Smart graphic designing means smart ads

Advertising is my field of study.  From product designs to logos, the advertising industry lives and dies by graphic design. The main job of an advertiser is to attract customers to buy or buy into a product. While this mission may seem simple, it isn’t easy. There are many obstacles that stand in the way of getting peoples attention. The most pervasive one: clutter!

Clutter is almost everywhere. It happens when the marketplace is overcrowded with products, leading to overwhelming competition for the eyes of consumers. One of the most effective ways to cut through this clutter is effective graphic designing. Effective graphic designing has to be many things to beat out the competition. It has to be creative, fearless, innovative, original, clear, concise, and most of all, attention grabbing. There are a myriad of ways to do this. Here are a few good examples:

street furniture billboards by IBM + ogilvy & mather france

In IBM’s “Smarter Planet” campaign, ads, not only promoted their corporate initiative, but also incorporated a societal use. The result is reduced clutter and attention grabbing ads. Their ads grab peoples attention because the design is original and the use is…useful. Smart graphic designing means smart ads.

Without innovative pioneers like IBM, our products would look a lot less like this:

where each product has a unique story and more like this:

where the layout of each product is so similar to the next that the designs blur each other out.

Essentially, ads helps us reach and inform people about things but graphic design enables us to do it effectively.


Jean Degraphe


  1. Very interesting take on the world of advertising. Only once Jean brought up the concept of Clutter Advertising did I notice how many of those ads there are. IBM’s “Smarter Planet” campaign is one of the most unique advertising campaigns I have ever seen, as the use of clutter and attention grabbing colors really identify what the company is all about.

    The example that Jean uses towards the end of the post with those two photos is a great connection between the advertisements of a brand and the brand itself. Without unique advertisements, a brand would convey a similar message in almost anything that it tries to release.

    Jean said it best, “Smart graphic designing means smart ads.”

  2. I love ads that are different, that jump out at me and send a message. I too liked IMB’s “Smarter Planet” campaign, I found it very interesting and innovative.

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