THE BASIC RULES OF LAYOUT
We often get clients who ask us to rearrange the elements of their ad for various reasons. The two most common reasons are:
- They want their logo to be the first thing their reader sees.
- They want something that looks different from what everyone else is doing.
But when it comes to effective advertising layout, these requests are cardinal sins. Have you ever noticed that almost every ad you see follows the same format? This is because that format WORKS.
Without getting into the mathematics of it, aesthetically-pleasing, effective ad design is based on the “Rule of the Thirds” and the “Golden Ratio”. The general format of an ad therefore ends up looking like this, often, in this order:
- Short, attention-grabbing headline, taking approx. 1/3 of the space
- Strong visual that takes up 2/3 of the space
- Short, explanatory message with no more than three thoughts taking 1/3 of the space
- Small logo and contact information at the end of the message
So, why is a large logo placed at the top of the ad less-effective than a small one placed in the bottom corner (preferably, the right side)? Two reasons:
- IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU. Who you are is less important to your reader than WHAT YOU CAN DO FOR THEM. WIthout this, who you are is meaningless to them.Read more.
- Optimal placement for a logo is the bottom righthand corner of an advertisement because the eye will scan the ad in the path of a “Z”, stopping and lingering only in this spot.
Logo placement in the bottom right third of an advertisement thus serves three purposes:
- as closure to the message contained within the ad,
- as reinforcement of the brand at the end of the call-to-action, and
- to assist in recall of the brand at a later time.
The reader’s eye may not be here long but the subliminal power of this placement is strong and effective, which is what makes this one of the most important rules of page layout.
And there you have it. See? There IS a method to our madness!