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Magazine Ads

Project Info

Duration: 2015 – 2017

Client: Harland Clarke, Vericast, Expressionery, iPrint, Water2Wine, NDA

Role: Graphic Designer

Mediums: Photography, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign

There are typical design elements to consider from color palette, mood, messaging, typography and more but really enjoy the cross-team effort to send one to production.

Kickoff & Research

It is vital to have a kick-off meeting with stakeholders / marketing team to identify the intended target audience, review marketing personas, discuss inspiration, details, budget, specs and review any precedent pieces from previous campaigns. During this phase, everything from mood boards, to a list of keywords to convey the overall emotion, and inspiration is helpful.

Layout & Sketching

I typically begin by laying out the spec sized pages in Adobe InDesign. If the copy is already established, I can begin to block those areas out on the page. They may not be in the exact final locations, but it helps me visual the space left over for custom photography and/or illustrations. I go to the sketchbooks and begin to thumbnail the layout(s).


There is a better chance for reader engagement if the piece is in step with the overall look/feel of the publication vs. being ad-heavy. With my background in product photography, I like to bring a more lifestyle/in-use look to the imagery, taking cues from the colors, textures and lighting used throughout.

Final Deliverables and Lessons Learned

It is vital to maintain close client/team collaboration to minimize revisions and maximize results. I learned so much in my work with magazine ads – everything from the importance of collaboration, communication, vision, curated copy writing, and even how to package files up for seamless delivery for production.

Below are a few magazine ads I have formatted in the past of which I am proud to showcase my own in-house product photography. There is not a perfect equation on how to create a winning piece, but there are some elements of design that can steer you in the right direction. Most of these pieces have an emphasis on call-to-action (CTA), hierarchy, balance, eye-movement, white space, and a basic visual unity for a cohesive look.


Disclaimer: The thoughts shared in this blog are solely my own and do not represent the perspectives of my professional relationships or clientele.


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