Whether you're putting together an ad for a one-time event, running your own small business, or creating an organisation wide ad campaign, there are six key tips to follow to design a successful print ad. Take your initial idea and begin working through the tips below.

By the time you reach tip number six, you'll have a sharp, focused, and catchy design ready to be presented to the world. References and links are included to provide examples of the concepts discussed and to assist you in pursuing a more in-depth study of graphic design.

1.Focus In

The first thing you need to do before creating your ad is make sure you understand the message you want to get across. Are you selling a product, a service, a brand? Don't put your time into creating an eye-catching ad that everyone will remember, if they won't remember what the ad was for.

Choose one or two ideas that should be clearly visible in the ad and memorable to the viewer. That may be a brand name, a product image, or a tagline. One or two ideas are plenty when you consider the amount of time the average viewer will spend on your ad. Focus in on your key ideas before going any further.

2.Sketch Your Layout

Consider what kind of layout will appeal to your intended audience. Are you aiming for a logical group that wants columns and symmetry? Or is your ad geared towards artists who may appreciate a more unique or thought provoking design?


Take a blank piece of paper and sketch a rough idea of how you would like your ad to appear. Will there be a central image, bulleted text, before and after photos? Even before you have your exact images and text ready to go, you can create a layout that will engage your audience.
For more on layout design, try "Layout Index" by Jim Krause.

3.Create Image Appeal



The image or images in your ad are what will catch people's eyes quickly and leave a lasting impression. Even well known slogans like "Just Do It" and "Got Milk?" are paired with strong photos to get the most out of ad space. Your choice of image should be based on the key ideas you determined in step one.

Remember that everything about your ad should point back to the same message that you are trying to get across. What images will capture and communicate the main ideas of your product or brand? Try looking onSpotlight Ideas or doing a web search for "top print ads" to get a feel for the images that make a positive impression on viewers.

4.Stick With One Color Scheme

Bright colors can be good, but a rainbow is overdoing it. Once you have your images ready, create your color scheme around the images. If your ad features a woman in a red dress with black shoes, make your text red or black.

If you have a company logo, start with the logo colors to create your scheme. Clashing colors will detract from your ad. Too many colors, even if they don't clash, will take the viewer's focus away from your message. You can also match your color scheme to your product and intended audience by understanding the intuitive responses that people have to different colors.

5.Offer Short,Simple Text

What is the fewest number of words you can use to get your message across? This is what you should be aiming for when adding words to your print ad. Remember to stay focused on your main ideas determined in step one. If you start going off on tangents, your viewers are likely to forget the main idea, or possibly never even reach it before turning the page.

Get the most out of your text by considering your intended audience. What is their education level? Are there certain idioms or slang that will engage the viewer or turn them off? Your text should be short enough that you can walk away from the ad and easily remember the exact words you put down.

6.Leave Them Wanting More

As you're probably realizing by now, you are limited in how much information you can get across in a print ad. Your goal should not be telling a company's entire history, or listing all the details of the product. Your goal should be to leave enough of an impression on the viewer that they want to look for more information on the product.

Be sure to tell them where they can go to find more information. List a website or store location where it is easily viewable on the page.