Designing Teasers To Market A Product, Service or Event

man on a cliff

A teaser is a visual marketing aid that is used to communicate a message, thought, or idea; but it focuses only on one main idea supported by a call-to-action element. Its purpose is to simply blow a trumpet that something is coming but not to reveal everything in order to raise a curiosity. A teaser can be designed on any media of any size. It can be on paper ⎯ hard or digital ⎯ or on a video.

The reason for focusing on a single idea is to ensure that your target audience picks up the core message, thought or idea that you want to convey. If the teaser contains too much information, most likely, in 48 hours, the reader will forget everything because there is in our brain a function called reticular activating system that filters information in order to protect its health. What the reader can most likely remember is only that sometime ago he stumbled upon a teaser.

teaser versus brochure

A teaser is not a brochure. The major difference between a teaser and a brochure is that the latter contains all the information that you want your target audience to know; whereas, a teaser contains only one idea, thought or message supported by minor elements such as a call-to-action which may be a button or a link to direct your target audience to do something; or simply a number or email address to invite them to contact you.

test yourself with this pilot teaser

You will find below an example of a teaser; then, follow this instruction.

  • Put yourself into the shoes of a high school student. Then, examine the teaser and be conscious of your eyes.
An example of a pilot teaser for marketing purposes via social media
Pilot teaser for an event: a holy week retreat

Try to answer the following questions.

  1. What is the teaser all about?
  2. What is the main message?
  3. What is the first element that you noticed?
  4. Did you feel strain in your eyes while looking at it?
  5. Do you think that even a high school student would be able to get the intended message?

The teaser is talking about a Holy Week retreat. Its main message is to disconnect, which is the core purpose of any retreat: to disconnect you from your everyday routine and way of life; inviting you to leave your comfort zone and normal environment. That is why it is called a retreat.

All other elements of the teaser are merely to support the main idea. One bit of information, though, must retain in the reader’s mind because it is essential ⎯ the date; which is why it is centered and larger than the other texts but not larger than the main idea.

The main idea could be anything you see on a teaser. However, in this example, the designer wanted to emphasize most the word disconnect because it has something to do with the follow-up teaser.

why put yourself into the shoes of a high school student?

We all think differently. Not all have achieved equal level of education. Not all those who were able to attend school have the same level of understanding. Not because you are older that you are wiser. Thus, if your target audience is the general public, how would you design?

The general rule is: consider the general public like all high school students. Once you have captured them all, generally speaking, then you apply the funneling; but that’s another story. Briefly, it is when you target specific audience from a pool of a wider audience.

So, if your role is the advertiser or producer, in order for you to objectively understand a visual design, put yourself into the shoes of a high school student; not as a producer, advertiser or organizer.

how eyes react to a design

What captured your eyes first? Is it the word disconnect? Then which? Was it the date? Could you notice the flow of information? Did you feel any eye strain?

In visual design, it is important that the eyes are not strained. Elements should follow a path that is comfortable to the reader’s eyes. Colors, sizes and spaces all affect the eyes. Our eyes react most especially to colors because colors are light. Our eyes’s reaction to light is not something that we can control. For that reason, the designer must test himself if what he has designed is comfortable to his eyes; and it is following the intended path.

follow-up teaser

In order to sustain the interests of your target audience, the pilot teaser must be followed up by a follow-up teaser; otherwise, your first teaser may serve useless as it may already be forgotten. It is important that the follow-up teaser must be related to the initial teaser. Like when writing a business letter or an article, a series of teasers must also be cohesive. 

Take a look at the follow-up teaser of our example.

An example of a social media teaser for marketing purposes
Follow-up teaser for the same event

It is already obvious that the follow-up teaser is related to the pilot one. What has changed is the emphasis.

Let’s examine.

  1. The main idea or message here is the substance of the retreat which is taken from Matthew 26:40.
  2. The word disconnect still exists but no longer dominant. It still exists so that the readers can connect the second teaser to the first teaser.  
  3. The second teaser introduces the idea tHis connect, which is the name of the retreat. However, in this example, it serves secondary to the main idea because what is more important is its substance.
  4. Notice the positions of disconnect and tHis connect. Their positions suggest that they are related; its contrast adds substance to the message. Without the word disconnect, your general audience would have no idea why tHis connect.
  5. The contrasting images also add substance to the idea of a retreat.
  6. Emphasis is now given to the call-to-action, which is to call and make a reservation. The date is less emphasized as this was already emphasized previously.

what’s next

Ideally, it is enough that there’s only a pilot teaser and a follow-up teaser. A third release of your communication should already contain everything that you want your target audience to know. This may be in a form of a flier, brochure, a web page, or an event announcement. Your third communication tool must be sufficient with the necessary information to limit people’s questions and enquiries to a few because what is more important call-to-action is to buy if you are selling a product or services; to reserve a seat if you are holding an event; or to sign up, among others, if you are recruiting members.

Photo credits:
 Zachary DeBottis from Pexels 
 Guilherme Almeida from Pexels

Sandy Beach To Ocean Deep Colour Scheme

Colour Scheme Beige beach deep ocean blue

Colour Scheme Beige beach deep ocean blue
An elegant colour scheme from sandy beige to deep ocean blue. It is a twist from the common white beach and aqua blue ocean. You can apply this colour scheme to interior, invitation and even wedding colour motif. These colours contrast well with Old Rose.

The colours have no equivalent colour names. So, to keep it simple, let their names be:

  • Hex #d8d6d6 is Light sand
  • Hex #d1cebb is Wet sand
  • Hex #9bacac is Washed green
  • Hex #7bb4bb is Old Teal
  • Hex #2c6474 is Ocean Deep

Café / Coffee Shop

If you own a coffee shop, break away from the traditional coffee and chocolate browns accented with a shade of tangerine. These colours will give your café a look above the rest.

Paint the walls of your coffee shop with Light Sand as primary and Wet Sand as secondary colour to give your walls some dimension. Give your café an Ocean Deep accent by furnishing it with this upholstered colour. For your tables, top it with Old Teal. For your fixtures, paint them with Washed Green.

Living Room, Bedrooms, and Hotel Rooms

For a masculine look of your living room, give your wall a light shade of Light Sand accented by Washed Green colours. Your upholstery would look elegant with Ocean Deep. Complement your sofa with Old Teal throw pillows. For the rest of the items in your living room, colour them Wet Sand.

If you want to be more adventurous, paint the walls of your bedroom with Ocean Deep. Use light fixtures such as white or Light Sand. For your bed, alternate your bed sheets, linens and pillows with Wet Sand, Washed Green, and Old Teal.

To brighten your rooms a bit, add a few items with Old Rose or white.

Wedding Colour Motif

For a change, the bride may wear a Light Sand wedding gown accented with Ocean Deep waist band, flowers, embroidery, or other ornaments. Instead of the common black, let the groom wear an Ocean Deep suit, Light Sand shirt, and Ocean Deep butterfly.

The bridesmaids, flower girls and maid of honour shall wear Old Teal gowns or dresses accented with Ocean Deep. The groomsmen, bearers, and best man can wear Washed Green suits accented with Wet Sand.

House Exterior

Your house will be eye-catching with this light sand ocean deep colour scheme. Paint the exterior of your house with Light Sand and complement it with Wet Sand. Accent your exterior with Ocean Deep doors, window sills and frames, and roof. For the colour of furniture and fixtures outside your house, choose Wet Sand or Washed Green or a combination of both.

Other Applications

This colour scheme will also make your shops and boutique look elegant, cool and fresh all the time. If you own a resort or restaurant near the beach, you can never go wrong with this cool and fresh sand and ocean colours.

A Collection of Rich Web Cards and Banners

Images on web sites call attention. To web content managers, looking for images or web cards appropriate for a post or article has become like routine or standard procedure. Thanks to sites like Pexels and Canva, these online photo and graphic design sites have made my work easier at times when I needed to finish something right away.

Rich Cards

Facebook calls it Open Graph while Twitter calls it Twitter cards. Pinterest calls it rich Pins while Google+ calls it rich Snippet. Simply, web cards are graphics especially designed to capture attention and engage site visitors to your site contents. It functions more than just an image because it contains information called meta tags, which social media sites use to integrate your social site post with your web post or page . It is for that reason why webizens call it rich cards.

My Own Collection of Design Inspirations

The following are some of the header banners, post cards, social site cards and covers, info cards, etc that I have used on a variety of web sites and social media sites. You are free to use any of these graphics. Consider them under CC0 license, which means you can download them for free and use them for whatever purpose without attribution. This is my collection of design inspirations.

Header Banners / Images / Social Site Covers

Web Cards / Blog Featured Images / Social Site Post Cards

Sacrificing Design Elements In Favour Of Client’s Preference

T-shirt print design lent inspired

Design is your pride. You created it from your mind out of nothing. It’s like you are the mother of your design. You carry it in your “womb” then you give birth to it.

Like a mother, no matter how your design looks like, you love it. When you start dressing it up, that’s when you make different versions.

You believe in yourself. You know that you are objective when choosing the best design. But sometimes, you get frustrated when your best pick is ignored.

Yes, it’s true that most of the time you have to sacrifice good design elements over your clients’s preferences. There’s nothing you can do about it but accept it. Anyway, it may be your design but the final output is your clients’s. They paid for it.

Don’t cry over spilled milk. Instead, talk about it. Good thing, in this technological generation, you can blog about just anything. So, go ahead, talk about the design that your clients did not pick.

Elements of Design + Your Style

It’s true that in designing, you observe the good elements of design. Plus, you add your own style to give it a character that is uniquely yours or that can be identified to you. From time to time, you violate a few elements to make it alternative or something like “exotic.” Breaking some traditional elements is a brave thing to do to creating your own style.

My Typical Style or Design Preferences

This is one of the design I recently made for an organisation. It is a design to be printed on the upper left of a beige, khaki, or taupe tee shirt.

In this design, to the best of my ability, I tried to apply design elements such as colour harmony, balance, and focus.

The large text Visita Iglesia gives focus. It is what it is all about. The rest are just bells and whistles, but necessary to create impact and attractiveness.

The dark chocolate bar gives emphasis to the word Iglesia because it is the more important word than visita. It also balances the existence of all elements as a whole, and to complement the round insignia.

The map background, though serves as aesthetic, is included to convey a journey or a travel. The event after all is about a travel, which is a pilgrimage. The details of the map are softened and blurred because they are not important to the design. Instead, it emphasised seven location points in the map which are the destinations of the pilgrimage.

The mocha background (which should be the colour of the textile) blends with the design to exude harmony. After all, the theme is about communion of communities. Moreover, the colour blend projects some expensive taste.

My style is simple and minimalist. My reason for that is to communicate effectively the message that I want to convey. If there are too many elements in a design, it creates confusion.

I also prefer related hues or monochromatic. Nothing loud, bright or vibrant. A bit desaturated or hazy, and soft. I like my design peaceful.

How This Design Has Evolved

It is common for a client to request adding other elements such as insignias, images and texts to your original design. Much as you didn’t like it, you have to sacrifice some design elements. Following next, I demonstrate how my original design has evolved into something that is not my personal preference.

Version 2

The client requested adding some texts. In order not to sacrifice some elements of design, this is what I did. Though I softened the text powered by peaceworks103 in order not to steal the main idea, that space looks crowded. So, I created another option.

Design inspiration Visita Iglesia

Version 3

The client suggested positioning the added text around the insignia. It looked better than version 2; but the client requested further adding more texts.

Design inspiration year of the parish

Version 4

In this version, visita iglesia is mentioned twice which is a big no-no in a design. As much as I wanted to avoid redundancy, I had no choice but to submit to the client’s preference.

However, the client further requested that peaceworks103 be around the border of the insignia.

Design inspiration Communion of Communities

The Final Verdict

I didn’t want the additional text to be around the insignia as well. That will be too much. So, instead, I positioned peaceworks103 inside the insignia. However, it left the dark chocolate bar empty, and therefore meaningless. I would like to retain it to maintain balance but I had to sacrifice that design element. As a result, it left that lower part of the design bare and too much useless space.

Design inspiration Peaceworks

But I had not choice. This is what the client picked. Some design elements sacrificed in favour of the client’s preferences.

Take a look at the designs in this slide show.

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Movie Posters Design Examples

These are 8 movie posters I designed for an event, which had a film festival theme. The event was for a rotary club induction of officers. The challenge was to make the movie posters relevant to the rotary club. I did some research on the areas of focus of the rotary, its core values, and the local projects that this rotary club had accomplished.

All the films presented in the design are fictitious. They do not pertain to any particular film or documentary. The movie titles were all made up except for A Star Is Born and Mulawin, which happened to have movies of the same title. I insisted on using these titles because they are relevant to the club. If the other titles I used happened to be of the same titles of existing movies, it was not intentional. The name of the actors, movie reviews, and reviewers’ names were all fictional.

If you happen to be a Rotarian who is viewing this, can you guess what the posters are trying to depict?

 

Artist Or Designer: Who Do You Hire?

think big concept in visual design

Let me tell you what I can do and what I cannot do; or what I am and what I am not. This is to let you know what to expect and what not to expect from me. That way, you can decide whether I am the right person to hire or not.

First. What I am not and what I cannot do.

I am not an artist. I cannot paint nor sculpt. I cannot draw cartoons, human figures, and animals. I am not someone who creates an artwork as a form of his expression for the purpose of art appreciation. Perhaps, in the future, I can, but not presently.

In the area of digital art, just the same, I cannot draw like what artists can in digital composing, creating visual effects for motion pictures and animation. I cannot draw a clip art, a caricature, or illustration for comics. These are the jobs of a digital or graphics artist. I am not a digital or a graphics artist.

Second. What I am and what I can do.

I am a creative graphics designer. A creative designer is someone who has a knack in visual arrangements and color. The purpose of his work is to communicate meanings and messages using words, shapes, and images. In other words, his work is often times informational. At few times, it is subliminal. But at all times, his work is always visual whether in shapes, figures or letters.

You hire a creative designer usually for business, especially for marketing or promotional purposes to design your marketing collateral or image branding such as a logo or product label.

The following are the things I can design for you.

  • Logo or emblem
  • Business card, stationery (letterhead and envelope)
  • Brochure, flier
  • Pamphlet, booklet, catalog
  • Card, poster, signage, banner
  • Newsletter, magazine
  • Book, e-book
  • Photo album in press ready portable document format (PDF)

Third. Graphics Designer + Writing Skills

When designing marketing collateral, you also need a copy writer. The copy writer is the one who will provide the text for your brochure, catalog, etc. His special skill is that he must be able to convey an important message using only a few words. Better if he can express it in only one word.

For example. Imagine a blue planet that is partly turning red on a black background. Written in big letters are the words “It’s time!” So, what are you thinking? If you thought of the urgency to prevent further the danger of global warming, then you are right.

In contrast, an artist would do it with intricacy like using or applying complex and overlaying curves, lines, patterns, shapes, dimensions and colors. When you see his work, you would remark, “Wow!” There are exceptional artists, though, who also possess the skills of a designer.

I am no artist but my edge is this – I am a creative thinker. I design and I write creatively. With me, you don’t need to hire two people to design and copy write. You only need someone who possesses both skills. And this kind of person is rare. 

Examine the featured image you see in this article. Can you guess what it is trying to say to you? That’s the work of a creative designer, not of an artist.

Last But Not Least, Design Thinking In Mind

Design thinking is not something visual like graphics design. It is more like a process that is solution-based rather than problem-based. When I design a website or a business collateral, I imagine its effect on people. I imagine how people would react on it, and even how the eyes would literally act on it. I like my designs to trigger an emotional or psychological impact. And most importantly, it should serve its purpose as a solution.

In A Nutshell

Creative design encompasses visual design and creative writing with design thinking in mind.

A design should impress you, first and foremost. If you do not like it, why would you accept it? If it impresses you, you believe that anyone can be impressed as well. Therefore, I do my best to design to impress.

A design should express a meaning, a message, an idea, or a thought. A design material or collateral should present an information. If a design cannot express something, then it is useless. Therefore, to the best of my ability, I make sure that my design clearly expresses what it should express.

A design should cause an action. For example, a brochure is not designed just to be touched, read, or appreciated. It should cause, motivate, or impact an action that leads towards the serving of its intended purpose.

What’s My Price

Prices for my particular works vary in time. If you’re a close friend, I lower the price. Sometimes I offer my services for free depending on our relationship, or the worthy cause of a project. To give you an idea, here’s how I priced a long time ago.

Brochure
PHP1000/page. A brochure usually has prints front and back; so that’s 2 pages. I only design one study. Take it or leave it. If you need another study, you pay additional. Whether you accept or not, use or not the brochure, you pay just the same. You pay first before I design.
Poster
PHP3000. My style is minimalist, so don’t expect too much elements on your poster. A poster is meant to be viewed a few meters away from the reader. Therefore, a poster should not be cluttered with too much images and texts. If you insist on cluttering your poster, find another designer.
Magazine, Catalog
PHP1000/page. Ditto my style. However, a magazine or catalog is meant to be viewed at close range compared to viewing a poster. That means, I compromise between minimalist design and information.

You can view my portfolio on the home page.

Design Marketing Print Collateral

For your marketing or promotional collateral print needs, I can design your company profile brochure, product or service brochure, promotional flyer, product catalog, poster, banner, among others. For your stationery, you need a letterhead, business card, and envelope design. If your are a new organization or wish to re-brand it, I can design a logo for you. I also design digital wedding albums.