Print Advertising Design – Don’t Forget this Info!

Advertising Design in Local Magazines, Newspapers, Tabloids or other Print Publications

advertising design suggestions for your local rag paperAdvertising design for publications has been a favorite of mine for some time. Perhaps it stems from my early roots working in the production dept of a local community newspaper group in San Diego. Papers came out weekly and being part of the ad design team – along with creating special sections for upcoming events kept us on our toes!

You quickly learned which ads did well with their content and messaging and which ads needed improvement. Sadly, more often than not, it was the biz owners who insisted on including info that did not always work in their favor.

Since those days, I’ve had the opportunity to design ads for a nice array of print media. From National magazines, high-end Trade specific publications, regional magazines, Visitor’s Guides and local rag/tabloid publications. For the record, before you completely dismiss print advertising entirely, it may still be a viable option as part of an integrated marketing strategy. On that can promote your business, deliver your message and reach the entirety of your audience. And yes, there are ways to measure the success of an ad.

Advertising Locally – Some Do’s & Don’ts

For the purpose of this particular post, I’m going to address some observations (do’s and don’ts) I’ve noticed regarding advertising design in local print publications in and around Santa Fe. It’s where I now live and Lord knows there’s an abundance of them!!

As for the “do’s”, regardless of the area (local, regional or National publications) certain design principles should still apply for advertising designs such as:

• Copy Elements (your messaging)
• Graphic Elements
• Layout
• Size and Shape
• Less IS More (so don’t clutter it up)

It’s Not just a pretty picture, it’s a form of visual communication…
Print publication ads should be memorable and create brand awareness around your business. Executed correctly, advertising design is a creative business solution which is intelligent, delivers your message (very often it is for promoting a special event) and is ultimately focused on driving sales.

You’re Never Too Cool for Contact or Location Info!

local tabloid magazineAs for the “don’t”, it’s amazing how many ads fail to include contact info and or their actual business location. Your biz is not some underground club where you need a secret password to get in. You WANT folks to find you! You may be the cool coffee shop all the locals know – but what about other visitors? They will require a bit more info (if you want their business) – so it makes good business sense to include it!


As the saying goes DON’T ASSUME! So don’t assume that everyone one is going to have a Smartphone and an internet connection where they can just “Google” your biz name to find you. If they’re driving around, they may have a GPS in their car so all the more reason to include your location information. Otherwise you may be losing out on some great customers and or sales – so make sure people can find you!!

If you think just including a link to your website on your ad (you DO have a website don’t you?) rather than any contact/location info is a good idea, you may want to rethink that too. Again folks may not have internet access. But if you do choose this route, then you better make dang sure that all that relevant contact and location info to your biz is front and center on your site. This is especially important if your ad is promoting an upcoming special event. Make the contact/location info easy to find!!!

The latter one is a particular pet peeve of mine – seeing an ad in the local rag for an event which only included a link to the website. The website was so poorly thought-out for visitors that it was next to impossible to find any relevant info. Seriously people, you should know better by now! That’s not only a bad ad, but a terrible user experience!!

Advertising Design for Digital Publications (Tablets)

Many print publications now offer digital versions which can be viewed on iPads and other tablets. To further reach your audience and if the publications offer this feature, you may want to consider placing your ad in the digital version of the publication you’ve chosen to advertise in as well. As your ad in a digital version will likely take them directly to your website and or a “Landing page” you may have specified, again it is imperative to make sure customers can easily find your location and or contact info.


Closing notes… From local publications, magazines, newspapers and or Visitor’s Guides – enticing you to visit their Bed & Breakfast or dining establishment etc…  do not overlook the power and potential of a great ad! Print publications still exist for a reason and people will spend more time looking at a magazine ad over an online ad. With that, just be sure people can actually find your business!

Keep Reading:


eco-conscious graphic designer barbara rogersWritten by Barbara Rogers of Future Primitive Graphics. Helping businesses grow through better design and search visibility solutions. From creating your business identity, designing and maintaining your print/digital assets to the importance of SEO for your website.

Creatively collaborating with those who genuinely want to make the world a better place with their products or services.