How to Design a Bookmark

Person reading a book with a bookmark next to them

Last updated on March 13th, 2023 at 01:55 pm

So you have decided you want to add bookmarks to your marketing material lineup, but maybe you are not quite sure where to start. When it comes to bookmark design, the possibilities are endless really. You should approach this similarly to how you would approach any other marketing material you are designing. The following tips will not only help you design a bookmark, but a standout bookmark.

Establish the goal 

With any marketing material, you want to make sure you have a goal established before you just print them out willy nilly. It would be a waste of time, resources and money if you started ordering a bunch of marketing materials with no clear goal. Goals are an important component of any marketing strategy as they provide a direction for what you need to do in order to achieve your larger objectives. Consider your end-user and the message you want to convey. Ask yourself how you can convey that message in a bookmark design and you can start to brainstorm different elements you want to include.

Include essential information

Once you have established the goal of your bookmark, you can narrow down the information you want to include. Seeing as bookmarks tend to be on the smaller size, you are somewhat limited when it comes to space. You’ll want to make sure you include the information you want to include in a way that does not clutter the bookmark and make it hard for your audience to digest, unless of course that is part of your design and brand image. Once you have incorporated the information that you need for your message, take stock of what you may have left out. Is your business name included somewhere? A way for your customers to contact you? It’s important that your audience can easily identify your brand and a way to get in touch. This could be your phone number, website, an email address or all of the above!

Get 20% off your first order at Printivity banner ad

Keep size and layout in mind

You could say that size influences the layout, and layout influences the size, but there are no rules set in stone regarding these aspects of your bookmark. Once you have an idea of your message and what information you want to include, you’ll be able to get a good idea of how much space you will need. Standard bookmark dimensions range from 1.5” x 6” to 2” x 9”, but Printivity customers are able to choose the exact dimensions they desire to fit their design.

Pro tip: When designing, make sure to extend your background an additional 1/8″ for the bleed and keep content 1/8″ from the final dimension to avoid it getting cut off.

blank canvas being held against a white wall

Consider leaving white space

Bookmarks are one of the few marketing materials that has a specific job; to mark your place in a book. With that in mind, you may want to consider a design that incorporates a lot of white space so as to not distract someone while they are reading their book. Afterall, it’s the book they really want to read, the bookmark is just a placeholder. That being said, you’ll want to ensure your message is bold and eye-catching, as well as easy to understand with a quick glance. You can easily do this by emphasizing your main message, and

Including any secondary information in smaller print.

Use a template

Pre-formatted templates guide you through your bookmark design to help you ensure your formatting is correct. With templates, you’ll be able to see exactly where to position each design element within the safety lines to ensure none of your design gets cut off. It can be as simple as dragging your artwork onto it, adding some text and hitting save. Pre-formatted templates are already in the correct color mode of CMYK and resolution 300 dpi.

Blank thick paper

Opt for sturdy and high quality paper

Printing your bookmarks on a higher quality paper will help ensure your bookmarks last, as well as show your audience you are professional. Investing in the marketing materials you give out to your potential clients shows them that you are investing in them. A 14pt, or even 16pt card stock is ideal for bookmarks as they are not flimsy and don’t rip as easily. Printivity offers both 14pt “extra thick” semi-gloss paper and 16pt “ultra thick” semi-gloss. Bookmarks tend to be used repetitively, so using higher quality paper will help reduce wear, resulting in a longer lasting bookmark. The longer your bookmark can be used, the more time it will be seen. 

Pro tip: order bookmarks as color copies as you can create custom dimensions or add rounded corners to your design.

If you are ready to place your order, or you have any questions about the ordering process, contact Printivity at 1-877-649-5463 . Ensure your files are print ready by saving them in PDF format with a resolution of 300 DPI, in the color space CMYK. If you use any fonts in your design, make sure you flatten your documents before sending your file off. If you have any special fonts that the system cannot recognize, the document will replace the font with another similar font in the system.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here