There is one phrase that nearly every graphic designer has heard, without a doubt: Can we make it pop? Although it can sometimes be the root of any designer’s nightmares, that singular question is probably the one we hear most often in our profession. Every client’s goal is to make their ad, whether it be in a newspaper or on Facebook, “pop” off of the page. But most of the time, it’s difficult for clients to find the words to explain how exactly they want something designed to achieve this. So it’s our job as designers to figure that out!

Here are just a few simple steps that we take to achieve the ideal level of “pop” for any ad:

Step 1: Start with bold typography

The most important part of an ad is the message, right? That being said, determining what we’re trying to communicate to an audience is the best place to start. The easiest way to make type stand out is to make it something big, bold and easy to read. Try to focus on using no more than two fonts that complement each other, with the most important text in the biggest and boldest font. This will immediately grab the attention of anyone skimming the page – and help the ad stand out from the crowd.

Step 2: Intensify the color

After getting the main message out of the way, the next thing to consider is color. For most people, color is something that attracts the eye and instantly demands attention. And granted, most of the time we use color for everything, so when thinking about how to “make it pop,” we have to dial it up a bit. Taking a more muted color and turning up the intensity or saturation can give it a little push in the right direction and will be the automatic choice for any reader.

Step 3: Add graphics and play around with the hierarchy of the elements

Once we have the text and color down, we take a step back and see how we can make the layout of the elements more interesting. Working in a few graphical elements with the text will instantly create more excitement in the design. Instead of having all of the copy on the same line, maybe mix it up and separate the copy out into layers on the page with different graphical elements around it to add creativity and depth.

Whether the phrase “make it pop” leaves your cringing or chuckling, these 3 steps work wonders in creating a design that does just that!