Friday, July 10, 2009

Hottest Things In Town Auto Ad

I used to work as a graphic designer at a newspaper in the automotive department. For seven long years, I churned out automotive ads five days a week.

Most of the ads were variations on the same theme day in and day out; headline at the top, a grid of car photos with pricing and info, and then the dealership's name at the bottom. It would have been dreary if it weren't so monotonous.

Occasionally I would try to spice the ads up a bit. Not just for the sake of my sanity, but to make the auto dealer's ad stand out a bit in a sea of uniformity.

To that end, this was an ad I proposed to a local auto dealer. It wasn't as complicated as it probably looks. Contrary to what it looks like, I didn't sit down and draw 500 different buildings.

The city and buildings were drawn in Illustrator. First I laid out a city block, complete with sidewalks, then cloned it until I had a whole grid of them. Then I distorted the grid of blocks until it was at a 45 degree angle.

Next I drew 4 or 5 different buildings (at a 45 degree angle). I drew the buildings so that they were modular; I could delete stories from them to vary the height. That made each building look completely different, even though they were all built from the same parts. I then cloned the buildings endlessly and arranged them on the various blocks until I had a city. See, not as complicated as you thought.

I added some streetlights and numerous cars to populate the streets. Again, these were all drawn once in Illustrator, then cloned.

Next I drew word balloons, then placed clip art of autos inside them. The red text at the top was made with the 3D filter in Illustrator. Lastly I added the text and dealership info.

We showed it to the dealer and he said it was unusual and that he liked it, but ultimately he passed on the design. Never one to throw in the towel, I changed the logo at the bottom and we presented it to a different dealer. Surprisingly this one loved it, and ended up running it in the newspaper. Finally!

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