The online environment really offers a lot of options for advertising and the reach you can get if you do it properly is immense. This marketing potential has been recognized by businesses from the very start and the evolution of digital marketing has been going on at a tremendous speed right from the start.

Still, unlike traditional marketing that could not offer any statistics and projections on how big the reach is and gives you the options when it comes to targeting in the online environment, things are a bit more precise and flexible. Due to the fact that it offers a lot more options, it also requires quite a bit of research and knowhow in making calculated decisions on the approaches that need to be taken.

The art of creative graphic design and its various forms, such as logo design, banner design, and brochures design, etc. have played a key role in shaping online media marketing in recent years. Among these digital marketing approaches, banner advertising has been the most effective one. While it may seem like a simple enough marketing tactic that has very little depth, the truth is that the design of a functional and above all else converting banner ad is somewhat of an art form. Let’s see what the main points of banner design are necessary for an effective final product.

Considering your advertising goals

Every banner needs to be designed with a specific purpose in mind. Are you after traffic, are you earning through affiliates or is it something else entirely. If you don’t have a clearly defined goal in mind at the start of your graphics design process, you can hardly expect your designer to get it spot on. Every subsequent step of the process is impacted by the main purpose of the ad so make sure you have a solid idea about which direction you want to go into before you send it into production.

Simplicity of presentation – thumb rule of creative design

One of the most common mistakes when it comes to banner design is overcomplicating things. While creating an effective banner may be an art form you should definitely avoid letting your creativity go wild. The banner is there to do two things, attract attention and inspire action.

Proficiency fluency is a concept you should explore and apply during your creative design process. Make sure you have a straightforward design which focuses on the main point and gives a clear message.

Colors that inspire and fit in

Colors can impact a lot of things and provoke a whole spectrum of emotion and reactions. They can also contribute to establishing a more solid brand image. Still, it has been proven that in advertising situations colors don’t always have that much of an emotional impact, but a good contrast between two colors can make your banner more visually enticing. Colors that blend in confuse the audience and may lead to a complete disregard of the ads.

Ad size that works

As you may have already noticed, banners come in a variety of sizes. While most people chase after that statistically correct banner size, which the majority has decided to be 970×250, we suggest a different approach. A/B split testing can help you find the size of ad that complements your page and increases its CTR. You are far better of relying on personal experience and results than chasing after stock solutions based on popular opinion.

Choosing the right typography

Consistency of typography with your branding goals is one of the biggest goals when choosing a font type. The human brain first registers compositions as a whole and then registers individual elements that make it up. As with color, the font type may impact the emotion that the banner carries and may motivate people to take action. Still, when choosing fonts, you are also better off testing things out before you make a definitive choice.

A copy that pops

Having a clear message and a call to action is a priority. Avoid text that flashes, flickers, moves, or morphs in any kind of way and keep it bold. Your goal is to promote your message in as direct and unambiguous of a way as possible and any animation included in your copy merely annoys the people you are trying to reach. Cluttering is distracting and if you add too much text, people will simply ignore your banner on account of TLDR (too long, didn’t read).

Positioning the banner

Most users will read text in an F pattern, because that’s the most common pattern in which the important elements are placed on most websites. Due to this experience, users tend to disregard anything beyond this F shape.

A way to make ads more noticeable is to put banners above the fold and incorporate it as a part of the content. This way the subconscious of the readers will automatically focus on it to check its relevance and possible usefulness.

Test, test & test some more

When it comes to banners there is no room for one-size-fits-all mentality. A big part of your design may depend on your chosen advertising spaces they are intended for. The effectiveness and impact on your sales may also depend on the audience that hangs out on websites on which you promote yourself. Make sure you follow your data closely and switch things up from time to time when the results don’t suit you. Stick to those designs that give positive results.

As you can see, designing a good banner is not something that can be easily achieved and can’t really be nailed down to a concrete set of best practices. In order to keep your banners relevant and boost your sales, you need to make sure that you follow the metrics they produce, so you can adjust based on real data relevant to you.

The main issue that most graphics designers face is the simplicity of the design, which requires a lot of attention to small details that can really make a difference between an ad that has a great CTR and one that is dead in the ether. This is why it is important to provide them with all the information relevant to the advertising campaign you are working on. We hope that we were able to give you all the relevant guidelines to help you create the best banners possible. Good luck!

I am a professional graphic designer and web designer with years of experience. I am also an illustrator and Wordpress theme creator and author of this design blog. I write tutorials and build custom websites. I do what I love, and I love what I do! You can:Follow Me on Twitter, Join Me on Facebook, & Or Follow James George on Google+

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