In the Netherlands one gets accustomed to making the most of small spaces. With good design, a lot of elements can indeed fit together in a small ad and breathe in harmony.
Like ground prices, centimetres of advertising space are expensive. And your ROI is hard to measure. Nevertheless, in some sectors a regular presence in the specialist print media – or hard access to a concentrated readership – is more or less obligatory for maintaining your profile. Digital media still can't reach all of the market reliably enough or with sufficient impact.
So it's wise to make the most of your expensive investment by ensuring it's designed with effectiveness in mind.
< Patricia Bardi has been running courses for around two decades in Vocal Dance, a form of expression she created.
Her advertising was professionally designed. Good points included a strong 'reversed out' headline, a cut-out image, nicely rounded corners and a recognizably distinct style – however the design was in need of some modernising.
It was also clear that the layout lacked sufficient flexibility to cope comfortably with the wide variety of space formats in the specialist European magazines – each with their own specifications – in which they appeared.
> In 2005, the ads were restyled to address these issues.
The content itself remained virtually the same – Patricia runs a series of courses whose format has reached a stable maturity after almost two decades.
The original image was re-processed for more detail and flair, the whole look given more energy and depth, a better use was made of space with the main image and headline as large as possible.
A landscape layout was developed, plus duotone variants to take advantage of the spot colour printing offered by some magazines...
< In 2009, a new image was introduced, to update the look, keeping the resonance with the known style. An image of performing students was introduced into the background to better connect with the content and target market.
With colour printing costs ever more competitive, colour ads are more widely available and affordable, so a full colour version was developed.