add interest to an ad with type?

j_polo9's picture

Is it possible to make this (3.5 x 2.5 inch b/w) ad more interesting with a good combination of type? What would you sugguest? Also what alternatives for the (free) font used for the logo?

Or does anyone have any good examples of ads that don't look like they are striaght from the yellow pages? Thanks!
-jesse

Chris Keegan's picture

I would rethink the layout rather than just the typeface. Most ads follow this hierarchy: 1. Headline 2. Visual 3. Body Text 4. Logo/Contact Info. 1 and 2 are sometimes switched, especially if you have a great visual (photo or illustration). Right now everything has about the same visual weight which is making everything blend together. Increase the size of the headline, eliminate the wide margins, put the logo and contact info at the bottom and see what that does.

Norbert Florendo's picture

As Chris mentioned, it's not so much the selection of type as the layout itself. It's like saying the color of your shirt can make you more impressive. Color and type are only parts of the whole.

BTW -- I used to do small space B&W ads for newspapers and yellow pages by the hundreds many years ago (and still will for beer money ;-> ).

My key question would be "what kind of clientele are you after?"
Your ad, since you design interiors, will be a direct reflection of your own style or the style that appeals to your potential clients.

j_polo9's picture

Aight, im just not sure what to do with the layout because I can't think of any interesting visual elements i can add that will make the ad more exciting. So i just threw this one togethar to get type help.

The clients for this one will be a more wealthy crowd as this is going in a black and white gala brochure where tickets are anywhere from $150-$10,000. So something elegant and classy i suppose.

Thoughts?

j_polo9's picture

quick update... (thining about adding a photo)

just curious but why is the logo supposed to be the last visual element?

jupiterboy's picture

I'm going to agree and say a headline is the missing piece. Not to bog down on the words, but the slogan or tag line or whatever you want to call it at the top is a lost opportunity. It leads me to wonder, "if I hired them to do my whole house, would they still work one room at a time?" I don't see what the idea is selling.

Now that I made a mess of that, if I didn't have the resources to develop a meaningful headline-style campaign, I would enlarge the logo to nearly fill the space, line list the bits at the bottom, make the number big but submissive (as you have it), and think twice about the pic (which may turn out rather unflattering considering the print quality).

j_polo9's picture

the tagline can't change thats what she's been using for a while for better or worse. I was going to put a pick in just to help brand her and to fill up the space. (also she wants her name in there somewhere and without a pick I can't figure out how to do it without people asking... "why is there a name in there?" But i guess i can try something else.

what about something more like this:

jupiterboy's picture

If ya gotta ya gotta. We all deal with that.

You could put the name and title above the number, so it reads as a contact.

If you use that dark curtain I could ask about the dot gain and peel it back to about 85% or so at its darkest spot. I'm generalizing about newsprint but they may have a more specific target.

j_polo9's picture

no idea what the dot gain will be for the print. Do you mean i should lighten up the black as a whole on the image? Is this because a large dot gain will produce a darker image altogethar?

I lightened up a bit through curves. I wanted the curtain to be fairly dark so it doesn't stand out too much.

jupiterboy's picture

Typically setting the curve to 85% will give you a solid black on newsprint pulpy paper. The details of the curtain may plug up and be lost at 100% K. I would worry abou the script wordmark closing in a bit as well.

j_polo9's picture

yea thats one of the reasons i don't like the logotype, too thin. But i just duplicated it so its a bit thicker now, good sugguestion again!

This might be the final unless any other sugguestions:

timd's picture

I think you should try the headline on two or three lines and visibly larger than the bullet points. The rules under the bullet points look as though they will fill in even on high quality brochure stock, they are also too close to the copy and don't perform any real function (although they are better than using a bullet), if their purpose is to separate each subject then do you need one for organization? I would also use the logo in the form it appears on the website (horizontal) as this allows the type to be larger as it is overwhelmed by the illustration at the moment. The contact information could also appear in one line. One of the reasons for this advice is that the mixed alignment/typefaces/size and leading of the elements are fighting one another.
I am not sure that the curtains really add to the design they seem more theatrical/horror movie than domestic and send out confusing messages; are we in a room looking out onto a foggy night; are we looking into a room from the outside?
My inclination would be
Headline enlarged split into three lines at top left possibly ranged right;
Bullets, ranged left starting nearer the horizontal centre vertically aligned to below the headline;
Contact Details in one line justified to the width of the horizontal logo bottom left, and
Background black
That's only a brief assessment and you might find it doesn't work for you, but I hope it is helpful.
Tim

j_polo9's picture

Hey thanks tim! Didn't see your comment. Already sent off unfortunately but I went ahead and made the changes anyway to see what you think:

timd's picture

I think you can enlarge the headline (btw traMsforming:) and the logo, think of it in the way you want a viewer to read it, which is somewhat what others said about hierarchy; you need to introduce some kind of progression (as distinct from steps) from headline to subordinate copy to contact to logo (although logo and contact details are interchangeable). As for font choice you need to keep that progression in mind, Trajan is a fine display face but needs to be bigger to work with your body copy wheras the contact details are overpowering the logo.
Thinking further I don't think the last bullet point • Organization really means anything in the context of the advertisement, it is the kind of nebulous heading that needs supporting copy.
Tim

Dan Weaver's picture

If its an ad and you are not in control of the printing any halftone will be a disaster. Loose any halftones or gradients. I would use a white background because it is clean, fresh, new all the qualities that reflect your clients business. The dark curtain of uncertainty is a negative in my eyes.

Chris Keegan's picture

I'm with Dan, lose the background. The white was better. There's a typo in your headline. It still looks static, because everything is stacked neatly. The logo should go above the contact info. Some of that type needs to be smaller and some of it should be bigger. You will create interest by creating a hierarchy of information, not when everything has the same visual weight to it. Right now you have 3 "chunks" of information that are relatively the same size/weight.

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