How to Design a Successful Print Advertisement or Magazine Ad
The average reader spends half a second on a print ad before deciding to continue reading or moving on. Print ads are viewed as singular promotional items while television advertisements, by comparison, tell a story from start to finish.
Print advertising remains an important mix in an advertising campaign. However, planning to include print ads to successfully target markets means understanding the need to pick one point, product or offer and to build copy and design elements.
Great Advertising Design for Print Demands Single Idea Focus
Focus on one element in a print ad. This could include how customers might most benefit from a product or service or a competitive price point. Use this one area of focus to create advertising copy that speaks concisely. Avoid buzzwords or catchy phrases. Use short sentences that speak personally to readers.
A basic design principle is to keep the layout simple and uncluttered. Readers will immediately understand the focus of the advertisement’s idea with this clarity. When the draft design is complete, stand back and ask if the central idea is being communicated with ease. The best advertising graphic designers use white space to maximum effect.
Other print ad design tips include:
- Include the name, url and other contact information in all print ads.
- Using a solid block of color as a background tends to grab readers’ attention. This technique works best with ample white space.
- Use a distinctive border or font to stand out on the printed page.
- Buying a different shaped ad, such as a full vertical or horizontal edge on a page, guarantees the ad will not be buried against the fold of the newspaper or magazine.
- Pay for preferred advertising placement in the publication. Good positioning doubles or triples response rates, so paying extra may be a good investment.
- High quality photography or graphic elements are important. Pay for quality stock images or, if budget permits, hire a professional photographer to create original images.
- Use a typeface that has a serif or a “tail.” This boosts reading space and comprehension many times over other fonts. Ensure the font size is at least 12 point. The font size should be 14 point if the target audience includes seniors.
- Use a coupon in the ad, if possible. Coupons receive the highest response rates for all printed marketing materials.
- Finally, enlist a team of eagle-eyed proofreaders to review the print ad. Proofread by reviewing the ad from the bottom to the start.
Punchy print ads take simple designs based around one idea or element of sales or service. Do not just assume that an advertising campaign can translate from online to television to print seamlessly. Instead, spend time to demand that print ads in newspapers and magazines stand alone as solid methods to attract attention.