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3 Ways to Make a Beautiful Magazine Ad

August 24, 2015 | Graphic Design

By Suzy Rounce

Here’s something we all face every time we open a magazine and start browsing. Beautiful photos, delicious looking recipes, interesting articles and eye-catching page layout, then BAM! You are smacked in the face with an ugly ad with five-point type and half a novel of text. The photography is blurry and vaguely resembles a creepy clown (you would never want to meet) and the background is something out of a horror movie.

You might not think you would ever be responsible for creating such a monster, but chances are you have had at least one ad that really missed the mark.

Here are a few things to remember when designing an ad for a magazine like airdrielife, Highline or Avenue magazine.

  1. First, think of five words that best describe what you want the reader to know, above all else. Then, throw away all of the other text you think is a must have. Throw out the phone number, email address, coupon, QR code and the three photos you were thinking of using. Keep only those five words along with one photo, your logo (small in proportion to your ad), and your website address, minus the www (everyone knows that part). That is about all you can effectively fit into an ad that is less than a full page.
  2. Pick a photograph or illustration to complement or contrast those five words. Don’t even consider using a photo that wasn’t taken by a professional, and if possible make it your own photograph and not a stock photo.
  3. Finally, consider the layout carefully. This is where a professional designer can come in handy but if you are trying a DIY, then treat it like a small piece of art. Careful typography placement, bold size and simple graphic details will draw potential clients to your main message and your URL. You can measure the effectiveness of the ad by having a the URL go to a specific page and not your home page.

Don’t expect one ad to change your business forever. Have realistic expectations and know that it’s the whole package of what you and your brand are about that will drive your business, not a single ad. Last, remember you don’t have to do it alone. There are lots of design professionals out there that can help you determine exactly what you want to say, how to say it and create a beautiful eye-catching and memorable ad.