This question came from a client of mine. I’ve modified the question to be less specific to their particular dilemma so you can see how these ideas can be applied to your situation.
Q: Our advertisements are boring, and customers are ignoring them. My co-worker wants to use lots of colors and fonts to make our promotional posters stand out more than the one-font, one-color template we’ve been using. I’m worried this will take us off-brand. What do you think?
My first thought is this: your co-worker’s solution to the problem is only one of many possible solutions. And it has the potential to create a disconnected visual experience for your customer (taking you off-brand). Here’s what I’d like you to consider: there are solutions to the “boring” problem within the limits of one color and one typeface.
In order to stand out from all the other signage and messages in your environment you need to create visual drama. Here are 3 ways to bring some drama into your visual pieces:
- High contrast color: you don’t need more colors. Black & white is high contrast. Try using one brand color with black or white for a simple and high-contrast palette.
- High contrast typography: Less is more with ads and marketing materials that need to grab attention fast. Make your top-level statement huge. Make all the supporting language subordinate, while being large enough to read.
- White space: No distractions. Get their attention, then get to the point. If you don’t have access to great art to include in your poster or sign, don’t worry about it. You can create a lot of visual interest with type alone. White space provides visual rest - letting your message stand out even more.
Brainstorm options within your limits and you’ll be surprised at the possibilities.