Quick Tip:
The Secret Power of Color

Even before you become a full-fledged direct-marketing copywriter/designer, you have a great deal of control over the look and feel of the packages you turn in for review.

For example, as the copywriter, you can make suggestions on the fonts to be used for the headline, subheads, and other elements – their size, placement, and color.

Many times, copywriters ignore specifying a color for the type, assuming it will be black. And this is a mistake. Colors not only express various thoughts and feelings, they influence emotions.

Want proof? Think of the colors used by fast-food restaurants and compare them to those used by elegant, 4-star restaurants. The bright oranges and yellows in a fast-food restaurant are intended to heighten excitement and make patrons feel like moving through the serving line faster.

Direct-marketing designers, too, use colors to arouse emotions. Look at the financial promos in your swipe file, and you'll see that many of them use green – the color of money. And in fear-based messages, there's a good chance the designers used red.

Not all experts agree on the exact feelings and emotions that certain colors trigger, but here are a few guidelines you can pretty much depend on:

  • Red – strength or aggression
  • Orange – warmth or frustration
  • Yellow – optimism or anxiety
  • Green – peace or boredom
  • Blue – calm or coldness
  • Purple – quality or decadence

Notice that each one of these colors can invoke either a positive or a negative feeling.

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

At last, a professional organization that caters to the needs of direct-response industry writers. Find out how membership can change the course of your career. Learn More »


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Published: October 1, 2007

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