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Understanding the Elements of Design for Better Advertising

Advertising bombards us on every corner we turn, it is unescapable and sometimes an eyesore. Despite the avalanche of ads that surround us, it is quite difficult to find high-quality, memorable ads. In contemporary space and time, it is almost impossible to capture our attention because everything has become mundane to us. Pastiche is the hallmark of modern civilization but with the right touch of magic, something old can become unmistakably new. Advertisers must pay careful attention to the fine details to achieve the “wow” factor. Taking a meticulous look at the elements of design will help advertisers create compositions that are impressive, persuasive, and memorable.

Recently, I was challenged to examine advertisements at the elemental level. This proved to be more difficult than I expected. However, the exercise turned out to be one of great value since it helped bring awareness to subtle details. Picking the right design elements in an advertising piece is crucial in determining whether the ad is successful or not. All elements must complement each other to create the right effect.

In advertising pieces that employ the use of dynamic (video) imagery, it is important to carefully select the appropriate elements to produce a captivating effect. A plethora of elements can be used to enhance dynamic imagery pieces. Advertisers must select the most appealing colors, shapes, contrasting elements, associations, and repetitions that will bring the piece to life.

Colors make dynamic imagery more appealing to the eye. They capture the attention of the audience and help them focus on specific details.

Shapes add dimension to a piece and they direct the audience’s attention to specific details such as the product being advertised.

Contrast helps bring perspective to a piece. It helps the audience to subconsciously make evaluations.

Repetition allows visuals to be embedded in your mind. The point is to create a lasting impression.

Associations help to put things in context and enhance meaning and understanding.

Using the correct mix of design elements is without doubt extremely important when creating advertising pieces. Ads that fail to pay critical attention to these elements usually fail at capturing the audience and stimulating interest and purchases.

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