When Accurate Innovations approached us with the need to design an ad for a gun magazine, our first step was to learn as much as we could about their company and what made them stand out. Boy, were we in for an incredible experience!

Accurate Innovations custom builds some of the highest quality gunstocks in the country. As we toured their facility in Andrews, North Carolina, we were impressed at the incredible craftsmanship and skill that goes in each gunstock. Their proprietary aluminum bedding block floats the barrel and action and gives unparalleled accuracy for a rifle with a wood gunstock. Now it was possible to have both the beauty of a wood gunstock as well as maximum accuracy.

Once we felt we had a good grasp on what their company was all about, we spent a lot of time discussing and researching the single best focal point for the ad. There were a lot of different approaches we could have taken, each with catchy slogan ideas. Considering the current economic climate, the final decision was to focus on how investing in a quality gunstock is a good investment.

We were able to take a spinoff on the word “stock” to create some catchy phrases such as “here’s a stock that won’t let you down.”  The challenge was to visually illustrate it so that those who viewed the ad would “get” the idea that a gunstock could be a better investment than the stock market.

Here are the two design comps we presented:

After discussions with the Accurate Innovations team, we decided to combine elements from each design. We liked the fact that one of the designs had a man expressing concern. People are naturally more drawn to an ad with a person’s face on it and the concerned expression effectively illustrated the current state of the stock market. But on the other design we liked the visual impact of the blue background up against the woodgrain of the gunstock. We worked with the phrasing to make it as simple and clear as possible. Here is the final design:

And, of course, we also provided a black and white version optimized for printing in a black and white publication:

If you’re a gun enthusiast, you’ll enjoy a visit to the Accurate Innovations blog. (I particularly enjoyed their “The Big Gun” video.)