Top 10 Banner Ad Design Tips

Posted on in Blog

I’m a graphic designer at Oneupweb and let me tell you, banner ads are one of our specialties. That’s why I decided to create a top 10 list of tips (in no particular order) to help guide your endeavor into banner ad design and to answer some of your questions about why we do what we do when designing a banner.

Banner Ads Top 10 Tips

  1. Less is more. Banners that are too busy and complex will only irritate viewer’s eyeballs (and you don’t want to do that).
  2. Keep it short and sweet. Avoid the temptation of the cram! A banner needs to be informative, not over-informative. Don’t explain it all on three panels. Get to the main point in a general way, but don’t beat around the bush. Remember, you want to intrigue the viewer’s interest, which will most likely result in a click.
  3. Nothing beats a good punch line. A catchy phrase can go a long way. It should be just a few words that sparks the interest or imagination of the viewers, and entices them to click on the banner.
  4. Make it visually interesting. There needs to be an eye catcher on the first screen that will grab the viewer’s attention. Don’t resort to a bunch of annoying animation or tasteless irrelevant images. Flickering, blinking or flashing ads and intrusive fake desktop warnings only aggravate viewers. They’ve even caused web surfers to develop “banner blindness” (the tendency to consciously or unconsciously ignore any type of banner). Also, keep font size in mind. Lots of tiny text will only cause the viewer to ignore the ad.
  5. Give the viewer direction. That’s right, tell them what to do! Use action words like “Click here”, “Enter”, “Go”, “Get”, etc.
  6. Use the word “FREE” in your banner. I don’t think this needs any explanation.
  7. Choose your fonts and colors carefully. Avoid crazy fonts. Use basic, but interesting bold fonts in standard web colors if possible.
  8. Use subtle animation. When creating a flash banner, many designers make the mistake of getting carried away. While animation can be a great way to catch a viewer’s eye, it can also have the opposite effect. Make the animation clever, but simple and short. If your animation takes too much time to load — never mind, you’ve already lost that click!
  9. Keep the kb down. File size is a very important factor on getting a click. A viewer’s attention span is very limited; therefore, you want your banner ad to load before the main content of the website loads. This grabs the viewer’s attention immediately. Yet, smaller file size obviously has its trade-offs, such as less animation length, number of colors and detail.
  10. Limit the loop. An animation that loops endlessly tends to irritate viewers. The entire banner ad should be no longer than 15 seconds long. It should loop no more than 3-5 times with the main message and button on the last frame.

There you have it! A list (or guide) to consider when trying to create an effective banner ad. I hope this helps, but you can always consult a pro. Give us a call at 877.568.7477 and we’ll make things much easier.

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