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Choosing Color in Direct Mail Design: Green Edition

You’re in luck! Green is the hue of choice in the next edition of our popular color series, which helps marketers and designers understand the psychological importance of color in not only print promotions, but digital too. After all, green is the shade of money, luck and momentum. Learn why this underestimated pigment can help customers and prospects give your business the green light.

Spring and summer are typically the seasons that bring visions of lush greens to mind, but it’s really a color that is used throughout the year. Holiday marketing gives life to evergreens, olives and emeralds in the winter, while warmer-season marketing showcases grassy and vibrant greens like chartreuses and limes. No matter how you put green to work for your direct mail campaignsprint collateralor complementary digital efforts, it’s a calming color that adds visual interest to your designs and messaging, plus packs a punch with some surprising side effects.

For example, the human body experiences a physical response upon seeing green. Per, “Your pituitary gland is stimulated. Your muscles are more relaxed, and your blood histamine levels increase, which leads to a decrease in allergy symptoms and dilated blood vessels, aiding in smoother muscle contractions. In short, green is calming, stress-relieving, and – a bit paradoxically – invigorating. It’s been shown to improve reading ability and creativity.” That’s pretty powerful!

Green is the color most commonly found in nature, so it can remind your audience of the great outdoors – presenting feelings of peace, openness, beauty or adventure. Or, it can affect your audience differently, based on the following color facts:

  • Inspires ingenuity, progress and creativity
  • Often linked with eternal life in the Japanese culture
  • Connected to rebirth and renewal, which is why it is often used in hospitals
  • Associated with money, with the term “greenbacks” used to 
    denote printed bills

How people use the word green in common dialog can indicate what subconscious associations they have with it. Consider the following sayings:

  • Get the green light
  • Greener pastures
  • Green thumb
  • Green room
  • Going green

Of course, the grass isn’t always greener when harnessing the power of green. There are some negative connotations to this tone to be aware of. You might say someone looks green if you think they look ill (like the green, sick emoji on your smartphone). Green with envy can be used to compliment or insult someone. Green horns are newbies lacking experience.

Since green can promote both positive and negative reactions, it’s important to understand what shades to use and where to use them strategically in your direct marketing campaignspostcard mailers and digital promotions. Here are some ideas to get started:

  • Since green has a calming influence, darker tones would not be a wise choice for your call to action, but brighter shades could grab attention and work well
  • Incorporate green with facts, sensitive content or highly-emotional topics to help your audience more tranquilly digest information
  • Green means go, so use it as a visual to represent something is good, better, faster, smarter, approved, etc.
  • Green works well as a border or design element that highlights special offers – think money savings, discounts, etc.
  • Make sure green aligns with the meaning of your campaign – while it wouldn’t produce feelings of love to promote a dating website or hunger to promote a new restaurant launch (outside of healthy/organic establishments), it would work to promote recycling, science and energy, health, camping and outdoors, spa treatments, etc.
  • Emerald greens can have a regal, expensive or important feel to them, similar to navy blue or deep purple
  • Brighter greens or shades with more yellow can have a happy, fresh, renewed feel to them

For more color ideas relating to direct mail design and beyond, read our previous editions on choosing bluechoosing 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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