Artwork is a crucial part of each and every advertisement. To maintain effectiveness, however, you need to adhere to certain rules that ensure that your artwork – and the advertisement as a whole – are legible and can be easily understood by the prospective customers, whenever they come in contact with your advertisement, whether accidentally or on purpose.

Several guidelines for artwork creations exist, and employing a certain set of principles can ensure there are no miscommunication issues between the sender and the consumer.

  • The artwork used in advertisement should be highly visible – this ensures that it can be seen and noticed easily during night time, or in the fast-moving traffic, as well as being visible from a diverse set of angles, locations and distances around and from the ad. 
  • When looking for an image, it is important to remember that the images used should be of high quality – not only in terms of resolution, but also the framing of the image: whether the subject or the object being the main focus of the image is clearly visible, whether there is any easily-identifiable ambiguity in the immediate interpretation of the message (there should not be, unless explicitly intended and an advertisement is meant to be ambiguous on purpose). 
  • As far as the artwork is concerned – you shouldn’t use too much text. The purpose of graphics is to allow the shapes, hues and surfaces to do the hard work and relay information. It is a good idea not to use too much text, as this has a detrimental effect on legibility – the less, the better. One of the other things worth keeping in mind, is to place the text within empty space, as this makes the graphics effortlessly meaningful, effectively absorbable and more visible. 
  • The text should be written with a thought-out font, as not every type of lettering is suitable for display advertising. Fonts that you should consider for inclusion in your designs must be easy to read from variable distances – so make sure you use large and legible typefaces. Fonts that have thin strokes or ornate script will be exceptionally difficult to read, even from close distances, so it is recommended to avoid those. Adequate spacing between letters, word and lines will enhance visibility as well as make the message more straightforward, to-the-point and impactful.
  • You should also let the images and shapes associate and work together. If you are designing with a layer-based app, you can capitalise on that and arrange your artwork with the use of various shapes and writing arranged around it. 
  • One of the important points to keep in mind is also working with negative space: the artwork does not have to be really complex, and it definitely should not have too many elements that are too small, with the whole colour space used throughout the ad. The priority is to be noticeable, attractive and legible. Intelligent and inventive approach to “white space”, also known as “negative space” can make the content more noticeable – and make the message more concise, snappy and easier to digest to the consumer. 
  • With this in mind, it is worth keeping in mind that colour weighs heavily on the success of a campaign. Research demonstrates that high colour contrast can improve out-of-home advertising recall by 38%. Choosing colours with high contrast in both hue and value. Contrasting colours are easy to see from great distances, while colours with low contrast will blend together and make the message harder to interpret. This allows for a lot of creative use of coloured fonts or elements, but does not contradict the principles of working with white space – at the end of the day, white background and black text are perhaps the most contrasting colours imaginable, and they can be incredibly effective.

Adhering to the principles and guidelines above will ensure that your advertising has a maximum impact and is as effective, as only possible, increasing the number of conversion and people engaged with the advertisement, with an ultimate benefit to your business or brand. Make sure you consider all of them to give your artwork an opportunity to shine and become noticed – and do its work as good as possible.