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20+ Ad Design Tips with Ideas, Examples and Templates

Last Updated Jun 14, 2024

“Nobody reads ads. People read what interests them, and sometimes it’s an ad.” – Howard Luck Gossage.

Exactly. We only pay attention to ads once something grabs our interest. With everyone’s attention span so short these days, only a few things catch our eye. 

Those are worth paying attention to if you want to nail the art of making eye-catching ads. 

In fact, you can do much more to promote your products than just saying, “Check out our awesome product!”

20+ Ad Design Tips

  • Tailor Ads for the Target Audience: Target ad designs so that they resonate with your audience, capturing their attention and interest.
  • Use a Simple and Clean Design: Use clutter-free visuals with enough whitespace.
  • Create Contrast Visually: Juxtapose unrelated visuals to create intrigue.
  • Create a Connection: Establish a connection with meaningful imagery.
  • Retain Authenticity: Experiment with ads to set trends and conversations.
  • Simple and Persuasive Copywriting: Search for the things that excite and create curiosity in the reader.
  • Make It Worth Remembering: Use a disruptive and relevant visual, strong brand identification, a brilliant headline, and something else.
  • Engage with Attractive Imagery: Leave a clue for your audience to associate with the imagery.
  • Entice Customers with Benefits than Features: Focus on the consumer’s experience and your brand’s role.
  • Use the ‘Show, Don’t Tell’ Technique: Give visual cues to associate with the message.
  • Use Easily Identifiable Symbols: To increase relatability, you can use common symbols like the bell icon to subscribe, social media icons, emojis, etc.
  • Engage with Emotional Marketing: Use visuals to evoke strong emotions.
  • Evoke Urgency with Offers and CTA: Use a compelling copy about the benefits and offers to evoke excitement. 
  • Utilize the Power of White Space: Leave enough space between the design elements for harmony.
  • Stay Consistent with Brand Elements in Ads: Use brand assets to make your ads recognizable.

Read further to explore more ad design tips and ideas.

Let’s dive into the world of ad design that can captivate your audience. This blog provides 20+ practical ad design tips with iconic examples and templates. It’s about inspiration and actionable steps to elevate your ads.

What is Ad Design 

Ad design, also known as advertisement design, is a fascinating process. It’s about finding the perfect balance of design elements such as colors, typography, imagery, videos, and brand assets. But it’s not just about creating a pretty picture. 

Ad designs are not just about selling a product or service. They are powerful tools that shape how your audience perceives your brand’s personality. For instance, look at one of the captivating designs from Advertising Poster Templates from DocHipo to see this in action.

Poster Templates

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Various types of ad designs depend on the advertisement format and medium. Here are some of them:

  • Video Ads
  • Social Media Content
  • Emails
  • Display Ads (television ads, billboards, digital signage, etc.)
  • Print Ads

Why a Good Ad Design Matters

We all know that a good ad design is a visual treat for our eyes, but the real question is, what else does it offer to your business? In addition to pleasing aesthetics, an ad is a tool to attract the right audience. Here is how it works:

Ad Design Shapes the First Impression

A well-crafted advertisement design is more than just a visual treat. It’s a powerful tool for communicating with the viewer at first glance, leaving a lasting impression. Using the right visuals, colors, and copy can shape how your consumers perceive your business. 

Branding and design work together to make your products instantly recognizable to customers, setting you apart from the competition.

Designs Help to Build Connection

Did you know that ads with emotional content have a 31% higher success rate than those with a neutral tone? This is because specific ad designs can evoke stronger emotions in viewers. When you design with your viewer in mind, your ads can strike the right chord with the audience.

To illustrate, a design from Instagram Ad Templates evokes a sense of excitement to explore the awaiting adventure.

Instagram Ad Template

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Great Design Ads Earn Trust and Retain the Customers

The authenticity of your ads plays a crucial role in building trust with your audience. Your ad is the stepping stone, paving the way for customers to purchase. Thus, better designs attract more attention, increasing the chances of selling your product. Further, they legitimize your audience’s trust in the brand with a reasonable customer base.

In the next section, we will provide plenty of ad design tips to help ignite your imagination.

20+ Ad Design Tips 

The world of advertisement is a vibrant canvas of creativity and innovation. As you explore, you’ll discover unique ways to present your brand. For now, delve into these ad design tips to ignite your imagination and guide you toward success.

1. Tailor Ads for the Target Audience

    Amidst the visual chaos, targeting the right audience is the key to successful ad creation. Your ads should resonate with your audience, capturing their attention and interest. A common approach is to portray your customer base in your ads, making them feel seen and understood. 

    Giving the impression of a happy customer in your ads projects a positive picture for your brand. For example, look at this Hard Rock Cafe Instagram ad showcasing a woman with a burger. The cherry on top of the cake is the buy one, get one free offer, which creates a happy vibe.

    Also, use this design from Facebook Ad Templates to create a stunning advertisement.

    Facebook Ad Template

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    2. Use a Simple and Clean Design

    Leonardo da Vinci said, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication,”. That’s true. A clean visual strikes us amidst the clutter and compels our brains to form associations. 

    Take this clean Lego ad, for instance. It took a second to get the message across what this ad intends to say. Surprisingly, this ad design doesn’t require a copy, as you have done all the interpretation using your imagination.

    simple Lego ad
    Source: Bored Panda

    Moreover, use this simple and on-point design from X/Twitter Templates from DocHipo.

    X/Twitter Ad Template

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    3. Create Contrast Visually

    Contrasts instantly draw the viewer’s attention. You can create contrast in design with colors, textures, and typography. However, creating visual contrasts is more about surprising the viewer by combining two unrelated elements. This ad design tip helps in enhancing the message when you grab attention.

    For example, take this ad that catches your eye (quite literally in the spoon) to illustrate that diabetes can affect your eyesight. Nonetheless, portraying the delicious ice cream scoop as the eyeball is the work of creative genius.

    4. Create a Connection

    Building a connection with your audience is one of the most critical aspects of advertising. After all, your customers should be able to see beyond the product. If so, it solely depends on you to decide what they can expect from you.

    For example, Ford’s ad brings the skyline onto the key with a message to get the city into your hands. Unlike other automobile ads showcasing their design, Ford shifts the attention from visual appeal to experience.

    Ford key skyline ad
    Source: Ford

    5. Retain Authenticity

    When we say ‘be authentic,’ we mean be original and be a trendsetter. Your originality can be revolutionary, bold, funny, or put the cheek in the tongue; just don’t shy away from experimenting with ads.

    IKEA creates the most creative ads with original ideas. Look at this ad, where IKEA creates the feeling of congested space with cramped-up headlines. Indeed, there are hundreds of ways to promote space-saving solutions, yet IKEA leaves a mark with this ad.

    6. Simple and Persuasive Copywriting

    A catchy copy lives rent-free in our heads for a long time. After all, who doesn’t like the witty game of words? Ad copy can be the impact player for your ads because that keeps your audience engaged.

    To write an excellent copy, one should know everything about the audience. Search for the things that excite and create curiosity in the reader. Remember this ad design tip even in the worst-case scenario: refrain from writing something that takes the audience entirely out of the picture. 

    For example, the Farm to Spoon copy evokes curiosity with ‘chocolatey’ and ‘cauliflower,’ which we can never believe will go together in this world.

    Give a touch of persuasion with a stunning design with these Instagram Ad Templates from DocHipo.

    Instagram Ad Template

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    Instagram Ad Template

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    7. Make It Worth Remembering

    We see millions of ads but remember only a few. That’s the sad reality of advertisements. But the ones that secure a place in our memory lane create the true magic for the brand. So, what sets them apart from the cacophony of numerous ads?

    According to Forbes, there are four main ingredients to make an ad memorable: “a disruptive and relevant visual, strong brand identification, a brilliant headline, and something else.” One cannot pinpoint what the “something else” stands for. Nonetheless, the ad can portray the brand uniquely.

    For instance, Nike has one of the most iconic taglines, and we can never detach the brand from ‘Just Do It.’ However, Nike takes the slogan to new heights by bringing athletes in to inspire its viewers.

    Nike 'Just do it' ad
    Source: Hypebae

    8. Ad Design Tip for Attractive Imagery

    You don’t need words; an image can speak for your business. All you have to do is leave a clue for your audience to associate with a narrative. The battle is half-won if you can bring a character alive in your picture!

    For instance, watch this McDonald’s ad design and let your imagination work around Christmas and Santa Claus. 

    PS: Always use high-quality and relatable imagery for your ads. Moreover, brainstorm ideas and incorporate visual storytelling into your design.

    Check out these Facebook Ad Templates for creating winning ads with eye-catching imagery.

    Facebook Ad Template

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    Facebook Ad Template

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    9. Entice Customers with Benefits than Features

    Nobody wants to hear you brag endlessly about your products in your ads. Instead, people want to know how you can solve their problems, how they would feel as your consumers, or what they are missing out on if they aren’t your consumers. Therefore, remember one of the crucial ad design tips to make the consumer the center of the advertisement.

    KFC aces the game with the ‘It’s Finger Lickin Good’ ad, sharing the delicious food experience. Nonetheless, the company takes the tagline to the next level with this billboard and a not-so-sorry apology for the utensils. 

    ad design tips for benefits- KFC 'it's finger licking good' ad
    Source: KFC Campaign

    Try these Facebook Ad Templates to grab attention within seconds.

    Facebook Ad Template

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    Facebook Ad Template

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    10. Use ‘Show Don’t Tell’ Technique

    When Russian playwright Anton Chekhov introduced the concept of ‘show, don’t tell,’ he wanted to say, “Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.” Facts aside, this technique permeates all types of narratives.

    Ads are visual stories, and imagery can tell everything. So, leverage the power of visuals by creating a lasting impression on your audience. For example, Dettol has always emphasized the importance of hand hygiene. Indeed, this image sums up the story before one washes their hands, compelling us to be mindful about washing our hands. 

    11. Use Easily Identifiable Symbols

    Symbols help us associate with a variety of things. We encounter many symbols daily, like the bell icon to subscribe, social media icons, emojis to express ourselves in text, and more. The best part is that you can easily understand them, irrespective of the language you speak.

    Look at this witty McDonald’s advertisement design. McDonald’s fries take all kinds of shapes, and here, they make the Wi-Fi symbol to inform about the free ‘Wi-Fries.’ 

    Another subtle way to introduce symbols and icons is in the typography of your ad design. To revamp your ads, take inspiration from these Flyer Templates.

    Flyer Template

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    Flyer Template

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    12. Engage with Emotional Marketing

    Do you know customers are 71% more likely to recommend a brand based on emotional connection? All of this is possible only when you leverage emotional marketing the right way. It’s all about connecting with the consumer to influence their behavior.

    You can evoke happiness, fear, anger, disgust, or sadness to connect emotionally through ads. Take this WWF ad campaign against trophy hunting. The ad could be simple with a ‘save animals’ slogan; instead, the ad jolts the audience with this uncomfortable sight, literally replacing the animals with a baby.

    ad design tips for emotional marketing by WWF
    Source: bored panda

    Explore DocHipo’s Advertising Poster Templates with high-quality visuals to appeal to your senses.

    Advertising Poster Template

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    13. Evoke Urgency with Offers and CTA

    When persuading through ads, you should leverage offers and calls to action. CTA buttons bring 45% more clicks, increasing the chances of engagement. That gives you more reason, among all the other ad design tips, to use CTA in social media ads. 

    Create an ad with a compelling copy about the benefits and offers to evoke excitement. Here is an example of an Instagram ad with a CTA.

    Check out these Instagram Ad Templates with on-point copy and CTA. 

    Instagram Ad Template

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    Instagram Ad Template

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    14. Utilize the Power of White Space

    Have you ever wondered how spacing affects your designs? Quite a lot. White space in graphic design is an impactful way to grab your audience’s attention. Take this image, for example. Can you guess what this ad is about? 

    Yes, it’s a Coca-Cola ad! The hands that form the bottle’s silhouette are enough to direct our imagination towards the brand. That’s some intelligent use of white space here.  

    White space also gives a clean and sleek look, focusing your view on the most crucial design aspects. It also helps carve shapes and lines and manage alignment in the design, like these X/Twitter Ad Templates from DocHipo.

    X/Twitter Ad Template

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    X/Twitter Ad Template

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    15. Stay Consistent with Brand Elements in Ad Designs

    We recognize a brand with the logo, colors, tagline, packaging, etc. These elements are crucial brand assets that help a brand become more recognizable to us. Look at these ads for Apple gadgets and notice the consistent background, display, fonts, and visuals. 

    ad design tips for Brand assets in Apple ads
    Source: Medium

    Follow the ad design tips and develop a practice of maintaining brand consistency. The kit can help you save all the assets in one place for easy access. Try DocHipo’s brand kit and make ad designing a breeze for your team.

    brand kit in DocHipo

    Watch this video to learn more about the brand kit in DocHipo.

    16. Convey a Clear and Concise Message

    You can include multiple things in your ad design, but we want to remind you that it’s a bad idea. As a rule of thumb, stick to only one message per ad to reduce distractions and get your message across. 

    Here is an example from FCB, Israel, for Igul Letova, raising awareness about learning disabilities in students. What catches our attention is the extraordinary perspective that learning is an uphill task for some students.

    17. Embrace Creativity with Colors

    Colors make up almost 80% of brand recognition, and your ad designs are the medium for perceiving your brand colors. Colors also play a crucial role in expressing emotions. Therefore, marketing strategists use color psychology in advertisements to evoke the intended emotions in the audience. Here is the list of colors and the feelings associated with them.

    Colors and the feelings associated with them
    Source: Tech report

    Just because it’s under ad design tips doesn’t mean you don’t have to get creative about colors. Being intentional about colors is more about creating intrigue with your designs. For example, this IKEA ad uses colors to suggest the shape of the products. Plus, the iconic blue and yellow color combinations prevail throughout the design as the backgrounds. 

    Ad design tip for colors- IKEA ad
    Source: dandad.org

    Explore these vibrant Facebook Ad Templates with exciting colors and give a luxe appeal to your ad designs.

    Facebook Ad Template

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    Facebook Ad Template

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    18. Embrace Creativity with Typography

    Typography enhances your message in graphic design. Look at this creative Heinz ad and notice the typography at the center and bottom. Collaborating design and typography ramps this ad, further emphasizing the product’s USP. 

    When using fonts in designs, consider the typography hierarchy to focus on the most crucial aspects. Take inspiration from these flyer templates and use typography in your designs.

    Flyer Template

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    Flyer Template

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    19. Leverage the Power of Imagination

    We have already emphasized the importance of narratives in advertisements. However, the best narrative requires the power of imagination. Give your audience a piece of your mind and make them think. 

    Think about this FedEx ad as an example of powerful imagination. Just one picture depicts what the brand does. Even when telling the same story, explore various ways to share the tale. 

    20. Create Unique Associations

    There are some things that we don’t see coming, and that adds to the surprise element. In the movies, this results in the jumpscare and excitement, but this can work in advertising too.

    For instance, look at this ad image, which evokes curiosity with car keys shaped like guns. The image demands attention and compels the viewer to think about the consequences of unsafe driving practices.

    21. Engage with Your Audience

    Have you heard about Coca-Cola’s ‘Share a Coke’ campaign? In the annals of marketing history, Coca-Cola made a mark with this engaging campaign. One thing that appealed to the masses the most was the personalized touch when Coke replaced the brand name with the most famous name in Australia.

    ad design tip for engaging audience
    Source: CocaCola

    One of the greatest ad design tips is to stay connected with the audience. Companies as old as Coca-Cola always navigate new ideas to appeal to the newer generations. Therefore, tracking your brand’s popularity and audience’s response is crucial for any business. Remember, advertising is an ever-evolving process where you must reinvent your story. 

    22. Convey Your Vision

    If your vision aligns with your audience, the chances of gaining their trust increase. When portrayed appropriately, your band’s beliefs and vision can encourage people to choose you.

    For instance, Harley-Davidson made a mark with this ad by targeting female riders. The shift from conventional leather-clad tough guys to a feminine touch portrays the brand’s belief in breaking stereotypes.

    23. Optimize Ad Designs for Different Platforms

    Lastly, one of the most crucial and neglected ad design tips is optimizing the scale and proportions of your ads according to the display format and the platform. A billboard advertisement design will have a different scale than a social media post.

    Also, every ad format has an ideal specification, including the resolution and dimensions. One shortcut to minimize your efforts is using the Smart Resize feature in DocHipo. Select any template and tweak the dimensions as needed utilizing the page resize option in the editor. 

    page resize in DocHipo

    The smart resize option offers plenty of ideal ad sizes for different platforms. Now, you can change the ad size with a single click.

    page resize in DocHipo

    To learn more about intelligent resizing, check out this video.

    Ad Design Ideas 

    Although the ad tips will help you create ads, the marketing world offers much more. Therefore, fuel your imagination with these innovative ad ideas to create advertisements that will stop fingers and turn heads.

    1. Elevate Your Ads with Shapes and Logos

    If your brand or product has an iconic shape, explore different ways to showcase your unique identity. To make the ads more relatable, try including popular references.

    Here is an ad design from Doritos using the Superman logo for their nachos. It’s super simple but shows how awesome their chips are.

    Take inspiration from these Facebook Ad Templates for using shapes.

    Facebook Ad Template

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    Facebook Ad Template

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    2. Use Iconic Figures And Trending Ideas

    When you are short on ideas, use iconic figures that everybody knows. Take this Mercedes ad, for example. We all know Eistien’s famous picture with his tongue out. It’s funny and also shows the other side of a genius. The ad uses two photos of Einstein to illustrate the difference between a rational left and a creative right brain. 

    3. Use Hyperbole and Exaggeration

    Exaggerating your product is the foolproof formula for grabbing attention. As a viewer, you know that this is not entirely true, but the product brings your focus to a particular aspect. On top of that, humor comes in handy while using hyperbole or exaggeration.

    For example, when Tabasco says its sauce is too hot, it means it in its ads. Look at this clever magazine ad. One should pay attention to and turn the page when one sees it. Nonetheless, the brand spoke much more about its spicy sauce with the burnt impression.

    4. Build Narratives with Visual Metaphors

    Visual metaphors in advertising refer to showcasing your product’s benefits by bringing unrelated imagery. Such associations make the viewers look twice.

    An IKEA ad illustrates a visual metaphor for sleep’s anti-aging benefits. But the masterstroke is the bedding showcased as the anti-aging cream, reminding us how we miss the simple things.

    Ad example for visual metaphor
    Source: Muse by Clios

    5. Experiment with Out-of-the-Box Ideas

    Unconventional approaches to problems always intrigue your audience. You can pick an idea and show it unexpectedly. To illustrate, here is an ad from KitKat that illustrates the anxiety level and breaks it down with a bar graph. You just need to think of a message from a different perspective.

    6. Make it Funny

    Humor is the most essential ingredient to make your ads memorable. 90% of the people are more likely to remember the humor ads. So, don’t shy away to tickle the funny bone with your ads.

    Take inspiration from this broadband ad claiming fast speed. But they chose to show it with the famous Titanic scene in a way too realistic sense. 

    7. Raise Awareness

    Raising awareness through ad campaigns is a remarkable way to initiate conversations, increase engagement, and earn the trust of your audience. Brands often use thought-provoking ad campaigns to raise awareness.

    While raising awareness, remember to use emotional marketing for the maximum impact. For instance, here is a powerful ad about animal cruelty caused due to testing by cosmetic industries. 

    8. Lead the Viewer with Lines and Patterns

    Lines and patterns give a sense of direction to draw attention. Here is an innovative example by Stabilo, highlighting women’s remarkable contribution to significant historical events. 

    But Stabilo spotlights Katherine Johnson’s contribution to Apollo 11’s safe return. With this, Stabilo established an engaging ad campaign marking the importance of highlights in history.

    Ad design tip for lines and pattern
    Source: Content Fuel

    Take inspiration from the creative use of lines and patterns in this design from X/Twitter Ad Templates.

    X/Twitter  Ad Template

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    9. Use Negative Emotions to Grab Attention

    In the world of advertisement, ads that evoke negative emotions like anger, anxiety, fear, or awe have higher chances of going viral. Such strong emotions elicit a more significant response than sadness. Therefore, you should be careful when using such strong emotions in your ad.

    Here is an example of an ad that provokes a strong response. This ad makes us guess one of the things banned in America; unfortunately, it’s not the gun.

    10. Compell the Viewer to Look Twice

    Do you want your viewers to wonder about your ads? Make them look twice to reassure them what exactly they are looking at. For example, look at this ad. At first glance, it looks like a car door, but closer, it appears more like a coffee mug. Also, notice how the words ‘lose focus’ grab your attention, and you put in a little effort to read the entire message. 

    11. Make Your Piece Interactive

    Involve your viewers with an interactive ad and let them enjoy it. You can make your audience interact with games, QR codes, or tasks; they get rewards. Think of ways to persuade your audience to get involved in the action.

    For example, this Berge Tattoo ad adds a QR code with a twist. To scan the code, one has to fill in the color, thus demonstrating their skills.

    How to Design an Advertisement with DocHipo

    With a head full of ideas, you are ready to kickstart designing an ad. Even if you are a beginner, you can easily create an ad using DocHipo. Choose from various templates for every purpose, industry, and occasion. Sign up with DocHipo and design your ad using three simple steps. 

    1. Choose a Template

    After signing up, you will land on the homepage. Search for the type of ad format you want.

    DocHipo homepage

    You will now have plenty of templates to choose from. Now, select a template that aligns with your purpose.

    DocHipo templates

    Find templates in DocHipo without a hassle. Watch this video to learn more.

    2. Customize Your Template

    Using the design widgets, you can customize your document’s text, background, fonts, icons, shapes, images, and more in the DocHipo editor.

    design widgets in DocHipo

    Watch this video to learn more about finding widgets in DocHipo.

    3. Download or Publish Your Design

    After customizing the design, click on the three dots at the top right corner of the editor and select download.

    DocHipo download

    Now, select the quality and type of the file and click on download. Voila! You are ready to use your ad design.

    DocHipo download

    Explore the world of creating beautiful designs with DocHipo.

    Wrapping Up

    We have tried to present you with ad design tips and ideas. All the examples are hand-picked to stir thoughts and prepare you for creative thinking. However, there is no hard and fast rule when designing ads.

     Before you start, consider your product, niche, and audience. Also, consider the media that would reach your target audience. Once you have tapped into an idea, turn it into reality with the help of DocHipo. Get hundreds of templates and customize them using plenty of design assets. Sign up with DocHipo and create ads within minutes.


    What makes a well-designed ad?

    A well-designed ad has a clean design conveying only one message. It should also appeal to its niche audience and grab attention with creative visuals. 

    What is the basis of ad design?

    The basics of an ad design include organizing graphics and text elements, using brand assets, and optimizing ads as per suitable format.

    How can I make my ad more attractive?

    To make your ads attractive, include engaging visuals such as images, icons, infographics, videos, etc. Try to stand out from the crowd while conveying your message to grab attention instantly.

    How do you make a good ad design?

    A good design combines attractive visuals and persuasive copy, but it can take time to do creatively. Thus, you can use the following tips to make a good ad design:

    • Tailor Ads for the Target Audience
    • Use a simple and clean design
    • Create contrast visually
    • Create a Connection
    • Be authentic
    • Simple and persuasive copywriting
    • Make It Worth Remembering
    • Engage with Attractive Imagery
    • Entice Customers with Benefits than Features
    • Use ‘Show Don’t Tell’ Technique
    • Use Recognisable Symbols
    • Engage with Emotional Marketing
    • Evoke Urgency with Offers and CTA
    • Utilize the Power of White Space
    • Stay Consistent with Brand Elements in Ads

    What are the four steps of a good advert?

    The four steps of a good advert are as follows:

    • Define your target audience
    • Give only one clear message like information, persuasion, or reminder
    • Shape the concept or idea with appropriate visuals and copy
    • Decide the medium and ad format