My first ad layout.

  • ATNO/TW
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I've always designed for web, but last week I did my first print ad layout that will be appearing in a national paint magazine in July. I was pretty pleased with it considering I don't consider myself a graphic artist.

http://www.alaron-nuclear.com/coatings/firstad.jpg

The background is computer generated and the motors are cutouts from real photos from our motorshop. The logo image was designed by UNFLUX.

Comments and feedback welcome.
  • Rémon
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Post 3+ Months Ago

It just doesn't do it for me.. I mean the motors and the background don't go well together, i think it just kills it.

The text (three paragraphs) can be improved by:

Changing the anti-aliasing level to Strong Anti-alias

and

Kerning the text alittle, the letters are too close together.


The logo is fab! :D
  • SB
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Post 3+ Months Ago

That looks really good ATNO. Congrats on the ad!
  • Rémon
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Post 3+ Months Ago

SB wrote:
That looks really good ATNO. Congrats on the ad!


Indeed, Congrats on the ad ATNO
  • ATNO/TW
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Thanks for the tips Rémon. Actually, the text looks much better and prints just fine at the 300dpi / CMYK I submitted to the print company. The link above is significantly reduced quality for web.

I didn't know about the Anti-alias thing. Like I said, I'm not much of a graphics guru, so that will be worth remembering for next time (I already have two more I'm supposed to do next month).

And thanks for the congrats guys.
  • sana
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I think the background and motors looks good , but the text ( not the Main text) doesnt suit. I mean to say ads must be a bit reaader friendly with empty spaces and less text. In that way its more eye catching as well as easy to read. Congrats on the ad though. :D
  • PeterMJ
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Post 3+ Months Ago

The layout is nice, and so is the background. Hoever I would change the font in the body of text and the motors look out of place. I think they are to sharp of an image, and maybe some grain would help to blend with the rest of the image.

keep it up
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Just got the chance to read the last few comments. The font is plain and simple Arial. I tried several - Tahoma, Verdana, Times New Roman and most of the standard web fonts. Recommendations for good fonts for print would be appreciated. I really didn't want to overlap the text over the motor, but I did that layout in about 6 hours and didn't have any time left to rework it so that it didn't overlap. (Also keep in mind the final product was 300 dpi and when printed out, there were no spacing issues with the text - the image is just a low res version of the actual layout).

What I think might have made the motors over the water background work a little better was some kind of shadow effect. I did try dropshadow on those layers, but it looked like crap. Remember those are cutouts from photos and I had no shadows to work with, but I know it could probably be done. Links to tutes on adding shadows to cutouts like that would be appreciated.
  • ScienceOfSpock
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Actually, the ad looks perfectly fine.

You have to remember target market here, guys.
This is obviously going in an industrial publication, not GQ or Vanity Fair.

Though the basic object of advertising is the same in either case, the methods are different. Readers of industrial/trechnical publications tend to be well educated and generally more intelligent. Their needs focus around information. You can cut the flashiness, give them enough info to get them interested and some minor graphics just to catch their attention.
In the more pedestrian publications, your reader education level is much lower, as is their attention span. In those types of pubs, you want to give them LESS info and hook them with really flashy graphics, or pictures of models or fancy cars. Trying to do that in an industrial pub is actually more likely to insult the intelligence of the reader, not draw them in.

I think the ad is spot on.
  • digitalMedia
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Well, I think the logo should stand alone and not be crowded, at all. The web address is too big and not in a good location. The copy is too verbose and lacks a central imperative or theme. The copy should have a title, I think. The columnar alignment of the logo, the web address and the copy should be shored up. They're kind of floating off. The contact information get's lost in the bottom left corner. I'd lose the background or create some means of boxing the copy so it stands out more. Lastly, I'd generate new photos of those machines. You've done a great job compositing them into the picture, however.

In my view the information should be presented as such:

******************

*Imperative Statement/Copy Title (Imperative: Why you want Alaron)

*Copy (Support the imperative in short simple ideas)

*LOGO

*Contact (physical, phone, web)

*Copyright, Disclaim, Specify


******************

Even the smartest people on the planet only have an attention span of a few fleeting moments.

// I think you should have the info in the last paragraph as it's own block of info (compliance and so on)

$0.02 :D
  • ATNO/TW
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Thanks for the tips and feedback guys. dM could you expound on why you said this
Quote:
Lastly, I'd generate new photos of those machines.
  • digitalMedia
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Post 3+ Months Ago

ATNO/TW wrote:
Thanks for the tips and feedback guys. dM could you expound on why you said this
Quote:
Lastly, I'd generate new photos of those machines.


If you have access to those machines, I'd find/borrow/buy/steal a camera of decent quality, a tripod and maybe some work-lights and try to create some more provocative images. Machinery like that can be very interesting and dramatic.

There's nothing wrong with the photos you have, and I'm not being critical of those, I just think you're overlooking what could be a really strong asset in your layout.
  • ATNO/TW
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Post 3+ Months Ago

OK - I follow you. Unfortunately, we took the pictures with the best camera available. An Olympus 1.5 megapixel (or close) . The lighting is halogen and no way to improve on it. This is one of the two original photos the motors were cut from:

http://www.alaron-nuclear.com/photos/motors005.jpg
  • digitalMedia
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Great job on cutting them out. Very clean.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Thanks :D It was my first time *lol I remembered what UNFLUX said once about enlarging the image and then erase around the edges with the eraser tool a couple pixels at a time. It took a couple hours, but it worked like a charm!
  • SB
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Post 3+ Months Ago

digitalMedia wrote:
Great job on cutting them out. Very clean.


:lol:

Was thinking exactly the same. I actually saw the photo before reading most of the post and was thinking that 1.5MP camera is better than my 4.1MP camera :lol:

Started to get a bit jealous :lol:

Good work ATNO!
  • FusionDesigner
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Post 3+ Months Ago

The blue text is hard to read. Rest - not bad, nice logo. Needs some white space, so your mind isnt all over the shop.

All the best.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

First, congrats on the job. I see a lot of people have committed on your work. I didn't read them all so I hope I am not about to repeat anything. I do agree with Remon, the text is too close together. Also, I don't quite understand the realtion with the water. If it were a hydro-power company it would work for me. The engines, I believe maybe they could have been incorporated into the image a little better. Maybe you should have made it look as though the engines were actually in the water instead of just arbitrarily placed on the page.
  • ATNO/TW
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Well, the ocean could have been any nature background really, but my boss wants to work a current theme of "environmental" awareness into our advertising. Given the radioactive nature of our service lines, we want to paint a picture that we care about the environment, which is indeed the truth.

The motors are nuclear power plant water cooling motors (as best I understand), hence the association with water. It would have been probably better to have them sorta sitting in the water as you suggested, but I didn't know how to do that, truthfully.
  • jlknauff
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Post 3+ Months Ago

My 2 cents...

1. You need a "call to action" -tell them what you want them to do and why. Do you want them to visit a website to get more info? Call a # for a chance to win something? Etc.

2. The background is too busy and distracts from the text. IMO you need to lighten the bg image (and then increase the saturation).

3. Move the text up a bit (or the pump down a bit) so they don't overlap. It causes a lot of tension in the ad.

4. Move the logo up a little and make it smaller, or put it near the bottom (where the URL should also be) This will make the ad flow better.

If you haven't gone to print with it yet and have the files in PC format I'd be willing to work up an alternative layout (free of course ;)) - just let me know.
  • ATNO/TW
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Post 3+ Months Ago

thanks for the feedback and the offer, jlknauff, but I believe we have passed the deadline for that one. Definitely will keep all that in mind though. I start work today on two more full page ads for a couple more publications. This time I'll ask for critique before submitting *smiles.
  • musik
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I agree with dM, wicked job on cutting those out ATNO. When I worked in Marketing for a shower company, I often had to take my own pics and cut them out and try make them look professional, so I know its hard as heck.

I think you have done great on the ad - it can be difficult to decide what to do when there are so many options.

dM has given some good advice, on my ads for myself and clients I avoid putting the logo at the top as well, usually a caption of information to entice the reader to read on further.

The font choice for text is good too, it needs to be plain to be easy to read on that kind of background, and you've acheived that.

Nice work, for a first effort it looks darn good to me!!
  • ATNO/TW
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Thanks Rose. Actually at this point this evening after reading your post, that gave me the warm / fuzzy feeling I was hoping for all-day.
  • sannsar4
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Post 3+ Months Ago

i hope you be a awesome graphis designer this here is a masterpiece good luck

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