Advertising, Reverse Engineer, Visual Media

Free You



This advertisement can be found on Christopher Elston’s Photography website.

It features his photography and is part of a “Free You” ad campaign series by Pocono Mountains.

Analysis 1: The Original Ad



This ad is simple, but well-designed. The contrast is the most prominent design feature: the dark blue text on the white sky and the white text on the dark rocks and trees, as outlined in red, are a clear example of contrast. Another design element is using the photography to place the text; the mountains create lines leading to the separation of the bottom texts. Proximity is also present; the eye-catching text is grouped together on the top, and then the other important but less catchy information is grouped at the bottom.



Color is also well-employed in this ad. The blue used for the big text is a subtle shade that fits in with the image–it almost matches the furthest-away mountain, as outlined in red. It contributes to the out-of-doors, calming, natural feel of the ad. Another good use of color is the yellow shirt (outlined in yellow). The rest of the ad is almost entirely neutral, cool colors. The yellow adds a little bit of variety and makes the ad more interesting.



Typography in this ad is simple but effective. The most evident example of good typography is the “Free You”–these words are in a handwritten script font, creating an idea of freedom; not even, typed, words but upper-case handwriting that looks like someone took a marker and wrote the words. The rest of the text is consistent: it’s all sans serif. The top sans serif font, above the “Free You” uses all-capital letters like the words below it, and the lower sans serif font has a normal use of capitals to make it easier to read the block of text.

My Ad:

Artboard 1-100


Design 2

For my design I chose an image with a similar feel to the first one–outdoors, fun, and a sense of freedom. The bare feet fit with the “Free You” campaign. I used similar design principles in keeping it simple, with simple contrast as the main design choice, as outlined in red. I also placed my main text where it lined up with the feet, creating proximity and alignment with the photo.


Color 2

Like the original ad, my use of color is very simple. I only added one color to the original image, my white text. The simplicity helps it fit in with the original ad campaign. I kept what I added to the photo simple in order to enhance rather than take away from the subtle, calm colors of the natural outside world.


Typography 2

I used similar typography to the original ad. While I couldn’t find a handwriting font that matched the original very well, the one I used conveys the idea of freedom the best, also conveying the idea of someone writing in large letters with a marker. I also tried to use similar sans serif fonts for the rest of my text, keeping the same capital letters on the top and regular letters on the bottom.


I think my ad works well with the original ad campaign. My photo conveys the same free, outdoor appeal. My design is similar in its simplicity to the original ad, and my typography conveys the same ideas. I used the same calm, outdoor, non-flashy colors. The overall sense of my design creates the same idea as the original ad, and would therefore fit with the ad campaign.

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