Advertising is the techniques and practices used to bring products, services, opinions, or causes to public notice for the purpose of persuading the public to respond in a certain way toward what is advertised. The key elements that help us to bring out advertising include graphics, message, colors, photos, videos and animations.

Graphics plays an important role in the advertising industry. To mention the words graphics design immediately brings into mind advertising. In order words, graphic design is synonymous with advertising industry. This is because the nature of advertising is such that it thrives visual representations of products, services, concepts and ideas. It is the main way in which companies all around the world sell their products and services. Apart from using it to sell products and services, it is also used as one of the key ways of instituting social change.

Advertisements for products and services are most effective when the graphics stand out while maintaining relevance to and clarity of the message. The right graphic can attract good attention and increase the likelihood that the viewer will buy the product.

When companies want to introduce new products and services, they create awareness through the use of advertising. On the same score, governmental and non-governmental organizations use this forum to introduce new policies and create social awareness respectively. The use of graphic design plays a very vital role in getting the attention of the public. The effective use of color and concepts help in achieving this aim. The visual appeal of the graphics is as important as the message it puts across. The visuals are deliberately engineered to appeal to the emotions and intellect of the people it hopes to reach.

Human beings are essentially emotional beings, so appealing to them only at an intellectual level normally does not prove to be the most effective. That is where the work of graphic design comes in. It adds more life to the underlining message and that is how the message gets to sell. The designs are able to do more persuasion than a thousand words is able to. We can all testify to the graphics in an advert we saw on a billboard, in the newspaper, a magazine, on the internet and how you were totally sold out. It is not the message itself that made us responsive to the in the positive manner in which we did. It was the humor and the visual appeal. It left an ineradicable mark on our minds of whatever was being advertised. And guess what? We went on to tell other family members or friends about it.

Advertising or graphic design companies that produce convincing materials know the psychology behind a successful advert. They spend time investigating and researching on how best to appeal to their target audience. The demographics (for example, age, education, income group etc.) of their audience will determine what colors, concepts, techniques and other contents to use.

Signs of a good designed advertisements

- When people pays attention to what the visual ad wanted to say
- When you catch the attention of the people.
- When people you got lots of positive feedback from your costumers regarding your ads.

Design communicates brand.

Advertising campaigns are about raising the profile of brands or moving customers in a specific direction to buy a company’s products or services. One of the critical elements of getting people to buy is trust. Brands are essentially the way that customers code a specific offering in their minds: this brand represents quality and luxury, or this brand represents comfort and value. Regardless of what your target customers hold in highest esteem, a brand is shorthand for that. Every piece of creative you release blog posts, brochures, Google PPC campaigns or Nimlok booths at trade shows — says something about a brand. If the design is less than professional and aligned with the brand’s core messaging, it can undermine years of work and good impressions. By contrast, good design speaks volumes to a company’s professionalism, quality and positioning in the market.

Good design raises visibility.

Even the best campaign only gets traction if it stands out. It has to rise above the noise of all the other competing signals from advertisers and content producers. It then has to catch the attention of the right prospect and hold it. Depending on the goals of your campaign and your target audiecnce, the design required to do this may vary. Does a stark, minimalistic approach resonate with your audience, or is it a flashy, borderline-tacky look and feel that would work best? Whatever it is, great design helps you speak to your prospects in a memorable way, and it stands the best chance of getting your campaign noticed.

Design drives conversions.

If your clients have thought at all about conversions, it’s likely that they’ve thought in terms of sales numbers or copywriting with a call to action. Many people fail to appreciate how psychologically compelling design is. Where does a viewer’s eye fall on a page? What emotions do the photographs, colors and layouts that you chose evoke? Does one area — the most important takeaway — stand out above everything else? Good design can take a masterfully crafted pitch or concept and add gasoline to its ability to drive conversions.

Design reinforces messaging.

A well-done design will underscore the messaging that you hope to convey. This links to the argument on the importance of design in branding, but it’s also about the power of design to drive home a message and evoke a response. Consider the case of a nonprofit that’s fundraising or simply getting out the word about its cause. A few carefully chosen images can say more to a potential sponsor than hundreds of words of copy on the same issue.

There are certain things you can do with the design of your advertising materials which increase response.

1. Give it a human feel. Make sure it does not look too mass produced. Instead it should look as if there has been human involvement.

2. Simple design changes revitalize a dying control pack. First try changing the outer envelope. Then, if this does not work, try giving other parts of the pack a new look. People remember what they have seen better than what they have read, so it is not so important to change the copy.

3. It is sometimes better to give your letters a more homely feel than a flashy design, so consider using Courier or Times instead of a trendier typeface. It appears more sincere.

4. Avoid CAPITAL LETTERS, overly large lettering and too much colouring – all this can come across as if you are SHOUTING. It is better to come across as if you are having a private conversation with the reader.

5. Vary your design. Using different components such as shape, size and colour stops people from getting bored.

6. Personalized letters are good because people like seeing their name in print, but do not overdo it. Just use it on the letter and on the response form.

7. Try to make your mailing look “low volume”, this will increase response. If people feel they are part of a select few receiving your letter, rather than simply one of thousands, they will give it more time.

8. Long copy is better than short as the longer you keep the reader reading the higher the response. This is because people need all their questions answered before they will part with their money. So try to answer all the possible questions that the consumer might have, in your copy.

9. Since your copy is what drives the response, try not to distract from the text too much with flashy graphics.

10. People like to know what the letter is about straight away. So they might head straight for the response form or brochure, but you want them to read the sales letter first. So try having some sort of tease on the outer envelope and then duplicate this on the top of your letter which should be the first thing they see when opening the letter.

11. Have relevant pictures that show the product in use.

12. Get the product into your reader's head – use large photos and illustrations showing the essence – if you leave out the part of the picture that tells the rest of the story the reader will automatically fill in the rest in their mind.

13. There are several tricks to make the eye look where you want it to look, remember the eye normally goes from: dark areas to light areas, large objects to small, bright areas to drab areas, the eye zeroes in on things that are out of place.

14.Try hiding part of the headline on a fold line, this forces the reader to unfold the page to see the whole message.

15. Many people slice open the letter and then view it as if through a keyhole. Make sure that when they do this they can see the key items in the pack - word such as 'FREE' for instance.

16. People are far more likely to read captions and headings than body text. So never run an ad or leaflet without a headline. And always caption pictures.

17. Talk in the reader's language, so do not use technical terms or jargon. The letter should read like an ordinary one-to-one conversation.

18. Messages that look handwritten get noticed as once again they have a human, rather than mass-produced, feel.

19. Vary the look of the different components of the copy. If it all looks the same the reader may think they have already read some of your message. Vary each side of a two-sided piece.

20. Keep your message simple - it is harder to take in complex ideas.

21. Do not get too static - keep things moving.

22. Colours relate to emotions. Remember that warm colours get a warm response and cold colours get a cold response. So it is best to use bright, warm colours on your response form e.g. yellow.

23. Don't use reversed out copy, research shows it is harder to read.

24. Use a serif typeface for body copy this is almost six times easier to read.

25. Use the language of your product - so masculine products should have masculine language and design.

26. Break up larger areas into smaller ones. Small sections are easier to digest.

27. Make your order card or response form stand out.

28. Avoid giving your pack a flat look, try to add dimension by varying the weights of typefaces.