Autism Speaks Continued: Email Marketing

Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated with the Autism Speaks organization and this is for solely educational purposes.

Let’s be honest: Most of us ignore the dozens of promotional emails that flood into our inbox each day. For users with Gmail, they’re automatically stored in their own neat little folder where they’re hardly ever opened. This being said, when I do decide to take a look, I really only pay attention to them if the subject line catches my eye and I like the design inside.

For Design Showcase 11, I was assigned to create an email to accompany the banner ads I designed last week to promote Autism Speaks’ Walk Now for Autism events. To recap, Walk Now for Autism Speaks is series of walkathon events that raise money and promote awareness for autism research. Because I had so much fun working on the banner ads last week, I knew that I would enjoy creating the email marketing.

I began my design process by writing out all of the requirements on a sheet of paper and sketching out a basic rectangular template for the email. I found some good promotional images on  Autism Speaks’ website, and decided from there that I wanted to use the three images to divide separate areas of text. To carry my theme from the banner ads over, I decided to use the phrase “always moving forward” written down the page imposed over my images. I sketched this out, adding lines to represent copy and filling in the blank space with squares for images. I designed it to be read vertically, optimal for email structure.


Once I had my basic plan, I moved into Photoshop and measured everything out to the exact proportions I wanted. I put in the three images and began designing the text in between. I wanted the email to not only promote the walk, but also give some basic background on the events so that recipients on the mailing list could forward it to friends to stimulate new interest in the walk. I also added several features in the bottom panel where readers could get more information about the organization itself, share the email and contact the company.

My color choices came from the logo itself, and I also wanted to use the same colors as those in my banner ads. I also repeated the Sanchez font over the images to keep consistency between the two. I used flat, iconic imagery, including the recurring shoe print.


I actually found this Design Showcase to be easier than some of my past assignments, but this may also have been because I was truly motivated and excited to work on it. The most difficult part was making sure that all of my text and shapes were properly aligned and spaced, as well as organizing all of the individual layers into groups.