Advertising Challenge

Design and production tips

Who has time to read these days? Ever since TV was invented, communication has become more visual. We see moving images, symbols and icons. This has all accelerated with the internet, where symbols and icons have become a universal language. A visual language much larger than the average 6,000 words of our written language. It is fast, fun and global.

For this reason, good design is essential to make this instant and effective communication happen. Good design can help attract your target market in the first place, then make your message easier to understand.

In advertising, we call the plan of what the ad will look like a Layout. It helps us visualize a press ad or billboard, before we spend a lot of money producing it. In a TVC (television commercial), a storyboard is often rendered to do exactly the same thing. It is a frame by frame plan of what the ad will look like. This can then be used to get client approval and to help explain the idea of the ad to all those involved in its production.

Elements of design

When we do a layout, we juggle a number of elements of design. These are:

1. Type

Type is the actual type face that is used. You probably choose your type face when you create different word documents already. The type you choose for your science assignment is probably a little tamer than what you might use for an art assignment, or a party invitation.

2. White Space

This is the area that is left after we have filled our ad with type and pictures. White space is important because it draws attention to our ad and separates it from the ads and editorial around us. White space can make an ad look more exclusive or upmarket. It can draw your attention to a central focus within the ad, such as a photo or a headline or a product.

3. Balance

More formal ads tend to be symmetric, while informal ads are often asymmetric. There are many design elements that affect this balance. Irregular shapes or darker colours have more weight. Larger elements appear heavier. Colour has more weight than non-colour.

4. Point, line and shape

A point is a spot that gets our attention through converging lines or an enlarged letter or element in the copy. The line is the path of a moving point. This can by a physical line or even a block of copy. Shape is the defined space, like a rectangular picture or circular price point.

5. Proportion

Proportion the relationship of one element to another. We can create excitement, for example, by using a two-to-one proportion, instead of a more formal one-to-one.

6. Texture

Texture is the visual feel. Like the softness and luxury of fur compared to the cold metallic lines of a car. This can stir some powerful emotions.

7. Hue, intensity, value

Hue is the colour and the intensity is how bright or soft that colour is. The value or tone is about the contrast, how light or dark the ad is.