Print Advertising Design Hints

Web printing press for larger run catalogues

There are many different ways to ensure that your print advertising design works as well as possible. Initially you must make a decision on your message and what it is that you would like to offer the reader. Here are a few ideas and hints from us, the Peak Districts number one advertising and design agency Andrew Burdett Design.

a) Hotspots

It has been discovered that people prefer to read the right hand page of a publication, and the top outer corners of pages get the most attention. So where ever possible book or request these areas on the pages – it will give you “more bang for your buck”.

b) Photography and Images

Choose your images well. Get photographs taken by a professional photographer with experience of shooting your product – a wedding photographer won’t do your food products justice. Ensure that the your advert looks like an advert rather than trying to trick readers into thinking it’s part of the editorial or a story – as that will just annoy prospective customers when they realise.

c) Pick your publications wisely

Make sure you choose publications that suit your product or services. If you have a luxury product, advertise it in the high end glossies. If your product is niche, advertise it in one of the many specialist magazines or publications. If your magazine is well designed and looks good it is more likely to get placed nearer the front or in the hotspots by the editor, resulting in higher readership and better results.

d) Image resolution quality

This applied to all printed materials as well as magazines and advertising. The resolution of images required for print is a lot higher than screen viewed, web images. Print requires at least 300dpi (dots per inch) and web is only 72dpi! We are constantly sent images and logos from off websites that simply can’t be used on printed materials as they are too low quality and would appear “bitmapped” and fuzzy.


e) Colours: RGB or CMYK?

Again there are major differences between print and web, and they effect the quality of your advert artwork. Images used for print need to be CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow and black) and web RGB (red, green, blue). Most design software will now force the colours of an images so that the artwork will still work, but they tend to look less than perfect. For example artwork produced in Quark Xpress with RGB images placed will look fine at first glance but look harder and you will notice that often they have a slight green hue. Spoiling the look of the product. It literally takes seconds to change the image colour in photoshop, but unfortunately many designers don’t bother or don’t know, or don’t care!

f) Use of space within the advert

Using the space in your advert well will make your advert work. Cram in too much information and it will become hard to read and won’t appeal to your readership. Then on the other hand, ensure you get your message across and give enough information to get the readers interest. It’s a fine balance between an ‘hectic mess’ and being too vague.

g) Clear and concise copy

Waffle will put of your potential customers. Being clear and concise won’t. “Ad speak” (as I call it) is a bit of an art form, and takes a lot of thought and experience, not is necessarily “Queen’s English”. It’s also worth bearing in mind that if your call to action is to your website (where there is lots of information), you don’t have to tell the reader every detail about the product (the majority are not as interested in the ‘tech’ as you are).

h) Call to action

Make sure you know what you want your customer to do if they are interested in the product or service your are advertising. Don’t tell them to ring a telephone number if your phone is unlikely to get answered because you are busy running your shop! Are they going to use fax to place and order? If not don’t put it on the advert, the space can be better used selling!

i) Will the advert work?

Testing your advert is simple and easy. Before you go to press, show it some prospective customers, pass it round the office etc etc. Sometimes you can be too close to a product and may bore your prospective customers. You can get too close to your product! Fresh eyes give useful feedback and may point out something vital you’ve missed! Being open to criticism is no bad thing and will improve your campaigns!

As you can see, creating effective advertising is a bit of an art form. The free ads the publications produce rarely do your product or service justice, so it’s always worth commissioning advertising experts such as ourselves, as we create advertisements that actually work and sell your goods.

For a FREE quote or a chat about how we can help your with your advertising design, campaign or bookings, call Andrew Burdett Design on 01629 732148‬

More blogs