RESEARCH & GOAL
For this print ad campaign assignment, I chose to advertise Karen Walker’s line of eyewear in the summer editions of a magazine. Karen Walker is a New Zealand designer who creates women’s wear, eyewear, jewellery, homeware and more.
“Karen Walker is included in The Business of Fashion’s BoF500 as one of the 500 people who shaped the global fashion industry in 2015, 2014 and 2013. Karen Walker product is available in over 38 countries, 200 cities and 1020 stores. The collections can be found in specialty shops, department stores and leading online boutiques. There are also five Karen Walker stores in New Zealand. Karen Walker has a fan base of stylish women including Charlize Theron, Anne Hathaway, Alexa Chung, Florence Welch, Christina Hendricks, Lorde, Rihanna, and Lena Dunham.” – karenwalker.com
Karen Walker, the designer
“Karen Walker lives in the sweet spot where chic meets eccentric.”
Karen Walker’s eyewear is fun and exciting and displays a sense of humour. It features unusal shapes, bold design and unexpected colours. She designs eyewear for both men and women, but there is a more extensive selection of eyewear for women.
The target audience for this product is young women and men ages 24-40, who are single or in relationships, with some college education and white-collar jobs. They are young urban professionals. Although Karen Walker is based in New Zealand, this ad campaign will target her female customers living in North America, in order to broaden the reach of her brand. The target audience is affluent and don’t mind spending more to buy well-made items: they appreciate quality over quantity.
The target audience has edgy, fashion-forward style. They keep up with trends but are more interested in originality than following what everyone else is wearing. They are bold and like to stand out; they are not afraid of taking risks with fashion and also have a sense of humour that they like to display in their style choices.
This ad campaign will be featured in NYLON magazine.
“Since its launch in 1999, NYLON magazine has been the reigning authority on fashion, music, and beauty for the modern and intelligent young woman. With award-winning photography, groundbreaking design, and a unique editorial voice, NYLON extends beyond the pages of the publication and is celebrated as the definitive lens for cutting-edge style and emerging popular culture. With Editor-in-Chief Melissa Giannini at the helm, NYLON celebrates its sixteenth year of independent publishing, continuing to deliver comprehensive coverage, bold, provocative thinking and a fresh perspective that is distinctively NYLON.” -nylon.com
NYLON looks at style and culture through a completely unique lens: cool, creative, fiercely confident…with an edge. NYLON’s readers are bold, free-spirited style lovers who recognize that ‘perfection’ is boring. They are bold individualists who can mash up mainstream with offbeat in fashion and make it their own. NYLON’s readers are future-focused and restless to unearth what’s new, what’s next, what’s fresh and are style role models within their social set. NYLON’s brand DNA is the ultimate mashup of high and low: they mix street style with runway, and big Hollywood stars with cool indie talent.
- AUDIENCE: Female: 93% Male: 7%
- AGE: 18-34: 80% 25-34: 39% 35+: 20% Median age: 26.9
- MARITAL STATUS: Single: 63% Married: 30%
- ANY COLLEGE: 69%
- EMPLOYMENT: 71%
- AVERAGE HOUSEHOLD INCOME: $80,771
UNIQUE SELLING PROPOSITION
Karen Walker’s line of sunglasses is unique because its frames are bold and edgy but also wearable. They aren’t too over the top and can be worn every day, but they are unique and stand out. Karen Walker sunglasses are unlike the rest: they are bold and exciting and are also high quality and will stand the test of time.
GOAL/CALL TO ACTION
How can I show in IMAGES that Karen Walker sunglasses have the most uniquely fun styles on the market?
CONCEPT & THEME
The 3 ad campaign focuses on the theme: “fun, summer and colour”. Because most people wear and buy sunglasses in the summer, the ads will have a summertime feel. Originally, I had planned to use close-up images of ice cream superimposed with photographs or illustrations of models wearing the sunglasses, and incorporating an ice cream inspired colour palette and sprinkle-like shapes. The ice-cream concept changed when I was experimenting with imagery and I decided to eliminate the images of ice cream and opt for a less literal, illustrative approach, using ice-cream inspired colours and shapes instead.
The style of the campaign is colourful and trendy, and the tone is fun and playful, which aptly represents the ethos of the brand and will attract readers.
Refining conceptual sketches
The 3 ads in the campaign are very similar: they follow the same design style and layout, but differ in that each ad represents a different “flavour”. The 3 ads have different colour schemes, the models are at different angles to add variation, and the illustrated “sprinkles” in the background are different in each ad. The difference in the advertisements will make readers curious to see more variations on the theme.
Print ad #1
LAYOUT, HIERARCHY & TYPOGRAPHY
The layout for these print ads is centered and relatively minimal. The product is in the center of the page, and because it is also rendered in a different style than the rest of the imagery, the product is the focal point of the layout and the eye goes directly to it. The viewer then sees the model on which the glasses sit, and then the eye goes to the text, which is the brand’s logotype, centered at the bottom of each page. I used a 7 x 8 grid to help me lay out the elements and establish consistency between the three advertisements.
I chose not incorporate a tag line because the product speaks for itself, and I wanted the focus to be on the aesthetic as the selling feature of the product.The brand’s website is included in the top right corner, using 12pt. Trebuchet MS. Trebuchet is a serif typeface that is neutral and contrasts with the sans-serif Karen Walker logomark. I set the type with a bottom to top vertical baseline, in order to slightly obscure it, so as not to disrupt the visual impact and symmetrical feel of the layout. I wanted the website to be the last element of the hierarchy that the reader would look at.
Print ad #2
I chose an ice-cream inspired colour palette for a bright, happy, summery feel. I considered the colour of the sunglasses and chose complementary colours for the backgrounds to make the glasses pop. The colours for the outline of the illustrations were chosen to add more colour to the composition and to make the logotype stand out even more. The illustrations are filled in with white so as to keep the focus on the sunglasses and communicate that they are advertised product.
To create this 3 ad campaign, I incorporated photography with illustration. I manipulated photography in Adobe Photoshop by tracing the sunglasses with the pen tool and isolating them from the rest of the photograph. I traced the photograph of the model by hand, scanned it, and turned it into a vector image by using the Image Trace tool in Illustrator. The lines of the illustration were then cleaned up using the pencil and eraser tools. I drew the background patterns using the brush tool in Illustrator.
Print ad #3
This 3 ad campaign would be successful because it plays on more traditional editorial-style fashion advertisements, but it incorporates unexpected elements for a more creative, artistic aesthetic. The mood of these advertisements effectively represents the Karen Walker brand and what it stands for, communicating that the eyewear line is fun, fashionable and bold, and will appeal to young women with an appreciation for high fashion and streetstyle. The colourful, hand-drawn, whimsical aesthetic of these ads will attract and interest potential customers and create brand recognition of the Karen Walker eyewear line.