How 10 Fantastic Poster Designs Conform to A.I.D.A

A.I.D.A (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action; also AIDA) is the well-known acronym that can guide a designer when creating advertisements. In this case, I will be looking at 10 fantastic poster designs and determining how they conform to the AIDA principle.

what is A.I.D.A in graphic design image

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Here’s what the AIDA acronym stands for:

A Attention (also, Attraction, Awareness or Allure): Attract the attention of the target audience (viewer of the poster design in this case).

I Interest: Garner the Interest of the target audience by outlining the purpose of the design.

D Desire: Convince the target audience that they want the product or service and that it will satisfy their requirements.

A Action: Lead the target audience towards taking a specific and measurable action.

In regards to Poster Design, the ‘typical’ allocation of space that contains copy and imagery looks something like this:

attention interest desire action graphic image

As designers try to push the envelope, so-to-speak, ‘typical’ can constrain creativity in many cases. The following examples show 10 poster designs I have selected which show the actual design on the left, and an outline of the AIDA ‘boundaries’ on the right. Simply drag and hover the right image over the corresponding poster design to see the AIDA principle in action.

After the analysis of the 10 designs, I’ll give a conclusion on my findings: How close did the design conform to AIDA? Was the system better than the ‘typical’ stack (whereby Attention gets more space at the top of the poster, followed by incrementally smaller sections below).

The following explanation of the AIDA principle in the following designs are only my own opinions—and attempt to show my thought process when I view them. Here goes...

1: ‘Get Tactical’ Poster Design

Get tactical advertising poster design imageGet tactical advertising design hover image


Poster image source and/or copyright & larger image version URL here.

attention interest desire action acronym image

☞ TIP! Hold down your mouse button and drag the line-image on the right over the poster image of the left temporally to create an overlay. You’ll then be able to see both the actual poster design with the coloured outlines at once (until you release your mouse button). This works in Firefox, although in Safari, it makes the images smaller.

The obvious part of the poster is the illustration, however, interest is developed in the lower strapline which leads to the ‘desire’ of the dated-event. The final call-to-action is the URL at the base. If I wanted to analyse this design fully, I would say that after these steps the viewer would look back to the illustration and the surrounding beige-coloured texture.

The fact the the viewer may take a closer look at any poster design again if they were interested goes without saying, so this is the only design where I will mention such a step to avoid repetitive content.

2: ‘Laughing Squid’ Poster Design

laughing squid poster design concept imagelaughing squid poster design concept A.I.D.A


Poster image source and/or copyright & larger image version URL here.

attention interest desire action acronym image

I initially look at the giant squid, then I notice the title of the poster design. After taking a look at the footer information, I then notice the Laughing Squid web URL.

3: ‘Cogitatur’ Poster Design

AIDA Poster design imageAIDA Poster design image


Poster image source and/or copyright & larger image version URL here.

attention interest desire action acronym image

The obvious element of this design is the giant brown-droplet. After seeing this, I notice the Cogitatur heading, then the date which leads to the URLl.

4: ‘Modernism’ Poster Design

5 modernism meet streets poster imagea.i.d.a design structure image
Poster image source and/or copyright & larger image version URL here.

attention interest desire action acronym image

The first thing that grabs my attention is the illustration on the right of the design. The title then holds my interest, with the copy text underneath and the top circle holding my next glance. The call to action in this case is the awareness of the name of the designer.

5: ‘EventBrand’ Poster Design

eventbrand poster design concept imageAIDA principle image
Poster image source and/or copyright & larger image version URL here.

attention interest desire action acronym image

After my attention is grabbed by the stunning colour explosion, the eye is naturally drawn down the next and only area of colour: the EventBrand logo. The next viewing is either a quick flick of the eyes to the explosion, or a look at the information and URL in the right corner of the footer.

6: ‘Small Music Theatre’ Poster Design

AIDA posters imageAIDA poster explanation image
Poster image source and/or copyright & larger image version URL here.

attention interest desire action acronym image

After viewing the illustration—main focal point of the poster design, I then look at both of the large-white headings. First the middle one—and then the top, before reading the pink headings of the body of text before viewing the URL and other small print.

7: ‘Martini Asti’ Poster Design

Asti poster advertising design imageAsti poster advertising design 2 image
Poster image source and/or copyright & larger image version URL here.

attention interest desire action acronym image

Given that the entire poster shows enticing underwater photography, I eventually focus on the Martini bottle before looking at the Asti logo in the top-left corner. The desire then derives from the base of the bottle which again shows the Asti logo and the product together. The call-to-action (URL) is located in the bottom-right-corner. However, some legal information is located on the left hand-side at the bottom.

Given that these two areas of text shows similar amounts of white, my eyes are naturally drawn to the left first (as English is read from left to right). I very quickly realises that this information isn’t what I want to read, so I pay more attention is then paid to the URL area on the right.

8: ‘National Design Museum’ Poster Design

National design museum poster imageNational design museum poster over image
Poster image source and/or copyright & larger image version URL here.

attention interest desire action acronym image

The giant-red “K” shape first draws my attention, quickly followed by the heading on the right. I then glance at the copy text next to it before taking a very quick look at the “500” detail above the footer information. The call-to-action is to visit the National Design Museum.

9: ‘Forestle’ Poster Design

Search internet poster design concept imageSearch internet poster design concept 2 image
Poster image source and/or copyright & larger image version URL here.

attention interest desire action acronym image

The looking glass draws my attention first and foremost, right before my eyes move downwards to the first line of the typography. Then, I look at the whole image and first heading together before finally reading the web URL at the poster footer.

10: ‘Uncle Sam’ Poster Design

uncle sam poster imageUncle Sam poster AIDA image
Poster image source and/or copyright & larger image version URL here.

attention interest desire action acronym image

Well, I assume everyone recognises the poster above. Obviously, the attention is delivered in the form of the image, with the heading text garnering interest. The desire comes from the highlighted “YOU” followed by the call-to-action at the base. Excellent.

Conclusion

At the start of this post, I showed an image of what the ‘standard’ layout for “Attention, Interest, Desire, Action” looked like (well, in the case of poster design). As can be seen with the examples I’ve shown, this configuration is sometimes loosely utilised (such as in the ‘Cogitatur’ Poster Design) and at other times turned on its head—the  ‘Modernism’ and ‘Asti’ posters were perfect examples of this.

As stated, the preceding explanations of the AIDA principle in these designs were only my opinions. The designer’s original intentions may or may not have given the AIDA principle precedence when designing them.

One thing I’ve learned through the process of ‘designing this post’ is that a poster design can powerfully convey a message in a variety of ways regardless of the prior knowledge of the AIDA principle. As long as the viewers attention is gained and the call-to-action is effectively conveyed, this principle can be interpreted and implemented with endless possibilities.

What Do You Think?

Do you see any different patterns of the principle of AIDA in these designs which differ from my own? Do you think my analysis is pretty much what most people will see, or do you think I’m way off the mark? Do you have any other insight on the subject to share? If so, feel free to leave your comments below for all the read…

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11 thoughts on “How 10 Fantastic Poster Designs Conform to A.I.D.A”

  1. CK
     · 

    Bravo!

  2. Rob Cubbon
     · 

    Hello Andrew, really interesting piece. I’m ashamed to say I never knew anything about AIDA. I think you examples are fascinating and I would say you’ve got them all spot on in your graphical analysis. I’m going to see all design through AIDA spectacles now!

  3. Andrew Kelsall
     · 

    Rob → To be honest, I didn’t find out until about 10 years ago, I was on a Uni trip to a Newspaper editing floor and I chatted to a designer there. When asked if he had any advice for me and the other students, he said the following:

    Firstly, I’d rather have 10 Macs than one PC and second, always follow the rule of AIDA in any advertising work.

    Great advice, although PCs and Macs are capable of the same thing in this day and age I suppose. I DO still prefer and use Macs, though 😉

    He also printed us all a poster showing the AIDA principle, too. At some point I plan to redesign it and offer it as a download.

    Now you know AIDA, Rob, I bet you never forget it!

  4. milly
     · 

    Ive been asked to do some posters for a charity ran youth club. Got plenty of ideas but couldnt get to grips with poster layout. Ive done art before but never graphic design. Your A.I.D.A. rule has made poster design alot clear. Thanks. You dont have a golden rule to leaflet design too?

  5. Andrew Kelsall
     · 

    Milly → I’m glad this post could help you out. The AIDA principle will work on leaflet, too. It pretty much works on all forms of advertising. It also works for text-only ads too 🙂

  6. Daveido
     · 

    I always wanted to learn this, thanks for the showcase! Really educational.

  7. Andrew Kelsall
     · 

    Daveido → No worries; thanks for commenting…

  8. Michelle Parker
     · 

    Love this! Definitely a tool I will be using in all future projects. Thanks 🙂

  9. Barb Simon
     · 

    This is great, I will be showing it to my students, as our first project next term is to design a course poster, thanks Andrew!

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