Starbursts, stamps, dingbats

Before you whip out the starbursts, stamps, and dingbat … DON’T. Until you’ve determined all of the options. Here’s why.


1. Why do you need them? Effective Direct Response Design relies heavily on copy. Great copy doesn’t need help to get response.


2. Starbursts, stamps, and dingbats are invisible on their own. Use them as graphic interest, but connect them to content, the same way you would use a subhead or headline.

Better: Create interest through size, placement of headlines, text color and rules creating visual clues that organically lead the prospect to the reply.


3. The elements of your design should be layered and categorized. I tend to design from the ground up in layers. Format, text, images. Then I draw out the headlines, size the images, then I push and pull to focus the eye on the critical parts of the content, so the eye sees the things that will lead the user to order. If more is needed, then maybe I’ll add a starburst or a stamp.

Used with purpose, a burst or a stamp used sparingly can be effective in drawing attention to key elements of the offer.

Used without a reason, bursts become a crutch.

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Dwight IngramCreative Director  |  IngramCS