Saturday, February 19, 2011


My new class is Advertising Design. My first critique assignment is regarding a BAD PRINT AD. I knew exactly what I wanted for this assignment. I will warn you, I am rather terse having not had my coffee when writing this.

Our local rags have some of the most HIDEOUS examples of ads. I also have had MUCH experience in rendering BAD DESIGN (to the point I need re-education--ergo back in class). I did not have one of our fine Pulitzer Prize winning papers so I ended up trolling the net. I found one. It could have been pulled right from the local paper. Oh my goodness, where do I begin?
and now... THE CRITIQUE

I see a grid, of sorts, used for this design. The middle and right column need adjusting but as you can see, with the entire text of WAR AND PEACE being inclusive in this ad, I suppose some pragmatic license had to be taken. I do not see the implementation of the Golden Mean, it is more like the Golden Meandering. I would kill the center justified text, move the center column to the left and try to pretend I am doing this ad in good conscience. I can ALMOST live with the center justified text of the headline, but the mix of ragged right and center justified throughout the piece is daunting and really cuts into the quality of the layout (well, what there is of the layout).

I also see a prime example of a waste of full color. If a business is going to pay that kind of money, I would think the investment would be in high resolution graphics and intelligent color use. The visual is a reflection of the business; why would a business settle for low resolution images, poor typography, typographical hierarchy and design? Of course, I have equal passion for B&W ads. Is this photo part of the product or an afterthought? And what is that thing on the viewers left? I suspect that someone read in DESIGN 101 that RED draws attention and so the visual hierarchy for this ad is born. 


I love the comic book explosion to draw me to the yellow BONUS! in italics. I am pleased to see HELVETICA as opposed to ARIAL. 

by ~swisspoly92

This MARK SIMONSON article is a MUST READ for all designers:

There is also just way too much text. More is not better in this case. More is usually not better in terms of print ads, period. The message, quite literally, gets lost in text. Add bad design on top of all of this and the communication is done. People will skim over and turn the page. Who is the target audience? The guy living in his mom’s basement who has a closer relationship with the internet than any real life human being? I have no idea. What is the message of the ad? I don’t know, I’ve already turned to the funny pages to read about Diblert’s shenanigans:

PS: I was going to critique the following ad which actually MADE IT TO PRINT. I fear that I buckled to the will of GOOD TASTE as it is too early (in class) for me to let it all hang out. BUT - seriously - WHO OK'D THIS?????
And now, time to draw some bunnies.

No comments:

Post a Comment