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Ad Madness

April 13, 2012

I’ve been reading instead of writing this week, trying to finish up a book I’ve been looking forward to for a while.  But I wanted to share this little gem with y’all.

One of the drawbacks to being the web designer is that when the spambots go trolling for e-mail addresses, mine is always on the list.  I get ads for everything from textbooks, to new ways to improve our Google rankings, to strange science-y things whose functions I only vaguely comprehend.  I’ll usually skim for anything that looks promisingly tech related, and delete the rest.  Sometimes though, the spam is particularly eye catching.

You have to hand it to this company’s graphic artist.  They really know how to put the “Spring” in their sale.  When I first opened this, I thought I’d accidentally signed up my work account for a fabric store’s e-mail list.  Props to the artist for limiting the fonts to three, although the font on the deleted logo brings that up to five.  I tend to ignore logos in that respect, however.  An artist can’t help how many fonts the hiring company uses.  Most of the deleted text was blue, in the same sans serif and sans serif bolded font.  The three colors all nicely compliment the central image with the blue keeping the orange and green from clashing too strongly.  Using two shades of gray text plus black is a bit much for my preferences, but I tend to go for simpler color palettes.

I understand the intent of layering the central text over the bounding box.  There are lots of other elements crossing this line, and it’s supposed to be dynamic.  But everything else crossing the bounding box is curving or organic, so having the hard text cross this line just feels sloppy to me.  I personally would have nudged the top line of text up so as the keep it from touching the line, or extended the p and the g so that the line crossing is clearly a deliberate choice.  This would work better if there were another word with a descending letter to bracket the sentence.  I’m not sure about the swirly bit behind “highest.”  It’s almost as if someone said “There’s not enough swirly in this general area.  Add more.”

One of the things that might be hard to see (depending on the contrast level of your screen) is the background layers of flowers, leaves, and vines in the lower corners.  This all leads into the tangled mass in the middle, which frankly looks like someone went a little overboard with their custom shape brush, but the visual impact of the single bright flower from the dark brambles is undeniable.  Over all, it’s a very eye catching, fairly well done ad.

It’s just not the sort of ad one would expect to see for fetal bovine serum.

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