If you aren’t watching television regularly, you’re really missing out. Why? Because Arrested Development is coming back to the airwaves, that’s why! We’re kidding, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t good reasons why every designer should at least watch a little television every now and then, especially the TV adverts. They’re great lessons in quality design vs shoddy design, and if you’re looking for the right things, you can really get a handle on what’s trendy as opposed to what isn’t.

  1. Check the Fonts: The very first thing we tell people to do when they’re checking out tv adverts for design pointers is to watch for the fonts that are currently in use. Notice any stray fonts you’re unfamiliar with? Do your best to figure out what they are, and then decide if they’re something you might like to consider for your next designs. Television adverts are like the front lines for designing, so any fonts used here—that work well—are guaranteed to be modern and up to date.
  2. Look for Stories: When creating adverts, we often tell designers to work on creating a story that the viewer can follow. This makes the advert much more engaging, and helps to create a sense of trust with the message you’re trying to convey. Nowhere is this more apparent than in television. How many adverts feature a character hoping to achieve some kind of goal in thirty seconds or less? We’d be willing to bet most are exactly like this. What you can learn from this is simple: What stories work, and in what adverts? Why do they work? Can you apply those stories to your own advert designs?
  3. Tag Lines: Lastly, nowhere will you find more tag lines in use than in tele programmes. Adverts from all around the world typically end with the company name of the product that’s being pitched, as well as the company’s tag line. Focus on these tag lines, and ask yourself which ones are working. If you’re in the business of creating tag lines for clients—we’ve had to do it much more than we might like—this can be a real bootcamp for your tag line creation skills. Keep your eyes and ears open for the gems.