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Event ticket design projects are some of the most exciting that come across a graphic designer's plate. In addition to affording graphic designers the opportunity to work on projects that often involve well-known events, topics and people, event ticket design allows designers to express a certain creativity that doesn't always make it to the final draft on other projects (think rock concerts!). But don't let the small size of event tickets fool you - it actually presents challenges that graphic designers have to overcome to get the most out of a very small area. That being stated, event ticket design isn't hard when when you have the right tools.
Yes, creativity can be considered an essential tool of event ticket design - and chances are you already have a finely sharpened version of your own (that's why you're a designer in the first place, right?). But like any tool, you need to constantly hone your creativity and put it to use if you want to take full advantage of it. Never make assumptions, and brainstorm different creative layouts and themes for your event ticket designs before you commit to one. Tap your creativity!
You might not be a photographer, but it's still highly likely you'll need photos that aren't supplied by your clients to design your event tickets. With a good high resolution or SLR camera, or membership to a well-reputed stock photo website, you can get images that can serve as centerpieces or simply round out your design if you have some photos from past events. You can also use tools such as Creative Commons and online searches to find graphic design elements and styles/filters for your favorite graphic design program for commercial use.
Every graphic designer needs professional software for photo editing, design and layout purposes. Some favorites include Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign and QuarkXPress. Each of these also has a free, open source counterpart - the GIMP, Inkscape and Scribus are examples. You'll also need a computer to run your software on. Many graphic designers prefer Macs, but PCs can be every bit as good for event ticket deign as their competitors. In the end, it's what software you run and how well you can design that determines how your event tickets will turn out.
Last but certainly not least, you'll need to obtain the services of a premium printing company to bring your event ticket design to life. A 12-point gloss cover stock lends a glossy sheen to both sides of your event ticket and helps your design pop right off the paper, while options such as foil stamping, numbered sequence printing, and ticket stub tear-offs increase the usability and convenience of your event ticket design. You can also choose custom sizes and unique die-cut shapes to make your tickets more memorable and even photo-frame ready so proud attendees can hang your event tickets after they've enjoyed your program. If your event grows to prodigal heights, they'll be collectors' items some day!