Ad Design by Design

Ad design and layout is equal parts art and science. The science is the math in knowing what converts and how well. The art comes from the creative. A strong call to action with a solid USP always wins. But how you position those components on the page – direct mail – flyer – even website matters just as much. So today I want to give you some ideas on what to include in your ad design as well as where to place it on the page.

Headline use

The last thing you want to do is put your company name in the headline. I know you love the name of your business, but your readers could care less. They want to know what’s in it for them. So use this space to target the buyer.

“We’ll solve your air conditioning problem in two hours or less…guaranteed!” is much more effective than “Bob’s Heating & Air Conditioning – Home of The Happy Heater!”

Key ingredients

Just like the cakes and pies our Moms used to make from scratch, there are key ingredients to creating ads from both a content standpoint as well as a design perspective. So, if your ads contain nothing else, make sure you have the following 5 key ingredients:

  1. Never talk about yourself, always target the buyer
  2. You have to have a USP, or hook, or whatever you want to call an attention grabber
  3. Focus on your copy and your graphics since graphics tell the story of your copy
  4. Obviously, your name, phone number and website are a must
  5. List your convenience and trust factors – “24 Hour Emergency Service” is a good example while listing any industry associations or memberships help with trust factor along with years in business, family run company or photos of principles.

Typeface and Fonts

Mix it up a bit by using 2 or 3 typefaces to showcase specific talking points from your ad copy, and never use all caps. While you are at it, avoid compartmentalizing the ad by placing lines that separate copy from pictures.

Design factors

You also need to make sure that your picture doesn’t interfere with your ad copy. So if you have one big picture underneath your text, make sure the ad copy is clear to the reader.

Use bullet points in rows to draw attention to services, features and benefits, and highlights you want to make sure the reader looks at. If nothing else, readers look at the headline and bullet points of ads.

When using a photo, show an image of the user gaining a benefit from your product or service. Emergency type services (plumbers/tree removal/roofers) love to show the pain side of advertising, but people are already feeling the pain, that is why they are looking at your ad (usually) so provide them with the “pleasure” effect with your image.

Make sure your photos face into the ad, not away from it.

And finally, be stingy with color, only highlighting the MAJOR points of the ad copy will draw the most attention to those points.