Create a new ad off an existing ad campaign

Have you ever wanted to take an idea of a campaign and make it into your own creation? That is exactly what I set out to do when I created a similar ad that mirrored the original ad campaign. Below is the ad campaign I had selected for the “StayCool” Jockey underwear campaign. It highlights a professional athlete staying cool in his environment. I decided to take this campaign and make a new ad, highlighting some of the main characteristics of the original campaign.

At first glance your drawn into the first headline of text. Not the best use of alignment since it has been centered with the rest of the text, something we can improve upon in our new ad a little later. The rest of the text is group within close proximity of the headline. Then your eye is drawn over to the main highlighted athlete. You take a glance at his expression and are drawn down to see his shirt has ice cold snow on it. Then you mind immediately recognizes the background has been a hot environment. All of this information is process within seconds of you looking at the ad. Lastly you are taken down to a sneak peak at the underwear the athlete is wearing and then some barely visible text showing a website you can go to. The target audience for this ad is gearing towards men that love professional sports. They can relate to the professional athlete as a being a good role model and trust their recommendation of a new type of clothing that helps them stay cool. It gives off the idea he can stay cool and stay cool while wearing this type of clothing.  Below I have set up a slide show of the new ad campaign.

Now that we have a good idea of the type of campaign it is, let’s dive in a little deeper to the design, typography, and color that I used in the ad.  First up, is design.

When looking a little closer at design we notice three main characteristics of this campaign. Can you see them? I thought you might notice that the background, and snow on his shirt, and the close up of the athlete, are all the main features of this ad. They help bring attention to the product they are trying to highlight which in this case is the shirt. Now let’s take a closer look at typography.

The main highlighted text is in a ice blue contrasting color. It is in a very large font and is place in close proximity to the athlete. The font style is very easy to read in a nice classic Arial Sans Serif which matches not only the Jockey brand, but also highlights the classic T-shirt the athlete is wearing. The text is align centered, which is not the best choice of alignment. I would have like to see an alignment to the left or the right. The black font color is a little hard to read, especially when trying to view the text at the bottom of the ad. I’m sure we can tweak those things to make it better in our new ad. Now let’s look at the colors of the ad.

The colors that stand out in this ad are Orange, Blue, and White. You naturally think of these colors when you think of hot and cold. It was clever to make the background of the city orange to make it feel like the environment is hot. Yet the athlete is not the same shade of orange rather a more cool white-blue tone to give off the feeling of him being cold. We now have a good grasp on how to make a similar campaign, let’s look at the example I did in my new ad.

As you can see right off the bat I choose another professional athlete to highlight, Lebron James. I decide to take a wallpaper photo of him where he might be training for a basketball game. Below is the original photo that you can download and try yourself from

Notice that in my new ad I modified the original photo to highlight Leborn James, and he is now in closer proximity to the basket. It is important to get a high resolution photograph that you can use to zoom in on the subject. I was able to cut out Leborn using  Photoshop and pasting him back into the environment closer to the basket.

If you remember,  our original ad had three main characteristics, can you see them all? First being the close up athlete, the orange hot environment background, and the snow around the shirt. Did I hit on all of them shown above? Now let’s take a closer look at the typography that I use to make the new ad.

I decided to stick with the classic Arial San Serif style font and give the font some contrasting colors and sizes. Lastly, I took out the centered align text, and instead align it to the left. Did you also notice that I align the text under the basket? I did this because the athlete was dunking the ball, and I knew your eye would be taken to the basket then down towards the text.  You finish off the ad by seeing the Jockey logo and some informational text on the athlete and a website you can go to see more on the product. Now let’s look at the three main colors I used.

Obviously, I wanted to convey the same feeling as the original ad of being hot and cold. So, I made the environment a burnt orange, and Leborn as a cool blue white. I took the Light blue off Leborn’s shoes and used that as the main contrasting color in my text. This establishes repetition and brings more cohesiveness to the ad. The white text gives off the cool feeling of the snow.

In all of the ads I used a the Jockey Logo that I re-created in Adobe Illustrator. Along with the stay cool symbol that Jockey used in the original ad. This allowed me to use this Logo in different colors within my ad. All of the slides that I have laid out for you are created in Adobe InDesign. Which is great for making layouts for a presentation. I hope you gain some valuable insights for you to simulate a similar ad campaign. This is a great practice for you to prepare for a real ad off one of your own work campaigns.


Taking a household product and turning it into a creative ad

Have you ever thought you could take something as simple as a household product and turn into something more amazing? That is the idea behind a creative ad. I want to show you how I used Adobe Photoshop to blend some images together to make this creative ad you see above for a can opener by Hamilton Beach.

Brainstorm ideas

You can create any creative ad with little bit of imagination. The key is take the function of the product and display it in a creative way that will convey a message to your target audience. Like the can opener I have chosen above, can be literally used anywhere like an electric can opener without the cord. My specific target audience for this ad was males between the ages of 25 and 34, married, with an average income between 40k to 59k. Since my audience was males, I wanted to focus on where men would enjoy using this kind of product. So, naturally I thought of a tail gate party at a football game. Other ideas could be a vacation getaway, camping adventure, or even a backyard barbecue. The idea is to showcase this product somewhere on the go. I stuck with the theme of a football game tail gate party and was off to find some images to work with my design.

Selecting the right images

Since my theme was for static TV ad and website blogs, I have chosen two layout sizes for my images to follow

  • TV Static Ad – 1920px by 1080px (150-300 resolution/dpi)
  • Web/Blog Static Ad – 300px by 250px (72 resolution/dpi)

The images that I chosen to use for this project can all be found on the Adobe Stock website. There are many images you can find there to your related theme. Below is the images I used in my ad in there raw form to give you an idea I used them in my ad.  I decided to get photos that are related to a tail gate party. So I thought of the idea using the can opener to open the can to display the game on the lid of the can.

You can license any of these photos and more with a membership to use Adobe Stock images. They offer a free trial of 10 images a month you can use to try out the software. You can even preview them in Adobe Photoshop to see how they will work with your design before you purchase. You will also want to get high quality photos of your product  and a brand logo to display in the ad.

Using Photoshop

Now that you have a product, a creative idea, and photos you can now use them to arrange your creative idea. I decided to blend the part of the football picture into the lid of the can. I used the clone stamp to put a copy of the image on the lid. Then I fine tune the edges to blend it into the lid. Now I have a miniature T.V. for the user to watch the game so they can never miss a moment. I also place the table cloth on the bottom of the ad to make the items appear they are on the table. Now all that is left is to add the typography.


The typography I wanted to use matches the sans serif used in the logo. I wanted to use a similar font to keep the brand image of the company. I used Gibson for my headline “Open up your game anywhere…” and Open Sans Condensed for my body content. I position the headline on the barbecue. If you notice your eye is drawn into the food and starts at the thongs going down to the food and flows right into the text headline below. Then I position the text anywhere in italic to give emphasis that flows right into the open can that displays the game, and then to the can opener that open the can. Then finally your eye ends on the body content giving you call to action message to know where to find and buy the product. I align the headline text with the logo, and the logo on the same line as the body content. Notice how the body content is also inline with the can and the can opener.

Scaling down your ad

You will want multiple versions of your ad in different sizes to use in different media outlets. For this project I mention earlier that I have chosen two layouts. The blog size that I have chosen scales down to just 300px by 250px. This small space can be hard to work with without losing quality and easy read ability. You want to position your elements in a way that still show cases your overall message. Below is my example for this product theme.


Creating a creative ad starts with a creative idea that uses your product that matches your target audience. I was able to target my audience with a tail gate party to give the impression they can use my product anywhere while appealing to men that love the convenience of electric can opener without missing a moment of the game. Using Photoshop can give you the ability to create elements and blend images to give off an impression that is unforgettable.


A Minimalist Approach to Weather Icons using Illustrator

Your Audience

Have you ever wanted to take something that could be described as over complicated piece of work to a more simple approach? Than you may be striving for a more simple minimalist approach. That is the kind of audience that I was going for in my minimalist approach to my weather icons. Instead of adding some over the top graphics and abstract design, I went for more of a simple and stripped down version with my icons. This target for my audience is looking for something that can be easily incorporated into their current designs without distracting from the rest of their design. It only includes the essentials and gives the user basic design of the elements.

Design Analysis

There are several design principles being used with in my design. You may want to used some or all of these principles when building your own icons. You have heard me talk over them before in earlier posts with proximity, alignment, repetition, and contrast. Lets look a little more closely at these principles with in my design. Take proximity for example, which groups relevant items close together. In my design it was important to put the type of weather close to related elements. Like the clouds being close to the lighting, rain, and snow. Whether you look at these icons from a  far, or close up you get the impression that they are related to each other.   Now take alignment, notice my elements are equally space, take the rain for instance, each sheet of rain follows the same alignment, and notice my wind icon all flowing in the same direction. In the case of repetition I first wanted to make sure all my elements match a similar theme. I used the same similar color pattern, repeating colors throughout the theme like the moon, rain, and snow all sharing the same color. I used the same style of cloud but just contrasting colors, and soft curves and sharp edges. This contrast helps make the icons stand out more and gives clear definition to the icon.

Send a Message

When you are creating your icons you want to be able to send a clear message to your audience without having to use typography or even photography in your icons. If your icons can convey to your audience your message without having to use real photos or words, then you have accomplished the universal message of your icon. This often translate to your audience using your icon without having to say the words. For my case, if someone wanted to say it is sunny outside, they could use my icon for the sun to convey the same kind of message. In my design the color and contrasting elements help give that message. I used colors that were within the same shades and hues.

Size of your Icons

The size proportion of your icons will help defined if your icons can be seen from afar or up close. They should be able to scale up without losing quality, and it should be able to scale down without losing its message. Below is an example of my icons in a 60 x 60 pixels layout. Can you still make out each of the icons message? Now contrast that to the below icons that have a 400 x 400 pixels layout. Can you still see the quality?



Creating great icons start with a good theme for your audience. If you can design a theme that conveys a message to others without having to use symbols, words, or even original photos then you are on the right track. Make sure you still include the basic design principles for your icons. Think of how the colors will match your theme and how they will add contrast when looking either up close or a far. Then your sure to create stand out icons that will make your audience want to use them instead of their own words.

Turning a Blog Post into a Magazine Spread

I wanted to showcase my latest design from a blog post that I turn into a magazine spread using Adobe InDesign software. My original blog post came from and is by President Russell M. Nelson. He shares his recent experience to the youth about a scripture study challenge he did while studying Jesus Christ.  He look up over 2200+ scriptures and learn so much from his experience that he plans to share his testimony of what he found in recent conferences. He shares a little of what he found in this blog post. I broke up the post into 4 sections. Outlining to the youth what can be expected if they try out this same challenge. I also thought the long title would be a good challenge to play with the words into a front page design. Below is my 3 page layout.

Front page

two page spread

Target Audience Analysis

My target audience was focus on the youth, this was the same audience that Elder Nelson was addressing from a recent conference in his post. I wanted the blog post to fit into a youth magazine style. I wanted the outline of the experience Elder Nelson described  to fit into an action plan for the youth. This plan could also fit into anyone willing to take a scripture challenge studying about the Savior.  My finish spread highlights two youth reading scriptures a young man and a young women with opposite contrasting colors of Pink and Brown. Pink for the young women, and brown for the young men.

Design Analysis

My design can be broken up into three main highlights; Color, Typography, and Photography.


For the color scheme I decided to highlight adjacent colors. These colors are next to each other in the color wheel. You can see an example of my color paletton below.

color paletton

I wanted colors that match both the young women and the young men. So I decided  to go with colors that could contrast well together. Pink for the young women, and dark brown for the young men. I kept this color scheme going in my typography and contrast the main content dark brown text with a dark shade of pink headers. This kept the repetitious theme going throughout the design and in some cases I brought both colors together. Notice that in my title I use both of these colors to highlight and contrast the main words like “2200 Scriptures” and “Six weeks”. Did you also catch that I chosen photography that matches my color scheme? Notice the young women is wearing pink and brown, and the young man is wearing brown.


My chosen font is Minion Pro and Lucida Sans. Minion Pro is use for the main content text, and the Lucida Sans is use as a contrasting text for my headers and parts of my title. The Minion Pro gives you the feel of text typeface that you see when reading the scriptures, and the Lucida Sans gives more of a modern theme. I blended these two typefaces to blend the new with the old. Like for example the contrast between wisdom and youth. I gave extra line height in the paragraphs and indented the paragraphs starting on the second paragraph for each main section. I made the headers close to the paragraph to give good proximity and gave space between other sections. My title is different sizes of font and character spacing to give a block feel right next to the young women. Almost to say it is a thought from the young women. The words cascade down the page drawing your eye down the page. I gave space between the title and the author as well.


For my chosen images I decided to highlight two youth. The images were originally taken in a large size. This help scale down the image and highlight the part of the image I wanted to used.

young women reading


Notice if you look at this image I did not use the scale shown above. Instead I zoom in on the picture to highlight just the youth. Then I use the space right beside the girl to insert the title. This image is a great image to use because it uses the rule of the thirds.  It puts the main image on the side and extra space on the other side.  Made for a great opportunity to use the space for a title and stunning front page design. Notice also that her eyes are pointed down. This same theme can be found in the title as it cascades down the page.

boy reading scriptures


The young man image also has the opportunity to put text on the left side. That space was utilized for the rest of the content text. To make the text stand out more I set the image to opacity of 67% to give it more transparent look to help contrast the text. The boys eyes also point down as the reader reads down the page. I also zoom in and crop parts of the image to just highlight the main part of the youth.


Creating a great magazine spread starts with you knowing your audience. Once you find out that information start researching the colors that surround that kind of audience. Choose the right typefaces that work together and still give the contrast to match your audience. Find images that work with your color scheme and your target audience. Think of the positioning of the images and how they will work for your layout.  If you follow these techniques you are sure to wow the audience with your attractive design.

Three Tips for Beginner Photographers

There is going to be many things you discover over the course of your career. But it is good to know the fundamentals of taking a great photograph. Let’s go over three tips for taking great photos.

Tip #1 Rule of Thirds

chef cooking

Photograph by: Timur Saglambilek

When you are working with the Rule of Thirds it is important to include you subject along a grid system. There are four points along that grid that intersect. Those intersections you want to include your subject. Below is draw over of this example to help you visualize the points of interest. You can see both of the points intersect at the pots.

chef cooking drawover

Below are some photographs I have taken using the Rule of Thirds.

my chef cooking clams

Now see this same photo using the grid, notice the intersections points

my chef cooking draw over

Here is another example of my daughter…

Tip #2 Leading Lines

Another great tip in making interesting photos is taking them following natural site leading lines. In this first example I have provided a photograph of a garden. Notice the lines drive your eyes to the end of the picture. When you use the natural lines it provides interest and draws you into the photograph.

garden photo

Photograph by: Ciao

Now lets look at my lines I drew over the above photograph to give you a visual perspective of the natural lines in the photograph.

garden draw over

Let’s now look at some examples of the photographs I have taken to show these kind of natural leading lines.

my courtyard example

Here is the draw over for you to visualize the leading lines into the courtyard.

courtyard entrance drawover

Here are some more examples of leading line photos I have taken.

my port yard pic

port yard pic draw over

crow nest draw over

Tip #3 Depth of Field

Another interesting skill set is being able to take photos using a contrast between your subject and the background. This Depth of Field concept or Figure to Ground creates high contrast on your subject verses the background. Or it can be the other way around you can focus on the background verses the subject. Lets look at the example below.

ship and rope anchor

Photograph by: Skitterphoto

Can you see the contrast in the above photo? Let’s look at my draw over this photo below. Notice the rope in the front is more in focus than the ship that is behind it. This points the interest on the rope leading up to the ship in the background that may not be as important. You can accomplish this by  selecting your focus on your subject while the background is more not in focus.

ship draw over

Let’s now look at some of the examples of this I have taken in my own photographs.

my son

Notice in the picture above my son is more in focus than in the background. This gives more of a high contrast to him than it does the background. The background was less important in this shot.

my son drawover


When taking photos there is a lot to take into consideration. But you need to not fear to break some of these rules or think you have to use all the rules in your photograph. You can take great photos if you think about the positioning of the subject to the background. Move around with your camera to different positions until you capture the subject in a way that fits one of these tips.

Carl’s Jr Print Ad Breakdown on Typography

Carl’s Jr. Print Ad on Baby Back Rib Thickburger

Carl's Jr print ad on Baby Back Rib burger

Source: 2017 Carl’s Jr. Restaurants LLC print ad on Baby Back Rib Thickburger. All rights and images and logos are subject to their owners.  Draw-overs done down below to display the use of typography in this ad.

I wanted to highlight this print ad by Carl’s Jr. that I received in the mail to display the use of typography. I will go over the use of typefaces and other elements that they use well in the ad. Every visual designer should take note in these kind of principles of Type and Contrasts use to make a well constructed advertisement.

The Two Typefaces

Two typefaces use in this carl's jr ad

When you look over this ad you are immediately greeted with two different typefaces. The first uses a cursive Script type, and the one below it uses a San Serif bold. The last line is a smaller text size of San Serif. The use of these two typefaces adds contrast to the ad without conflicting with one another. It is important to use contrasting typefaces that are NOT similar. Otherwise you could risk looking too concordant, which can make your ad dull and just get lost in the ad. You will also notice the repetition that is use in “Baby Back Rib” and the type face that is use in the “Carl’s Jr.” logo. It is also repeated on the side of the page with the word “Pioneers.”


the used of color in carl's jr ad

Even though it may not seem there is a lot of color that is used in this ad from the black background. But what is working with the typefaces to add contrast is the used of color. The yellow color used in the font is a warm color that draws you into the ad and also brings the text to the forefront of your attention. What also calls your attention is the red banner on the top corner that reads “New!” red is also a forward color that draws you into the ad. The used of yellow is also repetitive in the star logo of Carl’s Jr. The last color choice is the Cattlemen’s BBQ sauce logo. If you look closely you can see the color is the same as the burger bun in the ad.

Form, Size, Weight, and Structure

Form and size used in carl's jr. ad

Forms and sizes of your typography can highlight and build separate contrast without even adding any design. In this ad they choose to use all caps on the word “THICKBURGER” which is a good use of form.  This use of all caps works with this ad because the typeface that is use is an easy font to read such as Sans Serif. It also plays on the thickness of the burger. Notice that the typeface is a heavy bold. This use of bold plays on the weight of the text. This conveys a bold thick burger in our minds. It is a play on words but it works effectively. The last part of “Thickburger” is the structure of the word. The word “Thickburger” is stretch to the whole length of words above it.  The “Baby Back Rib” words have a different structure than the word below it. They work together in contrast because of their scope and size. Just below that is the description of the burger. Notice the size of that text is much smaller but still in the same proximity. Our eyes may skip over this text and go to the burger. It is best to keep the right sizes of your text with the main words you want to highlight to add contrast.


 direction of text in carl's jr. ad

To the side of the first page of this ad is a additional information on how Carl’s Jr. is the pioneer to making great burgers and additional savings we can save if we look inside. The strong re-direction of this text gets us ready to open the ad and look inside. Even though the text is best use in a horizontal direction it gets us to move into the ad. Notice also the use of size in the format of the text of the word Burger and number $50. These words contrast more out in the page calling our attention. As well as the color choice of yellow in the $50.

Inside the Ad

coupons for adinside the ad

Inside the ad, once you open the page, gives you the same look and feel as the front page with the same typefaces used in the coupons. This use of repetition gives the customer a familiar feel they had on the first page. Notice the word “FREE” and the yellow bold savings numbers that draw you into that separate coupon.

Proximity and Alignment

backside of Carl's Jr. ad

The backside of the ad completes the cohesive look by using some smart design principles such as proximity and alignment in there typefaces. The three separate red boxes I have highlighted each convey a message to the user. I love how the words “All-Natural & No Antibiotics Ever*” is in close proximity to the ingredients of the sandwich.  The also have a script typeface and a color choice that matches the burger bun.  All of these boxes are perfectly align to the left, which is drawing our eye down the page and over to the sandwich.


You will start to notice the type of typefaces use all around us. The key is to being aware of how the relationships of text can work together. Remember that opposites do attract. They add the right amount of contrast without them being too conflicting or competing for attention. The next time you are face with choosing between typefaces make sure they are different but work together with each other in form, size, weight, and even structure. This can give your piece more contrast and convey a message that may even be more powerful than your images. That is the power of typography! Now if you excuse me I have to go get one of these burgers.


7up Advertisement Design Breakdown

7up Print Ad Breakdown on Design

Original author unknown.  Source of image:

I wanted to breakdown the design of this 7up print Ad for their soft drink. Let’s reverse engineer their ad and  highlight the best areas so you can visualize the design features.


7up ad design on proximity

The use of proximity can be notice to how close the objects are group together. You can notice the hummingbird and the 7up can are group in close proximity signalling to the user the natural ability of the drink being food for the hummingbird. You can also notice the can is attached to the tree branch and is in close proximity to the lemons and limes. This gives the user the impression that the drink taste just like the fruit. The print text at the bottom of the page gives the user some additional information and free offer coupon. The text that states “100% Natural” is place closer to the bird and the can. While the coupon is separated from that group.


7up ad on alignment

The use of Alignment can be notice by the above grid lines. The first you thing you notice when you look at this Ad, is the hummingbird and the can. You can notice the 7up can and hummingbird are inline with one another. The bird and text then flow down the page. Then your eye is carried over to the coupon. So your eye hits the 7up can first, then to the bird, and then down to the text, and finally right to the coupon. Your eye could also go from the 7up can to down the tree branch to the coupon.


7up ad using repetition

The ad also highlights an important repetitive feature. Notice the lemons and limes are repeated on the can as well as the branch. This repetitive feature allows you to associate the two as the same, when in actuality they are different. It is a good way to trick your mind to think that 7up drinks are as natural as lemons and limes.  The other use of repetition is in the colors in the ad. That is our next highlighted feature…


7up ad on use of color

The color in this ad works together as a analogous combination. No matter which two or three you combine, they all share an undertone of the same color, creating a harmonious combination. In this case they are all colors in nature. Even the bird has colors of blue, green, and purple. The red dot is a good complementary color because it is directly across from the green on the color wheel. The color of the text that is an off-white/green matches the text of 7up on the can. This leads us to the last feature of contrast.


7up ad on use of contrast

The use of contrast in this ad is highlighted in the main part of the ad with the hummingbird, 7up can, and branch. These items draw you into the ad and help you focus on the page. The rest of the information is not as dominate on the page but is still organized by contrast with the use of typography in the headings of the text. This gives a hierarchy of information on the page with the 7up can coming first, then the branch, then the bird, and last the text. This contrast of the text draws you into the small paragraph and also the free offer. Making the most important information bold and the less important font smaller. Try to look over the page again and pick out the most dominate words on the Ad. You will see it is 7up, Now 100% Natural, and Free are the words that jump out to you. This signals to the mind that 7up is a 100% natural drink that I can try for free.


The use of design in an Ad can determined the success or failure of a campaign. It is important you highlight these areas of design so you can do more then just make a beautiful piece, but also convey a message or story line that can be in grained into the user mind when they see the object again. Who wouldn’t want an all natural drink that is as refreshing as the fruit itself and also be a soda you can drink. Even though soda is not the best drink out there, 7up does a good job tricking your mind to believe otherwise.