How To Create a Banner Design

Banner and other online advertising designs are becoming increasingly common.  For a banner ad to stand out, it has to be really well-designed.

Banners are a popular form of advertising on the Internet. Even before Google AdSense was popular, banners were already prevalent in free web hosting companies. Banners also provided income to online publishers who sold space to advertisers. Banners are also a good way to publicize events and causes. For instance, you can display banners for upcoming events and charity causes on your home page or blog.

In designing a banner, one shouldn’t just haphazardly slap on text onto a graphical background and consider it a good banner. There are some things you should watch out for when making a banner design.

Size. The most common requirement in designing a banner is the size. While banner sizes had been mostly arbitrary in the past, today’s standardized grid-type layouts usually support certain size banners. Google’s AdSense has set ad unit measurements as standard.

Horizontal banners:

•    Leaderboard: 728 x 90 pixels
•    Banner: 468 x 60 pixels
•    Half banner: 234 x 60
Vertical banners:

•    Skyscraper: 120 x 600 pixels
•    Wide skyscraper: 160 x 600 pixels
•    Vertical banner: 120 x 240 pixels

You can easily start your canvas using any banner size on any good graphic editing software, such as Adobe Photoshop.

Background. The purpose of banners is to attract the attention of readers or viewers. For this purpose, the background should depend on the target audience. If you are targeting a younger audience, it would be a good idea to use background colors that appeal to these people, such as bright colors, and the like. You can also use scenery or an image that represents the idea you want to bring about.

Color scheme. Because you want to get attention, you don’t want the banner’s color scheme to be washed out and blend in too much with the design of the site it will be featured in. For this purpose, it’s a good idea to experiment with different versions, especially if your banner will be placed on different sites. This ensures that the banner does not clash too much with the color schemes of the sites it will be displayed on, but that it will still be attractive. Do consider, too, whether to put in a border or not. If you will be adding a border to your banner, consider using rounded corners, especially if this will go well with the design of the target sites. New media blogs and websites seem to like this “Web 2.0” look.

Text. If your banner does not have anything identifying it with your product, service or cause, then readers are not likely to click on the banner. Be sure your brand is prominently identified, and that you include marketing text intended to entice readers to check out what you have to offer.

You might want to use layers on your banner design, so you can switch across texts, and so you can easily manipulate each element or layer when needed.

When you’ve finalized the design of your banner, be sure to save these in different sizes and formats. This will give users more options in adding your banner or button to their website. If you will be running the banner on your own site, having different sizes and color schemes will let you just change banner images on the fly, rather than tweak the entire site’s layout every time a change is needed.  You can learn other great design tips by taking online classes in art or design.


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