Mousetrap Marketing Series #15-#20

April 9, 2007

The Mousetrap Series…by Matt Michel

The Mousetrap Series is about helping you sell more mousetraps, no matter what the mousetrap is that you sell. I don’t care how good your mousetrap is, few people will buy it if you do not market it well. 

The next few tips in the Mousetrap Series relate directly to graphic design. As a business owner you do not need to know everything there is to know about graphic design. You do not need to perform graphic design. However, you should be able to recognize the basics of good design when you see it. After all, it’s your money that’s getting spent.

Since it helps to "see" examples, you might want to download a copy of the "Build a More Profitable Service Business" notes by clicking on the Link below…

15. Every Inch Does Not Have To Be Filled
Nature abhors a vacuum and marketers abhor white space. "Hey, look. There’s some empty space. Let’s say something else about how wonderful we are!"


Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong!

Uh, note to self. Remember this one.

A filled to the gills, busy piece tends to overwhelm and intimidate people. They get intimidated and they don’t even attempt to read all of the wonderful things about your wonderful business.

In one of the most successful print ads of all time, a bank utilized almost an entire page to say, "Free Money." Granted, this is an easy sell. Any bank that offers free money would get my attention. That’s the point. The bank didn’t need to say anything else. The bank didn’t need to anything else, except the fine print footnote explaining that the bank was offering a free copy of Microsoft® Money.

White space is pleasing to the eye. It also helps draw attention to the important stuff, you want people to read.

16. Don’t Use All Upper Case Because It’s a Lot Harder to Read
In seminars, I put the following text up in upper and lower case, and in all upper case, side by side. Immediately before I load the page, I divide the room in half. One half reads the upper and lower case text. The other side reads the upper case text.

I tell people to raise their hands when done. It never fails. The half reading the upper and lower case text beats the half reading the all upper case text every time.

Which do you think is easier to read?


People are used to reading upper and lower case. As we age, we learn to read words by shape. When words are written in all caps, we can’t read by shape.

17. Delete 9,998 Fonts From Your 10,000 Font Collection
Just because you have hundreds or thousands of fonts doesn’t mean you need to use them. It’s like using every possible color. It’s annoying. Don’t do it.

There are three types of relationships to think about. First is a concordant relationship where the fonts vary slightly, but come from the same family. Variations might include bolding the font or italicizing the font. A contrasting relationship involves more than one font and the fonts are definitely different and distinctive, such as Arial and Times Roman. There are places for both concordant and conflicting relationship. There is no place for a conflicting relationship, which involves fonts that are only slightly different, such as Times Roman and Courier or Arial and Verdana.

Try to use one font for headlines and a different font for everything else. That gives you contrast, without tiring the reader.

18. People Read Roman
Roman is the font used in newspapers and in most books. People are used to it. It’s easier to read. Use a Roman typestyle for body, for sentences and paragraphs.

19. San Serifs Are Good For Headlines
San Serifs, the smoother fonts, such as Arial, are great fonts to use for headlines. San Serifs bold well. They contrast well with Roman typefaces. They work wonderfully well for short lines of text.

20. Use Reverses For Emphasis
If you have a piece of text that you really want to draw attention, use a reverse, such as white text on a black field. Reverses provide a strong element of contrast with a very simple graphic element. Reverses are also a great way to break up a document into clearly defined sections.


Source: Comanche Marketing. Reprinted by permission.
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Copyright © 2004 Matt Michel

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