Top 11 Trends in Advertising Design That Elevate Brand Impact

"If it doesn't sell, it isn't creative."

When David Oglivy, advertising design legend, shared this deep-cutting statement - he meant it. And for good reason. Good creative content can increase your conversion rates by up to 50%, while poor creative content can have the opposite effect. With any marketing landscape that's always changing, it's never been so important to stay on top of the trends.

From social media to the importance of standing out on the inbox, this article cuts straight to the chase, offering actionable insights and real-world examples that you can apply to amplify your brand’s message. Stay ahead of the game and discover how to craft advertising and design that not only looks great but also resonates deeply with your target audience.

Key Takeaways

  • Advertising design is a strategic craft aimed at forming an emotional connection with the target audience, harmonizing the brand’s character with engaging visual elements like logos, colors, and typography to elevate brand recognition and impact consumer decision-making.
  • Social media platforms offer versatile advertisement opportunities like video, carousel, and static posts, and collaborations with influencers, allowing brands to increase visibility, engagement, and potentially drive sales by tailoring content to the audience’s needs and current trends.
  • A successful advertising design process includes multiple elements such as clear messaging, effective visual hierarchy within ad layouts, and coherent branding across different mediums and formats, including print, outdoor, and digital platforms, ensuring user engagement and conversion.

The Essence of Advertising Design

A variety of advertising materials

Advertising design is more than just creating visually appealing artwork. At its core, it’s about creating a connection with the target audience. As Paul Rand, a pioneer in modern advertising design, emphasized, the principles of effective advertising design are about creating ads that are visually compelling and functional. The goal is to create a visual language that resonates with the audience and drives brand engagement.

Selecting an advertising and design appeal that harmonizes with the brand’s character and voice is vital for a successful ad campaign. This process centers around emotionally captivating the audience while augmenting the impact of the advertising design. Creating good ads is about understanding your audience and designing a message that speaks to them on an emotional level, all while capturing their attention.

1. Gifs, Motion Graphics, and Animation

Picture this: you're scrolling through your feed, and suddenly, there it is - a GIF that catches your eye. It's not hard to picture, because we've all been there before.

It's like a mini-movie, but snappier and way cooler. In a world where the audience's attention spans are shorter than ever, it's all about making your mark, and animated content? It's the golden ticket.

Your marketing strategy along with it's advertising designs stand to benefit in a huge way from anything that moves. According to Meta, campaigns with motion can lead to 5.5x more conversions at a reduced cost. Also, motion graphic posts are shown to drive 59% more engagement than any other post types. Lastly, Salesforce has shown motion graphics content to improve click-through rates by 65% and decrease unsubscribes by 26%.

Crazy, right? Integrate your branding assets into some animated imagery, then integrate those animations into your marketing design strategy. With a strong message and some market research, your video ad will keep you on trend, sell products, and engage potential customers.

2. Keep Things Simple: Minimalism

Think clean lines, crisp designs, and less is definitely more. Imagine a world where clutter takes a backseat, and every element has its moment to shine. In the design of advertising, minimalism is a breath of fresh air - it's simple, it's sleek, and it gets straight to the point. These are important elements in both advertising and design.

Let's look at a brand we're all familiar with, Kit-Kat:

kit-kat minimalist advertising design

Subtle and straight to the point. The message isn't lost in the noise of an over-crowded design for advertising with text all over. Without all that clutter in the ad, the audience is able to spend less time looking at it and understanding it. Within a few seconds of an ad that utilizes minimalism, you'll get the point. That might just be why minimalism is extremely effective. The amount of attention we can give away on a daily basis is shrinking, and an ad that addresses that will always win.

3. Leverage Interactive and Immersive Experiences

It's all about engagement, and nothing grabs attention quite like an immersive experience.

From interactive web ads to augmented reality (AR) experiences, these techniques put your audience in the driver's seat, creating exciting moments that leave a lasting impression.

Let's take Sony's campaign for Jumanji as an example. In partnership with the mixed reality agency Trigger, they were able to create an AR experience for the second part of the Jumanji movie.

Players were pulled into the game, and could explore the world using voice commands after selecting their avatar.

AR design of advertising idea

With advancements in technology, brands now have the opportunity to captivate their audience like never before, blurring the lines between the virtual and the real.

4. Boost Your Brand Identity with Advertising Design

Visual identity elements like logos and colors

While not every advertising campaigns serves as a brand campaign, they can all still serve the purpose of establishing a unique and cohesive brand in the mind of the customer. Any interaction your brand has with a customer is an opportunity to reinforce the brand identity you want to establish.

Within the world of advertising and design, a brand’s visual identity serves as its unique signature. It’s the unique combination of logos, colors, messaging and typography that make a brand instantly recognizable to its audience.

The visual identity of a brand, which includes its branding assets, plays a critical role in controlling the consumer purchase experience and communicating the company’s vision consistently across platforms.

When crafted strategically, advertising design not only enhances aesthetics but also serves as the visual voice of the brand, shaping its identity and influencing customer interactions. Brand elements, combined in an advertising campaign that utilizes a unified combination of messaging, imagery, and tone of voice, establish a strong company image, aiding in the increase of brand recognition.

5. Social Media Ads Are Here to Stay

Engaging social media ad

With the dawn of the digital era, social media has emerged as a pivotal platform for advertising and design. Brands need to:

  • Understand their audience
  • Tailor ads based on this knowledge to effectively capture attention and increase audience engagement
  • Identify relevant trends and influencers, especially those who are already discussing related subjects or are part of a brand’s organic customer base
  • Enhance brand presence and authenticity on social media channels

Social media advertisements that use engaging visuals and messages tend to stand out and resonate more with the intended audience. The popularity of social media marketing stems from its vast user base and the availability of diverse ad placements, offering numerous ways to present creative advertisements.

Video Ads: Engaging the Viewer

Video ads exert a potent influence on viewer involvement and response. They are prevalent across numerous platforms including:

  • Youtube
  • Instagram
  • TV
  • Blogs

Video ads are increasingly important in social media marketing and the design of advertising. Brands have experienced a significant increase in conversion rates, around 20-30%, when utilizing video in their Facebook ad campaigns compared to using still images.

Effective video ads simplify complex topics and showcase product demos or services engagingly, integrating humor and storytelling to create a memorable experience for viewers. To create video ads that resonate with audiences, it is advised to use engaging visuals and a concise script, couple the visuals with fitting music, and ensure the video aligns with the needs and interests of the target audience.

Carousel and Static Posts: A Visual Narrative

Carousel ads boost interactivity by facilitating the display of multiple images or videos in a single swipeable ad, thus creating a visual narrative that captivates the audience.hey have demonstrated a higher performance compared to single-image ads, with a notable reduction in costs per conversion and click, leading to a significant lift in click-through rates especially on platforms like Facebook and Instagram.

When simplicity and message clarity are paramount, static image ads are effective, especially when the design advertising channel or specific message favors less interactive, singular visuals. Both carousel and static posts have their unique strengths and can be utilized effectively based on the brand’s message and target audience.

Influencer Collaborations: Amplifying Reach

Influencers can magnify the impact of marketing campaigns by capitalizing on their engaged audiences and substantial engagement rates, especially when leveraging advertising and design. Collaborating with influencers during a trend can enhance a brand’s reach and credibility, as strategic influencer posts can increase visibility and engagement, potentially driving more sales.

Having a dedicated budget for trendjacking initiatives allows brands to quickly collaborate with influencers and create content related to emerging trends. Partnerships with influencers help create an emotional connection with potential customers, elevating brand impact through authenticity and relatable content.

6.Graphic Design for Outdoor Ads is Back

Professional graphic design in print and outdoor ads

Outdoor ads aren't dead! Take a drive through San Francisco and you'll see what I mean. Billboards for all the new top companies, from Clickup to Notion. All it takes is the right time and place. And of course, a compelling design and a message your audience can resonate with.

A professional graphic design in print advertising demonstrates a company’s commitment to quality, thereby enhancing the brand’s image and setting it apart from rudimentary designs.

Experienced graphic designers use specialized print design software to create bleeds, safety margins, and high-quality files that amateur programs cannot match, minimizing errors and delays in the print process for design advertising.

Outdoor advertising, or out of home (OOH) advertising, also benefits from effective advertising graphic design. Some key design elements to consider for outdoor ads include:

  • Bold, contrasting colors
  • Effective use of negative space
  • Striking visual impact
  • Memorable design
  • Enhancing brand recall

The success of outdoor ad campaigns depends not only on the design but also on strategic location selection and targeting for maximum visual appeal and effectiveness.

Most of the time OOH advertising design is most effective for brand awareness purposes, reaching a wider with less of a focus on conversion. However, if you can find the right time and place, you can also find those conversions.

7. Boost Google Ads and Paid Search with Ad Design

Google Ads and Paid Search Campaign

While images aren't exactly the main show for paid search ads, the entire funnel of paid search should not be neglected. After all, the user has to end up somewhere, don't they?

Ensuring the entire paid search funnel is dressed up with effective advertising design will help you stand out from the other results in the SERP. A compelling landing page, for example, can make or break your sale.

With display ads, however, stunning advertising and design is crucial. You need to stand out on whatever webpage you're appearing on, which isn't always easy. Utilizing bold typography, gifs, and compelling messaging to ensure you capture attention with these types of online ads.

For effective customer engagement, brands should:

  • Employ display ads targeting individuals already acquainted with their product or service
  • Employ paid search ads at the top of the funnel to capture new attention
  • Use clear and compelling headlines, including prices, promotions, and exclusives in ad copy
  • Ensure every landing page looks spiffy
  • Create multiple ads within an ad group to facilitate optimization

Responsive display ads combine various assets which Google’s AI then optimizes, with A/B testing being essential for refining ad effectiveness. Images in responsive display ads should comply with specific aspect ratios and banner ads should be under 150 kb in JPG, PNG, GIF, or HTML5 formats for quick loading.

Google Display Ads can expand a brand’s presence over 3 million websites, 650,000 apps, and Google properties such as Gmail and YouTube. Make it count.

8. Email Marketing: Designing for the Inbox

While email marketing continues to be a potent tool for brands, crafting an effective email is a delicate task that requires equilibrium.

Emails with a concise design for advertising are more appealing, as recipients tend to scan information and may disregard emails that appear too complex or provide little value. With design for advertising that stands out, brands can drive click through rates up and ultimately make their email marketing more powerful.

Since design is so crucial for email marketing, it may be worth engaging with Creative as a Service providers that offer graphic designers that specialize in the art of email design. A clear call-to-action is a must for email template design, avoiding the clutter of multiple CTAs which can dilute the message.

Maintaining brand consistency in emails can help reinforce the brand image in the recipients’ minds. Here are some tips to achieve this:

  • Use company colors, fonts, and logos in your email design
  • Use a complementary tone that aligns with your brand voice
  • Organize your content layout to make it easy to navigate
  • Use empty space strategically to improve visual appeal

In addition, personalizing emails can foster a professional yet personal relationship with recipients. This can increase customer engagement and loyalty.

The Personal Touch of Direct Mail

Direct mail presents a unique opportunity to cut through the digital clutter and make a tangible impression in a physical format. Personalizing direct mailers with the recipient’s name or other details can increase the response rate by 135%, enhancing the personal connection with the brand.

Reaching out to a smaller, more focused group of recipients with multiple mailings can effectively increase the probability of engaging the customer by repeating exposure to the brand’s message. Automating the direct mail process and including irresistible offers can maximize campaign impact and ensure recipients receive timely and relevant content.

Newsletters: Keeping Subscribers Engaged

Newsletters are an effective way to keep subscribers engaged. Design plays a crucial role in increasing reader engagement in email newsletters, which in turn encourages them to take action such as clicking on links. The first impression of an email is significant, and the integration of colors, images, and layout are key to catching and retaining the reader’s attention within the critical first 8 seconds.

Strategies that make email newsletters more appealing and engaging to readers include:

  • Employing a proper visual hierarchy
  • Focusing on striking visual elements at the top
  • Utilizing multiple visuals throughout the email
  • Using high-quality images and color effectively.

9. Event and Trade Show Advertising Design

Events and trade shows offer brands an exclusive platform to exhibit their products and services. At such events, the advertising design can make or break the brand’s impact. Roll-up banners should prominently display the company logo at the top and main message at eye level to catch the viewer’s attention quickly and make a lasting impression.

the design of advertising at a convention

An effective trade show booth employs a combination of roll-up banners, table covers, and pop-up displays, united by an eye-catching design and interactive elements to stand out. Branded promotional materials like t-shirts, caps, mugs, and water bottles are selected based on the event type and audience, closely linking the brand to the consumer’s daily life.

10. Packaging Design: The Silent Salesman

If you sell physical products, #7 is for you.

Packaging design serves much more than one purpose. Sure, packaging your physical product might be pretty high up there in the list of uses. But packaging design is a crucial aspect of advertising, steering the consumer’s choice at the point of sale by presenting the brand story and product advantages.

Including detailed information on product packaging conveys transparency and expertise, creating a sense of trust with consumers which is vital for influencing their purchasing choices.

High-quality packaging that reflects the product’s value can enhance a consumer’s perception of quality, especially for luxury items, influencing both initial purchase and repeat business.

The unboxing experience is an integral part of packaging design, creating an engaging and distinctive moment that enhances customer satisfaction and aids in cementing brand loyalty.

11. Hit Core Memories with Nostalgic Design

Nostalgia can be a powerful tool in the design of advertising, evoking feelings of sentimentality and familiarity.

Retro-inspired designs, vintage aesthetics, and references to pop culture from past decades are commonly being incorporated into advertising campaigns that we see on a day to day basis.

Pepsi, for example, threw it back to their legendary old logo that has even the most die-hard Coca-Cola fans thinking of days past.

Old pepsi logo design for advertising

Evoking this kind of feeling in your audience is a skill that any graphic designer should aim to possess. Leveraging this trend is an easy way to the heart.

Navigating the Ad Design Process

The journey to a successful ad design initiates with a comprehensive creative brief, laying the groundwork for the project’s direction and scope comprehensible to all team members. Involving technical and back-end engineers early in the design process can preemptively address challenges, leading to a smoother ad creation workflow. The process should be a collaborative effort, integrating the diverse skills and perspectives of the team and leading to more innovative ad concepts.

Effective CTAs directly connect to a campaign’s goals, guiding users towards actions such as purchases or downloads, and should use direct language like ‘sign up now’ to encourage immediate responses. Maintaining coherence in message and visuals between the banner ad and its associated landing page prevents user confusion and ensures a seamless experience. Above all, be truthful in ad promises made through CTAs, as delivering on what’s promised is crucial for sustaining user trust and satisfaction.


In conclusion, effective advertising design is a multifaceted process that involves understanding the target audience, crafting a compelling visual identity, mastering the art of social media ads, integrating graphic design advertising in print and outdoor ads, optimizing Google Ads and paid search, designing effective email marketing campaigns, creating impactful event and trade show advertising designs, crafting engaging packaging designs, creating strong messages with banner ads, and navigating the ad design process. By understanding and implementing these aspects, brands can leverage the power of advertising and design to engage audiences, drive brand engagement, and ultimately elevate their brand impact.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an advertisement design?

Advertisement design is the visual artwork created specifically for advertisements, at the intersection of marketing and design. It is synonymous with graphic design advertising and focuses solely on selling products and services.

Is advertising design the same as graphic design?

No, advertising design is a category under the broader term of graphic design, with a specific focus on creating artwork for the promotion of products or services. Design for advertising requires specific knowledge and skillsets with a focus on functionality.

What is a concept in advertising design?

In advertising design, a concept is the "Big Idea" that captures audience interest, influences their emotional response, and inspires them to take action. It unifies campaign messages, calls to action, communication channels, and audiences.

What is the essence of advertising design?

The essence of advertising design is to create visually compelling communication that resonates with the target audience and drives brand engagement. This is achieved by ensuring that the design advertising captures attention and communicates the intended message effectively.

How can social media ads be made more effective?

To make social media ads more effective, understand your audience, personalize ads, use engaging visuals and messages, and collaborate with influencers. This will help you connect with your target market and maximize the impact of your ad campaign.