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Choosing Color in Direct Mail Design: Blue Edition

Our popular color series continues to show how thoughtful color choice can help your business break through the subconscious and avoid the conscious “no” of the consumer. Different hues for backgrounds, fonts, images and other design elements impact response rates for every direct mail campaign you launch, plus any coordinated digital advertising. Let’s take a dive into the deeper meanings of the color blue and its many marketing-related benefits.

Blue is the optimum color for calming things down and applying rational thinking. A glimpse of clear blue sky or tranquil sea indicates that everything is going well, as studies show that blue can lower blood pressure and heart rate. Selecting blue tones for the portion of your postcard that conveys the most information makes a lot of sense, as blue is known to help with clarity and communication.

Postcard Design Using Blue Color

Blue is often used in marketing pieces for the health, technology and finance industries. Perhaps it’s because “Blue is associated with trustworthiness, strength and dependability…” according to Leslie Harrington, Executive Director of The Color Association of the United States. offers a lot of insight into the way colors impact us, and this excerpt from an article on blue explains a lot: “Blue is a color often found in nature such as the pale blue of a daytime sky or the rich dark blue of a deep pool of water. It is for this reason perhaps that people often describe the color blue as calm and serene.” The following factoids are also true of blue:

  • Many people pick blue as a favorite color, especially men
  • Blue creates a traditional atmosphere
  • A splash of blue encourages a serene mood
  • Many people equate blue with stability and reliability
  • Blue increases productivity and is the preferred color in many office 
    color schemes
  • Blue idioms show how the color can affect people: the blues, blue ribbon, out of the blue, blue blood, blue collar and blue in the face

Another Postcard Design Using Blue

With a better understanding of how prospects view the color blue, you can strategically incorporate it into your print and digital marketing. For timely updates or newsletters, blue can help readers settle down and absorb your information. Here are a few suggestions on using blue hues to help your small or mid-sized business increase customer engagement:

  • Use blue to create a contrast between your call to action and general content. Your content will seem more trustworthy and encourage readability, also increasing the effectiveness of your call to action.
  • Determine shade choice carefully. Tranquil blues might calm things down, but a deep or stormy blue can be energizing.
  • Use blue and images of blue (sky, ocean, rivers, etc.) to imply the infinite. If you can’t list all of the services offered by your business, you can easily suggest that the list goes on with use of the right graphic.
  • Use blue to give readers a break. Even when you are sending out urgent information, too much red or orange can be an overwhelming sight. Blue gives the readers’ eyes a chance to rest, letting them absorb more information.

As you work through color and design details, remember to keep your unique audience in mind. Shades of blue don’t necessarily mean the same thing around the globe, though their calming abilities are universally acknowledged. For example, in Chinese culture, the color blue might also indicate healing and exploration. As you plan your next campaign, it’s wise to research the psychology of colors specific to your target demographic. After all, you want your 
marketing piece to generate a positive response, not generate miscommunication or offense.

For more color ideas relating to direct mail design and beyond, read our previous editions on choosing purplechoosing orange and choosing red.

By Jessica Biondo, Marketing Communications Manager, Modern Postcard

Call a Direct Marketing Specialist at 800.959.8365.

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