MEDiAHEAD blog

Optimal imagery: picking the right pictures for your direct mail

[fa icon="calendar"] Jan 7, 2016 10:15:00 AM / by MEDiAHEAD

choosing the right images for advertising campaignsPresentation is more important than content. That’s why so many dating profiles on OkCupid include pictures of men from when they were 10 years younger. When it comes to the presentation of your direct marketing items, choosing the correct images and pictures is absolutely critical for capturing the attention of your readers. For this reason, we’ve outlined some of the most important bits of advice to help you select the right picture for your printed promotions and direct mail campaigns.

Refrain from text-heavy images

One of the most common mistakes made in direct mail marketing is choosing an image with too much text, or simply placing too much text over a chosen image. While there isn’t exactly a concrete rule to tell us how much text is too much, nor is there a precise mathematical algorithm you can use to calculate optimal ratios of text to image size, our general advice is to be cautious. Placing too much text over an image will make your direct mail items look messy and confusing, which will detract from the overall appeal of your design, and will cause your readers to lose focus. The impact of your message will be lost in a convoluted vortex of words and graphics. Try to choose stock photos that provide adequate space for text to be placed where you want it.

Don’t go color crazy

So maybe the ‘60s were psychedelic, but your direct mail pieces don’t need to have the color scheme of a tie dye t-shirt (unless, of course, you’re trying to target a very specific audience who would appreciate your far-out grooviness). Most design experts recommend using a color scheme that has at most three primary colors with an additional one or two secondary colors that contrast or complement each other. Use different tones of the same hues for consistency by adjusting the brightness of the colors for contrast. Note that finer fonts and typefaces will require stronger distinction against a colored background. It might also behoove you to remember that color blindness is much more common than most people expect, affecting approximately eight percent of all men, and therefore, you might use caution when using colors like red and green together -- maybe we should have mentioned this before Christmas?

Choose pictures that don’t look too fake or staged

Some of our customers and clients have a strong aversion to the use of stock photos of people or people’s faces, and we understand why. Everyone has experienced an overexposure to painfully generic stock photos of bland corporate goons shaking hands at a boring company meeting, or women laughing alone with salad. It’s not that these customers and clients don’t like people, but the stock photos of other human beings tend to look uncomfortably fake. When selecting stock photos of people, be sure to use pictures that don’t look posed or unnatural.

Are your photos enhancing the message of your direct marketing campaigns? MEDiAHEAD offers everything you need to fully communicate and measure the impact of your message over print, online, and other new media outlets. Contact MEDiAHEAD today for more information about developing an integrated direct mail campaign!

Topics: Marketing, Printing

Written by MEDiAHEAD