Another area to be concerned about space is in the
text. The space between lines and between characters should be a comfortable
amount to make the copy easy to read. Using too much space between
characters will make it hard to pick out word and too much space between
lines will make them look like separate statements rather than a paragraph.
Having characters and lines too close will make all the copy run together,
making it difficult to read.
The color can create a mood for your direct mail
piece. It can create a soothing or comfortable feeling or it can create
a tense or irritating feeling. The colors used should promote the
same type of feeling that you are trying to portray in the message.
The colors used on all pieces should work together with each other.
When designing on a computer, the colors are RGB additive colors.
The additive colors need to be converted to CYMK to produce the correct
colors when printed. Keep this in mind when proofing the job. The
only way to be sure to get correct color proofs is to use color separated
film to produce the proof. For more details, see Color
Printing and Proofing.
Different typefaces portray different associations.
Some portray modernity, such as sans serif types like Helvetica and
Arial. Types like Times and Garamond are associated with books and
magazines. Bold face conveys loudness and importance. Light face conveys
lightness, quietness and elegance. Italic suggests speed and immediacy.
Some samples are shown below.
Each typeface has its own personality and conveys
different feelings. When choosing typefaces, be sure they work well
together. Different typefaces can be used to convey different messages
but should be kept in the same family of faces as much as possible.
The mailing must stand out form other mailings being
received. The design of the piece should not take away from the message
but should support it and lead the recipient to act on the proposition.
Make changes from mailing to mailing, otherwise recipient assumes
it is the same offer and ignores the message.
Once you get the readers attention you want to keep
it long enough to get them to take action. The message should flow
in a logical pattern. Mail pieces should be arranged in the order
that your want them to be read. Don't make the less important pieces
larger and more contrasting than the most important pieces, otherwise
they will distract the reader from the main message. Break text from
one column to the next or one page to the next in the middle of the
sentence or thought. Breaking a sentence in this manner will influence
the reader to continue on with the message.
Be sure the copy is easy to read. Fancy typefaces
may look good, but if it cannot be easily read, the message will get
lost. Be sure type size is easy to read and that there is proper spacing
between characters and lines of type.
Illustrations are a good design feature to use to
attract the attention and spark the interest in the recipient. They
can be in the form of a photograph or a drawing. Photographs are the
best way to display an item in its most realistic form. However, there
are times when it is better to use a drawing. A drawing may work better
to illustrate particular points or features of a product.
The illustrations should support the message of
the whole product or service. They can convey a message of their own
so be careful that they are conveying a message that relates to the
The response piece, if part of the direct mail package,
should be designed to carry the overall message of the offer. It is
likely that it will be the only piece of the mailing that is retained,
so all of the important elements of the message must be stated on
the response piece. The instructions on it should be clean and easy
to follow. If information needs to be filled in, there should be sufficient
room allowed for it to be entered.
There are software programs available that are used for page layout,
photographic manipulation, and illustration design. Some of the common
software programs used are QuarkXpress, Adobe® InDesign,
Adobe® Illustrator® and Adobe® Photoshop®. See
more information on each of these tools in Prepress
- Software - Graphics and Prepress
- Software - Desktop.
Photos are often supplied by the customer. If not,
photos can be taken by local photographers. If the use of a professional
photographer and professional models are required, the cost of using
photos can get very expensive. Sometimes stock photos are a good option.
They are readily available, excellent quality and are a lot less expensive
than having the photos created professionally. For access to providers
of royalty free stock images, see Industry Library - Services.