The copy within an ad is generally meant to deliver the key message of the advertisement. Therefore, one of the design challenges is how the copy (text) complements the overall look and feel of the ad and yet is able to stand apart. As designers, we understand this. We are always looking for the most effective and congruous solution so that the target viewer can see as well as read the copy. If no one does, it defeats the purpose of having the copy! Here are a few tips to make that copy stand out! Some tips involve playing with the look and feel of the text and others, the background.
#1. Add effects on the outlines of the text
Adding a shadow, stroke or an outer glow creates a contrast between the copy and the background. This allows the text to stand out. This is especially useful in cases where the background is complex or crowded. More often than not, subtle shadows and transparent outer glows will do the job to create contrasts between the copy and the background.
#2. Play with the font itself
Should you have to, or choose to use the same typeface throughout, you can play around with different but complementary colors for each section of copy. Another simple trick is to play with caps, bold and italics. This can bring focus to keywords that you want to highlight in the ad.
Alternatively, you can leverage on or follow a header hierarchy. One font for the header and another font for the sub-header or body copy. This should typically be sufficient. Remember these are online ads, so less is more. Using too many fonts may result in not only the ad looking lost but also in the message getting lost.
#3. Add a space for a text container
Instead of using shadows, we can create contrast by adding a background to the text. To create the background, play with space or use complementary colors as the text's background. This can make the text look striking! Be mindful not to insert too many ideas as this could make the text look too busy. This will result in your text fading back into the background!
#4. Place the text in a less busy part
Another classic tip it to zoom in on space! Not all parts of the background are necessarily busy. It could be where there is a sky or just ...... space. Try placing the text there. In this way, you would have "created" space between your text and the background!
#5. Blur the background
A quick, simple yet effective trick is to blur the background. This almost instantly brings the text into focus! You can blur the background with a Gaussian or Lens blur using your editor.
#6. Sync your text and image
Leverage on the background image to complement yet make the text stand out. If the ad conveys a feminine or sweet imagery, consider calligraphic fonts. However, if the ad displays sophisticated and modern vibe, sans serif might be your best bet. If you are doing something for the Halloween, use typefaces that convey grunge! Do remember whether the brand guidelines allows or does not forbid this of course!
So there you have it, a few tips to make the copy stand out! Hope I’ve helped you out!