2014 card (front)

2014 card (front)

2014 card (mailing side)

2014 card (mailing side)

 

I just completed the Verge Theater 2014-15 season postcard. My goal was to make the layout as useful as possible while promoting the theater’s new name and brand.

Things I did to improve legibility and usability:

Increased size of card — By increasing postcard size from 5.5×8.5″ to 6×11″ I was able to take advantage of the same non-profit mailing rate, but have additional real estate for information. By sourcing a Montana printer that could do the work for less than half of the cost of previous (smaller) cards, I was able to offer the non-profit savings while increasing the size of their info-packed card.

Organized information in tables — Since the postcard is a go-to reference for users, I wanted to make it easy to locate info. Tables are great for that.

Made headings bigger — It’s easier for readers to access info on demand when the headings make a clear break between blocks of body text. (It goes without saying that I used consistent styles for headings and body text.)

Changed color scheme — I selected warm background colors that contrasted well with text colors.

Gave photos their space — It’s never ideal to use several small photos instead of a large one, but Verge wanted very much to convey the breadth of their offerings. To help give the photos impact, I clumped the small photos into one visual element and let them occupy a prominent area of the layout. (Screening images under text detracts from both, so I try never to do it!)

Cropped photos judiciously — Although this year’s photos are not larger than last year’s photos, they appear bigger because I didn’t try to include a whole scene in a small photo.

Minimized decoration — With so much information to convey in such a small space, I took out decorations that weren’t integral to the Verge brand. (The Verge logo is the star of the layout. Colors, photo selection and brand-appropriate fonts help to convey personality without adding clutter.)

Things I did to promote the Verge logo and brand:

Accentuated the logo — Since the logo is new, I made it large and prominent. To help focus attention on the logo, I mirrored its sloped shape in the placement of the photos and main headings.

Used branded wording — In a branding discussion, Verge identified “edgy, intimate, lively, humorous, inventive, fresh and quirky” as pillars. I included phrases like “dive in” and “the little black box on the edge” to tie in with brand vocabulary.

Mentioned non-profit status — One thing that non-profits often forget is to ASK their supporters for support. By including “A great way to support a great non-profit” after the season ticket copy, I made it clear that buying a season ticket is not just a way to save money, but a way to support a worthy non-profit.

Here’s a quick before and after comparison of last year’s and this year’s cards:

 

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