Titus Cycles print ads

Print Ads, Consumer

Titus Cycles builds high-end road and mountain bikes. The mountain bike buyer is generally younger (20–35) and less affluent than the typical road bike enthusiast, for whom a Titus is an affordable, luxury purchase. For the younger, and perhaps more dedicated, mountain biker, a Titus may be a must-have, but often requires real financial sacrifice. This print campaign recognizes both the difficult economy and the nearly unaffordable cost of these high-end mountain bikes; with the tagline, “It’s worth a second job,” it also acknowledges and validates the premium pricing. The work of TDA Advertising & Design, in Boulder, Colorado, the ads show cyclists earning money by modeling nude, selling Girl Scout cookies or working adult phone lines; on facing pages are Titus mountain bikes and their prices (El Guapo for $3,370; FTMmoto for $6,495; and CarbonX for $7,495). The ads are running in all major mountain biking magazines, with the exception of Mountain Bike Action, which refused all three executions.

Thomas Dooley/Matt Leavitt, art directors; Jonathan Schoenberg, writer; Brooks Freehill, (girl scout)/Andrew Chapman (chat worker, model), photographers.

Milwaukee Riverkeeper newspaper ad

Print Ads, Public Service

Milwaukee agency STIR created this ad to raise awareness for volunteers and to inspire donations for this organization that cleans Milwaukee’s rivers. Their goal is to eventually make it possible to swim in the downtown river which, currently, is too polluted for swimming.

Sarah McAfee/Brian Steinseifer, art directors; Scott Shalles/Jim Jodie, writers; Steve Koeneke/Andrew Nordquist, creative directors; Scott Ritenour, photographer.



a52's artists recently helped bring the latest Lexus ES broadcast spot to life for advertising agency Team One. Directed and photographed by Lance Acord through Park Pictures, the spot entitled "Perspective" is the newest spot from Team One for the ES conveying the fact that, "Behind every detail, there's a detail."

Last year, Team One’s creatives unveiled their new campaign for the ES series highlighting the fact that, with Lexus, behind every detail, there is another detail. For the campaign’s debut spot, they commissioned director Christian Loubek of Anonymous Content to craft a visually striking piece. Entitled “Slice”, the spot cinematically featured the ES350 sliced into four sections as voiceover pointed up its 114 sound-dampening points and its 76 sensors, which includes seven for monitoring the other sensors.

This newest spot individually hangs the vehicle by thousands of pieces by wires, and then producing a fascinating spot exploring the exhibit in detail, which finally resolves to an angle where the pieces perfectly align to reveal a profile vision of the newest ES.

Apple Collateral

Collateral in Print

On the Job print ads

Print Ads, Consumer

Dentsu America launched this integrated campaign for a skin care line that addresses the unique problems of professional tradesmen subject to harsh environmental conditions. The client, Wharton Innovative Products, is innovating the way skin care products are sold and distributed by offering the personal care line where this group already shops—at hardware stores, home centers and auto parts stores. It honors the hard work of their trades and lets them know that there’s a product designed specifically to give their hands the help they need. The visually arresting ads show realistic sets of hands literally taking on the properties of the material they’re working with—wood, metal, cement—as they become damaged. To achieve the effect, award-winning photographer Vincent Dixon and the Paris-based shop Kilato, used an experimental combination of photography, 3-D rendering and Photoshop. The campaign also includes radio.

Aaron Frisch, art director; Arun Nemali, writer; Aaron Frisch/Arun Nemali, creative directors; Mike Wilson, chief creative officer; Vincent Dixon, photographer; Kilato (Paris, France), retoucher; Joe DePreta, account services; Wharton Innovative Products LLC, client.

Talk the Talk

Ross Taylor

Chris McGrath

Logan Mock-Bunting

Justin Kase Conder

Josh Meltzer

Gestalt Principles - Figure/Ground Relationship

Elements are perceived as either figures (distinct elements of focus) or ground (the background or landscape on which the figures rest).

Take a look at how DP Ben Braten used these principles to establish relationships with three characters in this :30 spot:

Lab Assignment - Balance

Discover principles of balance including symmetry, asymmetry and radial symmetry, along with the rule of thirds and frame forces.

Navigate the sites below and blog about these design concepts used in their design. Should you use stills such as a screen capture for analysis, copy and paste the image into your blog page.

Epsonality is a website designed to target specific printing applications to the user.

Pretty Loaded is an archive of preloaders, those little icons that appear on your screen while the site is loading. Big Spaceship, the designers of HBO Voyeur and Epsonality pioneered the concept to keep surfers engaged while the site loads. You'll need to be quick in your observations here since the preloads load pretty, um, quickly. Their descriptions appear in the lower left hand corner of the screen. If you filter the loaders by the year 2008 it will make the amount of loaders more manageable.


The Principle of Balance
Primarily there are three types of balance in page design:

  • symmetrical
  • asymmetrical
  • radial

Additionally, we'll discuss:

  • the rule of thirds
  • the visual center of a page
  • the use of grids we examine each type of balance and how to achieve it.

Symmetrical Balance

Symmetrical balance is easiest to see in perfectly centered compositions or those with mirror images. In a design with only two elements they would be almost identical or have nearly the same visual mass. If one element was replaced by a smaller one, it could throw the page out of symmetry. To reclaim perfect symmetrical balance you might need to add or subtract or rearrange the elements so that they evenly divide the page such as a centered alignment or one that divides the page in even segments (halves, quarters, etc.).

When a design can be centered or evenly divided both vertically and horizontally it has the most complete symmetry possible. Symmetrical balance generally lends itself to more formal, orderly layouts. They often convey a sense of tranquility or familiarity or elegance or serious contemplation.

Vertical Symmetry — Each vertical half (excluding text) of the brochure is a near mirror image of the other, emphasized with the reverse in colors. Even the perfectly centered text picks up the color reversal here. This symmetrically balanced layout is very formal in appearance.

Vertical & Horizontal Symmetry — This poster design divides the page into four equal sections. Although not mirror images the overall look is very symmetrical and balanced. Each of the line drawings are more or less centered within their section. The graphic (text and image) in the upper center of the page is the focal point tying all the parts together.

Asymmetrical Balance
Asymmetrical design is typically off-center or created with an odd or mismatched number of disparate elements. However, you can still have an interesting design without perfect symmetry.

With asymmetrical balance you are evenly distributing the elements within the format which may mean balancing a large photo with several small graphics. Or, you can create tension by intentionally avoiding balance.

Uneven elements present us with more possibilities for arranging the page and creating interesting designs than perfectly symmetrical objects. Asymmetrical layouts are generally more dynamic and by intentionally ignoring balance the designer can create tension, express movement, or convey a mood such as anger, excitement, joy, or casual amusement.

Asymmetrical Balance — This page uses a 3 column format to create a neatly organized asymmetrical layout. The two columns of text are balanced by the blocks of color in the lower left topped by a large block of white space. In this case, because the white space is in a block shaped much like the text columns, it becomes an element of the design in its own right.

Asymmetrical/All Over Balance — It can't be neatly sliced in half like a symmetrical design but most of the elements have only small differences in shape and mass. This page achieves an overall balance by use of an underlying grid that spreads the many pieces out over the entire page, more or less evenly.

Asymmetrical Tension — Like a wild, unruly garden, the elements of this brochure cover are barely contained on the page. The plants spring up primarily along the left side but with a few stems escaping and arching across the page. The text, although randomly placed, follows the lines of the plants keeping them anchored to the overall design. The off-balance design creates a sense of freedom and movement.

Radial Balance
On square and rectangular pages we generally place elements in orderly rows and columns. With radial designs the elements radiate from or swirl around in a circular or spiral path.

Parts of the design must still be arranged so that they are balanced across the width and length of the page unless you're intentionally aiming for a lack of balance.

Radial — Here we have an example of radial balance in a rectangular space. The year represents the center of the design with the subtle color sections radiating from that center. The calendar month grids and their corresponding astrological symbols are arrayed around the year in a circular fashion.

Radial — Colors and text radiate out from the apple in the middle of this CD cover design. The effect is almost one of spiralling down into the center of the apple. The apple itself looks nearly symmetrical but the curving text and the outlines edging off the page to the top and right throws it all slightly off-balance.


From Andy Rutledge's article on Contrast and Meaning:

Design is largely an exercise in creating or suggesting contrasts
, which are used to define hierarchy, manipulate certain widely understood relationships, and exploit context to enhance or redefine those relationships …all in an effort to convey meaning. Contrast is important because the meaningful essence of any thing is defined by its value, properties, or quality relative to something else. That’s right: nothing has much meaning by itself, which is one reason why design is important.

The function of contrast in defining meaning can be explained by comparing fundamental opposites: dark/light, soft/hard, fast/slow. Examples like these are useful because everyone understands the extremes they imply, but while there are extremes, there are no absolutes. The values are merely relative.

For instance, a cheetah is generally considered to be fast. But a cheetah is quite slow compared to a jet airplane. So saying “a cheetah is fast” is only meaningful when some relevant context is also communicated or assumed. Likewise, stating that “element X in the page layout is important” is only meaningful when the relative importance of that and all other elements has been established. In other words, every element on the page you’re designing has to be positioned, styled, sized, or otherwise distinguished in accordance with its specific importance and place in the overall communicative objective. If you neglect even one component, it may work to subvert your entire effort.

In addition to defining meaning and relationships, contrast is closely tied to human perception and survival instincts, as we’ll examine later, and this makes contrast a powerful and essential tool for designers. Simply put, contrast is at the root of almost everything you’ll accomplish with design.

There are several primary forms of contrast that designers typically use, including the following: (though there are many more)