Using The Psychology Of The Eye For Print Advertising

Posted on: 11 September 2020


You're placing an ad in a magazine. What does it have to contain? Think back to some of the most impactful ads you've ever seen, and you'll probably notice that they have some things in common. 

People Look for People First

Psychologically, people are always going to scan for people first. In fact, they look directly into the eyes of people, first. That's because we're primed to look for people in any environment that we're in. 

But there's another important trick. People also look where other people are looking. Line up the eyes of your subjects with the important elements of your ad, and people will be more likely to take a look there, too.

Most People Scan

People are going to scan an ad from left to right because they read that way. As they scan, they're going to notice the largest and brightest things. Think about what happens when you go into a room: You scan it first for anything of note. This should be used when making layouts: Your layout has to be designed so that the right features are noted at the right times. Anything important should be to the very left.

Text is Overwhelming

In the old days, ads were full of text. Today, text is more overwhelming to people. Most people aren't just going to scan; they're only going to read the headlines and other items of interest. Science has shown that ads that have too much text are going to be largely ignored.

Cool Colors Are Better

There's a reason why many ads today are blue, green, or other soothing colors. Cool colors relax people and make them more receptive to advertising. Of course, there are also other options. Red, for instance, has long been associated with Coca-Cola. If you have a distinctive branding color, you can get away with some departures.

Always End With a CTA

Advertisements in print and the web should always end with a CTA, or call to action. A CTA tells the customer what to do next, whether it's calling a number or clicking on a link. When you end with a CTA, you'll encourage lead generation.

Print advertising is a different type of medium from digital advertising, but it still follows a lot of the same principles. As long as you remember psychology, you can make sure your message is internalized. From there, it's just about making sure the message is memorable.