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Quick Start Guide: Postcard Imagery and Color

June 19, 2014

Postcard Imagery and Color

From the red and yellow of McDonald’s to the royal blue used in bank branding, the colors used in marketing make a huge difference in the way we perceive different brands and companies.

In addition to the colors used in logos and direct mail postcards, the images used in marketing also have a significant impact. From the subject of the image to its size, a wide variety of variables contribute to the psychosocial impact an image can have.

In this quick start guide, we’ll explain the basics of color and imagery for businesses interested in developing their brand and attracting new customers using direct mail postcards and promotional materials.

The psychology of color

We all react differently to different colors. Bright, powerful colors like red inspire a feeling of excitement and boldness. Relaxed and natural colors such as green result in the opposite reaction – instinctual feelings of calmness, nature and health.

The colors you choose to use in the design of your postcard could have a huge effect on your small business postcard marketing campaign. By choosing colors that match your business qualities and values, you create a synergistic effect that can enhance your results.

Each color creates a different emotional reaction, as explained in this fantastic chart from The Logo Company:

  • Yellow: feelings of optimism and warmth
  • Orange: feelings of friendliness and confidence
  • Red: feelings of excitement and boldness
  • Purple: feelings of creativity and wisdom
  • Blue: feelings of trust and dependability
  • Green: feelings of peace and tranquility
  • Grey: feelings of balance and neutrality

You can see the psychological effects of these colors represented in the corporate logos and branded materials that use them. From dependability to optimism, marketers use color to reinforce the qualities that make their brands attractive to consumers.

‘Natural’ brands like Whole Foods and Animal Planet use green in their logos. Banks and investment firms – both of whom depend on trust for the continued business of their clients – use large amounts of blue and grey in their corporate logos.

Capitalize on the psychology of color by designing your direct mail postcards using a color scheme that reflects the qualities of your product or service. Choose your colors carefully and you’ll trigger a powerful subconscious response when people view your postcards.

The psychology of imagery

Just like colors create a psychological reaction, images can be used to trigger certain emotions or thoughts. From the subject of a photograph to the angle it’s shot from, a variety of factors contribute to the reaction an image elicits in its target audience.

A classic use of imagery in marketing is a picture of a happy consumer using a new product. When we see someone smiling and holding something – from the keys to a new home to a new vacuum cleaner – we associate their happiness with the product.

Interestingly, we’re more likely to experience the same feelings as the subject of the photograph if they’re similar to us. Young people have a stronger response to images that feature young people, and men and women alike generally respond strongly to pictures of their own gender in advertising.

Use the psychology of imagery in your postcard by choosing images that match the type of emotion your customers will feel when they use your product. From smiles of joy to sighs of relief, facial expressions and body language make a difference.

In addition to choosing imagery that reflects the emotions you’d like your product to create, use images that represent your target market. From senior citizens to the young and ambitious, match your imagery to your audience for a higher response rate the next time your business is mailing direct custom postcards.