Advertising, Design, Image Editing, Theory

How to Seize the Readers Attention with Image Captions

2 Comments 02 January 2010

Improve reader retention by adding image captions

Improve reader retention by adding image captions

The Hierarchy of an Ad

The all time copywriting authority John Caples was a staunch proponent of researching the effectiveness of an advertisement. Over the years and all the data he had acquired with research, he came to the conclusion that most people look at advertisement in the following order:

  1. Image
  2. Image caption (The text explaining the image, usually placed right below the image)
  3. Headline (The text that stands out in size and styling)
  4. Copy (Main text of the advertisement)
  5. Information about the company (Address/Contact)

Seizing the Reader’s Attention

Unlike textbooks, people skim through advertisements at exceptionally high speeds, thus the battle to grab the attention of the reader is difficult to say the least. In the hunt for reader attention, images are still the most important portion of an ad and require careful choosing so the reader is able to easily digest the message and make them want to learn more by reading the copy. But between the image and copy lies an essential appetizer that stimulates the hunger of the reader from the image to main copy.

The Little Caption That Could

As we learned above from the research by Caples, image captions are great opportunities to not only explain the image, but to stimulate an eager want for the reader to continue on to the main copy. If the image is chosen wisely, much of your message will be understood immediately, but it’s never a bad idea to reinforce the image with a great description/copy and whet the appetite of the reader. Now that the image caption has prompted the reader to invest more into the advertisement, the odds are higher that they’ll their way into the main copy.

Design, Image Editing, Software

The Free Photoshop Alternative

Comments Off on The Free Photoshop Alternative 08 December 2009

We know that Adobe Photoshop® is the de facto image editing software on the market. Adobe Photoshop® has gotten such wide exposure, when we talk about image editing, we say “are you going to Photoshop that?” or “was that Photoshopped?” But the unfortunate part of this software is the price of admission. Most people are not able to afford the $700 software and if one decides to purchase it, upgrades to the latest versions still run a steep $200.

But what if there was another alternative to Adobe Photoshop®?

In comes GIMP, an open source image editor that is available for Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows, Linux, Sun and FreeBSD operating systems. Yes, this means you can download and start editing images for FREE.  Although the interface of GIMP isn’t as polished as its expensive competitors, GIMP has the horsepower to satisfy most Photoshop® users.
Some cool features of GIMP are:
  • Clone tool and healing tools to retouch images
  • Fix perspective distortion by using the corrective mode
  • History tool with thumbnail of previous actions
  • Plugins such as noise reduction, focus blur available
  • Compatible with most file formats (TIFF, JPEG, GIF, PNG, PSD, etc)

An image of the main workspace. (window size minimized for screenshot purpose)

GIMP Toolbar

GIMP Toolbar

It’s refreshing to see that powerful open source options to Adobe Photoshop® are available for the masses. If you’re looking for a great free image editor, check out GIMP and see what it has to offer. I’m sure you’ll be pleasantly surprised!

Check it out at

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