Anatomy of a Web Ad

Graphic design is equal parts listening, thinking and actually designing. On this project, I thought it might be interesting to open a window on the thinking.

grenadeThe client, Guided Choice, provided this very clever copy and asked me to design their web ads. In this first one, it was important to read the copy and understand its purpose.

Once I did that, it was clear how to illustrate it to drive home the copy point and create some humor.

I also paid attention to the hierarchy of the copy. Clearly, the most important part of the copy is the second statement – the description of what the company can do for you. But you won’t read that unless we grab your attention first. So I prioritized the headline.

I highlighted the call to action, without making it a copy priority, by dropping it out in a white box. Clicking there will take you to their website.

cliffThe company name is small because it doesn’t matter very much at this stage. The first priority of the ad is to convince you to click to their website. Only then does it matter who you’re dealing with.

Again, it was important to match the illustration to the copy. It’s obvious that neither works without the other.

There’s a lot of copy in this one. The challenge was to lead the reader through it without overwhelming them. To achieve that, I made the image and headline pop.

The reader’s eye naturally jumps to the call to action in the box. Then you can fill in with the explanation above it – or not, it doesn’t really matter. The reader has gotten the point.

teaThis last ad is a little different.

The copy actually did all the work itself and didn’t really need an illustration to explain or reinforce it.

So I used the illustration as decoration and kept it out of the way. It pleases the eye but doesn’t interfere with the work of the words.

I used color to add power and hierarchy to the words. Questions in blue, answers in pink.

The call to action is boxed and bold.

I made sure to use happy colors. This isn’t about scaring people; it’s about helping them succeed.

I’ll be really interested to see how well these ads work. I know I gave the company the best chance to acquire new customers through good design.

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