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What to do when an ad must show more than a few images.
In this ad, it was felt that more than one version of the product needed to be shown in addition to the main message. Then there's the client's photo which was important because he is well known for seminar work throughout the country. Both valid points. However, in such a situation, great care must be taken to keep the main message from being lost. Remember, design is a give and take proposition. Whenever a graphic element is added to a page, a bit of impact is lost everywhere else.
When faced with such a dilemma, one design solution is to divide and subordinate as much as possible. Here, the secondary elements are consolidated and placed below the main message which is allowed to occupy its own well-defined space. Another solution would be to show only one bottle per ad with a different polish color for each positioned in tight proximity to the logo. Then, an even smaller portrait could be inserted into the body copy. In either case, the goal is to build a recognizeable campaign. That means keeping the branded look of a key visual and headline as prominent as possible.
For the fastest ad communication, think headline, image, copy and logo.
Just those elements arranged in logical order from top to bottom is a most streamlined ad design. Because comprehension is achieved without the eye needing to move back and forth, it is hard to imagine another design with comparable content that can work more quickly.
Now, instead of trying to add rules and other graphics to dress it up, we focused on making each element as succinct and creative as possible. Editing our headline down to its shortest possible read was the first step. Rather than lean a Washington Post up against the shopping bag, it became the bag. Then the first line of copy summed up everything that had been said by the headline and key visual by saying it again in a different way: "All you'll ever need is in the Washington Post".