Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Chapter 7, 8, 9 - Bialek

7) Approaches

This chapter discusses the ways in which you convey your product/service/etc to an audience to capture their attention. In today's world, people have very short attention spans. The internet can bring you from a website about cats to CNN in one click, for instance; engaging your consumer is of the utmost importance.

There are a few strategies discussed here: lectures (just going out and speaking to the audience), demonstrations (look at this fantastic product!), comparison (this is why our product is better than the competitor's), using a spokesperson (Johnny Depp uses this product, why don't you!), endorsement (Paula Deen approves of this product), testimonial (I lost 35 lbs in 4 weeks using this system!), problem/solution (Dry eyes? Use 'Clear Eyes'), slice-of-life (Using a blanket is soooo hard, what ever will I do...), storytelling, cartoon, musical, misdirection (You assume one outcome, but it's quite different), adoption (the use of fine art, for example), mockumentary, montage, animation, consumer-generated content, pod-busters (mini sitcom-like ads), and finally entertainment.

Alright, maybe that's more than a few - but the options are boundless. Using any one or a combination of those strategies effectively help in conveying your message to the consumer.

8) Typography and Visualization

Typography is the method to the madness of going through the thousands of fonts currently available to make something aesthetically pleasing for the viewer. It's a mixture of common sense and tips you wouldn't think of: e.g., don't write in all capital letters, but also try not to write white on black text because it's just as hard to read. You want to make something unique, but make sure it's still legible and won't give someone a headache. This is achieved by recognizing the balance between display and text type fonts, then using them accordingly.

Visualization is the way in which you communicate your message visually. This is obviously the most important piece to an advertisement in the end - you want something to grab someone's attention and stay in their mind. Using a mix of techniques like using linear shapes or distorting an image in a strange way will help with this. Introducing great typography will pull the visualization together. Not all great advertisements necessarily need big words everywhere, mind you, but getting your point across without some is very difficult - and vice versa, too.

9) Composition

Composition is the way we give organization and form to our content. To achieve this, follow the basic design principles of format (the defining perimeters, such as size), balance (where you distribute the weight), visual hierarchy (arranging the objects in order of importance to have the viewer's eyes move in a certain way), unity, rhythm (certain objects at certain intervals to maintain a flow), proportions, and harmony. Gestalt principles are a good way to think about the basics.

Strategies such as chunking and using a grid also assist in making a good-lookin' ad. For instance if you want to make an advertisement of a baseball player like in the book, you want to have a lot of emphasis on the bat swinging over his shoulder for the illusion of movement. It's eye catchy, it's flashy. Heck, it's the one ad I remember looking at in the book without having to go back through the pages!

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