Designing Effective Display Banner Ads

Chad Faith
Chad Faith

Director of Content

display banner ads

It goes without saying that even well-designed display banner ads will fail to grab viewers’ attention if you have the wrong audience in mind. If you have found your target market and are looking for ways to design better banner ads, you have come to the right place. Let’s start by keeping in mind that the design principles of display banner ads largely depend on the level of personalization you can apply to your ads and the nature of your business.

Add a Subtle Sense of Movement

Remember, movement can help you achieve a dynamic design within a static frame. This grabs the attention of your viewers. So, consider adding animation that features a subtle sense of movement. It is a great way to add elegance to your design without appearing like you are doing too much. You should use leading lines to move the viewer’s eye through your design, making them focus on important parts of your ad.

Utilize Surreal or Metaphoric Visuals

When it comes to designing online ads, your main goal is to make your messages quickly understandable. Effective methods include using surreal and metaphoric visuals. Practice caution as you don’t want the main message to get lost. You must make it easy for viewers to understand what your ad is trying to express. If an element can be shown, do not tell. If not, support the design element with text.

Select an Appealing Color Combination

Colors represent a multitude of emotions. Hence, it is imperative that you select the correct colors for your design. When it comes to choosing a color combination, consider the advertisement type, target audience, and your brand. Need some quick recommendations? Mature audiences tend to favor darker colors while the youthful bunch is often attracted to lighter colors, i.e. colors with longer wavelengths. If things start to get confusing for you, just know that the colors used in your display banner ads are related to your products. For example, purple for luxury items, green for organic/natural products, and more.

Include Images

Photographs are used in a wide variety of traditional display banner ad designs. Today, custom graphics and typography are becoming increasingly popular. They are trendy and can help your ads stand out. If your ad must feature photographs, consider applying graphics and filters to create more eye-catching visuals. Other options include using location specific images (use them if your business is based in multiple locations) and photographs of happy faces (the human subjects in the photographs should be looking right at the viewers and smiling).

Bold Call To Action Elements

Call to action buttons are needed as they can increase the click-through rate of your ad and reduce friction for the customers. These buttons should be clear and direct, e.g. Show Me Now, Subscribe Today, Buy Now, Sign Me Up Now, etc. The text you use should create a sense of urgency. If you are using rectangular buttons, the edges should be rounded.

Adopt a Neat Structure and Prioritize Elements Accordingly

You should prioritize the design elements in the right order. The value proposition and call to action button should be the most visually distinguishable portions of the ad. Next, company logos should be placed around one of the edges of the banner. For example, the top-left corner. When it comes to image placement, there is room for experimentation. Your images should not obscure important elements in the ad.