The Visual Marketing Tool, Part I: The Team

by "Wild Bill"

In many of my past articles I have focused a lot of energy into copywriting techniques and I thought it was about time I cover a little about the visual side of advertising. I have prepared a 3-part introduction that will help you better understand and utilize the visual side of marketing.

Great Advertising is primarily made up of two completely different functions, each characteristically alien to the other. They consist of the copywriter, followed by the art director and graphics designer. In any successful advertising these two sets of professionals depend on each other and work very closely.

After the copywriter creates his or her brilliant lines of written communication, it is then the job of the art director to create the idea to visually motivate an action by grabbing the casual readers and moving them in a desired direction. The art may invite them in or jump off the page and slap them across the face. Whatever the effect, it must provoke them into reading what the copywriter has to say. The graphics designer then has the task of designing what the art director wants to visually convey.

What's the difference between an art director and a graphics designer? A fine graphics designer can arrange a page in proper proportion and flow, but the art director knows how to use it to motivate the buyer. The art director can make the difference between an ad that stands still and an ad that stands out.

In most cases, you the reader, being a small or home business entrepreneur are probably forced to be all of these people rolled into one. For those of you who do work with the opposite, you may have already experienced the difficulties in communicating your ideas back and forth. For the inter-relational novice this can be a very frustrating learning experience, for both the novice and the opposite team or team member working with you. Remember your contributions are synergistic and reinforce each other.

You have probably read somewhere that you brain is divided into two distinct parts. One side (the right) responds to visual stimuli, while the left side responds to verbal (or written) stimuli. The trick for those of you who do all of the work yourself, is to learn how to separate your visual team from your verbal team. This is not always an easy task to accomplish. But, next week I offer up a couple of tips to help you out.

For those who work separately, it is often hard to understand where the other is coming from. These team members may all report to one supervisor who often must act as a negotiator between the sometimes-opposing teams.

The majority of the time, the case may be a scenario more like this:

Being a fairly experienced copywriter, I write my own web copy and hire a graphics designer to do the visual side. As I am still a novice to working with others in this context, I and the graphics designer, Melody McKinnon, of <> have both suffered the consequences of this new allegiance. My only saving grace is the fact that I contracted and pay her, so she does her best to put up with me (so far). Melody is a fine graphics designer and does a great job in filling my requests and supporting my decisions. But, I'm sure in the back of her mind she is considering the pros and cons of working with a copywriter/owner and practicing art director, who wants everything his own way, right or wrong.

Next week we'll start covering some tips and tricks to Visual Marketing. Until then may all your marketing Ad- Ventures be profitable ones!

"Wild Bill"

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