Art as a form of communication is visual, textual, and auditory codes. It gives form to the transmission and effect of knowledge. Art is what words cannot say. Storytelling is a form of expression that everyone can perceive and be inspired by. Art is calming, exciting, and surprising. A creative work of art is different. Anything different attracts people’s attention. Art is effective in influencing the masses. A piece of music can be heard all over the world with the same enthusiasm. It is a universal form of communication. Art makes people more empathetic and provides a better emotional transition.

As a marketing tool, art is a way of establishing an emotional connection with the customer. Art is necessary to create the overall visual identities of brands. The formation of a standard style of brand is possible with many branches of art. Art is used for an engagingly designed ad image, captivating videos, or ad soundtrack. Marketing is the result of the collaboration of art and technology. Both logical data and artistic aesthetics are in balance in marketing communication.

Art and marketing professionals can present different perspectives when preparing an advertising work. For the marketing professional, a video is an interaction and transformation, while for an art director, it is aesthetic and emotional content. However, the resulting work must be in direct proportion to the brand’s strategy. Art elements make it possible to appeal more effectively to the desires, fears, or other abstract emotions of the target audience. Art builds bridges between customers and ideas. And it manages to do this on a global scale.

It is only possible for a brand to tell its story in the best way with photographs, drawings, videos, or texts. At this point, brand and art are intertwined. When the best advertisements are examined, it is seen that they consist of masterfully created art. Marketing exists when many branches of art it contains meet on a common ground for a specific goal.

The use of a strong concept in advertising campaigns enriches all communication activities. This is the creative formula to differentiate and differentiate from other campaigns. A strong concept allows an ad that lasts 30 seconds to turn into a social media post that can be perceived in 5 seconds. Because at the concept stage, color, font, typography, picture, and other visual and auditory elements were determined. Wherever the campaign messages within this framework appear, it will be understood which brand they belong to. The concept is a guide to the style of communication work. It is a framework for the entire creative process.

Ideas are thoughts constructed to solve a particular problem. Concept, on the other hand, is a comprehensive guide planned to achieve the desired result. Concepts can be divided into visual and verbal. The verbal concept is about what the brand will say and how. It may contain abstract concepts. It consists of the messages to be conveyed in the design. The visual concept, on the other hand, is more concretely about design, color, and image. Concepts in which both are compatible with each other are effective in attracting attention to advertisements.

Art and Advertising: A Complex Relationship Evolving Throughout History

In today’s societies, the aim is to sell products through various channels, relying on the consumer power of the population. However, the traditional role of art in society has been portrayed as distancing itself from commerce, aligning with literature and music for higher purposes. Yet, the claim that art has remained far from the sales-focused nature of commerce can be questioned.

Sir John Everett Millais’ painting “Bubbles” is one of the earliest examples of a renowned artist’s work overtly used for commercial purposes. Created in the late 19th century by Millais, a member of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, the painting was utilized by the British soap company Pears for advertising.

The Art Nouveau movement can be considered a period when art and commerce converged. Alphonse Mucha, a key figure in Art Nouveau, designed his art as a form that could be consumed for advertising purposes. Using his works, particularly portraits of the famous French actress Sarah Bernhardt, for commercial posters marked an early instance of art being open to consumption.

The emergence of the Pop Art movement marked a reversal of power roles between art and advertising. Andy Warhol’s “Campbell’s Soup Cans” depicted popular consumer products as art objects, symbolizing a shift in the relationship between art, advertising, and popular culture.

Logos, designed for companies to ensure recognition and memorability in a competitive market, are a product of using artistic iconography. In 1969, the Spanish lollipop brand Chupa Chups hired the surrealist painter Salvador Dalí to design its commercial logo, showcasing how art evolved to be more integrated with brand identity.

In conclusion, the relationship between commercial art and advertising has generally been mutually beneficial. However, this relationship has been complex, and art has consistently maintained its tendency to both represent and critique the reality of its time. Art can serve as a source for advertising, but at the same time, it can be its most potent critic.

Visual Art in Advertising: Crafting Consumer Connections

While advertising aims to sell a product, it can also be considered a form of visual art. Graphic artists working in advertising and marketing agencies utilize various artistic techniques to create aesthetics. The primary goal of commercial art is to establish an image for the product and the manufacturing company. This image intends to evoke emotional connections between the consumer and the product. The artistic methods employed in advertising mainly focus on shaping this image.

  • Line: Lines can convey speed, solidity, and purposefulness. Different line styles, such as jagged, broken, thin, or thick lines, may be used in ads to elicit specific emotional effects. For example, an industrial ad in a farm magazine might use thick, vertical black lines to promote a tractor, while an online catalog ad for lingerie could feature soft, curvy, wispy lines.
  • Shape: Shapes can suggest various concepts. Curves may imply femininity and voluptuousness, while angles might suggest masculinity and practicality. The dominant shapes in an ad can drive the creation of images and associations based on these fundamental ideas.
  • Forms: Forms are more intricate than shapes and represent the outward manifestation of inward content. Graphic artists may use two-dimensional forms to create the illusion of three-dimensional forms for realistic or abstract representation of a concept.
  • Texture: Texture refers to the surface qualities of an object, and artists face the challenge of creating a visual representation of a tactile surface. Various techniques are employed to create the illusion of texture on a flat surface.
  • Color: Colors are powerful image builders. Different colors evoke different emotions; for example, red is often used to depict youthfulness, power, and action, while blue is associated with relaxation. Color choices can significantly impact the perception of an ad.
  • Value and Intensity: Values, typically related to color, refer to changes in the actual color in the “form” of an object and can also change in intensity. Intense colors may suggest speed, youth, and virility, common in ads targeting a youthful audience.
  • Use of Space: Space is the most comprehensive of all artistic elements, serving as the synthesis of all other elements in a campaign. It is the stage on which all artistic elements come together. The spatial distribution of objects in a defined environment is crucial in conveying the intended message.

In summary, advertising incorporates various artistic elements, making it a visual art form with the primary objective of selling a product while creating a specific image and emotional connection with the consumer.

Shaping Brand Image through Art Direction

Art direction begins with creating an overall visual concept that turns brands into a memorable identity. This creative vision is translated into a set of brand guidelines that any designer producing content for various platforms can adopt. Art directors manage the creative process to ensure different artistic elements work together to create a unified message. This often involves overseeing design teams consisting of graphic designers, photographers, filmmakers, and copywriters. Whether for brand design, content marketing, or advertising, the goal is to ensure that different media formats, including images, videos, graphics, and print, work together harmoniously.

When art direction is done well, it guides the target audience through the sales funnel by providing a memorable experience that elicits an emotional response, making them want to explore more and engage with the business, products, and services. Art direction ensures that the visual personality of your brand works together to deliver a compelling message that resonates with the audience. Without an art director ensuring the consistency of the customer’s journey, you may end up with a mixed and unfocused user experience.

Art directors address these issues by:
  • Considering the perspectives and opinions of different stakeholders without pushing the design in multiple directions.
  • Ensuring the creative team is clear on what they need to do to achieve the goal.
  • Ensuring the quality of the design work meets the client’s expectations.
  • Ensuring the designs conform to the brief, branding, and style guidelines.
  • Keeping the project on track and delivering it on time.

Art directors oversee design projects to ensure they meet the design brief and align with the brand identity. This involves determining the project’s tone and visual objectives, directing creative staff by setting the creative direction. From brand design to marketing campaigns, content marketing to advertisements, art direction plays a role in all marketing areas. It’s important to note that the absence of someone with the title of art director in your organization doesn’t mean the work isn’t being done. Depending on the size and structure of the organization, responsibilities may be divided differently.

For instance, in a smaller company, the role may fall on a graphic designer or a senior graphic designer, with responsibilities shared among other creative team members. In a larger organization, responsibilities for conceptual and big-picture tasks often concentrate on the creative director. A creative director has authority over all creative aspects, both visual and non-visual. In this case, the art director is more responsible for interpreting the brief, directing the creative team, and managing the project.

Guiding the Creative Process: The Role of an Art Director

Art direction is concerned with creating the overall concept to visually communicate the campaign message effectively and interpreting the marketing brief. While creating this vision is often the responsibility of the creative or art director, doing it correctly requires experience, insight, imagination, and intuition.

Additionally, understanding the target audience to resonate with the campaign’s style, tone, and mood may involve market research. Another crucial responsibility of an art director is overseeing the design process to ensure that artistic elements align with the desired core message or idea. This means the art director must convey the brief to graphic designers and other creative team members and supervise the team’s work throughout the project’s development. This ensures that all visual assets align with the visual design brief, brand guidelines, and design principles.

Art directors need to regularly review and provide feedback on the work of the creative team. This involves identifying and developing inspiring ideas. In practice, project management can change multiple times throughout the project lifecycle. The creative process always evolves in response to new ideas, perspectives, or situations. This can be due to client input, new research or information, or inspiration from the creative team.

Art directors often receive client feedback by presenting different concepts and design options during progress meetings. If the client’s project management team is not satisfied or sees something they like, they may request the design to move in a different direction. Feedback from focus groups or trials may necessitate a review of the brief. Art directors must expect the design team to find inspiring ideas and then present them to stakeholders for approval. Therefore, art directors consistently make efforts to stay connected between the design team, account managers, and clients, ensuring everyone works towards the same goal.

This requires art directors to play a role in:
  • Creating project plans, schedules, and deadlines
  • Assigning tasks based on individual strengths and seeking external assistance when needed
  • Managing the daily work of the creative team
  • Maintaining client relationships and negotiating with all stakeholders
  • Monitoring the progress of projects
  • Presenting work at progress meetings
  • Ensuring projects stay within budget
  • Delivering projects on time and in a manner that satisfies client expectations

In today’s highly competitive market, brands are compelled to seek differentiation through innovative management strategies due to a new breed of consumers who are more demanding, informed, active, and skeptical of conventional advertising. The uniformity in product features has led brands to explore relevant and emotionally engaging communication. In this context, incorporating references to art in commercial brand communication is proposed as a valid means of creating a connection with consumers. The evolving relationship between art and advertising supports an integrative vision, where both mutually benefit from each other. Empirically demonstrating the positive impact of visual art on consumer product perception in advertising, brands increasingly adopt this strategy. The various formulas for using visual art as an advertising resource can be classified into eleven types based on the form of expression and content, opening avenues for future research in this evolving field.