Graphic Design 2A

Design Techniques In Advertising

Before we begin to work on posters for our clients and for your campaign, we will take a look at some advertising and layout techniques that the pros use.



1. Find 2 posters or full page magazine advertisements that:

- advertise a product, service, or event
- CLEARLY and DELIBERATELY use 1, L2 and L3 hierarchy text
- include a logo (not 100% required, but it will be helpful)
- use a CREATIVE approach to catch the viewer's attention - this means that the approach SHOULDN'T be predictable.
- digital examples are OK - must be high resolution (>2000px)

2. Also, for contrast, find 1 poster or full page advertisement that IS predictable.
Example: an advertisement for Revlon lipstick that features a portrait of a sexy model with perfect lips. BORING!


1. Visual Alignment

Whenever possible and practical, elements such as photos, text, and graphics should be aligned with other elements. This creates order and organization. Aligning elements allows them to create a visual connection with each other.


2. Breathing Room

Intentional space designed to separate elements. This allows the eye to easily absorb the poster's content and message. Crowded and crashing elements cause confusion.


3. Contrast

Designing significant, and intentional, differences. Common methods of contrast include:

- type: significantly different font styles
- color or value: this is crucial for text readability, especially as the font size decreases
- size, shape, style


4. Informational Hierarchy

Separating informational text into 3 distinct levels of importance. This helps organize information and makes it easier for the viewer to understand it.

- level 1: most important - there should only be one level 1 element. It needs to relate to the imagery and it needs to grab the viewer's attention quickly. It should be as short as possible.
- level 2: important - It should supplement the level 1 text. It helps explain poster's message. There can be multiple level 2 elements.
- level 3: necessary - This is the text that is required, but is the least important. There can be multiple level 3 elements.


5. Limited Color

Even though you have access to an unlimited amount of color, It doesn't mean that you've got to use them all. Sometimes a limited color palette can help to emphasize a poster's content and message. The principle of contrast is essential when limiting colors. White isn't a printed color, but it is allowable. .


6. Symmetry

Mostly the same on both sides. Also called "formal" balance. Symmetry can help present a sense of stability and structure to a design.


7. Asymmetry

Mostly different on both sides. Also called "informal" layout. Asymmetry can help present a sense of energy and tension to a design.


8. Tone

Also called a "hook." The method that the designer uses to catch the viewer's attention and convey the poster's message. Some common tones are humor, shock, analogy, emotion, guilt, logic, pun or play on words, irony, metaphor, compassion and contrast. However, there are certainly plenty more tones that can be used.



1. Download the InDesign process book template.

2. Choose 1 of the creative ads from your homework. Scan it if necessary. You can take a nice quality photo if you'd prefer. Crop the image to about 7 inches in height @ 150ppi.

3. Import (File>Place) the advertisement into your InDesign template.

4. Clearly indicate and classify the advertising techniques that the advertisement uses.

5. Write a brief (but well articulated) explanation about the "hook" or "tone" that is used to creatively convey the message. SPELLING! GRAMMAR!

6. Get a grade slip from Mr. Eagen.

7. Double check it. Print it. Hole punch it. Turn it in. Tell it who's daddy!

Assignment example