Design Elements

When I think about design the first aspect which comes to mind is color. What colors are going to be used in my ad? What contrasting colors would I need to incorporate to make the ad pop or grab attention? “Color has been known to have a powerful psychological impact on people’s behavior and decisions. And this knowledge has been harnessed all too well in marketing psychology by designers and marketers alike. Color can often be the sole reason someone purchases a product. In a survey, 93 percent of buyers said they focus on visual appearance, and close to 85 percent claim color is a primary reason when they make a purchase!” (Dashburst, 2018)

            The next concept which sticks out to me is the visual story trying to be portrayed in an ad. Storytelling gives coherence and a point: it ties together every subjective choice and asserts that their sum is greater than the parts. (Schwerin, 2017) Some ads can become too busy and the story gets confusing. Some ads can contain too little content and the story doesn’t develop. There are also ads which have pictures that are visually telling a story which doesn’t relate to the actual message being portrayed. A good ad is going to be visually telling a story with clearly displays a cohesive message to the audience.

            Another item which can tie the whole story together is the tagline. This can be a company motto, slogan, or a quick quip which further enunciates the visual aspect of the ad. “Simplicity is really the secret of all “big ideas,” and by extension, great slogans. They must be concisely memorable, yet also suggest something more than their literal meanings. Rather than just putting product notions in people’s minds, they must be malleable and open to interpretation, allowing people of all kinds to adapt them as they see fit, and by doing so, establish a personal connection to the brand.”(Gianatasio,2013) When talking about taglines or slogans in advertising, Nike’s “Just Do It” comes to mind. The Swoosh symbol of the Nike brand is timeless, take that, add in  some interesting sports related photo, and place “Just Do It” on it and every time you have a compelling ad.  In some cases, with brand notoriety, the tagline along can stand as the ad with the use of white space. It is hard to talk about good advertising without bringing Nike into the conversation.

             When looking at good ads and bad ads, one item which really can make or break an ad is the use of fonts. “Even with the perfect product and the right words, success can slip through the cracks of inappropriate typeface. With all of the available fonts out there, however, it might seem like a gargantuan task finding the right one, a feat very much along the lines of comprehending the predictions of Nostradamus.”(h2omedia, 2019) When using fonts in ads, it is good to stick with 2-3 fonts at most. Limiting the number of fonts helps in consistency of message. Aside from the number of fonts, the particular fonts used can assist in message clarity. Some ads try to use fancy fonts which are sometimes hard to read or interpret by the audience. There are ads which use too many fonts and the consistency of the message can get lost with different fonts and font sizes.

            Until now, I did not realize the value of white space in an ad. This is the space which allows the audience to build with their own imagination the interpretation of the ad. This space is typically between design elements. This can include space between typography. (Soegaard, 2019) Most good ads have a true use of good white space within their ad to really capture the audience’s attention and give the audience room for their own imagination. This can also assist in guiding the audience’s focal point to the attention grabbing item you planned for in the ad.

            These concept and design elements are the foundations toward developing a good ad. Each element can be incorporated in its simplicity to combine elements for a greater purpose.

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