7 Graphic Design Tips for Small Businesses

7 Graphic Design Tips for Small Businesses

Direct mail is a very successful marketing tool for all businesses. Even small firms that may not have access to professional design skills can take advantage of postcards and letters to increase their marketing reach and boost client engagement.

A few basic design rules can get small businesses started in creating pieces that work extra hard. With Postalytics, you can just open your drag-and-drop direct mail editor and arrange the elements to present your offer.

Here’s what goes into eye-catching postcards or letters.

1. Understand your audience

Before getting to the fun stuff of choosing colors and pictures, it’s important to have an accurate profile of your audience. Write a paragraph describing the group to whom you are mailing, including age, gender, income, interests, pain points or any criteria you think are necessary. Use this profile to help pick fonts, images, and colors that will resonate.

2. Know what you want recipients to do 

Be clear about what you want people to do once they look at your letter or postcard. Do you want them to phone you, come into the business, go to your website, or sign up for an email list? As part of this process, come up with a strong call to action and make it easy to execute.

3. Keep the design simple

A simple design means choosing a few elements and arranging them in a pleasing fashion that is easy to take in. Give images and fonts lots of breathing room and avoid the temptation to jam-pack your letter or postcard with as many words and pictures as possible. If you use a dramatic image, for example, make sure it breathes with a generous amount of space. 

4. Create a hierarchy 

Pick a focal point. Whether a headline or an image, it should be the first thing readers see. Arrange every other element in descending order. This hierarchy is a visual guide to how mail piece recipients should process the information. Hierarchy rules apply to images, colors, and typefaces.  

5. Stick to a few fonts

Limit your mail piece to three fonts at most for easy reading. Vary the size of the text to create visual interest and preserve hierarchy. A stylized font can be difficult to read, but if used sparingly, it can lift a design from mundane to the fun. For better readability, avoid thin letters against a dark background.

Every typeface has a personality. Type can be strong, loud, aggressive, elegant, and so forth. Pick typefaces that reflect what you want to communicate about your company while keeping your audience in mind.

6. Don’t go crazy with color

Like typefaces, keep colors down to two or three. Colors have a huge impact on how readers perceive design. Become familiar with the basics of a color wheel and determine the best color combinations for what you want to convey. 

Colors on the opposite side of the wheel are complementary. Complementary colors result in notable contrast and high impact. Colors beside each other on the color wheel are called analogous and are less contrasty and calmer. A monochromatic color palette refers to two or three shades of the same color for a very harmonious look.

7. Use templates for a professional alternative

Another option to consider is working with a partner who has already developed professionally designed templates that will inspire confidence in your company. 

At Postalytics, we offer dozens of easy-to-use templates for postcards or letters that you can customize and save for future use. You can select the appropriate size, typeface families, and color schemes or use color options that match your branding for unique creations. You can import your own images, add shapes and other design elements, and edit and proof online before printing.

Our templates also follow all postal regulations so they can easily enter the mail stream.

Whether you choose to go it alone or use professionally designed templates, our representatives are always here to guide you with expert advice. Direct mail really can work for everyone.