Making an Exceptional Ad

Making an Exceptional Ad

John Edwards’ kids only learned how to ride bikes after moving to the Black Hills. Back in his hometown of London, England, too many buses flew by on the busy and dangerous roads. John and his family decided moved to South Dakota from across the pond, and he is now the advertisement wizard at Evergreen Media.

“My kids learned to ride bikes within three weeks. They didn’t know how to do that in London because we didn’t have space. I lived on a road that had four buses flying up and down it every five minutes,” explained John. “I wanted to get out of London. I have a young family and I’ve always loved America. I wanted to be somewhere the kids could have fun and grow up. I knew I would be able to bring a new perspective to the media market here.”

He’s been in the magazine business for over 20 years now, freelanced for international publishing houses, and even ran his own publishing business. Now, John is the Creative Director for the Evergreen Media team—overseeing all design content, advertising production, editorial pages, and digital assets.

With all the advertisements and layouts that come through John’s desk, he has some tips for business owners’ ad designs.

Keep the focus of your ad in mind and have simple and clear messaging.

John may spend hours working on an ad, but people are only going to glance at it for five seconds. Make sure to ask yourself, ‘what do I want people to take away from this ad?’

When designing the layout, keep people’s natural reading patterns in mind.

Generally, customers will read from top right to top left and then look for completion in bottom right hand corner.

Including a complicated website URL is not ideal, as almost every consumer will forget it.

It is more important to have them remember your company name or product, so they can Google it later if they would like to learn more.

Exciting graphics and visuals will draw eyes and interest to your ad.

Neon colors are popular, but lately there has been a pastel color trend in advertising. With either neon or pastel, make sure the color palette doesn’t disrupt the text.


Designing the picture-perfect ad isn’t easy, but then again, neither is adjusting to an unfamiliar country. If John can handle that, then he can handle anything!

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