There is far more to the creative process than learning how to use software and configure hardware. This blog addresses them.
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Back in the day, when I played tournament foosball, there
were five basic principles that were critically important. The table
had to be
in excellent shape. If it wasn’t, it was a waste of time and I wouldn’t
with it. As a matter of fact, only those foosball joints that took care
their tables would establish a reputation and draw the best players
There were only a handful of foosball joints that seemed to understand
the rods were bent or warped it was useless. If they became sticky and
spin freely it was equally useless. If the playing surface became dirty
oversprayed silicone (used for the rods) on it, you couldn’t keep the
ball in play. If the balls were chipped or warped they were useless. If
wasn’t level, playing was an exercise in futility. But, when the
the foosball table and I became one -- we were unified -- and as I humbly noted in my last blog, virtually unbeatable. This
brings me to what I consider to be the most important of the five principles of design – UNITY.
first mistake I usually notice in a poorly designed ad
is a violation of unity. If an ad has unity, all of the elements are
together and appear to be related. Unity keeps the ad from falling
apart. In a unified ad, all of the elements have similar shape, size,
texture, color, character and mood. The type in a unified ad has
the same character as the art.
this giant poster for Sunshine Biscuits® to help promote their Habitat For Humanity® program. The target market was mothers of young kids who would be
shopping in Kroger® food stores. (The giant poster was placed in cookies/crackers aisles.) It was featured in the Atlanta Business Chronicle in their special issue on Atlanta's Best Advertising. I will use it as reference in discussing the five principles of design.
White space (negative space) can help provide unity while
also giving the ad an interesting shape. Negative space should be to the
outside of the ad – ad elements should never be separated with white space;
this causes the ad to fall apart. Negative space should not be trapped inside
the ad…it needs to have a path outside the ad elements. In keeping with the law of proportion (another principle
to be discussed in an upcoming blog) the white space around the edges of the ad
should have an irregular shape. This adds interest and attracts
Here is a little trick on how to
evaluate unity of design shapes.
If you “black-in” all the elements of the ad
leaving the negative space or white space alone, the elements ought to look
unified. They don’t necessarily have to physically connect but they must relate to each
other visually. If there is too much negative space between the elements, they
lose unity with each other.
As my foosball analogy illustrates, none of
the five principles work in a vacuum…they are all necessary and inter-related.
If any one principle is violated, the work will suffer. By the way, in addition
to proportion, Unity is very closely related to another principle, “emphasis”
which will be the subject of my next blog.
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After developing his artistic abilities from an early age, Robert Davis (Adman) started his advertising career as a graphic artist for a commercial printing company while in 10th grade. He later acquired degrees in Commercial Art and (later) Business Administration (Marketing with focus on computer science) while working in various advertising agency capacities.
Robert started his own agency in 1989. He added an in-house Pro Tools® recording studio in 1999 and an Avid Xpress® DV video editing suite in 2002. He now also has two Avid Media Composer suites and an Xpress Studio HD suite in a fully equipped studio which also features SoftImage|XSI and Pro Tools.
He believes that his company, Davis Advertising, Inc., represents a new model for the 21st century advertising agency…”a small, agile and responsive agency with comprehensive, in-house capabilities.” He says, “Avid® software provides the creative freedom and flexibility I covet.”
His focus is on developing effective creative ideas via his own strategic planning process. He loves being surrounded by cameras, lights, props and other creative professionals who share his vision. He also, of course, loves working with Avid® software to bring his ideas to life.
Currently residing in metro-Atlanta, Robert is an accomplished writer, producer and creative director. His advertising agency has served Fortune 500 accounts and has received several international awards. His work has been exhibited at the prestigious Cannes Lions Advertising Festival.
When not riding his vintage Italian racing bike, or working out with free weights, Robert can often be found in the late evening singing or playing drums, guitars and keyboards in the studio.