Print advertising doesn’t have to be boring. Penguin Audiobooks demonstrates how creative visuals can grab your attention and reel your mind in to think about the products or services being pitched.
The recently launched Penguin Audiobooks campaign doesn’t, at first glance, seem like the type of thing that would immediately skyrocket into popularity. The campaign features famous literary figures in acrobatic poses on the cover of each audiobook. Mark Twain, Shakespeare, Oscar Wilde and other well-known literati don the cover of each audio book in mirrored backbends that form the appearance of a headphone.
Why a headphone, you ask? Well, what else comes to mind when you think of audiobooks? Penguin, and other publishers, have had a difficult time with sales of classic literature books in an audio format. Customers who read classic novels tend to be old-fashioned. They love the smell and the feel of old books and have a hard time transitioning into the modern technological world.
Hence, Penguin hired the McCann Worldgroup ad agency branch based in Mumbai, India in order to conceive and execute a new campaign that would both appeal to a younger audience and not risk alienating their older audience. The Penguin ad campaign was headed by creative directors Rohit Devgun and Talha Nazim and illustrated by Lamano Estudio. The goal was to get the recognizable faces of these brilliant writers depicted in a quirky, funny way that also evoked the idea of listening to audio books.
Thus the designers decided to mimic the shape of a headset by depicting the authors in funny, cartoonish backbends so that their faces act as a headset and their bodies are wrapped back into what would be the plastic headband.
The campaign was a huge success, increasing awareness of Penguin audiobooks by 15%. Further solidifying the affect of this campaign, 7% more audiobooks sold in a matter of days and the campaign won a Gold Press Lion at Cannes International Festival of Creativity!
In addition to the brilliance of blending the wisened, iconic depictions of these authors into a modern contraption, the design works so well because of it’s extreme minimialism. Besides the authors themselves, there are no other design elements on the covers besides the tiny Penguin logo at the bottom center. This creates visually appealing design that pops out of the whitespace and brings the viewers attention directly to the material itself, rather than distracting marketing lingo or clever design.
These three tips will set you up for sure fire design success!
It can be tempting to make your ads – be they print or digital – as bright and eye-catching as possible by using bold colors and crazy fonts. But take a moment to consider the most iconic brands and how they use color: Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Apple, Nike. They use simplicity and consistent colors surrounding a simple design, to make their point and communicate their message. The human eye is drawn to white space and by surrounding a simple, striking image or brand with a clear color or two, you can capture people’s attention. Resist the temptation to overwhelm your audience with colors, Instead focus on attracting them with its careful use. You may also want to run your color choices through a color palette to ensure they are complementary. Such clean, smart, and eye-pleasing design naturally gives your audience a positive sense of your company and your culture.
Message Through Design
Just as clean, consistent color can convey that a company is full of organized, intelligent, and serious people, a well-designed logo can also give customers a sense of your values and your product or service. Spend some time brainstorming a great logo and brand name representation, then bring your ideas to a graphic designer to see if he/she can help refine your concept. This process will likely take a few weeks and you’ll go through many iterations. This is definitely something worth bringing to an expert to help you refine and perfect.
Emotion in the Tagline
Many companies master the importance of color and strong design, but forget to perfect the tagline. A tagline is a great place to tap into the power of human emotion and convey a defining quality of your company, your personnel, and your ethos. Consider how McDonald’s built the value of their tagline “I’m lovin’ it.” Not only does it focus on a positive emotion, they turned a customer testimonial – a powerful tool in its own right – into a tagline. So be creative and bold, with your own.
Remember, too, that it is okay to periodically revisit all of these design elements, even if you are an established business. Launching your new look, logo, tagline, or color scheme is a powerful marketing tool, and one that people respond to with enthusiasm. You don’t want to rebrand every year, but it is fine to update your look every 7-10 years. In fact, investing in improved design for your business is a subtle way of showing your customers that you care to stay up-to-date, are aware of what is going on around you, and you’re focused on them. It’s a win-win, so take advantage of it!
Typography is an incredibly expressive art form. The shape, size, direction, and color of the font can radically alter the meaning of a phrase. These factors can help the visual flow of a design as well as assign a mood to the piece. Here are 10 impressive examples of typography designs:
1. Mr. White’s Fav Type
The blue waves, clean white lines, and hook-like points give this font a very nautical atmosphere. The phrase seems like a playful characterization of the shark (Mr. White – Great White).
2. The slanted and sharp cornered font is bold. The triangle designs and the almost monochrome color scheme in the background adds a heavy atmosphere. The result is a definitive and punchy statement.
3. The elongated lines in the text and the heavy shadows falling in this image give a very ominous feeling. The red adds a sinister vibe to the statement as well.
4. Each letter is represented by a set of repair tools which illustrates the content of the phrase in a fun and playful way.
5. The black-and-white image of the Panda against a black background offers striking contrast. The letters detailed into the fur are clever without being intrusive.
6. Quite the opposite from the last image, the text almost entirely composes the main character in the image. It’s impossible to notice the design without reading the text but the result is cool and calculated.
7. The shaky and huge font provides a humorous form of visual shouting. It’s hard to read this without imagining someone yelling it.
8. The neon theme against a brick wall is definitely a classy look. The soft glow from the lights is very pleasant while the skewed text and playful font style keeps up the energy.
9. The lines, reflections, and perspective make this a very stylish image. The typography is powerful enough to stand on it’s own without other design elements in the background.
10. The clever use of raised lines gives this image an active feeling. The fluid lines between the letters gives a cascading motion to the image as well.
When designing your prints to catch attention, an important aspect to incorporate is color visibility. The properties of light waves can cause the human eye to perceive certain colors more than others. Yellow is one of the most noticeable colors in the spectrum (especially in contrast with black). Yellow’s high visibility can have interesting effects on a design. On one hand, it provides a sense of energy, excitement, and joy. On the other hand, it can become harsh, irritating, and provoke negative emotions when overused. Here are 10 images collected from design profiles that showcase some impressive uses of yellow to create bold designs. Some are intuitive and easy to enjoy, others verge on a dangerous use of the color that might just be too much:
1. Super 8
Wise use of color, exceptional contrast with black, and strong lines make this poster work very well. The chaos between the film strip and train track is conveyed in a clean manner.
2. Spark Poster
The yellow accents in this picture definitely stand out but are not overwhelming. The blue helps to keep the energy fun yet casual. The black background really helps the colors shine and the red in the light bulb leads the eye upward through the image.
3. Yellow Light
The muted shadows, smooth midtones, and soft lighting allow the yellow accent to command attention without becoming harsh or too vibrant. The overall effect is quirky and stylish.
4. Moon Poster
The vivid colors add a lot of punch to the black silhouette character and white background. The colors dividing below the character like light refracted from a prism give a sense of depth or complication (makes you wonder if the character has multiple personalities, perhaps a plot device from the movie?).
5. Fabric Magazine Cover
The yellow tones in this image are darker and muted but manage to maintain a light and buoyant feeling due to clever placement.
The yellow background color lends a calm and warm glow to the image. The dark sleeve and the shallow depth of field help to make the title stand out.
7. In the Dead of Night
The yellow background and yellow text are striking against the monochromatic vinyl record and statue. The gradients in the background and the darker text color keep the image from becoming to bright and flashy.
8. Food Film Festival Poster
The yellow background is very lively, though almost to a fault. The red fruit/vegetables help to provide a pleasant contrast but the yellow is still very overwhelming due to the amount of space it takes up.
9. Mr. Spray Goes On Exhibition
The thematic design of each item is well executed. However, the vibrance of the yellow and white make this image almost painful to look at for an extended period of time.
10. Breaking Bad Poster
This image is a good example of too much yellow. The central image is great: iconic and intense. The downside is that the yellow background takes away from the overall impact because it’s washed over the entire image. Less tinting on the faces, a different background color, or background gradients could really help to take away the harshness of the yellow.
Art can provide a vivid and lively experience for viewers to help add excitement to an otherwise dull day (Monday!). A great way for artwork to provide that energy is through bold and deliberate use of bold colors. Bright colors, stark contrast, and monochromatic designs can really accentuate that energy as well. Here are 8 beautiful examples of this concept: