“Design Do’s and Don’ts”

The following is an excerpt from Jean Joachim’s 151 Quick Ideas for Advertising on a Shoe String Budget. As Nalani Services’ Graphic Designer, I would like to take this particular moment in time to reiterate that this is by no means a complete design guide. There are SO many rules, guidelines, and gut feelings that go into a design that there truly is no way to completely summarize it all.

“The art in your advertising is just as important as the copy. The best headline can be destroyed with bad art. Here are some creative do’s and don’ts:

1. Don’t put headlines over a picture. You destroy both the copy and the art. Instead, put the headline above or below the picture.
2. Don’t split the headline with half above the picture and half below. I prefer the headline above, leading into the photo or illustration.
3. Photos often work better than illustrations, especially when selling clothing. If you are using a cartoon, use an illustration.
4. Use people in photos to make them come alive. Look at your vacation photos; the ones that make the biggest impression included no only the site to see, but you family or friends, too.
5. Make your photos action-oriented with people doing something. People just standing still are not as attention-getting as people in motion.
6. Mix photos with copy in your ad. Don’t put all the copy in one place and all the photos in another.


As a professional, I can confidently say that the above guidelines are most certainly accurate. However, please always remember that there is more to page layout than just words and pretty pictures. The way the type interacts with itself (headlines, lines of copy…etc.) is an art in and of itself, and it takes a lot of education to get that nailed down. So much of what I do only happens because I’m looking at my computer monitor and thinking to myself, “that just doesn’t feel quite right.” There is nothing wrong with “feeling out” a design. In fact, that is mostly the way in which my designs come together.


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