written by
Carsten Pleiser

Email Signature Design Best Practices, Do's & Dont's (Plus Awesome Tools)

Marketing Design 5 min read

The email signature.

Something we all use, but something that many of us are still getting wrong.

An email signature is an important (but often overlooked) element of your business image. It’s a chance to say something more to your email recipients.

Don’t want to let that chance pass you by? Check out these do’s and don’ts for creating an awesome and effective email signature design.

What is an email signature (and why is it important)?

Let’s start with the basics.

An email signature is the small block of info at the end of an email. It includes your name, position in the company, and contact details.

But it’s also so much more than that!

Your email signature is part of your brand identity. Done right, it helps to showcase the professionalism and personality of your brand.

It can also – with the help of pitch-perfect calls to action – encourage reader responses, drive website traffic and generate leads.

When you see that your email signature is another client touchpoint, and an opportunity to delight your audience, you can really make the most of those few short lines.

The DO’s of email signature design

Use visual hierarchy

Visual hierarchy is one of those graphic design terms that sounds really complex and technical. But it’s actually a pretty basic concept: make the stuff that matters most stand out.

In an email signature, that means using font size, colour and bolding to highlight and differentiate the various pieces of information you’re sharing. Line dividers also come in handy.

So what visual order should you put things in?

Your name is usually the biggest and boldest feature in your email signature design. Next in the hierarchy comes your job title and company. Then bringing up the rear it’s your contact deets.

Remember that white space is important too

Cluttered email signature design looks unprofessional and can easily overwhelm your email recipients.

email signature design

You need white space – which basically means empty space – around the elements you’re choosing to include (e.g. your headshot, social links, contact details).

This makes it easier for your email recipients to recognise and understand the information contained in each element. And it looks a lot slicker too.

Go easy on the colour palette

Less is more when it comes to colour as well.

Including your company logo in your email signature? Then use this as your starting point. Take a look at your logo and pick out one or two key colours to use in your email signature design.

This will help you to create a balanced and cohesive sign off that your email recipients won’t need sunglasses to look at.

Inject a little personality

If you’re sticking to clear, crisp email signature design (as we definitely recommend you do) you don’t have a lot of space to share info about you and your company.

To maximise the space you do have available, motion graphics are really useful. A moving image says more than a static one.

Bring your logo or your headshot to life with animation and you get to show some brand personality, and make your email that bit more memorable too.

Make it easy for people to take action

Incorporate a clickable call to action button at the bottom of your email signature design and you make life easy for your email recipients.

As long as you keep the design minimal, you can encourage your readers to:

  • Follow you on social
  • Schedule a meeting/demo
  • View customer reviews
  • Read your latest content
  • Access your latest promotional offer
  • Sign up for your next event
  • View key products and/or services

They click the button in your email signature and are directed straight to where they need to go.

The DONT’s of email signature design

Don’t use an image

How you upload your email signature design to your email package is important.

Use an image and there’s a risk it won’t upload automatically in some email readers – which means some recipients just won’t see it.

Don’t try DIY animation

Motion graphics are best left to professional designers unless you want your email signature to look like a grainy, low-budget GIF.

Don’t overdo it with images (moving or static)

Whilst images add interest and personality to your email signature design, include too many and you’ll end up with a fussy looking signature that misses the mark. Restrict yourself to a maximum of two images.

Don’t use fancy fonts

Your email signature should be super easy to read. So you should definitely avoid elaborate, cursive fonts.

If you use a font in your logo, see what it looks like when you use it for the rest of your email signature. Easy to read? Job done.

Otherwise, opt for a neutral sans serif typeface, like Arial, Verdana or Helvetica.

Tools to create email signatures

There are a couple of really cool tools available online if you want to create your own DIY email signature design.

Design Buffs Free Email Signature Generator

email signature design
Free Email Signature Generator by Design Buffs

This completely free email signature generator from Design Buffs makes it super easy for you to create a simple and very classy email signature design.

Just pick the orientation you like — horizontal or vertical. Copy the HTML. Paste it into your email account. Then edit your personal and company details.

You have a new email signature design in seconds!

Gimmio

Gimmio - Email Signature Design

Gimmio’s email signature generator offers a range of templates to choose from.

Just click New Signature, edit your signature on the website, and then copy and paste the HTML to add it to your emails.

WiseStamp

Email Signature Design

WiseStamp offers a limited number of free email signatures for DIY designs. Just bear in mind that they’ll include the WiseStamp logo unless you upgrade your account to Pro.

The main benefit of this tool? You can use or upload animated GIFs to add movement to your email signature.

Want help creating an email signature design?

Creating your own DIY email signature design can be time-consuming if you’re not a designer by trade.

Here at Design Buffs, we already know all of the email signature do’s and don’ts – and we’re experienced at creating awesome email signature designs.

Sign up for our on-demand design subscription service and we’ll be on hand for all of your graphic design needs.

Book a call with one of the Design Buffs team to find out more.

Email Signature Design
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