Text and Image Design: Copywriting vs. Visualization

Print ads make use of a text and image design, which is composed of copy and visual elements. Both work together to deliver a single message to the target market.

However, there are cases when only either text or images are used on the print ad. Aside from stylistic purposes, using either text and image design helps you identify with your market much more effectively. Some people react favorably toward images on print ads instead of text, while others are the exact opposite. It’s just a matter of you as small business owner to determine which between the two identifies your market more accurately.

Utilizing a text and image design or either of the two depends on what is best for your market. In order to decide which design should be used, below are the descriptions of both print ads,

Image Print Ads

Image print ads deliver your message to your target market much faster because it makes use of visualization to impart its message. As opposed to reading a text, images are easier to process and understand. In fact, your audience doesn’t have to learn how to read to understand an image. As a result, visual-only print ads tap to a greater market audience, which increases your chances of getting the attention of people to your business.

To give you a better understanding on how images can stand alone on your print ads, check out our roundup post about “5 Insanely Witty and Clever Print Design

However, the saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words,” bears some truth to it because it communicates its message using a language not contained in words. Therefore, you have to make sure that the image used is strong enough to deliver a concrete message. If you fail to correctly design your print ad using an image, a picture could also mean a thousand meanings depending on the viewers’ perception of what they see.

Text Print Ads

Unlike image print ads which are subject to perception, text print ads are direct and precise in conveying a message. This is because words are composed in their most persuasive form to not only express a marketing message, but to also sway the decision of readers to being your customers or brand advocate.

This style of writing is called copywriting and is used to advertise a product or service to the market. To learn how to write great copywriting for your print ads, read “10 Building Blocks to Great Copywriting.”

On the downside, copywriting need to be read and analyzed; thus, it requires more time from their audience to absorb its message.


  • Copy-only ad works better on business cards is more applicable if you’re going to print business cards and other small-sized marketing tools.
  • For posters and vinyl banners placed on high traffic areas, you can choose to go for text and image design. However, image print ads work best for these large format prints since its audiences are usually on-the-go and in a hurry.
  • Conducting a target market research helps you figure out the approach you need to take for your print design. You can do this by creating a dummy or a simple depiction of how your ad will look like, then calling out random groups of people within your market to tell you what they think of your ad.

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