Designing a Print Ad for an Outdoor Furnishings Company

Print Ad for Outdoor Furnishings Business (Hand)Like all of us who strive to be successful today, designers have to adapt to the ever-changing way consumers process advertising. Designing print ads, collateral pieces and, of course, online advertising requires attention not only to the message but to the way the viewer processes that information.

Recently, I was asked to create a print ad for an outdoor furnishings company. The purpose of the ad was to drive consumers to a new website Affinity Express had designed previously. Here potential customers would get inspiration for creating the backyard of their dreams. I knew I wanted to use the same fonts, colors and overall look and feel of the website in my design—that was a given. Having worked closely with the client, I knew they liked simple, uncluttered layouts that focus consumers in one direction with laser-like accuracy. In this case, the objective was to highlight the website URL.

My thought process was to take the point of view of the consumer. I wanted to evoke and tap into the feeling when someone realizes they need help visualizing the full potential of their backyard. Then I wanted to do what the website does: inspire the viewer. By showing an unfinished yard with the simple addition of a few products, I believed the viewer could begin to imagine the possibilities and get excited. That’s why my first thought was to use a photograph (illustrated in the ad to the right).

At this point, I realized I was missing a golden opportunity to push the website so I replaced the photo image with that of a laptop computer opened to display the addition of the client’s products; accomplishing both objectives with one visual.

Print Ad for Outdoor Furnishings Business (Laptop)

Having recently attended an Advertising Federation luncheon in which the speaker pointed out the most recent eye-tracking study results, I decided to incorporate this new information into my design. Traditionally, designers place the client’s logo in the bottom right or left section of the ad. According to the results of studies, this is referred to the “dead zone”.

The speaker also pointed out the average consumer looks at an ad for 2.1 seconds or less. This is a considerably shorter amount of time than in years past and is due greatly in part to the way consumers process digital and online marketing materials. They tend to scan ads versus stop to read everything. So in order to communicate the brand in the ad as fast as possible, I placed the logo at the top of the page, above a straightforward headline that promotes a clear message.

For the call to action, I again chose a simple and direct copy—one line that incorporates the URL as well as the phone number.

The purpose of this ad was to drive the viewer to the website where the real selling takes place. And the results are showing it is doing just that.

Goal achieved!

About Jim McCabe
Creative Campaign Manager at Affinity Express, Jim is constantly creating and collaborating—meeting with sales, dreaming up concepts and directing production. He also enjoys interfacing with other designers to get feedback and inspiration. Jim loves to paint and hopes to have a gallery showing one day.

2 Responses to Designing a Print Ad for an Outdoor Furnishings Company

  1. Unmana Datta says:

    Jim, I love reading your posts about how you come up with ideas for ads. More of these, please!

  2. Pingback: Happy World Graphic Design Day! « Affinity Express Blog

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