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Advertising Management
First Semester 2014-2015
Lesson 6: Visual Communication
Questions to Ponder
 What is the role of visual communication in advertising?
 How can we define layout and composition, and what’s the difference between the two?
 How are art and color reproduced in print advertising?
 What are the steps in planning and producing video?
 What are the basic techniques of Web design?
Why is visual communication important?
 Success came from consistent graphic presentation of the brand in its marketing
 In effective advertising, it’s not just the words that count -- the visuals must communicate too.
 Visuals do some things better than words, such as demonstrate something.
The effective use of visuals can be related to the F
acets Model of Effects:
 Grab attention
 Stick in memory
 Cement belief
 Tell interesting stories
 Communicate quickly
 Anchor associations
Visual impact
 An intriguing idea grabs attention and sticks in
 A picture in a print ad captures more than twice as many readers as a headline does.
 People remember ads with pictures more than those with just type.
IBM used a chick and an egg to
demonstrate the smallness of its hard
disk drive, which is about the size of a
large coin.
Visual storytelling
 In visual storytelling, the visual sets up a narrative that must be constructed by the reader or
 This is even more important for conveying abstract concepts.
 Creative people and art directors design images that tell stories and create brand impressions.
This award-winning poster for
Columbia Sportswear twists the
“welcome” concept and welcomes you
to come out rather than in.
Brand image
 Marketing communication plays a major role in the creation of a brand image.
 Much of this is conveyed through visual elements.
 A logo is the imprint used for immediate identification of a brand or company.
Environmental design
 The environment in which goods and services are offered for sale communicates lots of
information about the brand.
What is art direction?
 The art director is in charge of the visual look of the ad, and how it communicates mood,
product qualities and psychological appeals.
 They decide which type of visual to use— art, photography, film or animation for ads.
 They may also work on brand or corporate logos, office interiors, merchandising materials,
shopping bags, or delivery vehicles.
The designer’s toolkit
Illustrations and photos
 Photography’s authenticity makes it powerful.
 Photos are realistic and add credibility.
 Using software programs, one can manipulate photo content. This raises ethical questions.
 Illustration eliminates the details of a photo and focuses on the “highlights” of the image.
 It can also simplify the message and focus on key details.
 The decision to use a photo or illustration is determined by strategy, and its need for realism or
fanciful images.
Color attracts attention, provides realism, and establish moods, and builds brand identity.
Black and white can add dignity and sophistication.
Spot color can be added to black to accent or highlight elements.
 Art directors also specify the ad’s typography.
 Type is functional but it also plays an aesthetic role.
 Members of the creative team should have a good working knowledge of typography.
Design principles
 Basic design principles govern the arrangement
of all advertisements.
 Design has both functional and aesthetic value.
 Good design guides the eye by creating a visual
path to help the viewer scan the elements.
Print layout
 A layout is a plan that imposes order and
creates an arrangement that is aesthetically
 Common layouts:
◦ Picture Window: a single, dominant
visual with headline and copy
underneath, logo at bottom.
◦ All Art: art fills the frame; copy is
embedded in the picture.
◦ Panel or Grid: uses a number of visuals,
like a window pane or comic strip panel.
Dominant Type or All Copy: emphasizes type over art, headline may be treated as type art.
Circus: combines lots of elements—art, type, color—to deliberately create a busy, jumbled
Nonlinear: can be read starting at any point in the image.
This ad for Schwinn bicycles uses a
plumbing drain motif to convey the
industrial-strength features of the
bike. It is a nonlinear design in that it
doesn’t matter where you start
reading and what you read next.
The Art of Type
 Composition refers to the way elements in a picture are arranged.
 Photographers and videographers:
◦ place or arrange elements for the camera; or
◦ manipulate their point of view if elements can’t be moved.
 Storyboards are sketches of the scenes and key shots in a commercial. They also reflect camera
What do You Need to Know About Production?
Print media requirements
 Different media have different design and
production demands.
 Newsprint is printed at a high speed using
inexpensive, rough-surfaced spongy paper.
 Magazines offer better photographic and color
Design tips from the Institute for Outdoor Advertising:
 Graphics: must be eye stopping.
 Size: images are huge.
 Colors: be bold, bright, contrasting.
 Figure/Ground: keep it simple.
 Typography: use simple, uncluttered type.
 Product ID: make the label or package large.
 Extensions: extend beyond the frame.
 Shape: create the illusion of 3-D.
 Motion: use movable parts, or revolving panels.
High-contrast graphics are the key to
good newspaper reproduction.
Print art reproduction
 Line art is an image with solid lines on white paper.
 A halftone is an image with a range of gray tones.
 Printers create the illusion of a halftone by shooting a photo through a screen to create a dot
 Screens are also used to create tint blocks or percentages of black or color.
Color reproduction
 Process colors (magenta, cyan, yellow, black) are used in the four-color printing process.
 Color separation is a process by which a printer reduces or “separates” to four negatives for
each of the four colors.
 Digitization is a method for creating a reproducible form of an ad to distribute to a number of
 A computer codes images electronically for tone or color; they can then be transmitted
electronically to clients, or printers.
 Digitization is also used to create out-of-home advertising with changing digital screens and
moving images.
Binding and finishing
 Die-Cutting: a sharp-edged stamp is used to cut out unusual shapes.
 Embossing or Debossing: applied pressure to create a raised surface or depressed image.
 Foil Stamping—a thin metal coating molded to the paper surface with heat or pressure.
 Tip-ins: separate, preprinted ads glued into a publication.
 See-through: graphic images are separated and printed on the front and back of a page.
This ad for Specialized Bikes shows a creative use
of the “see-though” capability of print.
What do you need to know about video production?
 A useful starting point is found in “A Copywriter’s View of TV Production” in the Day in the Life
 Stock footage: previously recorded images, either video, still slides, or moving film.
 Crawl: computer-generated letters that move across the bottom of a screen.
 Morphing: one image gradually changes into another.
Filming and editing
A summary of broadcast production personnel
 Copywriter: writes the script, even with no words.
 Art Director: in TV, develops the storyboard and establishes the look of the commercial.
 Producer: handles production including bidding, all arrangements, specialists, casting talent,
and budget. Can be an agency staff member.
 Director: responsible for filming/taping including scene length, action, how lines are spoken, and
characters played.
 Composer: writes original music and sometimes lyrics, too.
 Arranger: orchestrates music for the various instruments and voices to make it fit a scene or
copy line.
 Editor: assembles all the pieces including audio, dialogue, and footage.
The process of producing videos
 Animation: used to create characters like the Geico gecko. With computer animation, images
appear real.
 Stop Motion: used in claymation or to make other inanimate objects appear to move.
 3-D Filming: creates the illusion of depth using a special motion picture camera and
projection hardware.
 Music and Action: should match music to action; can be used to get attention, set a
mood, or stick in memory.
The TV production process
 Preproduction: involves production notes, a preproduction meeting, finding talent, location,
props, and costumes.
 The shoot: involves recording the action; technicians include camera operator, gaffer, grip;
record music, sound effects, voices; graphics.
 Postproduction: the editor assembles the pieces to match the storyboard.
Why study Web design?
 Web pages, especially first screens, should follow the same layout rules as posters.
 Graphics should be eye-catching but quickly downloadable.
 Type should be simple; avoid all caps
 Use high-contrast colors.
 Web pages combine elements and design styles from many different media including print, still
photography, film, animation, sound, games.
 Web designers use tools including motion, animation, and interactive navigation.
The “Things Are Fine” campaign to get out
the youth vote made a huge impact.
Action and interaction
 Web advertisers are continuing to find ways to make the imagery more engaging.
 Sites should have clear navigation.
 Regular site visitors should be able to customize the site.
 Minicomputers, PDAs, and cell phones present new opportunities and challenges for businesses
to display products on the small screen.
The End
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