description and salesmanship are not parallel

You know those letters you get from the [INSERT APPARENTLY WELL-RESOURCED NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION HERE] asking you for the [INSERT POWER OF TEN HERE] time to give at the level just above where you gave before?

I notice that they always have

  1. margins less than a half inch around because they are sore afraid you will not turn over the page
  2. a serif font, which is considered legible but you and I know it is not.
  3. an unwillingness to italicize for emphasis. Emphatic messages are always bold and underlined, which strikes me as typographically hyperbolic
  4. a message that attempts to make you aware of just how desparate things are [GET USED TO IT] while attempting to inspire you to believe that giving at the slightly higher level you did last year will effect the outcome one iota.
  5. neglected to include a checkbox that permits one to give money and never receive another set of slightly incorrect mailing labels, gift cards, newsletters, or affinity marketing opportunities ever again. You know. So that the paltry donation I’m about to make isn’t just a fraction of the production cost of the solicitation.
  6. made me wince.

So.

I’m bringing all my talents to bear on the creation of one of these very pieces of forgettable AND TYPOGRAPHICALLY INFURIATING direct mail solicitations.

There I said it.

Sigh.

Blame me, because I’m aiding and abetting.

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