Great Email design is alive and well for Mothers Day

I’m always watching trends in Email design, and two Emails arrived in my inbox this morning to promote Mothers Day products, just minutes apart, that both expressed some beautiful qualities about modern Email design.

Email design has become more complex in some ways and simpler in others. Designs are getting cleaner. Our lives are busy and we are saturated with commercial messages, so a simple Email is much more likely to be noticed and read than one with too much in it. Complexity has come from the changing technologies such as mobile devices which create challenges to ensure that the visual impact remains strong regardless of what device is used to view the message. To be effective, calls to action must be clear and somewhat understated, so that they don’t come across like a hard sell. They need to have more of an invitational feeling to them.


One Email came from Nest, known for its awesome digital thermostat, a company with a great sense of its brand personality. The message is clean, simple and clear, with a beautiful, understated image, simple text that doesn’t try too hard, and a strong call to action:

(click image to view a larger version)

Note the use of negative space to give it breathing room. Also take note of the strongly rounded corners on the button which match the round shape of its products, a design element that Nest builds into all its marketing.


The second Email came from Apple. Again we see great use of white space, a simple, understated image, a strong headline set with a small amount of copy and a call to action. Apple traditionally includes three more call to action boxes at the bottom of the main feature. Each of these is carefully balanced visually so that none of them causes the eye to be drawn away from more important content prematurely. Each of these boxes has a one-line heading and exactly three lines of text so that none of them are unbalanced against the others.

(click image to view a larger version)

I actually feel that the logo in the Apple message is a little too close to the headline. If I recall correctly, it actually breaks Apple’s own brand identity guidelines by being that close. Regardless, it’s a great message in every other aspect.

Both Emails include the menu back to the main site only in the bottom part of the message, which is an interesting developing trend.

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George Pytlik

George Pytlik has been involved in the advertising industry for over 30 years and designed his first website when the Internet was one year old. He was an internationally recognized speaker on advertising and branding and served on a number of communication committees at various times throughout his career, as well as writing a regular column for Marketing magazine.

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