Design Standards

Posted by & filed under Graphic.

Was it just a mere sketch or a quick layout for a proposal? The latest Bontempi Cucine advert by Joinwell did trigger a fervent debate amongst graphic designers, editors and publishers about the real standards that the local industry should abide to.

Published on a number of local magazines, the advert (seen below) features a surprisingly coarse cutout of a young couple, layered over a kitchen photo. Both the advert tagline and the Joinwell statement are set up centered, in different point sizes and colours, on the right. It doesn’t seem to us that much time was consumed in picking the right typeface, either. In general, quite a shock for the graphic design faithful.

REDWHITEmt asks: Do publishers pick quality adverts for their publications or is it only about making money? Are local firms aware of the standards that a good design should achieve or do they just go for the cheaper service providers? What is the role, advertising/design/creative agencies should be taking on this stance?

What are your views? Share them in the comments area below.

  • mariel

    i wonder what the foreign company they represent would make out of this. i don’t think they would be too thrilled to see such a poor advert for their product…

  • I think the problem lies mainly in the hands of the company wanting to advertise; in this case Joinwell! Who is in the marketing team? Who is the person that supplied the magazines with this advert? Do they know what they’re doing? Are they trained well? Do Maltese companies have decent marketing teams? Do they even exist or is the accountant handling the marketing as well as taking out the office dog for a walk every morning?

    I don’t think the publishers have as much a say as they wish to have. The sales team are selling as much as they could in a limited time, whilst chasing artworks at the same time and not caring if it is a Tal-Lira advert or World bargains one as long as the sale happened.

  • stevo

    I work as senior designer on a publication where advertising is mostly supplied by the clients – in cases where it is felt that an artwork could be produced better we notify the client and suggest changes. Most clients are receptive to our feedback. However at the end of the day, if the client refuses to change the artwork, there’s not much we can do, its their money that is being “wasted” on a sub standard advert and we go with the artwork provided anyway.

  • Adam Brimmer

    While I abhor the “design” of the advert above, I’ve frequently encountered situations where clients axe concepts to save a buck, or call up in a panic because they need a new artwork done in 10mins. I’m not defending the designer here at all – this is a particularly abhorrent example. Still in a culture where advertising is viewed as a cost and not an investment, where everyone perceives themselves as a design expert, and where due time (and money) is not put into allowing a good concept to bear fruit we often have to suffer a lack of creative freedom as producers and designers.

    Selfishly I can also say that the agency I work for has benefited from this situation: we’ve been tasked to remedy the Joinwell image in the coming months. Hope we don’t disappoint.

  • redwhitemt

    Thanks for your feedback Adam. We’re really glad to hear that LH+A will be assigned with the project. We invite you to keep us posted with future upcoming campaigns whilst wishing you success.

  • I just came across this and I have to say that I can’t see what all the fuss is about. Would fixing shortcomings in the layout have made this advert more effective? Would it have enabled the ad to do with it was meant to do – influence a change in opinion or behaviour of potential customers?

    Everyone seems oblivious to the fact that it is ‘message’ that is the core of good communications. The ‘messaging’ used by the Joinwell ad and, it has to be said, the vast majority of adverts created in Malta; is based around one of the following benefits: price, convenience or effectiveness. If everyone is saying the same thing, how will
    the resulting advertising convince customers to choose one brand over another?

    Manufacturing a new image as a remedy is just a futile attempt to create a façade. Futile because there is no privacy for companies anymore. They can no longer get away with saying one thing through communications and doing another, because today, customers have an unprecedented view into the innermost corners of brands.

    Local firms and their agencies should learn new ways to develop a better understanding of what is important to customers, instead of clinging to methodologies that actually get in the way of this. They would then have something more compelling to say in their communications and their customers would have a clear reason to prefer one brand over another.