In this article I want to discuss some important design concepts related to banner ads. Whether you do this work yourself, or hire it out, these are important concepts to keep in mind. A lot of them might be things that you have never considered.

Here is the TOC for this article:

  • What are standard banner ad sizes?
  • Where to find banner ad inspiration
  • How to choose a color for your banner ads
  • The five qualities of a good banner ad
  • Five basic banner ad concepts you should consider

What are The Standard Banner Ad Sizes?

The first step to creating a good banner advertisement, is knowing what sizes you’re working with. You want your ads to stay consistent regardless of their size. Once you’ve nailed down the sizes, you can get started on the fun part – the art. There are a ton of banner ad sizes, but we’re going to cover the five most common sizes in this post.

This list isn’t expansive and the network that you’re displaying your ad on will have their own size requests as well, however, these are the industry standards and frankly a good place to start.

Where to Find Banner Ad Inspiration Online

You can find inspiration everywhere. Go to sites that are similar to yours, look around. What kinds of ads do you see? Start paying attention from this day forward. When in doubt, check out Graphic River Banner Ads and see if you find some inspiration there. Still stuck? There’re tons of “Best Banner Ads” lists online.

Creative “Best Banner” Lists

Best Online Banner Ads

How to Choose a Color for Your Banner Ads

For some, this is the easiest part of the creative process. For others, not so much. Colors are an integral part of making your brand pop. You want to use colors true to your brand, but you also want to use the appropriate colors for people’s psychology. Below we’ve gone ahead and come up with a few of the best base colors and what messages they send psychologically. Recently, Kiss Metrics did a survey and came up with this awesome color psychology chart that talks about what effect colors have on people’s buying and spending habits.

This chart is an excellent starting point, and seems to fall into line with what traditional psychologists have to say about color theory.

Red is associated with passion, energy, love, fire, fierceness. Red incites action and gets people’s blood pumping. That’s why red is often seen in squeeze pages around important information. Red is also seen a lot with restaurants and food; the igniting power of red tends to make people hungry.

Color Psychology - Banner Ad Marketing

Orange is associated with courage, energy, success, you often see it associated with learning. It also acts as a stimulant, and is a great way to get people talking.

Color Psychology - Banner Ad Marketing

Yellow promotes joy, brightness, happiness. Don’t you just want to smile thinking about it? Being a brighter color, yellow also tends to grab people’s attention. Think of brands whose logos have yellow.

Color Psychology - Banner Ad Marketing

Green is a natural earth-bound color. Green is also the easiest color on the eyes and is easy to process. Notice how most natural and eco-friendly companies use green.

Color Psychology - Banner Ad Marketing

Blue cultivates trust. It’s most positive attributes are security, loyalty, and tranquility. Blue is one of the most widely used colors in web marketing and design.

Color Psychology - Banner Ad Marketing

Purple is often associated with luxury, suave-nicity. Wealth, magic, and wisdom. Brands use purple if they’re trying to insinuate a luxurious or high end vibe.

Color Psychology - Banner Ad Marketing

The 5 Qualities of a Good Banner Ad

  1. Attention Grabbing – Makes people look twice and catches peoples interest.
  2. Demographic Appropriate – Know your audience, know who you’re talking to.
  3. Easy to Read – To the point and easily understandable.
  4. Creative and Unique – The more your ad stands out, the better. That said, it’s okay to stick to the mainstream once in awhile depending on your investment of time and money. Just remember, creative is often memorable.
  5. Concise – Your ad should send a message. Know your message, stick to it.

Five Basic Banner Concepts You Should Consider

  1. Interactive – Some ad networks will allow interactive ads and some won’t. Even if you’re just using an image, engage your prospect and get them to interact with your ad.
  2. Inspirational – Invoke an emotion in your prospect. Make them feel something. Use images to send a message.
  3. Urgent – Create a sense of urgency in your ad.
  4. Fun – Use a fun / funny concept to make a mark or an impact.
  5. Thought Provoking – Pose a question that the prospect just HAS to have the answer to.