Monthly Archives: January 2011

When it comes to postage, is bigger always better?

I was at a seminar about direct mail. The speaker was very good, informative, had great handouts, etc. One of the points emphasized was getting the most bang for your buck. Often times for the same postage rate a much larger mail piece can be sent. So the lesson here is to check how much the postage is going to be and see if for the same money you can send a larger piece. Great news right? Hold on Cowpokes, that’s a great idea but you’re forgetting an important fact. You also need to consider what a larger size mailer means to the cost of printing. That 4 x 6 card could cost twice as much to print at 7 x 9. Consider all aspects of your project before embarking.

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Here we go again, readability, fonts and a respite for Comic Sans? No!

I’ve just read about a study that showed that hard to read typefaces facilitate learning. Does that mean you should write your strategic plan in a curly typeface? No, it merely give credence to my assertion that a serif typeface aids in readability. The study was published in the Journal of Cognition. A couple more rules of thumb: Never use a script font in all caps, no lengthy text in all caps. No using a typeface just because you really, really like it. Behave, be good, and good night.

Indicia

indicia
markings used on address labels or bulk mail as a substitute for stamps.
Indicias are those postage paid, instead of a stamp squares you often see on envelopes and postacards. Some things to know about indicias:

  1. To use an indicia on mail you must have at least 200 pieces sent standard and at least 500 for first class.
  2. Rate marking–standard, first class
  3. It must bear the words, “U.S. Postage Paid”
  4. City and state where permit is held
  5. The words, “Permit Number” and the permit number
  6. Four or five lines long
  7. Upper right corner

Location, it varies. Yes, upper right corner, but exactly how far from the top and the edge? That’s the eternal question. It isn’t really, the eternal question is the message or the medium? (It’s the message.) Any way, indicia placement. It varies. It varies. It varies. I’ve had printers move it insisting it was wrong, I’ve had printers leave it where it was–guess what? Everything arrived just fine. Me? This is my indicia format: approximately 1”x 1” give or take a tenth. Helvetica, 9.5 type size, .375” from the top and right side. This past Christmas, 750 postcards went out with these specs without a hitch. If in doubt, call your main post office, they will put you in touch with a specialist who will help you make sure your piece of mail meets all postal regulations. There are also standard sizes, mail prices, folds, fasteners, etc. Find things out before you have your piece printed.