Ever since drugmakers started advertising prescription medicine to the public, we’ve grown accustomed to vast amounts of legal disclaimer. We hardly even notice that bit about the seizures because we really want to eat fried cheese without getting heartburn.
Now it’s the financial services industry. Legal disclosure about potential risk dominates advertisements for financial products.
Ten years ago, you might have seen an advertisement for a mutual fund with disclaimer in tiny print, like this:
Example 1: Not Enough Disclaimer
That was bad. We don’t want to go back to those days, where you could promise just about anything as long as you included some 6-pt. disclaimer.
But now it looks more like this:
Example 2: Too Much Disclaimer
Neither is effective. The first makes the risk too easy to overlook. The second overwhelms with information about risk and is therefore ignored.
There are better examples in other industries. I think the MPAA Ratings system is pretty good:
And the Department of Homeland Security’s threat level chart — though widely ridiculed — is at least fairly simple.
Most people benefit from visual aids.
So what if we developed a rating system for investors that was easy to understand at a glance? It might look something like this:
(Many thanks to designer Robert Brown. More on him below.)
By implementing a visually snazzy ratings system, we could start seeing new and improved ads like this one:
Example 3: Just Right!
About the Designer
Robert Brown, 25, was born in Jackson, MS and lives near Huntsville, AL. He’s always loved photography and computers and thought it would be convenient to combine the two into a career. He’s been doing freelance design and photo work since he was 16, and currently teaches design as part of the Visual Communication Faculty at ITT Technical Institute in Madison, Al. For case studies on past work, as well as any banter on his mind, visit Robert’s website: http://browneagle44.wordpress.com.