26 examples of clever typography in advertising design

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One of the under-celebrated talents in advertising art, is typography perhaps. Among the art directors I have worked with, there was always this special breed who wanted to experiment in everything – from the fonts to the photography. I have seen them strive to give a the ad a distinct look even if it’s a simple headline-driven ad.

Herewith some examples of nice use of typography in print ads that caught my fancy.

1. Archipelago: an electronic stock exchange that wanted to convey the idea that they have no ‘hidden information’ – a standard procedure, they claim in stock exchanges. The idea – spoof the typical psychic forecast ads.


2. Australia Post: this one has done the rounds of email forwards recently. The idea of ‘letters come alive in person’ brilliantly brought to life in typography.


Agency: M&C Saatchi, Australia

3. Ben & Jerrys: some of the executions in this campaign may be a tad hard to read but the originality of the concept in an otherwise conventional category is worth applauding. It was – this won several awards recently.


Agency: Ogilvy & Mather, Singapore.

4. Bic: the twisted humour in this campaign makes you laugh out loud. Calligraphy? Typography? Whatever – but the central idea involved going beyond setting fonts.


Agency: Jung Von Matt, Germany

5. Corrado mattress: I had written about this campaign earlier. Not just this ad, the approach to the whole campaign is laudable.


Agency: Saatch & Saatchi, Milan

6. what better way to relate to the category, than to design an ad shaped like a bottle of a beverage?

7. Drugs and driving: trippy stuff outlining the outcome of doing drugs and driving.


8. East Timor: yes, East Timor too had a campaign driving tourism.


9. Freedent: part of a 3-ad series, conveying the benefit of a great smile.


10. Humane Society: purr-fect.

humane society

11. IKEA: part of an outdoor campaign for festive season shopping, this one makes you stop for a second to let the message sink in. Brilliant integration of the product.


12. Jazz Radio: hee-hee, love it.


13. Bellecole: class room style headline for a language learning course.


14. Malteser: brilliant art direction to send down a chilling message against drunken driving.


15. Marmite: love it? I meant the ads.


16. Mauritius Tourism: this font was ‘created’ for Mauritius Tourism. Pity that it hasn’t been retained – it could easily have been ownable.


17. Mercedes Benz: riveting copy and the font matched the conversational tone of the er…rabbit.

Mercedes Benz - rabbits

18. Nike: claymation meets typography and they both have fun.


19. Marston’s Pedigree: bit offensive perhaps, but hey, there is no love lost between them.

Pedigree -AUs

20. The Pioneer: to celebrate 100 years of The Pioneer, the idea of history repeating itself, conveyed through clever typography.


21. Regaine: ad for a hair restorer.


22. Scrabble: frankly, I didn’t get the ad, but it was a  unique way of using the tiles.


23. Smart: a clever way to communicate a limited period price offer.

Smart  -pigeon

24. Veja: a much celebrated campaign from the South American creative juggernaut. The idea was extended in Year 2 but never matched the simplicity and edginess of this campaign.

Veja Suicide279

25. Sanyo under water camera: this was perhaps the smartest line in the series.


26. Brighton Language School: is your German rusty? The Brighton Language School can help.


Hope you enjoyed the collection. In case I have missed out any worthy ones or included some not-so-worthy ones here, do comment in.

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  1. Awesome list, there are some real gems in there. There is nothing better than an ad that hits you to your core because it is so dead-on.

  2. Most of them seems to be more of software skill than typography.

    • Raja, thanks for the comment. It’ll be great if you could share any examples of good typography that you want to share?

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