Advertising is expensive. You don’t want to
In this six part series, we’ll be talking about how to make your advertising more effective. Make sure to check out the other posts in the series to get the big picture!
Let me just say, that as a graphic designer by trade, I know I’m going to sound like I’m a bit self-serving, but I know this is true. Whenever possible, pay a designer, and trust him/her to do the job. Tell them what you want, as clearly as possible, and then trust them to come up with it. Make sure to ask for design samples first, and if you really want to get more out of them, send them examples of ads that you like.
That being said, I’ll write the rest of this article assuming that you’re going to do your own design.
I can’t teach you everything you need to know to become a professional. But I can tell you a few tips.
1. Keep it readable.
Don’t make your fonts too small, don’t make your backgrounds too dark, or to light. Make sure that you can read your ad very easily. If they can’t read it, it doesn’t do you any good.
Negative type (white text on a black background) is acceptable in some circumstances, but try to avoid it, especially with small body text, as it can be hard to read.
LESS CONTENT that is readable is better than MORE CONTENT that is too small or crammed to read.
Again, keep it readable. Some fonts, especially cursives and scripts can be hard on the eyes or hard to make out. Make sure that you pick a typeface that is easy to read.
At the same time, if you can pick typefaces that are not overused, you’ll be better off.
2. Times New Roman
4. Comic Sans
If you want to get some fresh fonts, try these sites:
Another quick typography rule. Be careful when mixing fonts. Sometimes, people can look at a design, and know it doesn’t look professional, but they don’t know why. One of the things that cheapens design is inappropriately mixing font types.
A SERIF font is a font that has the little lines at the end. (Times New Roman)
A SANS SERIF font is one that does not have the lines at the end. (Arial)
If your HEADLINE is a SANS SERIF font – all of the body text beneath it must be SANS SERIF. You can use different fonts, but make sure they are in the same family.
If your HEADLINE is in a SERIF font – you ARE allowed to use sans-serif beneath it.
It’s a silly little rule, and it’s hard to explain, but you’ll know it when you see it. There are times when it’s acceptable to break the rule…. But you should assume that you shouldn’t.
3. Photos / Pictures / Graphics
-Do NOT use clip art from MS Office. This does not make good design.
-Do not just google image search and grab an image. This could saddle you with a cease and desist letter and a huge bill to pay from the person who sourced the image. With Google’s “search by image” feature – it’s a lot easier to get caught. Learn how to use the “advanced” search feature in google, how to search by liscence, or look for free stock photo websites like Morguefile
-If you need to resize your image, PLEASE drag it from the corners, while holding the shift key. This makes sure that the aspect ratio of the image stays locked. If not – you make skinny things get fatter, or short things get taller, and it looks cheap. Please, for the sake of designers like me who cringe everytime we see it, resize your images properly!
Need to make YOUR advertising more effective? Need some help with copywriting?
I can help you out! Shoot me a message, and let me know how I can help!