Marketing 101 help needed

I'm doing a pro-bono project for a friend and we're sending out postcard mailers. The mailing text is already decided. There is a color logo that would be on the back of each mailer.

I wanted to ask the folks here for any tips on colors, font selection, and such, that would help make the mailer stand out.

For example, does using color vs. B&W really make a difference? I can't find any data suggesting that it does, but it seems to reason it would (color for emphasis, color for emotion, etc.).

Thanks for any suggestions.

If you spoke to my colour blind partner, he would tell you to save your money and stick to black and white.

It is impossible to respond to your question in a general manner as the impact is created by a successful composition of the various elements which needs to be anchored in time and context, (socio economic cultural historic of the target audience) more or less depending on the thing or event being promoted, and the type of response/action the campaign aims for.

In other words, a general rule could do more damage if it isn’t applicable to the specifics of your project.


If you can divulge it, you can describe your project and content for comments.


Black and white are both colours. There are other colours too. Yes, colour will make an immediate difference. And if you discuss the project with someone knowledgable about colour you'll find that designing around colour blindness is fairly easy.

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Thanks Cecile.

These are just political card mailers I'm helping create for a friend ("Get out and vote" kind of thing).

I think I'll stick with B&W since I haven't upgraded my inkjet to one of those more economical ones that let you fill in the ink from bottles. To my utter shock, a simple magenta cartridge I need before my printer will do ... anything again is $20. Madness!

I hardly ever need to print, but this is one of those cases.

We'll use our laser instead I guess.

Thanks for your reply.

My question was more of whether color is worth it economically and especially if it would increase response rate.

My unscientific opinion is that any snail mail like this, color or B&W will quickly end up in the “circular file” so it probably doesn’t matter.


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On that basis, why send it at all?

Of course, the point is not to get caught up by the thought that 90% of the email you send will go unread. You are appealing to the 10% who do read it.

Your message has to communicate its appeal in microseconds. The user will then give it some amount of seconds to read it. Plain black text on a white background is great for transmitting information but it really limits your capacity to design a message that is emotionally appealing and resonates with your audience. A well designed layout and message is going to improve the communication.


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In this specific case, I would keep b&w anyway to avoid falling in the partisan colours.

Black and white are either the absence of colour or all the colours and even these definitions vary depending of the science that looks at them.

As for the message no more than 1 font an 2 sizes

It’s on you


Where vote is way bigger don’t know how to do it with mark down

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@Cecile Simply use one or many # to use larger text with markdown (# is largest, adding multiple make it smaller, up to 6 levels). It needs to be at the start of a line, like this:


I am the colour blind partner. I will not tell you to save your money and stick to black and white. I shoot many photos, read many comic books and view a fair amount of movies. I see value in both black and white and colour, sometimes even the use of one where it "should not be" (think Schindler's List). I think creativity in your use of imagery, typography and colour (or black and white) will, together, have the impact you seek.


I'm going to use a handwriting sample as an image for the postcard. That way, I don't have to worry about the font and it should seem more natural. Currently, my pro-bono client is writing each postcard by hand.

Since I've now automated taking this terrible text address format and converting to CSV using an external program, all is working fine with FMP. Still waiting on the card stock to arrive. I picked heavy stock 8387 so the laser perforated feel of it would not seem as cheap.


Thanks. I'm going to stick to B&W just because for a pro-bono project, I can't justify spending $20 for a fricken little magenta cartridge when there's no documented evidence that it really make a difference. Crazy prices!

But, what we will do is use a hand written sample for the text, not a font per se. The client's handwriting is good enough to be a font by itself so that should look good.

We're also going with heavy card stock.

Appreciate your feedback and valuable input.


Great image....Love it! Thanks. I'll show to the client.

Thanks C.

Thanks @Malcolm.

Good tips, all. I appreciate your reply.

Just on this - best choice I made was to subscribe to the HP Instant Ink scheme. With an additional bonus when buying a printer you can print as many pages as you want in the first 8 months and they mail you cartridges when the printer tells them you are about to run out. After the initial 'free' period you can either continue to pay monthly starting at £1.99 for 50 pages a month or cancel and revert to buying your cartridges as you would normally. We purchased our HP inkjet and proceeded to print over 500 full colour photos and the cartridges just kept coming (with a slight delay until they learn you printing habits but no more than a couple of days after the ink ran out).

If you need to mass print it's worth looking at - the printer only cost £90 and I've had 5 full sets of XL size cartridges for free.

Correction printer was only £69 but the version on sale now in the UK doesn't have the bonus Instant ink offer on - just 5 months now.

Have you looked at the "Eko" Epson where you fill in from bottles? They say you can save up to 90% over cartridges. The printers themselves are more expensive since the company isn't going to get to soak you forever with rip-off prices for little cartridges.

(there is a less expensive model, but this one got the higher reviews.)

Also, I really don't want my printer phoning home (to HP) with printer data (whatever that might be aside from the cartridge empty info). That's really creepy.

IAC, normally I only print about 10 pages per year.

This pro-bono project is the exception. A few hundred pages at most.

Thanks for your reply.

We have something similar at the office. They’re good as long as you are printing. Ink drying out is a real problem.


Ink drying out where? You mean the ink in the printer's ink storage area actually dries out? I haven't seen anything commented like that.

Personally I don't give two shits what HP know about my printing habits as long as my cartridges arrive when I need them - what they going to do with that data exactly?