Don’t Take Postcard Design for Granted

I don’t know how many of you might be into fashion, or art, or photography, or even cars for that matter. But what I do know is that anything requiring visual interpretation demands a visual appreciation of what you’re looking at.

The design of a sports car, the way a picture of Paris is composed, the cut and color and style of a dress floating down the runway. All of those examples are taken in by your brain, and you’re provided with instant feedback. The car is yellow, you hate yellow. The picture of Paris is rainy, and you like sunny. The dress on the model is pink polka dots and short, where you like blue polka dots and more material.

Believe it or not, postcard designs can have the same impact on your prospects. Granted, there is no way to craft a postcard that 100% of your target audience will find visually appealing. But you can ensure that using a combination of these 9 Postcard Design Must Haves will make you more successful than not:

  1. Underlining – The first of the three tried & true methods of emphasizing your copy. It is an understated way of saying, “hey, look at me” without yelling. (see: All caps.)
  2. Italics – Sometimes hard to pick out from the crowd, italics need to be used with the right font, and in the right way. If you can set single word or phrase off by itself, it makes the italicizing easier to pick up on.
  3. Boldface – The last of the three standard methods, bold face is the easiest way to add texture and emotion to your copy. How often do you see ‘SALE’ or ‘CLEARANCE’ or ‘GRAND OPENING’ on boldface? Clearly, this enhancement also goes hand-in-hand with the ‘All caps’ design element coming up next.
  4. All caps – In most forms of social media, this equates to YELLING at the reader. In postcards, we’re just trying to get your attention.
  5. Indented paragraphs – Offsetting your typeface in a postcard isn’t always easy, since you don’t necessarily rely on standard sizing where text is concerned. You can, however, tab the first part of your paragraph to set a ‘starting boundary’ for your sentence. It’s down to preference, honestly.
  6. A combination of color – Rarely, if ever these days, will you find a postcard in your mailbox that features a single color printed on postcard stock. The danger, however, in using too many colors is that you risk turning your promotion into a rainbow that distracts from your message. Don’t do that.
  7. Highlighting in yellow – Its classic presentation is undeniably hard to escape. ‘Highlighter yellow’ has an instant eye-grabbing effect, and can direct the attention of the reader practically anywhere on the postcard you want them to go. Highlighted copy is often read before anything else! As such, it can be used as a way to position your first Call-to-Action and then entice the reader with the rest of your postcard!
  8. Handwritten notes in the margins – Naturally these days that is going to take the form of a ‘handwriting’ font, but the effect is the same. Handwritten notes convey a sense of personalization, even when you can tell there’s nothing personal about it at all.
  9. Putting a key paragraph [or information block] in a box – Everybody loves a call out box! Drop a highlighted, italicized phrase in all caps here and you can truly say ‘Fish On’!

Our brains automatically assign specific validation when first see something; we like it or we don’t, or we kind of like it. I’m sure the science of ‘why’ has a name. What’s important for you and your business is that you understand that it works, ‘sciency’ explanation or not. Postcards are great tools to pull business to your front door or your landing pages. But what you create and mail has to fit the eye of the reader as closely as you can get.

Give Opportunity Knocks a call today. While our Success Coaches may not be on the cover of Vogue Magazine or Motor Trend any time soon, they’re absolutely standing by to help you create a visual masterpiece of postcard design!