Invoices and infographics may seem like two entirely different business materials, but they actually have one key thing in common: they both exist to convey information.
However, while infographics are known for employing colorful designs and data visualizations, invoices are typically pretty straightforward.
While your invoices might not be a front-facing part of your business, it doesn’t mean they should be plain and boring. Of course, conveying important payment information in a clear and concise way is the name of the game — but that doesn't mean you can't add a little brand personality to them.
To help you get a sense of the possibilities, we put together a collection of impressive invoice samples that may inspire you to rethink your current design.
But first, let's review how to design an invoice in the section below.
How to Design an Invoice
You don’t need to be an expert to create professionally designed invoices. In fact, you can use customized templates to get started (more on that later).
However, you need to know a bit about an invoice's structure if you want to create and send invoices that ensure you receive your payments on time.
Here are some best practices for creating professional invoices:
Decide on your invoice format.
Start by choosing the format you want to use for your invoice.
Do you want it in print? Or in digital formats like a PDF, Google Docs, Word, or Excel? Once you're sure of the format, move on to create room for essential details on the invoice.
Add essential information.
Every invoice you create should include the following information:
Your details: This includes your name, company name, address, telephone number, and email address.
Client details: Add your client’s address, company name, telephone number, and email address. You might need to add the department and the contact person’s name if you’re working with a large organization.
List of services: Make a list of all the services you’re charging the client for. Your list should be as specific as possible to eliminate any confusion in the client’s mind.
Payment terms and methods: How would you like your clients to pay you? Bank transfer? PayPal? Check? Make it clear in your invoice. You should also make the payment’s due date clear and include what will happen when payments exceed said date.
Add your company’s branding.
You’d be missing out on an ideal branding opportunity if you create generic invoices. So instead, add a bit of razzle-dazzle to your invoice that carries your brand colors, logo, and fonts.
You can also distinguish your invoices by giving them a monochrome look.
Invoice Design Templates and Examples
We’ve put together a collection of impressive invoice designs and templates that may inspire you to rethink your current design. Many of them are free to download and customize.
No frills, just business. This basic invoice template, developed here at HubSpot, gives you all the necessities of paper billing without the written fields that more complex business services might want distinguished.
The template above offers space for your name, your client's name, invoice date, and a base of 10 itemized services. You can add more as needed.
Like the basic invoice template, the blank invoice design contains all the necessary fields you need in an invoice.
However, this blank invoice template allows you to go into specifics concerning your client’s contact details. You also get to include a detailed breakdown of the cost, including tax and shipping fees.
Are you selling a variety of products and services? The commercial invoice above might be just what you need. Developed here at HubSpot, this template allows space for product origin, manufacturing origin, discounts offered to your client, and more.
This green template can be downloaded using the link in the header above the image. Dedicated to shipping-based services, the vibrant document is perfect for transactions that involved the transportation of goods.
It doesn't get much more basic than the orange standard invoice template, shown above. Download this template for free using the link in the header above the image. It opens in Microsoft word, allowing you to insert your logo in the top-righthand corner and add additional service rows to match how many services you provided your customer.
The minimalist invoice template shown above caters to services that are hard to describe in individual lines of services. Using the large "Notes" tile in the center of the document, you can put the focus on the nuances of your business, so it's clear why you've charged your client the price you've listed. Download it for free using the link in the header above the image.
Sometimes, you might just want your invoice to have a monochrome feel to it. And that’s exactly what this black and white design template offers. It’s geared mostly towards shipping invoices, but can be customized for other uses as well. Click on the header above the image to download this template.
This simple invoice template allows you to add your logo and customize the design to match your brand colors. You also get clearly defined fields where you can enter a list of services you want to receive payment for, alongside your payment info.
You can download this template by clicking on the header above the image.
This template takes the basic invoice template up a notch with its minimalistic view. Whether you’re using it for personal or business use, this template helps you save time, and it allows you to assign Customer IDs that help you quickly find who needs to receive the invoice.
Put your final price to the client "front and center" using this design by Ari Krzyzek. Contact this designer using the link in the header — her project comes with matching letters and business cards. Or, simply use her concept as inspiration to create an invoice of your own.
The document makes excellent use of contrast in font color, allowing the red price to pop against the thIn black text surrounding it.
This is a more specific invoice sample focused on billing for services — in this case: photography.
This invoice uses an actual photograph in the header to highlight the quality of its services. This is a clever idea you can leverage for multiple services such as graphic design, illustration, interior design, and so on.
If you want to personalize your invoice further, you can use a photo or design from the customer's specific project to give it a custom look and feel.
There's something about yellow that makes a document friendlier. Vibrant but unaggressive, this template emphasizes your price in large font on the bottom-righthand corner, with a yellow border to make sure it doesn't get forgotten in a pile of other white sheets of paper on your client's desk.
This invoice template offers space for a logo on the bottom-lefthand corner, rather than the top, for professionals who want to make it clear right away that this document is a bill to be paid (hence "INVOICE" listed on the top-righthand corner).
The invoice's midsection allows the sender to include a thorough description of each service provided — a helpful billing format if your business spanned multiple projects over a long period.
Here’s another elegant invoice template to serve as inspiration for your own. The template is simple and quickly highlights how much clients are expected to pay for a product or service.
You can also insert the “terms and conditions” of your contract in this template so you can remind customers what they signed up for when choosing your business. After all, they might be confused why you’re charging them a certain fee and may want to review the terms and conditions of their contract before reaching out for help.
How would you like an invoice that looks like a resume? This template from Ariodsgn is the right mix of creative, modern, and professional. Perfect for making a positive first impression on your customers.
Take your clients back to the ’80s with this retro invoice design. Although old-fashioned, the focus of this template remains on passing across a clear message regarding your payment information to clients.
How to Write an Invoice
Want to make your own invoice? We've got you covered.
Click this page to visit the Invoice Template Generator.
Click the dotted square on the top-righthand corner of the template to upload an image file of your logo. Or, drag and drop this image file into the square.
Use the circular wrench/paintbrush icon to the left of the template to change the invoice's color scheme.
Hover your cursor over the "Item Description" section to "Add More" rows if you're billing your client for more than one product or service.
Hover your cursor over each individual field to customize details such as invoice number, company name, item quantity, and relevant notes to the recipient.
When you've finished customizing your invoice, click "Download Now" just below the template. Your invoice will download as a PDF.
You can also download ten other invoice templates that you can customize to meet your needs, whether you’re a freelancer or a large corporation.
At the end of the day, invoices should tell clients how much they owe, what they're paying for, and what date they need to pay by. If you're having trouble designing an invoice, or just want to shake things up, choose one of the pre-made templates above and get started with redesigning your invoices today.
Editor's note: This post was originally published in February 2019 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.
Originally published Jul 13, 2021 1:15:00 PM, updated July 13 2021