Utilizing Design Visualization in Advertising

With the explosion of increasingly powerful computers and improved photo-realism, the use of design visualization has saturated our culture, and it has become invaluable in advertising. Essentially, design visualization has been a part of advertising for as long as there has been marketing. Building on a rich heritage, contemporary design visualization is a vital component for creating new products and exploring the marketplace.


From the age of snake-oil salesmen, purveyors of products strove to put forth their best and represent their products in a way that would be appealing to the public at large. This became more pervasive during the golden age of advertising. Comparatively, their technology was limited to what we have now, but they used what they had.

Much of the time, this was evident in things like airbrushing, where the subject of the photo was altered for advantageous affect. Things were airbrushed into ice cubes; models were made more trim. Stylistically, as motion in television became the advertising medium of choice, cinematographers shot cars that went faster, were brighter, and looked sleeker than they really were.

Research and Development

Ad departments and companies realized that they had the opportunity to see how the market would respond to an item before it really existed. Currently in advertising, companies still develop items for sale without having to actually create them. Advertisers represent cars, clothes, homes and landscaping visually before they actually exist. It has gone a step beyond that; for example, in wardrobe design, customers can have their picture taken and then see how the outfit they’re considering would look on them

Optimizing Products

Design visualization has given today’s advertisers the ability to take a great product and make it appear better. They can optimize their product. The image that just doesn’t quite look right can be altered simply by importing it into PhotoShop and turning, brightening, darkening, shrinking, enlarging – whatever it takes – to make it different in a way that will appeal to the particular market. (Interestingly, it allows advertisers to sell the same, exact product to different international markets with their own different likes and dislikes.)

Creating Pictures of New Products

Before investing millions of dollars into a line of cars or houses, a developing company can create “pictures” of their new product and introduce them to the market-at-large. If the audience responds favorably, placing orders for the item (even though they do not exist!), the developer can invest the monies necessary to actually create the product.

Just as companies can see if there is a market for something they’ve been doing at length, they can ‘invent’ it (what it will take to make it work, what it will look like) without spending a penny on actual physical production. This can save millions on either a product that is very expensive to produce or one that the marketplace may have no desire to spend money on.

All of these elements prove the critically useful part that design visualization plays in advertising.