Your Automotive Marketing Specialists

Your Automotive Marketing Specialists

Automotive Advertising Creative

4 min read

A few seconds – that’s all it takes to catch someone’s attention and keep it. Does your automotive advertising make those few seconds count? When designing automotive advertising you have to think about fonts, colors, and photography to create emotion and interaction with your target audience while creating overall cohesion. Each part plays an integral role into making an overall picture that is worth remembering. As a trusted automotive marketing agency, we have some simple design tips for your dealership.

 Fonts and Colors

Fonts and colors go hand in hand to make the overall message legible. Slapping on some bold and bright colors and large text isn’t always the way to go, unless the design warrants it. Fonts that are used may need to follow manufacturer guidelines, therefore they are required to be worked into the design to follow the “look” that the manufacturers follow. However, if there are no limitations on fonts, you have to stop and think what manufacturer and theme you are designing for.

Alongside font choices, colors are the next major decision. Once again, if the manufacturer has rules that apply to what text has to be certain colors, such as the manufacturers name itself, you have to follow it. The rest of the colors should match the theme of the advertisement, so the ideas follow through the whole design. Simple ideas for colors it to grab color swatches from the photography, car colors and backgrounds to keep it an overall tone. If you want something to pop out against the other colors, use the same palette but make it more saturated or brighter.

Keep in mind the size of your design and where it is going to be seen. Your automotive digital marketing agency should consider each tactic when laying out creative. When the designs are small you want to have colors that can stand out and be legible. If you can see the text clearly when the design is small, like a retargeting banner, the text will also be legible when it is blown up, like a showroom poster. Try and choose fonts that are sans serif as they are the cleanest to read. Serif fonts are okay to use as well, but keep them to a limited use, like a headline followed by sans serif fonts. This creates a break and an easier reading experience when a viewer is reading the information.


Aside from fonts and colors, another visual decision is what imagery is going to be within the design. Car cutouts, jellybeans, are supplied by the manufacturer to be used within automotive advertising. These are a great way to show different models and trim options with the available incentives and offers. Since jellybeans is just an image of the vehicle itself with a transparent background, they are easy to manipulate within a space as they can be moved wherever in the design space.

Another imagery option is to have “background” images. These images are also provided by the manufacturer and it’s a photograph of a vehicle(s) within a scene as you would see like any other photograph. These are great to show motion, inside and outside a vehicle. However, using background photos creates some challenges. Depending on the text you need to add alongside the photograph and the space around the vehicle in the photograph may create limitations within the dimensions of the design. Therefore, using that image in various sizes and shapes of digital and print advertisements may run into difficulties. 


When photography is combined with fonts and colors is should spark emotions within a person. Is it excitement, urgency, holiday spirit, or refined? Bright colors and fun fonts create visual excitement often used within holiday themes. Whereas if you take bold bright red and yellow with high contrast visuals create an idea of urgency, however, if overdone it can look cartoon-like and childish. On the other side of the spectrum if the design is kept to black, white, grey and touches of muted colors this creates the overall feeling of a refined and clean look. Color can still be used within a refined look to draw attention and make certain text pop out against the rest, however by having the colors more muted they don’t look so jarring.


Photography and text need to respect one another and create a visual breather. If you plaster a ton of text over an image, clearly, a customer can’t see what the image is and vice versa they can’t read what the text says. When space is used around text it is referred to as “white space” and often gives the overall design breathing room. This ensures that the text can be clearly read, and the overall space in the design is not overly crowded. White space is not only applied to text but can also be applied to photography. When you have a large focal image or jellybean your eye gets drawn to the image and then follows into the text. When applicable always try and face the vehicle in a photograph or jellybean towards the text – this naturally leads the viewers eyes towards the text that supplies the information.

Each manufacturer has a certain “look” they carry, and when that look carries over into your advertising it creates a connection and a familiarity to the customer. Taking certain steps within your design to focus on text placement, colors and imagery will help balance an overall eye pleasing design. If done right, your advertisement will catch the customers attention, show a visual to back up what is being advertised, and then be legible to read the information – all in a couple of seconds.

D2D has managed everything from websites, digital marketing, video production and placement. If you need assistance making sure your advertisements are eye-catching and stand out to customers, contact us today. Our in-house design team are automotive specialists ready to help your dealership!