Categories: Graphic Designer and Illustrations Articles

7 Helpful Tips on Designing Magazine Ads

If you are advertising in a magazine, then there are different ways to make sure that the advert works for you as well as possible. Assuming your message and your offer has been decided, it is important that the design of your advert works well. We made a list of 7 helpful tips on designing magazine ads which we believe will help you with your design.

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Here are some tips Designing Magazine Ads

1.) Suitability for the magazine audience

If you are advertising in an up market glossy, then it is important that your advert is also upmarket and glossy so that it reflects the ideals of the readership. If your advert is designed well and suits the magazine, it will also have a greater chance of being pushed up to the front pages, so that it gets more readership traffic than in the lower pages.

2.) Right hand side is preferred over the left

Psychologically, people tend to prefer options that are to the right of them rather than to the left of them: and so try to make sure the offers of your advert, your company name and details are all aliged to the right. If you can get your advert on a right hand page of a magazine, this is also great!


Magazine adverts are printed on paper, and often high quality paper which means that they will have to be of high resolution to look good. Make sure any images or pictures have at least 300 dots per inch to have a crystal clear and beautiful image, no matter what size the advert will be blown up to fit the magazine. Get a proof of your ad by using cheap a4 flyer printing or similar.

4.) Include your call to action

Unlike digital advertising which is easy to track and monitor, print advertising is more difficult to measure and so a good magazine advert should have a prompt call to action on it.

5.) Choose images wisely

When you are choosing the imagery and style of your advert, it is important that your advert is still recognizable as an advert and does not blend into invisibility in the magazine, and not appear like a photograph or other magazine page decoration.

6.) Use the space well

A good advert will make use of all available space, either through using colors, pictures or lettering. This doesn’t mean that you need to crowd in as much as possible into the advert, but simply means that you fill any space left with some form of design. For simple adverts, this could mean something as basic as a line of color that breaks up any leftover white space, or it could mean filling the advert with imagery and scenery. An advert should also be very clear in what it is offering, so be sure to make the message of the advert the central focus, and avoid getting carried away with beautifying the advert to the cost of the ultimate message.

7.) Test the advert

Before you commit your advert to the magazine, it is absolutely essential to test your advert by showing it to people to see if they can get the right message from your advert. The best way to do this is to get a few copies printed using an a4 poster printing company and show them around. Sometimes, when you have been designing an advert all day, you lose the objective eye it needs to judge whether it is a good advert or not: so showing others, and being open to criticism will make sure your design is doing what it needs to do for a magazine advert.

Written by Ruan Smit

Ruan Smit started Pixelsmithstudios with the vision of creating a new design orientated environment of sharing, learning and expertise development amongst local Animators,Illustrators,Game Developers and VFX artists in South Africa.

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Ruan Smit

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