How to design a bookmark when all you have is Power Point

Front of bookmark

Front of bookmark

back of bookmark

Back of bookmark

I want to hand out a nice bookmark at my upcoming reading events.

Graphic design is the last skill anyone would accuse me of possessing, but I’ve worked out a process that I will share here. No doubt there are easier or more professional ways, but I use what I got, which is Power Point. If you’re in the same boat, here’s how I do it.

[Apologies to any real graphic designers. You might want to stop reading at this point before your brain begins to spin.]

  1. Make notes on your design. Do you want a photo background, like my front (far left)? Or text and book covers, like the back (left)?
  2. For each side, open Power Point and create a new blank presentation. Delete the Title and Subtitle text boxes.
  3. Under Design – Layout, set the layout to 2.25 inches wide and 7.5 inches in height. (This will allow a fourth inch outside the printable area of 2 x 7.25 inches on all sides). Now you are looking at the bookmark size.
  4. Design the background.
    • For the front, I used an image I downloaded from Pixabay, a free photo site. The Power Point steps are: Design – Background Styles – Format Background – Picture Fill – Insert from File. Then I had to move the image so that the part I wanted to print was actually showing on the slide.  You move it with the “format picture” offsets. Just be careful to change the offsets by the same amounts, right and left, or the picture will be contorted. So, for example,  if you take away 50% from the left, you must add 50% to the right. (An alternative to this would be to insert a picture that’s already the right size, 2.25 x 7.5.)
    • For the back, the steps are the same until you get to Picture Fill. Then, I chose Gradient Fill. It’s more interesting, I think, than a solid color fill. You can see on the bookmark back that the background changes colors from top to bottom. You can specify those colors in Power Point, on the Gradient Fill page.
  5. Add text or pictures. For the front, I inserted a text box, typed the words, then tried out different fonts until I got one I liked. This one’s Segoe Print. For the back, I inserted the cover image (make sure it’s 300 dpi), then added a few text boxes. In each text box you can choose the font, font size, and color.
  6. The final step is to save each slide in TIFF format. Power Point lets you chose that option when you “save as.” Now, before you do this, you need to change the resolution of Power Point’s jpegs to 300 dpi. This is a bit tricky and it’s better explained somewhere else.
  7. Voila! You have your two files, front and back. Upload them to the printing website, select your options, look at the proof, and whip out your credit card!

I ordered 500 with holes punched from uprint, and 500 white tassels from tassel depot. Total cost, $164, or about 33 cents each.

How do you make a bookmark?