Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Invites and Postcard Designs

OK, call me a sucker but show me a clean, bold, simple design and, voila, I'm in love.

Have a look at designer Michelle Bersani's work for Performance Harley-Davidson open house postcards.

It grabs your attention.  It's easy to understand.  It includes the look and feel of the classic Harley branding.

And in a world where you have less than ten seconds to make your point, it does that with time to spare.

Love it!

Performance Harley-Davidson invites from designer Michelle Bersani:

Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Job Training Program Postcard

So you need to design a postcard that will create interest in your school's job training program.

What do you do?

Well, if you're like most.  You fill it with lots of pictures of smiling students and colorful campuses.

On the other hand, you could stand out from the pack and create a design that is serious and professional.

Designer Tim Scheman uses a monochrome blue palette, lots of bullet points and thoughtful graphics for recruiting students to the Met Center at St Louis Community College.

I think the postcard design works because those who are interested in job training programs are likely to be serious themselves -- not looking for glitz and frills.  The no-nonsense design conveys a "we're here to learn" message.

College Job Training Program postcard design by Tim Scheman:

Friday, February 3, 2012

Postcards and the Psychology of Color in Marketing

It only makes sense that color has an impact on a design.

Someone looking at the psychological impact of color in marketing just needs to look at the roots: nature has used color to attract pollinators and distract attackers for, well, a very long time.

Sure, there is a lot that effects what we think when we look at a postcard design, but of all the cues we consider, color can be one of the strongest.

As noted in KISSmetrics, retailers in North America (yes, location matters) use colors to convey messages to their customers:
  • red conveys 'energy'
  • blue conveys 'security'
  • orange conveys 'aggressive'
  • pink conveys 'romantic and feminine'
  • green conveys 'wealth' (or 'earth friendly'?)
  • black conveys 'powerful and sleek'
There's even an inter-industry association -- the Color Marketing Group -- that works on forecasting international color trends. Their slogan is says it all:  "Color Sells... and the 'Right' Colors Sell Better! "

Since a color choice could impact response, there's a lot riding on selecting the appropriate color for your postcard design.

Up and coming designer Alex Masica explores the 'color in advertising' issue with a set of dramatic 'sunburst' postcards designed to promote his full-service design house.

His postcards, in green, red, purple and blue, each state the same message.

Or do they?

Postcard Design in Green:

Postcard Design in Red:

Postcard Design in Purple:

Postcard Design in Blue:

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Rule No. 1 for Good Postcard Design

Nearly every time I hear there are rules for designing postcards, I discover that these rules can be broken.

That said, there are a few rules that you probably don't want to mess with.  Here is #1:

The designer needs to make a connection with the audience he/she intends to reach.  

This basically boils down to: "you need to understand who you're speaking to, before you speak."

Take a look at a series of postcard designs created for Poler.  Poler makes outdoor gear for outdoor people -- not the outdoor type who wants to conquer the world, but for those who like enjoying the adventure.

So photographer Benji Wagner and artist Nicole Lavelle created a promotional postcard series which reflects that.

The cards were printed by Print Pinball on a thick, uncoated duplex paper that's white on one side and chipboard on the other.

There's no high gloss printing and no high impact sales pitch.  Just a reminder of what any Poler customer can appreciate: that it's good to be outdoors.

Poler Postcard 1: Climb a Tree... Go Outside

Poler Postcard 2: I Feel Best When...

Poler Postcard 3: Morning Fog...

Poler Postcard 4: Afternoon Sun...