Join Craig Smallish for an in-depth discussion in this video The designer's palette, part of Designing a Print Ad.
Once we have a concept and thumbnail sketches in hand we'll need to start thinking about what media resources we can use to build our ad. If we consider what resources designers commonly use to compose ads we can boil it down to three primary things. Typography illustration and photography. Each of these three media have strengths and benefits. Being aware of what they can offer and when they might best be used will make the choices for each design project easier. Much like a painter uses primary colors to build a palette these three main choices of media type illustration and photography offer designers an endless variety of styles techniques and combinations.
Used skillfully they can embolden your ad design evoke strong emotion and powerfully promote a message. Once we've chosen the concepts to develop and have produced a variety of thumbnail sketches then we'll need to determine which media or combinations of media will work most effectively. Having a strong understanding of what types of imagery and trends that target demographic group responds to is essential. Beyond the designers own intuition about what types of things will create demographic appeal market research studies and focus groups add valuable insight into what grabs the attention of those in the market that we're hoping to reach.
For the freelancer who may have limited access to research there are good online resources which can add insight into who you are trying to reach and what types of things they may respond to. Choosing the media to build your ad is a subjective choice. Being sensitive to your demographic audience needs to be one of your main considerations. After all we're not designing the ad for ourselves. We have a specific group of people we're targeting and the design must appeal to them. Ultimately keeping your eyes open and looking at how other designers have used photos illustrations and typography to compose their print ads can be very helpful.
Making mental note of what types of things you found inspiring and why can help you become a more thoughtful designer. It's a great way of training your eye. And it'll influence your decisions when choosing media for your work.
- Establishing the campaign message
- Developing your first ad concepts
- Creating thumbnail sketches
- Choosing the best media to convey your message
- Managing contrast in a composition
- Refining ad layouts
- Preparing a print ad presentation for clients