I’ve seen it too many times: A client wants their single-minded message to include this and that and all the other stuff. Plus two more unrelated visuals. Oh yeah. It happens. And this problem has been around for a long time.
Way back in 1963 a graphic design trade publication ran the humorous article “9 Ways to Improve an Ad,” which poked fun at this very problem. The article starts with this famous ad:
After numerous “suggestions” of how to make the ad “better,” we end up with a ludicrous, bastardized version that bears no resemblance to the original concept. (Click here to read 9 Ways to Improve an Ad. It’s a quick read and well worth your time.)
Even though this provides a good laugh for those within the ad business, it can serve as a lesson to those on the outside. The moral is, of course: Keep your message clear and concise.
Sounds like I have a chip on my shoulder, yes? Well, maybe a little one. But, it’s there as a symbol of my passion for creating hard-working designs that are, wellâ€¦ clear and concise.
It’s straightforward, folks. Great advertising should follow the rule of simplicity. Don’t let a load of unnecessary crap get in the way of your message. Does that mean a bunch of white space? Nope. It means every element should serve a purpose and work toward the adâ€™s goal (sometimes one of those elements is indeed white space). Alright, so now you’re probably asking yourself, “What’s the best way to achieve this goal?” Easy:
Think of the single, bottom-line message you want to get across to your audience (keep in mind this should be aligned with predetermined marketing goals). Truly make sure it’s a singular message. Don’t forget that the message needs to be single minded.
Now, I understand this might be difficult, because as humans we all have a lot we want to say. Fret not. There are professionals who can help.