6 Design Components of Next-Level Print Ads
Designing a winning advertisement for print involves more than meets the eye. Breaking your ad down to its basic design and stylistic elements is a great way to understand the specific properties of your design and how they impact its overall success. Here are the six most important aspects of designing a print ad you simply can’t ignore:
When choosing typography for your ad, less is often more. Creative Director Greg Favro at LDProducts.com recommends using no more than three fonts on your design. Marketers frequently choose web fonts, which don’t always translate cleanly to print due to differences in spacing, heavier thin strokes and reduced stroke contrast, among other things. Applying the adjustments required when using web fonts for print will make a profound difference on how your message is received.
2. Leading, Tracking, Kerning
Adjusting the leading, tracking and kerning on your ad makes it easier for your viewers to read and unconsciously guides the flow of your reader through the text. This is particularly necessary if you decide to use web fonts, because interline spacing that looks perfectly natural on a digital screen may look too wide on the printed page.
Most design software has automatic kerning features. But because kerning is about the human eye and how it interacts with text spacing, you will need to kern each letter individually to get the right effect. Some techniques for gauging kerning distance include using straight and rounded letters as measuring guides, adjusting in small groups of three at a time, or inverting text entirely to break the mind’s association with reading. Take special note of letters like A, V and Y, which are given additional space in automatic tracking because of their broad flared ends.
Finally, if you change the font size, remember that you’re going to have to kern all over again. Save yourself time by deciding on the font size and formatting before you spend time leading and kerning your copy.