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Get the Best Direct Mail Results Using Clear & Simple Design

Don't try and create award-winning design for your postcard mailers. There really is no need to over - elaborate your graphics. In fact, it will probably hurt your promotion. A postcard mailer is a functional marketing tool. It provides customers with something that benefits them; a discount, information about your company, details about a special event, etc. The graphics on your direct mail promotions should always look attractive but they should also be simple and uncluttered. By using graphics and typography, your design intent should be to create a clear eye path that guides the viewer to all the information in the right sequence.

Here are 3 design standards that you should consider before creating your mailer design:

1. Space

Creating an easy eye­flow is impossible without space. A common design mistake is to try to fill in all the blank space (negative space) with cool images and graphics. This will not work for a direct mailer that MUST have immediate impact. Cluttered designs can't sell the offer or concept. Too much imagery gets in the way. If you can't immediately see the headline and find a clean eyepath to the call-to-action, then the message will be lost and the mailer will most likely end up in the trash without being read!

Mailer Design Sample

Design Breakdown

Super typographical skills, layout, and spacial awareness have been used to create this postcard mailer. A lot of promotional details have been presented in a small 4x6 space. It graphically focuses on the text and the offer - presenting the viewer only with the information they want and need to redeem the offer. The bold use of color makes this visually striking and eye-catching. The designer has done a fantastic job of drawing maximum attention possible to the text and message by creating extreme color contrast so that the type stands out.

2. One strong image

The simple fact is that a viewer's mind can't process lots of small pictures as easily as one strong image. When it comes to advertising, less is more! Using too many images creates what is known as "friction" ­ where the eye can't concentrate on one message and is distracted by lots of shattered visual messages. Use images only when you need to communicate something important about your business or offer.

Print Design Sample With One Strong Image

3. Using text ­ color and positioning

Whenever you design, you should always be aware of the following copy essentials:

  • The size of your font
  • The style of your font
  • The placement of your copy

A design can be ruined by a badly chosen font that can't be read. To make sure that all your copy is readable, try not to choose fancy and elaborate fonts whenever possible. If someone has to struggle to read your promotion, then you've failed as a designer. Consider the following:

  • Try to use a clean body copy font style - use only serif and san-serif fonts such as Garamond or Helvetica
  • Your font should be no lower than 9 pts to be easily distinguished
  • Only place text on a contrasting background - light colors on light colors can't be read, just as dark colors on dark colors can't be read
  • Avoid placing your text on design pattern or texture - place your text within a flat color space with plenty of negative space surrounding it

Direct Mail Postcard Design Sample

Design Breakdown

Superb use of text and layout to ensure that a lot of information is easily seen by the viewer. The designer has used some great design tricks to make sure that the text is separated into readable portions and separately defined; using speech bubbles, labels, and a tear-off section to create separation. By doing this, they have ensured that the viewer doesn't have to read the text all at once, plus, the natural eye path of the design follows straight to the "50% off everything in the store" offer at the foot of the design. It's also worth noting that the designer has managed to maintain a fun and modern-looking design by surrounding the text spaces with simple and appealing vector characters and textures.

Use these helpful tips to design your own postcards! Upload your design today, or design your postcard online using our professional design tool.