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Designs That Work: Part 1

Jake Gibbs | October 16, 2015 

Design is tough! Coming up with new ideas that tell your brand’s story and value proposition in a compelling, interesting way can be a real challenge. So in this ongoing series, we’ll look at 10 excellent designs from across the web and discuss what they have done well (and maybe what they could have done better).

Here goes!


Adobe accomplishes several things with this ad. First, they use a compelling image, which is appropriate for their Cloud Photography plan. Second, the headline and image show the real value of the Adobe software. The left half of the image and the headline “TAKE IT” show what picture would look like prior to editing, while the headline “MAKE IT” and the more visually stunning edited image show what the software is capable of.

The right half of the ad is a little bland and the button feels a little awkward, but other than that this ad really does a great job of showing value.


AT&T uses their interesting building image to really set the layout. The blue sky provides an interesting, yet subtle background for the headline and body copy to sit on while maintaining legibility. They did a great job of making the “1 Gbps”, which is their primary benefit to the customer, stand out with bigger font.

The call to action is a little confusing and the ad feels a little wordy and scattered with text placement, but otherwise does a great job at relating its message.


Canon uses simplicity to their advantage. The call to action is subtle but effective. The headline and image go extremely well together. The image itself is interesting, eye-catching, and highlights the value of a Canon camera.

The only downside to this ad is that it doesn’t have any sort of offer, so doesn’t guide the customer to know what to do next. But it does a great job as a branding piece.

English Recipes

English Recipes takes simplicity to the max! Can it get any simpler than a logo and an image? In this case, the company name explains what they do and the image is interesting enough to tease at a click, so well done despite using so few elements!

Unfortunately, this ad doesn’t set expectations for the customer at all as far as what comes after they click on the ad.

Farmer’s Insurance

Farmer’s Insurance uses color very well to outline the ad and draw attention to the call to action. Also, the headline and body copy size contrast guides the eye visually.

While this ad doesn’t have any imagery or outstanding visual elements, its simplicity still works well by only using color.


Lowe’s uses space to their advantage, as it creates breathing room for the message and makes the ad more digestable quickly. The carpet samples are a nice touch and frame in the design well. The headline grabs attention and the call to action is intriguing.

The imagery is a little too subtle and hard to see and the body copy and call to action feel like the same thing. Had they combined them they could have saved space.


Penzoil takes this difficult ad size and uses space well. They use color and texture to great visual interest.

This ad feels a little cluttered, but sometimes that is unavoidable, especially if a call to action is needed.


Again, simplicity is used here. The image is interesting and highlights the headphones. The product name and call to action don’t interfere with the design, but rather make it feel more elegant. The overall tone of this ad is that these headphones are sleek, modern, and cool.

Maybe adding a price or some brief information about the product would have made the ad better.

Toaster Strudel

True to their brand, Toaster Strudel does a great job at branding with this ad. While they don’t expect people to buy online, they use this ad to educate in preparation for a future in-store purchase. The font, shapes, and image all stay true to their kidlike brand. The call to action is appropriate for their branding efforts.


U-Pack uses color well to frame in the ad and to highlight the call to action. The headline really excels at showcasing the benefits of their service. The image is small but gets the point across as to what they do.

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Jake Gibbs

Jake Gibbs | Design Specialist

Jake Gibbs is a Design Specialist at ListEngage and an expert at designing and building elegant, cross-platform compatible, mobile responsive emails and landing pages on the Salesforce Marketing Cloud. From brainstorming and ideation to polishing the final product, he loves the creative process. Jake has worked with more than 60 clients since joining ListEngage in 2014. Some of his projects have included L’Oreal, Vanguard, Carhartt, Harvard Business School, RCI/Wyndham, Huggies, and Planet Fitness.