Tuesday August 22, 2017

5 tips for designing great print ads

Print is dead. Long live print! Online advertising may be on the rise, but there is no reason why print ads can’t be just as effective. After all, as is the case with so many things in the advertising industry, a great-looking design makes all the difference. Are you a graphic designer or marketeer looking for inspiration for your next print ad? Take these tips to heart and your clients – and their customers – will be blown away! 

How to design great print ads1. Negative space is a positive thing

The best print ads are ads that strike the perfect balance between negative and positive space. Instead of filling every square millimetre with graphics or content, great print ads always leave part of the advertising space untouched. It’s an approach that exudes confidence in the subject or product, making the print ad all the more clear and interesting. 

2. Mind the format

No matter how small your ad space may be, your design will need a resolution of at least 300 PPI (pixels per inch) if you want to stun your clients with a high-quality print ad. If you’re designing a large-format print ad, vector graphics are an even safer option.

3. Don’t be afraid to try an unusual substrate

Who said a print ad has to be printed on paper? If you really want your ad to get noticed (and of course you do), you can get creative with both your design and the substrate your ad will be printed on. Think about it! You can print your ad on carpet, tables, doors, aluminium – the possibilities are endless.

4. Keep color psychology in mind 

Every graphic designer knows that using a dark font on a lighter backdrop (instead of vice versa) and selecting colors that are both easy on the eye and complement the brand colors is elementary, but there’s also this thing called color psychology to take into account. A few examples:

  • Blue is associated with honesty and loyalty.How to design great print ads
  • Green reminds us of growth, vitality, prosperity.
  • Yellow represents fun, happiness, optimism.
  • Red has a particularly strong energy, stimulating our appetite and even sexuality.

5. Preflight your print ads before you print

Last but not least, always make sure your design is print-friendly by preflighting it before you send it off to the printer. A preflight tool, such as PitStop Pro will check your print ad design for any errors that will compromise the quality of your print ad, and correct them.


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About Piet De Pauw

After obtaining a bachelor's degree in Graphic Arts, Piet started his career as a software support engineer at Esko. This immediately made him realize the vital importance of automation within an organisation.

Passionate about the web, he became an online marketer at Thomas More university college, gained a lot of digital marketing experience and re-joined Esko in the Enfocus business unit.

Today he's in charge of driving interest for the Enfocus automation solutions. As you're reading this after reading an entire article, he might think he succeeded...

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