Newsprint and Magazine Ads
March 31, 2011: I found this ad for Lord Leebrick’s North by Northwest Ten Festival of ten minute plays in the Eugene Weekly today. The unconventional shape of the ad made it stand out from the many other small black and white ad boxes on the page.
Also compelling, was the image used. The very recognizable poster to the old Hitchcock movie was appropriated and mixed up a bit by including a compass in place of the actor’s head.
I am assuming the target audience theater and old movie buffs due to the theme of the festival.
As far as the messaging goes, it is clear when and where the event is to take place, and where to call to purchase tickets. However, the bottom portion of the ad creates a little confusion; also listing other offerings by the organization, and an additional unlabeled phone number, differing from the one to call for tickets.
The design is clear, although the text is somewhat boring. I can tell that whoever designed the poster just shrunk down the event poster and added more text. I was surprised at how small and un-noticeable the organizational logo was.
Over all, I believe the ad works in the sense that it caught my attention and sparked my interest in the event. But, if I had not already been familiar with Lord Leebrick and knew where it was located, I would be left with more questions.
I immediately noticed the simple color scheme, and felt it added to the clear message.
The purpose of this ad is to announce the C.A.V.E. Gallery’s next exhibit, SIT noir, and to promote upcoming shows. Seeing that it is listed in a prominent low-brow art magazine, I suppose its intended audience is the subscribers of this magazine and the typical demographic of those subscribers – twenty to thirty year old street art enthusiasts.
Although not familiar with any of the listed artists, I would be interested in checking out this gallery and featured artists due to two things: 10 the fact that it is listed in this magazine, itself, and 20 the clean professional, yet intruiging imagery used.
Mailers and Handbills
April 8, 2011: I receive mailers from Root Division in San Francisco, quarterly announcing their upcoming arts workshop offerings. The format and layout are always the same, but they change the color for each season which helps eliminate confusion and emphasizes that it is a new brochure.
They provide information on Root Division, who they are, what they do, and about the classes offered.
The purpose of the mailer is to promote the upcoming workshop themes, dates and times, and pricing, and provide information on how to register, and the various ways to pay. I find their design very simple, easy to understand, and effective. They are printed in an large format on very thick, good quality glossy card stock which helps the mailer stands out from other mail.
To the left, is a handbill associated with the Seattle Art Museum Film Series titled, American Heart: The Films of Jeff Bridges. This three month series features 8 Jeff Bridges films, that span his career. The front page is simple, including just an image of young Jeff Bridges, the film series title, and the Seattle Art Museum logo and SAM FILMS logo, which is enough information to summize what the program is for. Inside the handbill, are the dates and titles of each featured film and a brief description of each.
The thing I found most interesting, was the handbill was designed to open into a nicely designed poster highlighting the films.
Brochures and Newsletters
April 14, 2011: This is the membership brochure for the Seattle Art Museum (SAM). It was designed very well. Again, the first page is simple, yet clear. The back matches the front, with contact information and simple instructions. It folds open into five panels. The first open reveals just the ‘connects art to life’ page with the photo of people walking through an exhibit to the right. The text explains member benefits.
The second open, reveals the membership levels with imagery of the three locations to the right. Because of the careful planning of folds and opening points, the viewer never feels overwhelmed with text.
Finally, with the third open, the rest of the membership plans and discounts are explained and the viewer is left with the membership form in their right hand. It is perforated, ready to be torn out. the form is concise, and it is printed on the inside of the foldable, pre-addressed enveloped. There is even adhesive to seal the deal. Over-all, very nice design.
It is mainly intended for providing a summary of programs and achievements of the past year to current and potential donors.It also recognizes Lane Arts supporters.
After viewing the past several printed materials, I cannot help but feel that the over -all aesthetic and branding of this organization feels less sophisticated, less bold, and less organized.
The use of and combination of several colors, numerous columns, and placement of pictures is what I believe causes the lack of visual structure. The information itself could be organized more effectively as well.
Radio Commercials and PSAs
April 14, 2011: Lane Arts Council is a local arts organization that has been successful at utilizing the radio in order to promote events. Each month, just before the monthly ArtWalk is to take place, Jessica Watson, the ArtWalk Coordinator, does a five minute radio interview with STORM on KVAL. They discuss the upcoming walk, and featured stop locations and artists. This provides the listener with detailed information about the event and what to expect. The radio interview are always, then, sent to the ArtWalk FaceBook page, increasing the audience from those that just listen to the radio, and reaching an entire other audience made of of those people that already have a connection to the ArtWalk. Very effective.
I went online in search of an art PSA. The one i found here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HHRLbpYgprM&feature=related) stood out due to its clear, but whimsical message. It is an animation depicting a youth climbing roofs and getting into mischief in the after school hours, falling and hurting himself, then cuts to him in a hospital bed, bandaged up, drawing, and simply states: ‘Art is Safer.’
April 14, 2011: Four commercials aired for the Green Gallery in Milwalkee can be found here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vhQiposZOGQ). The first utilizes unsual yet compelling imagery to catch attention, then simply adds text to announce the show dates, features an artist exhibited, and location. No sound. The second is an artist interview, again, no music, but interesting imagery. The third has music playing and very artsy imagery with the text of the exhibit information flashing slowly throughout, and the last commercial, I found least effective, again, just flashing images, this time of country scenes and then an installation.
Posters and Fliers
April 14, 2011: These are two posters designed for the same event: Beats & Brushstrokes, a fundraiser put on by ELAN this winter. I found that both were effective for the function they served. Both contain the most important information: the name of event in recognizable logo format (the same used last year), the time and place of the event, and an image representing records. Both capture the feel of the event: fun, hip, artsy. The first poster was designed to be hung around campus and town in storefronts and contains more information about the event, purpose, and activities. The second, created more for guerilla marketing tactics, was simplier, but with a more compelling image to younger audiences, and was hung on telephone poles around the Whiteaker neighborhood.
This is the front and back of the Capital Hill District Arts Walk flier I picked up while visiting Seattle a few weeks back. Its simple, bold imagery and color scheme caught my attention in a stack of fliers on a counter at an art gallery. The fonts and colors are consistent front to back, as well as the fire hydrant and dog. The text is clear and concise, listing only the necessary information, and a few sponsor logos. Very effective.
Web and Electronic Mediums
I decided to look at the website for one of my favorite San Francisco galleries, White Walls, for web content. http://www.whitewallssf.com/blog/ The website is clean and informative. The imagery match the aesthetic of its physical space very well. There are a lot of great images of past and current exhibitions, calendar, information about White Walls and the artists showing there, interviews, and a blog site where visitors can leave comments. There are links for those to join their twitter and facebook pages, as well. Everything is organized in a very sensible manner.
Signs, Billboards, and Banners
May 15, 2011: This is this year’s Cinema Pacific banner. It was hung in a centralized and visible location on a main street in downtown Eugene, just next to the Saturday Market. The most important words are largest, including the logo and dates. I think with this banner, location was key.
My first response to this was ‘WOW! Love the colors!’ I wasn’t sure if the graffiti was part of the original design. After further investigation, it turns out this billboard was designed to promote an exhibition by Japanese artist Takeshi Murakami, the Museum of Contemporary Art put up a billboard, which was soon tagged by graffiti artists. The billboard was quietly removed. It turns out that Murakami found it so wonderful, he had to have it for his personal collection.
Questions to consider when looking at marketing materials:
- What is your first initial response?
- What do you notice? Why?
- What techniques are used?
- What is the purpose or message?
- Who is it intended for?
- What is your overall perception?
- Does this material work? Why or why not?