Abstract: The density and long-term stability of DNA make it an appealing storage medium, particularly for long-term data archiving. Existing DNA storage technologies involve the synthesis and sequencing of multiple nominally identical molecules in parallel, resulting in information redundancy. We report the development of encoding and decoding methods that exploit this redundancy using composite DNA letters. A composite DNA letter is a representation of a position in a sequence that consists of a mixture of all four DNA nucleotides in a predetermined ratio. Our methods encode data using fewer synthesis cycles. We encode 6.4MB into composite DNA, with distinguishable composition medians, using 20% fewer synthesis cycles per unit of data, as compared to previous reports. We also simulate encoding with larger composite alphabets, with distinguishable composition deciles, to show that 75% fewer synthesis cycles are potentially sufficient. We describe applicable error-correcting codes and inference methods, and investigate error patterns in the context of composite DNA letters. Toward more storage for less synthesis using a six-letter composite DNA alphabet.