Breaking Bad (Design)

Chris Clemente

Like thousands of Americans binge-watching the complete series of Breaking Bad on Netflix, I too have caught the bug. Let me just come out and say it: the show is awesome. Do I dare say the best show on television. Ever.  Now, I know I’m a bit obsessed. It’s become me and my wife’s way to unwind at the end of each day, I’m debating to go full out Bryan Cranston and be Heisenberg for Halloween this year, and the show’s collector edition Blu-ray box set is patiently waiting in my Amazon Wishlist. It comes with a replica oil barrel, 55 hours of special features, a Los Pollos Hermanos apron, and it’s totally mine (in about three more pay periods). It’s coming to the point where everything I see relates to Breaking Bad. An RV on the highway? Breaking Bad.  Rock salt on the payment? Breaking Bad. A corkboard with our company structure pinned to it? Breaking Bad. Some may think it’s a problem, but I say it’s all because of good chemistry (yes, pun intended). What do you get when you mix an Erlenmeyer flask of good writing, a graduated cylinder’s worth of fantastic acting, and a Büchner funnel of artistic flourishes in direction and music? Well you get 200 pounds of a great show. Oh man, there I go again!

And it doesn’t stop there. Breaking Bad is affecting how we design at Informz. Like the show, in many ways, email design is a triple threat. It takes three solid elements to take your next email campaign to the next level: templates, story layouts, and mailings. When each element of your campaign is targeted individually and creatively, you’ll find that engagement will only increase. Let’s deconstruct.


Here at Informz, we like to think of templates as your “stationary.” It’s the element of your campaign that says static. It’s the container that houses your stories. So really, the story is what should be frequently modified within your mailing. Think about what needs to stay static, and is critical to your company’s brand. Logos, banners, company addresses, unsubscribes links. These are elements that are not only critical to your brand, but provide consistency from one campaign to the next.

Story Layouts

We like to call them “mini templates,” and should be seen just as important as (or perhaps even more important to some users) your templates. When creating mailing after mailing, the format should always be the same for your content. To anchor your style of body content, headlines, and images, story layouts can be used to retain the formatting so that it can be dropped into your mailing straight from the editor. No need to copy and paste from previous mailings.


Mailings are most effective when templates and story layouts are utilized together. In a way, mailings are a puzzle with templates and story layouts being large pieces of the pie. The content of mailings is also the most frequently modified and unique to your particular campaign. If done right, the user setting up your mailing will benefit from the effortless nature of setting up a well-constructed campaign.

So, there you have it. Three simple yet effective parts of an engaging campaign. Make sure to build each part effectively and true to your company’s brand, because if you don’t, your subscribers will be the ones who “knock.”

About the Author
Chris Clemente

With extensive background in web development and graphic design, Chris is Lead Digital Designer at Informz. In his free time, Chris is a movie buff and writes reviews for international blogs and traveling festival circuits. He even once interviewed director Martin Scorsese!