Making an Impact

By Wendy Rall   Volume 3 Article 1

So often I see advertising and marketing materials that are so full of content that nothing is legible.  An “impactful image” is seen, read and understood quickly and easily. For example, lets take an advertisement whether digital or print; what makes for an impactful ad? Simply, it would contain one magnificent photo, graphic or illustration, along with minimal text and obvious logo. This kind of image demands attention on a page where it fights for attention with other ads surrounding it. 

A “busy” complicated image is one that uses several small images, and too much text. The object of most ads and marketing materials today are to drive consumers to your website where they can find detailed information. For this reason, it’s not necessary to include so many images or too many details, you just need enough to entice the consumer. Too many images make it hard for the eye to focus. The images loose impact due to a smaller size, and sometimes are never seen, or worse, they are misunderstood. This is frequently seen in the restaurant industry, in promotion for large scale cannabis events and when the brand owner creates a ammeter “self made” version.

Professionally Branded Brochure Interior

Professionally Branded Brochure Interior

"Home-made" Brochure Interior

"Home-made" Brochure Interior


Now lets think about a brochure. Now, imagine that one of your brochures was left laying on a table at a trade show, in a hotel lobby or even in someone’s car. Ask yourself this: would someone who saw your brochure just laying around, pick it up? Would it make an impact enough for them to say “Hey, what’s this?”. If not, you may want to consider why not, by taking a good look at your content.



• Keep images to a minimum (photos, graphics or illustrations). 

One large photo with a smaller “inset” photo or two will have more of an impact than several small photos will have.

• Keep the text to a minimum.

Yes, you need to include text to clearly get your message across, however it is best to not include too many details. That is what your website is for. A nice headline, subhead, image, logo and contact is important. If you have the space you can addd some “glamour copy” to entice the consumer to call, write or visit your website. Just “keep it light”. Shorten your message while keeping the message. Consult with a professional copywriter.


Another way toknow if you brand image has impact is to imagine your ad in a full size print newspaper or direct mail circular, where there are numerous other ads surrounding your ad. Does yours stand out in all of the noise? Or, picture your digital ad displayed scrolling on website sidebars, having other ads above and below yours, does yours make an impact ?



Color vs. Black and white. Color, or lack thereof, is a key factor in making an impact. If you are running an ad in a newspaper or online magazine where most of the advertisements are in black and white then it’s worth an investment to run a full color ad. On the flip side, if you are advertising in a location where most of the ads are in full color, then you would be wise to run an ad that is predominantly one color or black, with some accent colors if desired. The lesson here is to consider your placement. This goes for trade show booths and package design as well. Have you noticed how the booths at trade shows that are predominately one or two colors grab your attention, and are easier to spot, over the full color booths. The full color booths may have extraordinary design but there are just so many of them, that your simple one or two color booth will grab the attention best, in the sea of competition.


In closing, the tip for today is to select your photographs very carefully and choose your wording wisely. Remember to keep things simple for more visual impact, and it’s always wise to consult with professionals.

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