What Is Advertising All About?

Have you ever remembered a commercial for its music or funny moment but could not recall the product for which it was made? That is a marketing firm’s nightmare.

The purpose of the commercial is to familiarize people with a product or service so that it stays in the minds of prospective customers. And when it comes down to purchasing that product or service, the commercial would be the decisive factor in deciding to go with the company that produced the commercial and not a competitor.

So it is with business design. The purpose of designing a business card, brochure, sign, handout, postcard or any other marketing item is to instill the message into the minds of the viewers or listeners. And that message includes the company behind the product or service. That is, if you want customers, they have to remember you or your company as well as your product or service.

The overarching principle in business design is that it must work. Fancy, elegant or expensive does not matter if the message does not stick. This is not free entertainment. While a good design has to be entertaining, the last thing an advertiser wants to hear is: “I love that commercial but I forgot what it was for.”

What is Business Gray Matter?

Business Gray Matter is all about discussing effective communication by analyzing printed materials including business cards, signs, posters, stickers and billboards. We describe the important elements and then dissect it to understand whether or not it works. We even look at international signs to see how people in different countries present their message.

But we cut through the fluff to see if the printed media actually conveys the message effectively. Will someone remember it for the message? Or just the cute cartoon character on it? Time and again, designers want to please the client and create something eye-catching. But not memorable, or it is memorable for the wrong reason.

We can learn from the mistakes of others. We can examine the signs that have preceded us, including some very old ones, and make sure we copy their good points and avoid their bad ones. By doing this, we learn how to improve our message without having to make our own mistakes.