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We are in the middle of the Good & Bad Ad project. The students are re-designing the bad ads and most of them are finding this to be quite a challenge. I have noticed that from the past two classes that typically this project presents more problems and poorer results than most of the other projects. I think part of this is because advertising and advertising thinking/problem solving is a relatively new thought process for our students. Another contributing factor is how bad the ads are to start with. You would think that if the ad was really bad it would be easy to make better and that is true but it seems it is harder to truly make it good, just making it better is not enough. I think sometimes it is one of those “I can’t see the forest for the trees” scenarios.

As you know from previous posts I really like some of the Design periodicals for inspiration and fresh ideas. One of my favorites is a magazine called “Before & After.” This magazine is particularly great because it walks you through the process step by step and explains the concept and rationale for each design decision. Most magazines will show you examples of great work but few will actually show you how to produce that work. Of course, creative thinking, problem solving and great concepts are the keys to great work and no magazine can teach you these skills but following some tried and true processes can certainly help.

Before & After article on visual selling

Before & After article on visual selling

This Before & After article features the re-design of a flier/ad that sells a product or products. The original flier is very much like the bad newspaper ads chosen for this assignment. Take a look at their re-design solution and the rationale for their decisions, I think it will help you with your re-design project.

Download and read the entire article BA0681DesignAFlierThatSells.

If you find this helpful check out their website and subscribe. I have said this many times but B&A is the only magazine I read cover to cover! http://www.bamagazine.com/