Updated: Jun 8
We are all a little lazy. Our brains are designed to take shortcuts, too. Therefore, when designing your next marketing piece for your business, help people do what you want them to do faster.
Check out some advertising designs below that do just this.
Below are three designs with one or more visual cues. Visual cues or signs can influence the actions a client may take. Some cues are subtle. Some are right in your face.
Faber-Castell, a stationery manufacturer, creates colored pencils for artists.
The company created this ad featuring objects and animals in their natural color.
Then, each animal or object transforms into a colored pencil of the same color.
This ad shows a purple eggplant transforming into a purple pencil. This is a pretty cool advertisement, to say the least.
Have Viewers Use Tacit Knowledge
The ad works on a deeper level because it represents an object that differs from its original form. It forces a person to have prior knowledge to understand what the image is conveying.
In this case, the ad assumes that a person can identify the eggplant, pencil color, and how they are similar.
The person will then need to put two and two together -- that the pencil colors are so vibrant that they look like they were pulled from nature.
Symbolism in this ad makes this advertisement self-explanatory.
The advertisement also uses white space with a vignette. The slightly grey halo around the middle of the image focuses the eye to where you want it to go.
Notice that there's a shadow under the eggplant. The shadow grounds the object so that it does not look like it's floating in space.
Amazon Fire TV Stick Ad
Amazon created an ad for its media-streaming device, the Fire TV Stick.
The bright and bold ad uses the color orange to grab a person's attention.
The colors also highlight areas of importance. Orange and red share similar visual energy. But, orange is not as intense as red.
For this reason, the color orange adds excitement to the advertisement without doing too much.
Orange is also a playful color with some to say that the color orange creates haste and plays on impulse, according to the Psychology of Color.
Orange is also used when something is inexpensive. In this ad, the color links to calls-to-action.
The ad is using visual cues to reinforce a discount in taking this analysis a step further. Mind-blowing, right?
The Use of Color for Visual Hierarchy
Color is also used to rank the importance of content on the ad visually. The font sizes used also pulls your eye toward what the company wants you to see first, second, third, and forth.
You get the gist! This is all done to get you to buy.
Also, notice that all of the content giving you reasons to buy are in white -- product name, price, and words pushing you to buy.
But, text not in white does not stand out. This is content that must be said in the ad but would keep people from buying the product.
For example, the company says you can't get the deal if you are not an Amazon Prime member. Guess what? That would deter people from taking up the offer.
Be Mindful of Image Placement
As for the place of the product in the ad, it's pretty large. It's so big that it has no other choice but to stand out. If it didn't stand out, the ad would look pretty dull, something to consider when you design your marketing assets.
The ad also uses another visual cue. Most people identify arrows as visual cues because it points at things to be quite frank.
In this ad, the Fire TV Stick is now the arrow. Notice that? The Fire TV Stick is being used to point to the TV showing where the Stick goes and its benefits.
Amazon wants you to know the Stick gives you access to over 200,000 movies and TV episodes.
But for this ad to work, the potential buyer must know what a Fire TV Stick is.
Fluid Survey Landing Page
The service, Fluid Survey (now owned by Survey Monkey), created a landing page for new visitors to its website. The main message of the ad is bigger and bolder than all other content.
This is to show its importance and where a person should start reading. It also brings attention to the main service feature that should make a person want to buy (the value proposition).
Contrast and color also establishes a hierarchy of the website's information. For example, 'sign up' and 'free' buttons, stand out as clickable to increase clicks.
Use People As Visual Cues
Another visual cue would be the woman. How? Look at her eyes. Yes, the direction of eyes in pictures should serve as visual cues.
If you look at her's, you will see that she is directing people with her eyes to check out the sign-up form.
The use of a person on marketing materials can also increase engagement.
As the call-to-action, it is enclosed visually. This is a subtle visual cue used to highlight an area people should pay attention to.
Now, you see areas where nothing is there. This is what designers call whitespace. And yes, it is part of the design.
In this ad, it's used to help people take in the information better. Removing clutter and having a clean space allows you to focus on what's important -- click buttons that will lead to a sale.
Remember this. Designs don't always need obvious visual cues. You can mix it up. But be sure to use visual cues to tell people where they should look for important aspects of your marketing quickly.
Question for you...
How have you used visual cues in your marketing?