3 Easy Steps To Create Your
Own Brilliant Print Ads

Get your inspiration here

Even though it’s a digital era, millions of people still read/view magazines, especially the ads.

That’s right. You heard me. 

Of course when you hear magazines, the visual images of either the models in latest trendy apparels or the brand advertisements must appear.

While you flip so many pages seeing multiple ads, there are only a few which catches your eye and a few from them that you remember later.

That’s what brilliant print ads do.


Topic 1:

Idea Behind Print Ads

Per ZipRecruiter, the average annual pay for a Magazine Designer in the United States is $45,511 a year.

Can you believe that? Well, I do.

Well it’s not impossible. You can make those print ads too and earn even more.

Let’s find out what is the path for clever advertising through some advertisement examples.

It is not rocket science. You need people’s attention. You want them to engage with your print ad. 

That simple.

Creating outlines about your objective behind the ad is always the first step to the print ads creation.

The idea is to send a message to the people. Focusing on the message or the benefit that read gets after viewing your advertisement puts you and the readers in a win-win situation. 

People care only if there is a benefit for them in your ad. 

Focus on it while creating an ad. 

Now the question is, how would you do it?

First things first, ask yourself the questions below:

  • What is your goal of having a magazine ad?
  • Who is your target audience?
  • Do you have any performance report from the past print ads?
  • What is your story line?

There are certain marketing questions which a designer needs to know prior to jumping in the design process. 


Well your created print ads will be showcased in every magazine(well the ones your client picks) and a huge audience will be viewing it.

A single misdirection to your message and the brand identity can be questioned. Or the brand image made in past years will be jeopardised. 

Would you be willing to take that risk and responsibility? 

Having a clear objective of what is your purpose can change your thought process entirely.

In the above Adidas example, the goal is to promote fitness lifestyle. When the fitness is promoted, people can relate it to their lives. And so the sales increases.

Visualization certainly helps in engaging audience with the ads. Grabbing attention today has become much more competitive than ever.

So you need to pick a storyline that connects with people emotionally to help visualization revolve around it.

Quick Read:

What to avoid while creating a logo [10min]

Creative market explain what to keep in mind while creating a logo. [10 min]

Topic 2:

Template Creation

Now that you know the idea behind all print ads creation, let’s see what a template would include for any advertising design.

To think in a sequential manner:

  1. Storyline comes first
  2. Include a catchy sentence. It can be your headline with a sub-headline or just a headline.
  3. The less you show, the more it speaks. Use minimal content.
  4. Avoid multiple visual graphics. Stick to a single focal point. 

Let’s take an example: You own a coffee shop. 

The client’s briefing: I need an ad that can bring me more customers. Include coffee somehow in your design and oh, my usual customers are the corporate people. Show me something unique.

Well except for a few details, that’s pretty much what every clients say and wants from your design.

So to sum up based upon your research and the client’s briefing:

  1. Goal: To drive more sales
  2. Target Audience: The corporate people mostly but also everyone else who likes coffee
  3. Storyline: Highlighting the need of coffee in a busy schedule. Thus working with people’s emotions to let them connect with your ad.

Great right? 

Well below is the original print ad designed by Nescafe. It also has a sentence at the bottom in maybe Arabic or Hebrew language but the message is pretty clear and understandable.

It would engage people and make them look at it again. Along with passing the message smoothly yet in a simple manner.

While creating your template, make sure to:

  1. Connect with emotions so it lets readers engage with it more efficiently.
  2. Play with colors that define your brand and the services you provide.
  3. Involve inspiration wherever necessary. Again this helps people connect with it emotionally.
  4. Try something unique like passing your message in a word or even a single letter. Maybe an icon can have your message. (Will show some examples below).

Never forget to take inspiration from the existing print ads. You may not be able to think instantly about what can be designed but having few ideas in front of you can change your perception and increase the thought process immediately.

As discussed in beginners guide for logo design of having a sketchbook with you all the time, the concept is applicable for print ads as well.

Let’s see how other brands have incorporated these techniques in their clever advertisements.

Topic 3:

Few Print Ads Explained

Faustino Carmona has a series of print ads for Searching For Hope? Campaign shown above on Adsoftheworld. 

People usually suffering from depression do not like to highlight it to the audience and thus search for a solution online which can eventually make things worse. The campaign was started to let them know to refer to psychologists instead.

ContentFly shares unique content so you do not get bored as the generation today is restless and this is shown in their constantly changing interests along with the effects of it on their relationships.

Wonderfully displaying the thick and thin side of a marker from an image of a viking with a wine glass by FCB Chicago.

Creative Ad Awards has beautifully crafted the message on the plates to let people relate with it personally.

Advertising Agency: Cerebro Y&R, Panama has taken the print ads to another level. They focused on what their product does and to what extent the quality is provided by their product. This is an incredible print ad to take inspiration. 

Advertising Agency: TBWANEBOKO, Netherlands kept it simple by defining the purpose and usage of the product and the time when it is supposed to be used.

Quick Read:

Bored Panda has displayed 33 such powerful print ads. Go check them out!

Ateriet showcased plenty of food print ads that are worth a read.


Thank you for reading the article! 

Simplicity as its best. 

This is how you feel when you see any print ad that conveys the message in the simplest way possible. 

Well you can create such ads too. Techniques are easy. Just find them and you are on your way.

If you scrolled to the bottom, you missed out on great tips. But if not, that’s great.

Summarizing the above article, below are the main points to remember:

  1. Be sure that you are clear about what is the goal of your brand behind having a print ad in the first place. Or else you will be spending thousands of dollars that will drive you very less sales.
  2. Three things to keep in mind: Storyline, minimalism & brand identity. You can read about them in detail above.
  3. Look for Adidas Print Ads Idea and you would know the importance of story behind a print ad.
  4. People care if you have something to offer that benefits them. Connect with them emotionally. Pretty straightforward but dogs & kids engage people a lot. Find a way to use them in your print ad.
  5. Make sure to use as less content as possible. Deliver your message with the visual graphic design in your ad.

And that’s a wrap. You now possess all the required information on creating a print ad.

Let’s see what you understood today.

Practice Example: I own a store where I make custom designs on t-shirts and mugs. So you can ask me to print your favourite Game of Thrones character and you will have it within the next 10 days.

Create a print ad on the above scenario of a virtual client & do share with us.

The best ones will be displayed here. All the best!

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