Visual hierarchy guarantees a positive reading experience for the consumer.

This makes it important for anything that is read, including websites, articles, magazines and advertisements.

When everything in your advertisement is the same size and same font and same font weight the consumer’s eye does not know where to go and their brain gets easily bored. This means they will move on before reading your message. How do we avoid this? With visual hierarchy of course!

So what is visual hierarchy? In its simplest form its giving more importance to certain aspects of your advertisement. Those things that you think are THE most important to entice the consumer. To give them visual hierarchy we simply make them stand out. Whether we do that through making them larger, bolder, a new color or a different font then the rest of the words. Once the potential customer reads that (if we have used the right words) they will be interested enough to want to read the rest of your message, or to go to your website and find out more.

Advertisers often times make the mistake of thinking that everything in their ad has to be bold. The problem is, if everything is bold, then nothing is bold. Nothing stands out if everything is the same, even if it’s bold. Of course everything you put in your advertisement is important, otherwise it shouldn’t be there. But if you don’t pick out some items to stress, potential customers won’t read anything.

Let’s look at our sample ad.

In this ad nothing really stands out. All the type is similarly sized and the same font. We can improve this ad by adding some visual hierarchy.

In this version I have added a nice large image to entice the readers eye. Then I have made the name of the seminar large, bold and reversed in a banner, all to give it importance. But even in that headline there is hierarchy happening. What are they learning about? Downsizing. So I have made that the largest most important word in the header. The date and time of the speaker are also very important so they are the next thing to stand out. Now, if the potential consumer is interested in learning about downsizing and are available on that date and time, they will read on to learn more.

It is also important for the reader to know when they must RSVP by so this I have put in a font that is different from all the other words. To make it stand out, but not overpower the more important headlines.

Now this ad will draw potential customers eye, and keep them engaged by using good hierarchy to quickly tell them what they need to know.

Please keep in mind that all of these suggestions are just that. There are no hard and fast rules to good design or marketing and what works for one may not work for another. But if you feel your advertising has not been as successful as you were hoping, look over your past ads with a critical eye. Could you be making any of these mistakes?

If you have any questions or need any help with your advertising, please leave a comment or contact me at