Your offering envelopes say a lot about your church. Whether or not the impression people get from your offering envelope is true, it is telling them something. If your offering envelope design is outdated you may be giving the impression that you are an old and outdated church. On the other hand, a well designed and professional looking envelope will give the impression that you have it all together. If you are ready for a new design, here is how you can do it yourself.How To:
- Step 1. Decide Envelope Purpose
- Step 2. Decide Envelope Layout
- Step 3. Choose Design Program
- Step 4. Work on Design
- Step 5. Save and Print
- Step 6. Tithe & Offering Envelope Templates (free templates)
1. Decide the Purpose of Your Offering Envelope
The purpose of your offering envelope determines how much content you will add to your design. For example, if the ONLY purpose for your envelope is to provide a confidential way for members to give, then you don’t need to add very much content to your envelope. Your envelope can simply say, “My Offering,” with spaces for name, date, and amount, and you are done. Congrats, you’ve designed your envelope! That was easy. However, if you would like more versatility from your envelopes, you’ll want to add more content.
Content some churches add to their offering envelopes:
- More than one designation line for more areas to give
- Suggested donation amounts to boost giving (great for special offering envelopes, such as debt retirement, Christmas, or Easter)
- Church contact information (some churches even add service times to their envelopes)
- An information form so the envelope can be used like a visitor card
- Credit card information form
- Extra lines for prayer requests or feedback to church staff
- A Bible verse about tithing
2. Decide on the Layout
Browse the web for images of offering envelopes to get an idea of how you want your envelope to look. There are so many different layout options, or you can just figure it out yourself as you go. A major decision to make concerning layout is whether you want a full color design, or just a simple one color design. You can add a lot of beauty and interest to your envelope just by adding some color. Once you have found some designs you like, you can sketch your design ideas on paper to get a feel for how things will fit together.
3. Choose a Design Program
Now that you have a general idea of the envelope content and layout, it’s time to create it in whatever program you prefer. There are many great programs with the tools you will need for designing your offering envelope. Some are free to download, while others require you to purchase a license. Whatever program you decide to use, be sure to take a little time to become familiar with it before you start, or a simple design may become increasingly complicated as you fumble around trying to figure it out.
Soon we will be posting a series of articles giving tutorials on how to design offering envelopes in various programs including Word, Publisher, Open Office, Illustrator, InDesign and Corel Draw. Be sure to check back here for them!
EDIT: Here are links to our articles on how to design offering envelopes in these various programs:
4. Layout Your Design
You want your offering envelope to be eye catching, but you don’t want it to be eye catching for the wrong reason. Care must be taken when setting up your design in order to avoid glaring spelling errors, and unbalanced designs.
Choosing the right font for your design is important. It is better to choose a simple font that is easy to read than to use a more “designy” font that is harder to read, although it may be pretty. The font size is another important consideration to make. There is only so much space on your envelope, so sometimes you will end up with a balance of trying to fit everything on your envelope while also having the font large enough to read. You need to keep in mind those who have a hard time seeing when choosing font size. Try not to use a font any smaller than 8 or 9 point. Also, keep in mind that some fonts are smaller, so the font size should be set even higher for those.
Be sure to read over your envelope carefully once you are done writing your text. Check and recheck for any typing errors. Make sure you triple-check any numbers on your layout. A misspelled word is not as bad an error as an incorrect phone number or PO Box number. Sometimes errors are easy for you to miss, but someone else may see it right away. It is a great idea to have a friend look it over for you as well.
If you have a church logo to add to your envelope, be sure you use a file that will come out clearly when printed. The envelopes print at 300 dpi. In order to get your logo to come out at the best possible quality, decide how big you want your logo to appear on your envelope in inches, then multiply that by 300. For example, if you want your logo to print at 1.5 inches tall, multiply that by 300, and your logo should be at LEAST 450 pixels tall.
Symmetry and Balance
A well designed envelope will be symmetrical and balanced. If something is off center, or not lined up with other elements, it will usually be the first thing people notice. When you are designing your envelope, you should take advantage of the align and distribute tools available in most programs. Also, use the rulers on the sides of the page to help you get line things up.
5. Save and Print
Now that you have designed your envelope, save it somewhere handy. It is a good idea to save one copy to use, then save another copy as a template so you can come back and make changes as needed, or design a similar envelope later. Now print one out to see how it looks.