Image & Copy

Don't be funny. Be interesting

Image & Copy

  • Image and copy go hand in hand
  • In advertising, copy is just as important as the visual design
  • In advertising, a designer is often paired with a copy writer to concept and brainstorm ideas
  • Creative directors are often copy writers

Be Visual

  • People don't read long forms of text unless their reading an article or a book
  • It's better to have a highly visual ad that communicates the message and the copy supports that message
  • Visuals work fast, they communicate across barriers and can often be more impactful

Brainstorming visuals

  • Explore.
    • What does your product look like upside down, on fire, in feathers or wrapped in chrome? Try to pair it with it's exact opposite
  • Be Different
    • Avoid common used imagery. This will change depending on what is being advertised. Do market research to see what's being over used.
  • Show, Don't Tell
    • ​Try using imagery show show a benefit of a product
  • Don't make it look like an ad
  • Think in metaphors

The ordinary is expected and boring. 

Where do i get my visuals From?

  • Do NOT take them straight from a google image search
    • Use usage rights filter
  • Take your own photos/Draw your own illustrations
  • Have a friend take photos or draw illustrations 
  • Use royalty free images from stock photo sites
  • If it's NOT your photo/illustration, you must give credit to the person who did it

What to watch out for

  • Resolution - make sure it's high enough for print
  • Color - test print it
  • Size- is it large enough so you don't have to scale it up?
  • Type- Tiffs are best for print but jpegs are also okay. Stay away from gifs


Don't treat copy like a second class citizen. It will create a weak ad.

Remember: Some of the most celebrated Creative Directors started off as copy writers

Writing headlines

  • Avoid puns. They're over used and not all
  • Explore different attributes and benefits of the product
  • Like thumbnail sketching, write a bunch of headlines and pick the best one.  Write at least 50-100
  • Save the punchline for last
  • Never use fake names
  • Let the visual take the lead if it's doing the heavy lifting
  • If using just a headline, it better be a darn good one. In other words, you almost always want a visual to accompany a headline
  • Avoid common headlines
  • Don't use model numbers, dimensions or anything tech about the product in the headline

Body Copy

  • Write well. Use proper grammar and punctuation. Check spelling and read it out loud to yourself
  • Write like you talk. Don't over do it with fancy or made up words
  • Write like you would talk if you were the brand. How does Apple write?
  • Don't ramble. Get to the point...quickly
  • Reflect the concept of the ad
  • Provide detail
  • Use short paragraphs and bullet points

5 Rules of effective speach writing

From Winston Churchill

1. Begin strongly

2. Have one theme

3. Use simple language

4. Leave a picture in the listener's mind

5. End dramatically

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