Recently, I was asked to make an ad layout for a good photography client and from another client a request to design property sales flyer. So I dusted off my graphic design skills that I have not used on over a decade and as I used to do made my photos the principal players in the piece.
As a page layout designer, my primary concern is to try to arrest the wandering eye of whoever is flipping through a magazine or ambling past a brochure sitting out for display. So the first thing they see must be visually arresting. It must stop them in their tracks. As a photographer, this to me is a striking photography used big enough to command attention. The graphic design should simply be the support vehicle for the photography.
Having said that, the vehicle needs to express the personality of the client and create their "branding". Ideally, this should be almost identical to their website and other branding material. If none are in existence or need to be updated or changed, then the graphic design of the ad or brochure must take into consideration that it will need to be adapted for web site use.
That is what an ad should be. What it should not be is boring or look like the competition. A page filled with identical sized property photos is very boring. And everyone seems to do it. Then it has to be decided who the real market is for the ad. Is it to sell properties or to attract sellers or other brokers, or to attract buyers to come to you for any property purchase, or all of the above?
The double page spread (above) was created for Larry and Erik Wilde of Coldwell Banker/Property Shoppe in Ojai, California. Except for some small, existing photos, all the photography is mine. I believe that a real estate ad needs at least one photograph used large to capture the attention of viewers. It can do the work of arresting attention to stop the browser for a few seconds to then take in the rest of the content. First the hook, then the bait, then the whole line. If you want to see this spread larger click here and you will see more versions of the ad.
I have created a layout that can easily be adapted for a single page and for different publications and paper stock from glossy to newsprint.
My other example here is a bit different. It is a one page double sided sales flyer to be either handed out or on display for a property. The front is designed to arrest the potential buyer and gain their interest. The back has much more specific information, specifications and photos. The higher quality a property, the higher the quality of the flyers or brochures should be to reflect the level of the property itself.