How Graphic Designers Can Create Better Ads
March 20, 2012
•IADT Tampa, IADT General, Graphic Design
• 0 Comments
Advertising is all about sales. That’s why ad design is message-focused. If you’re an advertising or graphic designer, you can create better ads by returning to your artistic roots. Instead of worrying so much about the literal message, start improving your ads by concentrating more on visual communication.
Graphic designers communicate visually, so they always consider how images can tell a story. To take a step back from the ad copy and deadlines, follow these tips for refocusing your strategy.
Pay attention to detail. The greatest challenge that ad designers face is trying to synthesize all elements of the message in a concise and beautiful way. Just a few of the fundamentals you need to consider include:
- The company’s branding
- The overarching ad campaign goals
- Audience demographics
- Medium and layout
The theme of your design should unify all of these features and more. To prioritize these fundamental components, consider them carefully during the planning stages. Do plenty of brainstorming and write down a list of goals to keep you on track.
Choose the right medium. While you are planning your ad design, review all possible media to make sure you are taking the right approach. You may not have a choice if your client or boss specifies the medium, but you still have to choose the correct elements and techniques to create the most effective ad.
Convey relationships. Above all, visual communication should convey relationships between graphic elements. This is why it’s crucial for you to use space effectively. Allocate enough space for the ad copy, but don’t think about it too much yet. For now, focus only on how you can convey your message using colors, shapes, images, and other visual techniques.
Create a focal point. The effectiveness of the visual relationships you establish in your design depends on what the focal point is. Ask yourself these questions.
- What part of the ad is most significant?
- How will your focal point keep your audience reading?
- How will it communicate the ad’s message in a matter of milliseconds?
Create balance in your ad by emphasizing the most important and attention-getting elements while using secondary colors and shapes as accents.
Use emotion. Ads sometimes rely too heavily on wording to evoke an emotional response in the audience, but the graphic design of an ad can target the emotions subconsciously and inspire interest before a viewer has time to read the copy.
People are driven by their emotions to take action, so ask yourself what type of emotional response you want to evoke. Consider the tone or atmosphere that’s appropriate for the design goal and choose your color scheme accordingly. More than anything, you want to catch and hold your audience’s attention.
Be aware of the latest trends. You should know about the latest visual or ad design trends, but you shouldn’t necessarily use them. Target the design principles underlying the latest trends and use them for inspiration. You should, of course, use the best technology or most efficient methods whenever possible. Just don’t use trends blindly, because it can cause your advertising to blend in with the competition. Knowing the trends means you know how to break the rules when needed to catch the viewer’s attention.
Save the words for last. Message and ad copy are not mutually exclusive. If the graphics suggest a misleading relationship or message, it can directly conflict with the wording.
Before you add the copy, ask yourself whether the graphic design communicates the correct advertising message by itself. Once the ad copy is in place, make sure you use typography and headers to unify the visual theme.
This article is presented by IADT-Tampa. Contact us today if you’re interested in developing marketable knowledge and career-relevant skills with an industry-current degree program from IADT-Tampa.