Graphically Speaking - Do’s & Don’ts of Advertising

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 Work at Home Moms > General Internet Marketing Articles > Graphically Speaking - Do’s & Don’ts of Advertising

Graphically Speaking - Do’s & Don’ts of Advertising

Though you may have a Website set up for business and links advertising your business all over, doesn’t mean that you receive premium exposure.

Unless someone knows to go to the Website whether by link or directed through a search engine or else wise you’re probably missing out on a lot of potential business. Spread the word!

The old saying goes, “It pays to advertise," but it is how you advertise that becomes the catalyst of success in any venture.

Whether it is print media, radio, TV, billboards, or a web presence, wording and design will either make or break you. rules in advertising effectively.


Try to stay away from using the words, fee, cost and time; in the mainstream of your text, these are subconscious red flags that will inhibit the consumer from reading the rest of your text.

Words such as, guarantee, new, special, enhance, loyal, dependability, reduced, sale, exciting, results new, phenomenon, eternally, how to, trouble-free, finally, and last but not least, free are all key words.

Colors and patterns

Regarding the layout of your ads, you need to also stay away from certain colors and patterns.

The old saying in advertising is “Yellow is red all over”, a cliché of course, meaning that yellow is one of the most domineering background colors that catch the eye or the reader. This is true for print media as well as Internet based advertising. Using yellow for borders mixed with black or dark blue can really enhance the look of your page or advertisement. You can use yellow to highlight certain text on your page to grab the reader.

Stay away from noisy backgrounds with lines, stripes or floral.

Never use dark print on a shaded or dark background. You want the reader to easily read your text. Red is one of the worst colors to use in text, unless it is bold and maybe with the use of shadowing of gray or a large font. Yellow, unless used on a dark blue or black background should always be avoided. As a background color it is fine, but in text, makes it hard on the eyes. Bright neon papers for print media are great. However, it is best to stick with a more subtle color when designing your Website. Remember you want the reader to focus on your message, not how great your site looks. You can use neon to enhance borders or a particular message in your text such as, free estimates, call 24 hours, money back guarantee, etc..



Keep it simple no matter how much fun it is to use outrageous fonts. While serif fonts (such as Times New Roman and Century Schoolbook) may be easily read in print media, on the web you should stick to sans serif fonts that are most common to a variety of browsers (such as Verdana and Arial).

You should try to limit the variety of fonts used, usually no more than three different types on the same page of a Website or print media. Too many variations will distract from the message.

Remember, you want to keep the reader hooked. If the reader has to spend too much time deciphering what your ad is saying, they will tire easily and move on to your competitor


Less is more! Keep your message short and precise to the point. Too much wording or overcrowding will definitely give you a negative affect. In this day and age with everyone usually on the go and rushing about in their daily task, most won’t spend more than 30 seconds to read an entire advertisement. You have to grab that reader’s attention within the first few lines of text, make it a showstopper! Using flashing icons or even a stop sign icon can seize reader.

Another important key is to place your most important text or attention grabbing line in the upper left hand corner of your advertisement. It is a proven fact in the advertising world that the upper left hand corner is the most prominent and noticeable eye catcher. We have a tendency to always look to the left. Notice next time you are driving about or walking…where do your eyes wonder first?

Graphics and sound

Many times we add graphics to enhance our site, but keep in mind that not everyone has DSL, Roadrunner or high speed Internet and it takes much longer to download. If it takes too much time to download, you loose that potential sale. It is best to narrow down the graphics you want to use. Using icons or thumbnails can certainly improve download time. Try to stick to key graphics that can sell your service or product such as symbols or examples of products. You can place a link in your main message that directs the consumer to a site of sample products. Using sound or music can also enhance your site. This instantly grabs the reader for more focus. However, be choosey when picking your jingle or music. Soothing sounds grasp the listener more than anything else. You don’t want to place some annoying sound that will make the reader search frantically for the disconnect button. The key here is balance. You don’t want the wording, graphics or sounds to over-shadow each other. You want to draw attention to the main message using graphics and sound to enhance your message.

Stay away from political and religious icons that could cause controversy, unless you are trying to target a certain audience.

Also when developing your web advertisement, try to stick with a logo or design that you would use consistently with your print media. Staying consistent with your logo truly gets you recognition. Remember the golden arches of Mc Donald’s, Gerber’s cutesy baby face or Exxon’s Tiger, you get the picture. The more someone sees your logo, the better chances of gaining the trust of that consumer. They may not know where they have seen your company before but subconsciously they will have heard of you.

Keep in mind the following when developing your site or any form of advertising:

Add testimonials or references
Your experience or how long you’ve been in business is vital to add
A picture of yourself helps the consumer to identify with you better, unless of course you look something like Freddy Krueger.
Big, bright and bold should be your heading or main attention getter.
Simple strategies and straight to the point should be your text.
Yellow is read all over!
Left hand side corner is an eye lifter!
Neon borders nab the reader!
Logo longevity leans the consumer your way.
Finally remember, if you can’t personally read your advertisement without wearing binoculars or blinders…stick to the basics!

Brenda A. Graff is a 37 year old Mother, Wife, Graphic Designer, Marketing Pro & Author of "With Six You Get Laundry."

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