Project Calendar


Scenario: You are an Art Director working in a advertising agency. The account executive has given you the task of designing an advertisement for an established client. The client wants to see 3 uniquely different concepts based on a benefit to the consumer. The deliverables will be ads for the Inlander; pick the ad size that makes sense for your client's budget.

Review chapter 12 in Graphic Design Solutions.

Part 1:
Develop 3 concepts for a local client. Choose a business that would be likely to advertise in the Inlander; salons, brewpubs, bike shops, bakeries, or restaurants are examples.

Your concepts may require custom photography or illustration. Since we don’t have a budget for these services you will sketch the photo/illustration concepts. The sketches should be done in realistic proportions to guide the suppliers in creating the final images. You may wish to assemble a primitive Photoshop composite from internet images and/or reference photos you take. You can print out the composite and trace it.

Part 2:

Use your Branding/Menu project as the client for one small 4-units Inlander ad. The ad would be placed into the Inlander for six months to build awareness.

This will be a finished ad; it may include photos borrowed from the internet. For a real client you would purchase them with a real budget.

You will research Inlander ad specifications. Copy and logo will be developed using web resources.

You will work with your creative director on research, idea exploration, and concept development. You will submit thumbnails to the creative director, who will then choose 3 concepts to develop into rough layouts.

Once the roughs have been approved by the creative director, the client will review them. You will work with the client and creative director toselect and refine three of the roughs for final production.You will create tight comprehensive layouts that simulate the final advertisements for presentation to the client.

In order to make sure that the job is scheduled appropriately, prints correctly and all electronic files are configured correctly you will be in close contact with the production manager.

Part 2, the client has requested:

  1. All files be delivered when the project is complete
  2. A PDF be created for archiving purposes
  3. Black and white proofs will be printed. The client will sign off on the layout.

Some Ad Basics

An advertisement must:

  • Persuade the viewer to buy a product, call the viewer to action (CTA), or inform the viewer about the product, service, event, or cause.
  • Establish a benefit and answer the question, "What's in it for me?"
  • Have a clear concept and message.

From the episode, Ideas the Resonate, these are Stefan Mumaw's seven characteristics of compelling brand content:

  • Emotional. Does the idea carry an authentic emotion, from the brand to the consumer?
  • Entertaining. Is the idea entertaining in some way?
  • Experiential. Does the idea manifest itself in some form of unexpected experience for the consumer?
  • Novel. Is the idea new or different? Even just a little bit?
  • Story-based. Does the idea use story, as a transfer medium?
  • Authentic. Is the idea both authentic to the brand and the consumer.
  • Risky. Big ideas are a little bit scary, because most of them don’t have predictable ROI models attached to them.

Design Process

Develop the marketing strategy and design brief.

  1. Start filling in your timesheet.
  2. Define the client's objectives.
  3. Define the product's qualities.
  4. Define the target audience.
  5. Identify the competition and its selling points.
  6. Define the client's unique selling proposition.
  7. Collect examples of ad design designs.

Obtain Step 1: Research sign-off from your process instructor (for Part 1 and Part 2)


  1. Mind map to relate words and images to the product.
  2. Brainstorm concepts and solutions.
  3. Assemble mood boards to measure the client's response to visual styles.
  4. Obtain client feedback on mood boards and research.
  5. Look to design showcases like this or this; and trends such as ambient advertising.
  6. Survey the work being done in our local market; try the Inlander, and Bozzi media.
  7. Think critically and problem solve.

Obtain Step 2: Mood Boards sign-off from your process instructor

Develop concepts

  1. Combine words and visuals into quick concepts, in thumbnail form.
  2. Verify that your work meets thumbnail criteria.
  3. Generate at least 25 thumbnails
  4. Submit your most promising 6 thumbnail concepts to the creative director for review.
  5. Select three concepts to develop.

Obtain Step 3: Design (Thumbnails / Concepts) sign-off from your process instructor

Develop rough layouts.

  1. Develop roughs from thumbnails which were approved by the art director.
  2. Rough layouts will be to size of the final advertisement and communicate more detail than the thumbnails.
  3. Verify that your work meets roughs criteria.
  4. Do a peer review of the roughs.
  5. Submit roughs to the art director for sign off/approval.

Submit rough layouts to the client.

  1. After the creative director approves your roughs, make any changes indicated.
  2. Meet with the client and present your designs.
  3. The client will sign off and approve the design to be taken to final stage.

Obtain Step 4: Roughs sign-off from your process instructor.

Meet with the production manager.

  1. Determine the skills and steps needed to produce your design (digital strategy).
  2. Discuss your digital strategy with the production manager.
  3. Ask the production manager about any issues you are unsure of.
  4. When it is clear that you understand how to produce your design correctly and efficiently, the production manager will sign off/approve your strategy.

Obtain Step 5: Technology Strategy sign-off from your technology instructor (for Part 2 only)

Produce the digital comp.

  1. Create all native files (raster and vector images).
  2. Assemble text and images using Adobe InDesign.
  3. Conform to standard prepress criteria for all file preparation and type formatting.
  4. Make backup copies of all files after each work session.
  5. Print a black and white laser proof and check for correctness and accuracy. (Spell check and Proof Read!)
  6. Have a "DIGITAL COMP CRITIQUE/PEER REVIEW" of your grayscale digital comp.
  7. Make appropriate revisions.
  8. Check color separations to ensure only the printing inks are used, and overprints, knockouts, and rich blacks are correct.
  9. Create PDF versions for email approval and final output.
  10. Copy all final documents to the server folder(s) specified by the client and production manager.
  11. Make an appointment with your art director for sign-off/approval.
Obtain Step 6: Final Design sign-off from your process instructor (Part 2 only)

Submit final comp to the client for sign-off/approval.

  1. Link ad proofs to the roster page provided.
  2. Ppresent final designs using the html template provided.
  3. Provide the client with all digital documents and PDF files, as directed.

Obtain Step 7: Design Revisions sign off from your process instructor

Complete file preparation with your production manager.

  1. Using the print preparation checklist have a "TECHNOLOGY PEER REVIEW" of your project files before meeting your instructor
  2. Hand in studio (lab) time sheet
  3. Submit project billing worksheet (sheet two in the time sheet)
  4. Show back up filing system
    • discuss file organization and naming conventions
    • discuss learning strategies
  5. Verify:
    • Correct raster file sampling and preparation.
    • Correct vector file preparation.
    • Correct font choices and styles.
    • Correct color usage.
  6. Complete service provider package

Obtain Step 8: Final Deliverable sign-off from your technology instructor (Part 2 only)

Possible Process exercises:

Possible Technology exercises


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