It is unfortunate that in this day and age that as a society we are becoming more and more lazy and expect everything to be spoon fed to us. As the ‘Yellow Pages’ tells us “Let your fingers do the walking” and perhaps that is the problem.
We have created quick easy solutions for everything. Just type a question into a browser or use an app and tah dah there you have it, the answer and the heart rate didn’t even elevate and the only possible injury is a broken finger nail instead of a sprained ankle.
And here is the conundrum: as a designer this is what we strive to achieve for our clients, communication that delivers a quick effective message to the punter. We of course are all aware that the punter is time poor and is constantly bombarded by advertising and promotions.Therefore more often than not we create advertising messages that can be viewed and digested in between the mere clicks of a remote control or mouse.
The flip side of this is the advertising and design industry is creating more messages that engage your market less and treats the consumer as not the sharpest tool in the shed, and from a purely design bias, rather bland and predictable too. You know the advert –
Big headline (because the viewer has poor eyesight)
Large image of the product (because the client is paying for this space and therefore they want to use every square mm, and the viewer has poor eyesight)
Bold short sentence constructed in simple common words (because the viewer isn’t the sharpest and has really poor eyesight apparently just like the client who couldn’t read the concept of a newspaper ad in the presentation from their seat at the other end of the boardroom table – after all we all read our newspaper from across a room as oppossed to within arms reach, don’t we?).
Really large (because the viewer dosen’t want to have to put their glasses on to have to read it) call to the website (because the consumer can find out more if they can only be bothered).
Then finish off with a really big logo (because it is hard to see otherwise and therefore no one will know who the company is).
This doesn’t have to be the answer though.
To make someone stop and stare means not treating the reader at the level of the lowest common denominator and creating designs that require the reader to work a little harder, where they actually have to decipher and think. Clever design doesn’t follow the norm, and so it stands out from the rest.
An advert doesn’t have to have a huge bold headline to be successful. A missing headline where the reader, through various cues contained elsewhere in the advert, can insert the headline themselves is an example. This style of design requiring input from the reader creates a sense of intrigue and holds them longer on your message. The advert is less likely to be forgotten as quickly and more layers of information can be transmitted, it becomes a relationship between the two parties.
After all communication is more successful as a two way conversation between two parties than one where one party is simply yelling at the other.