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Typography or Photography?

People ask us all the time, what should we include in our digital ads or what should the focus of our digital ads be? Is it better for us to focus, when designing our ads, on something like typography or photography?

To some, the answer to that final question seems obvious. If a picture paints a thousand words, then why are typographic digital ads (adverts that are just bold text) ever used?

But, as we say time and time again, when it comes to digital ad design - context is king. On a page full of imagery, the digital ad that shows plain colour and clear copy is the one that will catch the attention of a viewer. On a page that’s covered in text, the splash of colour and depth that comes with a beautifully rendered photographic digital ad is what will draw the viewer’s eye.

So, the real factor to bear in mind when designing your digital ads, alongside all of the other important design-impacting elements that you should always have in consideration (like branding, campaign goals, overall messaging...etc), is the eventual placement of your digital ad. You might not always know this, depending on what insight/heads-up your media-buying agency can give you, but if your ad is going to be present in areas like social media or on publication sites you’ll definitely know that kind of situation that your viewer will be seeing your ad in and you should design your creative accordingly.

As with everything, there’s no ‘best-fit' when it comes to digital ad creative. Each campaign and ad is unique (it’s what makes what we do so exciting) which means that different elements and tactics will work for different pieces of work. All you can do is attempt to design your adverts with your viewers’ eventual engagement situation in mind and create the advert (whether it be one that relies on photography or typography) that you think will stand out on the page the most.

So, typography or photography? How about you focus on whatever you think is gonna work best for the campaign and ad that you’re designing and building right now?


If you’d like to run your ad creative by our specialist or have our team help you to design, build, and deliver your ad campaigns - talk to our team today!

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