Concepts for Campuses
A Blog for Campus Influencers
How to Create Good Advertising
As you get ready to reach as many students as possible in the next couple weeks I wanted to give you some words of advice regarding advertising. You don’t have to be an amazing graphic designer (or have one in your ministry) to create high quality, effective advertising materials. So, as you get ready to plaster your campus with posters, flyers, social networking, and anything else you can think of please keep this in mind.
Keep it simpleResist the urge to put as many details as possible on your materials. People don’t have much time to look at a poster as they walk by and it’s very unlikely they’ll stop to read it up close. Give them the name of your ministry, date and time it meets, and possibly one sentence or a short slogan that describes what you do.
Even if you are promoting a series your group is doing you still only need an eye capturing image or one sentence to help people figure out what it’s about. And please use simple fonts. As playful as Curlz can be or as Biblical as Papyrus looks (the 1990’s doesn’t even like that font) people are more likely to read it if they can take it all in fast because the font is simple and easy to read.
Make it eye catchingWe’ve all heard the statistics about how many advertisements people are subjected to daily. Research has also shown that people are more likely to pay attention to captivating images then they will text. Just think about the billboards that draw your attention. Most likely they have one large image and very little text.
A high quality and engaging picture will most likely draw people to your flyer more than anything else. Make sure whatever images you use are not copyrighted and are a large enough size that they can be seen from at least 10 feet away and still maintain their clarity.
Brand everything you doCompanies learned long ago the importance of branding. That’s why we can name what logos belong to which companies so easily. You’ll want to develop a look for all your materials and try to keep it as consistent as possible. Make your posters, flyers, and door hangers all look similar. As much as possible use the same colors, logos, and fonts to tie them all together.
If you’re going to promote a series or event you’ll want to do the same thing. Plan on using the same wording and images on everything you do. If your series is “Getting Past Your Past” then that should be on your posters, on your Facebook event, and somehow incorporated into your posts on Twitter (shorter names can easily use hashtags for this). We encourage all our groups to use the BASIC name and our logo to make branding easier.
Some good websites for finding excellent and free photos are:
stock.xchng - You’ll need a free account, but most photos can be used without any type of license.
flickr - A huge collection of amateur and professional photos. Use the advanced search and check the ‘Creative Commons licensed’ box.
everystockphoto - This site allows you to search all of the major stock photo websites in one place, but the search results do return a mix of paid and free pictures.
Avoid Christian clichesThis is the biggest offender. Don’t use symbols or phrases that would be considered Christianese. Every time I see a dove, flame, or even a cross on advertising I know that most college students will not pay any attention. Try to avoid saying things like “God loves you” or “Do you know where you’re going when you die?” Americans have heard all of this before and they usually equate it with something that doesn’t accurately represent God.
Try to avoid using Microsoft Word if possible. Word is word processing software and it’s not meant for graphic design. Photoshop Elements is available for $50-100 or there are other cheaper alternatives out there that still do a much better job than Word. Try Googling “graphic design software for beginners” and looking over reviews or if you have a Mac check out the App Store.
Remember, your group’s advertising does have a big impact on the way you will be perceived on campus. Be aware of what you’re putting out there and try to make it as excellent as possible.
Does your ministry’s advertising look modern? Do you have any software suggestions for graphic design?