Monday, August 1, 2011

Marketing Mishaps: Using TOO MANY FONTS on a single mailer

Marketing Mishaps: Using TOO MANY FONTS on a single mailer

There's an old rule of thumb when it comes to designing an ad, mailer, or other marketing piece that involves copy: unless you are a very gifted graphic designer, limit yourself to TWO fonts. In case you doubt me, here it is from the Creative Marketing Guru blog
Why It's Ugly
Too many fonts. Use only 2 fonts per marketing piece, max. Change in a typeface signals a change in function or purpose - restrain yourself!
Care to see an example?
This mailer fails on a couple different levels, but the fonts are the most immediately noticeable, because it doesn't stop at 2 fonts, or 3 fonts, or even 4 fonts. It goes all the way to FIVE fonts on one smallish piece of paper. It's just too much.

For one thing, the message looks disjointed and disorganized. Additionally, the fonts don't really represent what they were apparently chosen to describe. For example, the BIG is much bolder than the BOLD. And that BOOMING looks more like boomeranging to me. Lastly, the main font - the one meant to convey details such as the date and call to action - is unnecessarily difficult to read.

Other Mishaps

Another problem with this mailer is the Web site. Go back to the image above and see if you can locate the Web site.

Don't feel bad if it took you awhile ... the Web address is utterly lost in the middle of that challenging font, with no space around it or other reference to it.

The final problem for this one little mailer is that the image appears inconsistent with the message. It references a "Hollywood Event," and yet the background picture more readily depicts a Hawaiian beach than a Hollywood event. Do a Google images search for Hollywood and the first five results are the famous Hollywood sign; the next three are stars on the Walk of Fame.

There is a reason graphic designers and advertising copywriters command big bucks: They know what they're doing! That is not to say you MUST hire an expensive pro for your ad campaign to succeed. However, IF you are going to venture into the design world, I highly recommend that you get some education first. The following are a few books that were recommended by Dexigner, an international design links directory.
Basic Brochures

Direct Mail Design

The Best Advertising and Design in the World
May the graphic design and copy writing force be with you!

1 comment:

  1. I have seen this piece and was surprised that someone giving business advice would distribute it. Great article, Laura!