As an advertising instructor, I rely on all sorts of books and materials to help my class learn where “the bar” is. But most of what I use is written by working professionals in the business, aimed at other working professionals. It’s rare that I ever see an actual advertising textbook. So Alex W. White’s Advertising Design and Typography was an intriguing look at what’s being taught in college-level ad courses.
White emphasizes the design and layout portion of ad making, but he starts with a very informative overview of the basics: The difference between art directors and designers, what makes ads good and successful, and how a great idea needs a great execution to match. It occurred to me how rarely people learn those basics, and if they do, how quickly they forget them.
What makes Advertising Design and Typography particularly helpful are the thousands (albeit small ones) of ads, layouts and other elements White uses as examples. While the book runs heavily toward print design, other media are included as well.
If you’re looking for a good overview of the advertising craft, Advertising Design and Typography is quite a valuable resource. And since plenty of ad professionals (or marketing clients) have never taken a college-level ad course, this is a great book to have around when a refresher in the basics is needed.
Special thanks to Allworth Press for providing me with a review copy.