Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Wednesday Waffler: Freelancers Union ads

I don think there’s any question about the prettiness of the ads for the Freelancers union, in terms of the look of them (although I don’t really care for this typeface). See more here and here.

But I can’t help but question what they’re really communicating aside from what you see in the copy writing. The graphics are attention-getting by virtue of being so different, but I suspect many people have no real sense of who these ads are for, including some people they’re targeted to.

Yes, they look good...


  1. I'm not a freelancer, but it was pretty clear to me what these ads were for. If I passed this on the street it would definitely get me to read it. There's always another way, there might be a better way, but this seems like a successful ad.

  2. Erika, don't get me wrong. I get it. I think a lot of people get it, especially in our industry.

    But you have to keep in mind that the Union is not just for creative freelancers. And I guess that's my quibble with the graphics... they seem very targeted toward visually minded people, to the exclusion of those who are not.

    Remove the headline, and these ads remain eye-catching, but are otherwise unclear, I think.

  3. If it doesn't communicate the message then it is an ineffective ad. It is pretty but that isn't the real criteria.

  4. I think the colors are hideous and the visual approach does nothing to pay off the line. Meanwhile, the ugly typeface and the stacking of the headline in one or two word increments make it a bother to read.

  5. As a freelance designer, I noticed them. I'm pretty sure I'm their audience. I agree that there's some awkwardness in the integration between the illustration and the type (I believe earlier ads they created were more cohesive) as it looks like they were done separately. The type is awkward, but it's certainly legible.

    For those who don't like them aesthetically, it is a strong look, and is not going to appeal to everyone. But they are bold and reference early 20th century WPA posters and other union ephemera.

  6. I dislike the message and tone of the copy. They try to be clever but often come off as whiney.