Graphic Design for Advertising: 7 Tips to Create Ads That Wow Your Audience

graphic design for advertising

Gone are the days when a straightforward copy and a simple jingle were enough to create an ad. You now need designs that tickle your target customers’ brain cells, make them laugh or cry, and give them something to remember your brand by. That’s when your ad will be loud enough to be heard amidst the noise. 

In the past creating an ad itself was difficult. You had just a few channels to communicate with customers. But today you can communicate with them through a host of ad formats for a variety of different device types. Naturally, every brand wants to make its presence felt and the ad space out there is pretty crowded. Think of ad blockers threatening display ads for example! So, what can you do to make people notice your brand and remember it too? Create ads that move them. Ads that tell a story. Wondering how to do that? We’ll tell you about effective tips to rethink your strategy for graphic design for advertising. 

7 Tips to Design Better Graphic Design for Advertising Your Brand 

Before we get to the design aspects, there are a few quick things to remember. Your ads can be for display advertising (like banner ads), native ads for websites, interstitial ads for apps, paid ads on social media, print ads like flyers, and outdoor ads like billboards. Irrespective of the format of the ad and the context, a few core ideas that lead to the success of your ad remain the same. Let’s look at these ideas that help create rock-solid ads for brands big and small. 

1. Magic happens when copy and design come together 

Copy first or design first is going to be a never-ending debate in marketing. One thing that you can be sure of is that a memorable ad is a marriage between meaningful design and relevant copy. Because if you want to create ads that are on-point, easy to understand, and free from all ambiguities, your design and copy go hand in hand. 

The above design works because a) it is simple b) it uses an unconventional perspective c) together with the copy and design the ad makes you visualize what riding a Harley feels like.

So, ensure that your graphic design for advertising and the copy look like they are made for each other and your ad is sure to make a difference. 

2. Experiment with the subject 

Have you experimented with anthropomorphism? If not, now is a good time to try. Humanizing objects and animals is a concept that works for almost all brands. 

The above ad might probably not have made the same impact if it had featured a simple human subject. 

Using animals or inanimate objects as the primary subject can add a creative flair to your concept and create unique ads that people will remember. 

3. Use negative spaces intuitively 

Too little negative space can make your design look cluttered. We get it. You want to utilize every inch of that ad real estate you paid for. But visual chaos is definitely not going to impress your target audience. 

Here’s what happens when you start intentionally adding negative space in your graphic design for advertising:

And to add to this, you can even creatively make use of your negative space to convey a strong message without using too many design elements. Here’s an example. 

The ad triggers curiosity and then the copy supports the understanding of the concept. In the end, customers are left with a message they will remember. All that by simply using negative space brilliantly. 

4. Prioritize emotions 

The colors, fonts, and overall aesthetic are all important aspects of graphic design for advertising. But what matters, even more, is the “mood” or emotion of your design. You achieve this using color psychology and other aspects. 

The above ad design shows how the simplest of visuals combined with unique illustrations can change the way you present an idea. When the core message tugs at heartstrings, it is more likely to get a response, or in other words, get better conversions. 

5. Get creative with visual metaphors and more 

Simple images with people or the product being promoted might be sufficient in graphic design for advertising. But do you want to settle down with what’s sufficient? Or do you want something mind-blowing? If you want the latter, consider using illustrations, optical illusions, or even visual metaphors. These are concepts that stimulate your audience and thus have a lasting impact on them. 

For example, when you have to create ads with visual metaphors, come up with a strong message. Understand whether you can present it in the form of a story or a scene. Identify easily recognizable associations that feel relevant to the theme. Once all this is done, simple illustrations are enough to create a visual metaphor, like the one you see in the ad below. 

6. Play with perspectives 

Straightforward ads might make a sale happen. But if you are aiming for more, if you want ads that boost sales, and also strengthen your brand, then you need to add your personal flair. Play with perspectives. 

In fact, something as simple as changing the scale of elements or adding or removing portions of the design can add a different perspective. When you challenge your viewer’s perspective you create something memorable – your idea stays in their minds. And such ads have a strong emotional value too. 

7. Take the layout aspects seriously 

After coming up with a brilliant concept for your ad, you cannot let design layout mistakes hamper the whole effect. For the overall idea to look like a million bucks, here are some core layout concepts to ensure in graphic design for advertising designs.  

Your design will convey the intended message or evoke the desired response only when these core layout concepts are on point. Otherwise, people might miss out on critical details. Or they might view the design elements in the wrong order and thus interpret the design differently. Both of these can bring down the chances of your target audience reacting in any way or taking any step after seeing your ad. 

Creating Scroll-stopping Ads for Your Brand 

If you look at several of the award-winning ads there is one thing in common. They are simple, easy to relate to, and meaningful. So, you do not need complicated designs. Ads that look like it packs layers of interpretations or several different inferences are not suitable for the impatient gadget-savvy generation. You are designing ads for people with dwindling attention spans while millions of other brands are fighting for attention. Keep that in mind and aim at delivering a single strong message while keeping the design on-brand. That’s how you design an ad that people talk about. 

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