- The Murrow Agency – Washington State

Sharpen your pencil
“All art is a series of recoveries from the
first line. The hardest thing to do is put
down the first line. But you must.”
— Nathan Oliveira, artist (1928-2010)
Then, go for quantity.
Quality comes later.
Fill that page.
Fill the wall.
No idea is left unwritten.
If you need one headline,
write 100.
Before you begin creating:
Before you begin creating:
What’s the objective?
Before you begin creating:
What’s the objective?
What needs to be said first?
Before you begin creating:
What’s the objective?
What needs to be said first?
Then what?
Think about how you want the viewer’s
eye to flow through the page:
“Dullness won’t sell your
product, but neither will
irrelevant brilliance.”
–William Bernbach, DDB’s founder
Grids are a method of creating
organization and consistency in
all areas of design. A layout grid is
the invisible force that gives the
visible its structure and holds
everything in its proper place.
The Advertising Design
What people think it looks like
What it really looks like
AKA, one of the only college
courses Steve Jobs took
(In his Stanford University commencement
speech he said, “If I had never dropped in on
that single course in college the Mac would
have never had multiple typefaces or
proportionally spaced fonts.”)
Serifs are the feet used
to finish off the main
strokes of some letters.
Sans serif literally
means “without serifs”
We are family
The term “type family” or “typeface
family” is used to describe a range of
designs that are all variations of one
basic typeface.
Find a typeface with multiple variations
such as bold, extra bold, black, regular,
light, light italic, and regular italic.
Sticking to a single type family will help
add variation to your designs, while
keeping it consistent and uniform.
Using various styles within one family creates a sense of
hierarchy. Design so that the most important elements, such
as headlines and quotes, stand out above the rest of the text.
Modification of the space between two letters
On the left, the natural space you see between two letter T’s looks a
little too snug, right? By customizing the spacing between just these
two letters, you'll be able to increase readability.
Adjustment to the spacing between all letters in an entire word
(This is an extreme example, if you were modifying
tracking for readability it would not be to this degree.)
Distance between baselines
Increasing leading, creates more space between the baselines, and
decreasing leading, pushes lines of text closer together. Wider leading
can increase readability, or draw emphasis to an area of copy.
Show the product
Show the benefit
Y&R Panama
Show it in use
Show comparisons
Show the negative
Show the positive
Be provocative
(when it can help, not just for the
sake of being provocative)
Bring it all together
Layout should illustrate the big idea
Design with your audience in mind
Prioritize the elements
Art and copy must work together
Design needs to attract attention
Keep it simple
Consider your use of white space,
use it to your best advantage
Make sure your font matches your
message and the tone of the
Sometimes an ad needs
little or no copy
Sometimes an ad
needs little or no art
Winston Churchill, one of
the most persuasive people
of all time, had 5 rules for
successful speech writing.
These rules apply quite
nicely to the process of
creating advertisements:
1. Begin strongly
2. Have one theme
3. Use simple language
4. Leave a picture in the
listener’s mind
5. End dramatically
It all comes down to being
able to express yourself.
To your team.
To the client.
To the audience.
“New media, untraditional media, integration—they may
be the buzzwords we read every day in the hype that
surrounds our business. But so far as I know, they’ve yet
to come up with a powerful form of communication that
does not at least begin life as words.
Failure in advertising most often comes from the lack of
this basic skill in finding the right words. The ability to
find the words to write down an idea or to present an
idea in the most compelling way possible.”
– Alex Bogusky, designer, marketer, author, consumer advocate