Art of the Message


Less is More

The politician thought he was getting the message across. On the front of an oversized postcard, he crammed in a large photo of his smiling face, another one with his family, his promise to solve all of the problems in state government, and seven bullet points describing his position on several hot button issues. The reverse side contained another photo and most of his platform, with barely enough room for the address.

Printers like me usually examine the mail closely, but honestly this one went directly to the trash. It wasn’t just the information overload, the politician missed the opportunity to convey his  message. There could have been some substance to his claims, but his postcard communicated insincere political blather.

In contrast, consider this:


The print ad above is from Sanccob, a South African non-profit organization that aims to protect threatened seabirds. The M.C. Escher inspired optical illusion catches your eye and makes you want to know what the message is about. You find out in seven words at the bottom of the illustration, “The endangered African Penguin Needs Your Help.”

You might not be interested in African penguins, but that’s not the point. The message gets across in a creative and inspiring way. It makes you curious and you look for the meaning.

Creating a message that works

Learning to craft a combination of art and message that works really starts with an understanding of attention spans. They’re short. You may be interested in conveying the minute details, but your audience wants the big picture. They’ll ask for specifics later if they’re interested. Define your message with this in mind and you’ll have a much better chance of getting through.

Print offers a wonderful opportunity to use creativity to transmit a clear message to your audience. Print is colorful, durable, and tangible. It works. Need some inspiration? Here are 33 Print Ads that get the message across creatively, courtesy of

The graphic designers at Sphinx Business Solutions can work with you to create an appealing combination of text and design for your next campaign. Read more about our design capabilities.