I get people to sign up, how do I make this easier, I have no time, I’m tired, etc, etc.

So once you have identified their pains, and if you are familiar with your industry, you will be better equipped at answering their questions and helping to solve their problems. Using you, or your service will help solve their problems – or better still. Avoid them altogether!

11 ) Try to be helpful

As mentioned a couple of times in this post make contacting your email leads about them and how you can help with your experience. Answer questions create posts, try to see what types of questions your demographic ask by trawling forums and post online to give you indications or if you have a survey software use that to learn about them.

12 ) Speak their language

Try to speak their lingo. If they use industry-specific jargon use this in your email to make it sound like you know what you are talking about (oh, and check that you know what you are talking about). If your email marketing is more B2C then try to understand the demographics of your readership, how old are they, are they male, female, what are their hobbies and so on.

learn who they are.

13 ) Check you are emailing the right people

If you have a very specific few golden leads out there and they have stopped answering your emails or opening them, check to see if they are still working at the company or have moved to another department.

You can use LinkedIn to see who is correct contact and start building a new working relationship.

Summary | How do I design an email marketing campaign for old leads

I hope this post is useful. I have given you some tried and tested ideas which I have seen work first hand in the past with my email marketing experience. Many of these approaches should be useful for tomorrow and for the future as many of the tips approach geared toward what messaging is as well as how.

It is worth your while employing not just one of the tactics above for best results but many with a mix and match to see which are most useful for ‘your’ email marketing. There isn’t a golden bullet for things like this as some would like to sell to you, it requires learning and effort. I have sent out many, many campaigns over the years and have seen which works for gifting, retail, subscriptions, and general newsletters.

Setting aside the technical information, the tricks etc, it often tends to boil down to something you probably already know, and I knew but didn’t want to admit either – they weren’t interested...

So make them interested

Sell something your customer or client ‘wants’ or needs. Don’t push something onto them that they don’t want or need. It is a tired and boring struggle for both parties.

As time goes along, trial and error will show which tactics bare the most fruit – all the best in “designing email marketing for your old leads.”

About Me – A Designer

I have worked on numerous email campaigns over the years sending campaigns to 1000’s of contacts. Much of the data I have written here has been based on my first-hand experience of blood sweat and tears and also with keeping myself up to date with new email marketing ideas. You are more than welcome to read a bit more about me below.

You may find the article on the 32 tips useful for more visual design tips.

Other Helpful Posts

Packaging Projects | high street retail ready design

It has been while since posting a project update, as many of the other posts have covered industry insights and experiences.

One of core project that appears to get a lot of attention is the post on how we created a successful game project. A post that is packed full of information on our design approach and what we did.

This Design Post

This post covers a range of packaging designs that were used and are still actively being used in the retail market – a phrase that was used often when creating the packing was “retail ready”.

These designs range from Tech Girl, Satzuma Gifting, Stem and a whole range of projects and pre-production artwork. These products have graced the shelves of Boots, Tesco’s TK Maxx, Robert Dyas, Menkind, Staples and stores across the globe.

Unicorn Power Bank

Unicorn Power bank packaging
Yes… yes it is a Unicorn. And a Power Bank
Idesign for Smartphones, retail
Packaging and branding design for a ‘build your own Smartphone cover’ product

You can read more on the project on the portfolio website. It covers the branding, the packaging, the marketing and the digital design.

Proof Of Concept Packaging

The proof of concept packaging was used for design approval, used in product pitches to large retailers and also used to ‘visualise’ the package for print factories.

Beard Bib Packaging
Early Beard Bib Packaging, This was put together very quickly to get a feel for the concept.
Packaging design
Packaging illustration
Packaging design for game
Boogie Pong Game Box Mock Up
Packaging design - mock up
Another Tech Girl Mock Up – Typography would be ‘Rose Gold’
Jeantech Power Supply
Mock up / Render of a power supply box
Flash Memory Top - FSDU
Flash Memory Top – FSDU – Final Proof
Neon Packaging concept
Neon Packaging – Product – Testing look and feel

Packaging Nets

The images below show the flat nets of the packaging. This is the print ready or near print ready artwork that is generally sent of production after approval.

Early Joystick Design
Early Joystick design – Packaging – Card + PET – Concept (shelved)
Flat net of am expansion pack
Card box net for packaging an expansion pack.

This is one part of a larger gaming project, if you would like to read more this product please feel free. Or if you would help with you card or game design feel have a look.

Net for a VR Google Card
Google Card Design
AR Blaster Packaging
AR Blaster Packaging Net
Stem Product | Build You Own Robot
Stem Product | Build You Own Robot
Beard Bib Dev
Beard Bib Dev

Final Products & ‘In Situ’ Shots

These are the completed products based on the designs I supplied.

Memory Capture Box & Product Design
Memory Capture Box & Product Design
Head phones packaging
Head phones packaging
Counter Display for Product
Counter Display for Product – VR Goggles
Packaging design - neon sign
Make your own Neon Sign
Joystick
Joystick Packaging
Joystick Packaging
Flash Drives 8 GB - in store photo!
POS design inside a retail store.

That’s all on this packaging post!

Retail Read Packaging

If you would like any assistance in your latest packaging design be it the concept or putting together a punchy, relevant and cost effective solution feel free to get in touch or have a look at projects on the brochure website.

Retail Ready Packaging Projects – Perhaps you’d like to read :

Easiest way to make a Photoshop brush – short tutorial

The easiest way to make a Photoshop brush. This is a short tutorial on how to make a simple Photoshop brush in simple easy-to-follow steps. No fuss, no headaches.
I have used this exact same technique for making brushes over the years as a designer.

It is straightforward to make your custom brushes in Photoshop ( or Adobe Photoshop ) as an overview. All you will need to do in essence is draw your shape or item on a blank document and turn this selection into your new Photoshop brush.

The core steps : Start with creating your brush, defining it, and adding it to your palette! Let us draw a shape on black on a white background and see easiest way to do it.

Now to the steps on the easiest way to make a Photoshop brush.

1 ) New Document

1 ) Open PS and make a new document – 300 x 300 px and 72 DPI for good measure, make sure the background is set to white. ( You also work with other size and resolutions if you prefer )

2 ) Create Your Brush

2 ) Working in black and white (Shortcut ‘D’ for black and white) draw your brush shape (in black) onto your new document. For the sake of this tutorial, I have made mine a solid brush.

Photoshop brush splat - Easiest way to make a Photoshop brush - short tutorial
Create A Photoshop Brush

3 ) ‘Select’ The Brush

3 ) Either by using the marquee tool or Apple + ‘a’ to select all (CTRL + A for windows). And select the area or part you want to turn into your brush. For me, I wanted to use only the black splat in this example.

If you have selected the brush you want to define, you can go to the next step!  Make sure you have selected your brush artwork. With selections, you may see ‘marching ants’ around your selection.

4 ) Define Brush

4 ) Go Edit > scroll down to  ‘Define Brush Preset’ and click on or select it.
label your brush, I called this oneblob and then click ‘OK’

Name your brush | Easiest way to make a Photoshop brush
Label Your Brush

5 ) You have created a brush in Photoshop!

Well done, you should now have designed your very own custom brush and saved it to your library. If you press ‘F5′ to look at your brush palette, you will see the brush you have just made listed at the bottom of your library.

Why not open a new document and test out your newly created Photoshop Brush, I hope you enjoy making more awesome brushes.

Brush library | Palette tutorial on making a Photoshop brush.
Brushes!

If you need a Professional Designer experience in Photoshop come and say hello!

If you are a DIY designer or creator, you may find some of these topics helpful. How to edit text in inDesign for card games. Or how to draw on a computer.