Once a visualiser exercises himself mentally and puts his pencil to paper, the shape of layout begins to emerge. It is very difficult to say where the process of visualisation ends and where the shape of layout begins. It is a smooth transition however, and we are moving from abstract ideas to concrete shapes. Each element is assigned a weight, depending upon its overall significance. Look any ad in print and see the basic percentage of space allotted to the headline, body copy and the visual, e.g., 30 p.c. for the headline, 50 p.c. for the visual and 20 p.c. for the copy. Each element is positioned. There is visual evidence on paper. The various possibilities are drawn separately- we call them thumbnail sketches or first roughs. They indicate the elements and their positions.
Many thumbnails when made, give us an idea which one or more will best suit us, so that they can be made into larger sizes called roughs or visuals. These are made in actual ad sizes. All elements here are scribbled. As copy matter, only rough lines are put. Roughs are forerunners of comprehensive Creative Ideas .
- Roughs give an exact idea about the proportions and placement of elements.
- Comprehensives or comps are more finished form of roughs. The body copy is pasted.
- Headline lettering is done carefully. Photos and illustrations (actuals) are used.
Comprehensive comes very close to final artwork, which gives a finished advertisement complete with printer’s instructions from which the plates, the stereos or electrotypes are made. In copy comping, first greeking is done in which copy is pasted into position. Secondly, there is copyfitting in which typed copy is converted into typography.
For idea visualisations for radio and TV, we have to create first a script with a series of TV screens (frames) that can accommodate thumbnail visuals, which vary from rough stick figures to photographs and comprehensive drawings suitable for client’s approval. This topic is further elaborated in the chapter on copywriting.