An Ad Is Worth a Thousand Words

My First Introduction to Photoshop

As I began this assignment, I was traveling and only had access to the internet in the house we rented for a couple of days and at the homes of family we visited during our travels.  Our first assignment when we begin a new program is to complete a downloaded worksheet that teaches us how to use the program.  This week we were introduced to Photoshop.

On Monday morning, I had a couple of hours of freetime before I had to pack to begin our journey home.  I decided to download the worksheet and get started.  When I opened the worksheet after I had downloaded it, it was only 1/2″ wide.  I knew I must have done something wrong in the download.  I attempted to download it two more times.  Each time I had the same results.  At this point, I reached out to my teacher through email to see if she could help.  I attempted to download it one more time and I discovered that the tab file in Photoshop said saved at 6.36%.  That gave me the idea that I should be able to enlarge it.  I clicked on the tab View in Photoshop.  There on the list was 100%. I clicked on that and it opened to the full screen.  Not to be profane, but I wanted to get up and dance and sing Hallelujah.

By this time, it was time to pack up and leave and for varying reasons, I was not able to look at the assignment again until late Tuesday evening when we arrived home.  The assignment was due on Wednesday evening and I had to work all day Wednesday, so I used the one time extension to give me a couple of extra days to work on it.  This put me behind on creating my rough draft that had to be submitted by Saturday at noon to give Sister VanSistine time to give a critique on it. Also, I wanted to be sure to get it in for some kind of a grade rather than take a 0.

My Really Rough Draft

I knew my rough draft was really bad.  I was assigned to create an ad for measuring cups.  My target audience was well educated 65 year old males.  Just to give you a good laugh, I am going to post my rough draft here.

Let me know when you are finished laughing and I will continue.  My thought process was a retired man deciding he wanted chocolate chip cookies and deciding to make them himself.  Of course, having had the best all of his working years, he would only consider using the best mixing cups.  Which at that time had to be this measuring cup graphic that I was able to find that I didn’t have to have written permission to use and the Logo for Kitchen Aid.  I was really in a crunch for time and I felt incredibly embarassed by this attempt, but my creative juices just were not flowing.

Even as I submitted this my head was spinning with things I needed to do differently.  I took a break from it Saturday evening and Sunday to let my head clear.  On Monday, I began to do some research on places I could find images that I could legally use without getting written permission.  I would be happy to get permission, but time and finding out how to contact people to use their work was just not a viable option for me for this assignment.  So I had to find images that were legal to use.

Final Draft

After a few revisions, I came up with a final draft I was ready to submit.  One of the requirements was to use creative symbolic communication.  That has been very difficult for me to do.  Here is my final draft.

This is my static tv ad.  The document size had to be 1920px X 1080px.  My resolution on it was 150dpi.

This is my Magazine Half Page Ad.  It is 8.5″ X 5.5″.  Resolution is again 150dpi.

I used the following images to create these ads.


I chose this one from a website called pixabay that offers free use of their images.  All of the images fall under the guidelines of CCO or creative commons use.

This was also found on pixabay as mentioned above, it is a CCO site.

I am pretty proud of these measuring cups.  I hunted for several hours for measuring cups that would look nice and go with my color scheme.  After several hours of finding images and trying to manipulate them, I finally created these cups in Adobe Illustrator.  While not perfect, they definitely worked better than any images I found.

Project Conclusion

While I have struggled with symbolic visual communication, I’m honestly not sure that a 65 year old man with a masters or doctorate degree would really be impressed by a symbolically creative ad.  I think they are men who are intelligent and want things laid out in front of them so they can make a decision without having to decipher what is being communicated to them. At least the men I know who fall into this category are like that.  They are very literal.  This has been a fun project inspite of the frustrating moments.  I wish I had more hours/days to really create a masterpiece.  However, time is rushing by and I do have a deadline.  Once again, a big thanks to our instructor, Jenny VanSistine for her help and guidance.



InDesign Magazine Spread

My InDesign Magazine Spread

The past two weeks have incorporated learning Adobe InDesign and creating a 3 page magazine spread.  The spread had to be an article from or  It had to be at least 600 words. The article I chose was just over 2000 words and was a little too long for 3 pages.  I cut some of it, but still had to use print that was a little to small for comfortable reading. The spread had to include the principles of design, color, typography and photography that we have studied in the past 4 weeks.  The article I chose was “Worship Through Music” by Elder Dallin H Oaks.  Here is a link to the article I used.

Here is a copy of my project:

Worship Through Music
by Elder Dallin H OaksWorship Through Music Magazine Spread

Design Analysis

Since this article was written by Dallin H Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints, I wanted to include a copy of the Hymnbook that is used by the LDS congregations.  I nestled the dark green hymnbook amongst some varigated green foliage and felt that this would be a good photo for the front page.  I then decided to use colors that would work with this dark green.  I found a chart that said dark green is a color that is associated with feelings of peace.   Peace is something we associate with the Savior, so singing hymns of worship should emit peace.  I used shades and hues of violet and yellow to lighten the feel of the dark green. I used split complimentary colors from the color wheel.

I mostly used the purple to help lighten the pages.  I ended up using the pale yellow as 1) a contrast against the dark green and 2) a way to bring the yellow I used on the darker page to tie the other two pages together.  I did the same with the violet and dark green.  I used full page violet line on each page as well as a line half the width of the page to bring repetition to each page. Some of the colors I pulled from the pictures to again bring repetition to the whole spread.

Typography began with a serif font for the copy (Rockwell).  I used a sans serif (Segoe UI) for the titles and subtitles.  With the help of our instructor, Sister Van Sistine, I realized that I needed something different to help the title of the article  stand out.  I found a font called Shine Personal Use that I incorporated into the title and the pull quotes.

I made many revisions and could still be revising it if I had unlimited time.  Looking for widows and orphans, rearranging this quote to avoid tangents and fitting the copy to begin and end evenly is quite a chore.


We had to use at least two of our own photographs.  Here are photos I used.

This photo was taken by myself and it depicts the photography skill depth of field.

This photo was also taken by me.  It is a picture of Mt Adams taken at sunrise (one of the golden hours) while standing in my driveway.  It uses the principle of thirds and leading lines.  There is also depth of field in it. I used it as the background for a pullout quote.

This final photo was taken by putting a sprig of flowers on my piano keyboard.  To me a keyboard is where my love of the hymns originated.  I also took this photo.

Audience                                                                                                                     My intended audience for this project was anyone from the age of 12 through adulthood into old age who does not have a solid appreciation of worship hymns.  I feel the opening page of my spread really draws the eye with the use of the dark green background and the plant with the hymnbook nestled in it.  It helps me think of being nestled in the arms of the Savior.  That is how the melodic worship hymns make me personally feel.  I believe the photograph will pull the eye in and the calmness of the colors will lead the receiver to want to read what the article is about. Because the audience is so broad, I tried to use inviting colors that would help them feel calm and protected and peaceful.


This has been a very educational, creative, and just plain fun two week period of time.  One of my favorite things to do is be creative and learning a new computer program to help me is like frosting on the cake or sprinkles on the ice cream sundae.  During the past two weeks, I have learned the Adobe Creative Cloud App, InDesign and been able to use it to create a 3-page magazine spread.  The learning curve was steep but well worth the mental stress I endured.

I want to give a great big THANK YOU to my instructor, Jenny Van Sistine for taking the time to give me not just one, but two video critiques with many great ideas to help me, as well as answering my many questions.  I would also like to help my classmates who critiqued my rough draft on our class Facebook page.  I incorporated many of their ideas also.

Typography, The Building Block of the Printed Page – Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

I found this advertisement for Whoppers candy on It is a 1970s advertisement. I was not able to find it’s original designer or source.  It was originally published by the Leaf candy company. I also found it featured on a website, created by Nancie Rowe Janitz Designs.

While nostalgia plays a roll in the appeal of this advertisement, I feel the contrast in typography also grabs the attention of the viewer.

The first typeface I would like to feature is a Sans Serif font. It is a monoweight font which means that there are no thick/thin transitions in the strokes and the letters are the same thickness all around. There are no serifs on any of the letters. It is easy to read and is used to inform us what product they want us to know about (actually they want us to buy it). In this advertisement they use this font to identify the product and give information about the company who produces the product.

The second typeface on this advertisement was a Script font. It appears to be excellent penmanship. In the 1970s children still learned to write cursive and penmanship was an actual grade on our report cards. Their use of this tidy cursive penmanship depicts reliability and care in creating the product for us. Obviously, someone with good penmanship is reliable and you can trust what they are telling you. The following information is trying to convince us to purchase this product. “Everybody stops to shop America’s fastest selling malted milk balls!” It also includes the word “original”, thereby informing you that these are not the cheap knockoff version. This script typeface is used to give us confidence in this product.

Robin Williams, the author of the book “The Non-Designers’s Design Book”, tells us that script fonts should be used sparingly. In this advertisement, they do use it for quite a bit of the information, but they break it up with the use of the sans serif font so you are not getting a large dose of the script for a long stint of reading.

The the elements that create contrast in these two fonts include color, weight, size, structure, and form. They use two different colors which creates contrast. The weight of the sans serif typeface is much bolder than the script. They were not wimpy when they used it. The size difference is also obvious in the two different fonts. The structure of the sans serif is very monoweight with no weight shifts in the strokes. There are gaps between each letter. It is rather like putting blocks together to create words. The script has different size letters and flows together with each letter connecting to the next. On both styles of typeface, the form of the capital letters is different than the lowercase, however, the script typeface has completely different forms than the sans serif do. All of these differences create contrast in the typography of this advertisement.

While the graphics on this page really sell the product (who doesn’t remember Whoppers, or in my case, malt balls from their childhood), the typography really sends a message about the value and enjoyment of this candy.  The name in bold sans serif typeface sells you about the durability and the long-lasting pleasure you will gain from this product. The tidy script convinces you that this company takes pride in the quality of their product. These two fonts are a good combination that provide contrast in the advertisement, while unifying the information they are imparting.  Each font has both visual and emotional appeal and they are used in a design that makes them easy for the consumer to read and remember.