Banners are some of the oldest forms of advertising. Given their effectiveness, it’s no surprise that businesses continue to use them to promote their goods and services today.
However, designing the perfect web banner can be exhausting, especially if design isn’t your forte. To save you the stress, we’ve curated 20 web banner design ideas to help you build that eye-catching website.
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What is a web banner?
A web banner, or banner ad, is a graphic ad that appears on your website or blog. Web banners are usually placed at the top or on the side of a web page. Their primary purpose is to attract user attention, pass a simple message, and drive traffic to your site.
Web banners can contain text, animation, images, or any media that can capture the attention of your site visitors. It's one of the most cost-effective ways to promote your business, services, or an upcoming event concerning your business.
Why Web Banners Matter
Web banners are an essential part of your marketing strategy, as you can use them to send visitors to specific pages on your website.
Let’s say you have a new product you want to promote. To inform your visitors about this product, you can use a well-designed targeted banner ad directing visitors to the product page.
With Google banner ads having an average click-through rate of 0.46% (steadily increasing across industries), advertisers can rely on it to help them increase website traffic, generate leads, and ultimately convert leads to boost sales for their business.
The results web banners generate are also cost-effective, as the average cost per click for a web banner sits around $0.63 — meaning you can get more reach and potential sales while not breaking the bank.
What makes a web banner pop?
Although you might not be a design guru, it’s essential to understand the basic elements that make a web banner work. These elements include banner size, color, text, images, call-to-action, etc.
We'll explain how these elements work and the best practices to help you apply them perfectly to design a web banner that works.
1. Define your banner’s purpose.
Like every other part of your website, you must understand why you’re designing a web banner.
Although most banners are for ad purposes, you can also design a web banner for informational purposes.
The banner’s purpose will determine what it will look like, the elements to incorporate into your design, and how best to place it on your site.
Pro tip: To determine the purpose of your web banner, ask yourself what your business needs and how you can meet those needs with your web banner.
2. Determine your banner size.
You have to pick a size depending on the type of banner you need and the purpose you intend it for.
There are numerous web banner size dimensions you can choose from. Common dimensions used on websites include 336 x 280 px (Large rectangle), 728 x 90 px (Leaderboard), and 300 x 250 px (Medium banner).
Pro tip: Choose a banner size that matches your website’s dimensions. For example, a mobile site will need a mobile-size banner, and a leaderboard-size banner will fit better at the top of your homepage.
3. Mix the right colors.
Being intentional about the colors you choose for your banner is vital. Considering the basics of color psychology and theory can ensure your colors work for you.
Color theory relates to how different colors complement each other. For instance, that way, you’ll learn yellow text on a white background doesn’t work well.
Color psychology helps you know the colors that evoke certain emotions in your audience that compel them to take action.
Use colors that correspond with the message that you're trying to pass. For example, a minimalist message could use colors like grey and white, while red and yellow denote a happier message.
Pro tip: Your banner’s color scheme shouldn’t be too far off or clash with your website.
4. Use clear and simple texts.
Text is an integral part of your web banner.
Naturally, your web banner tells a story or passes a message compelling your audience to take action. You’ll need to use clear messaging that flows naturally and speaks to your audience’s pain points to achieve this.
Your texts also need to be formatted properly. This includes using an appropriate font and size depending on where the banner will appear.
Pro tip: Use bolder fonts and avoid cursive fonts or thin font weights when using text for your web banner.
5. Choose appropriate images.
It's no secret what images can do to any design. Your image choice could be the difference between a basic and a great banner.
To get the best from your images, employ the services of a photographer or graphic designer to create original images for your brand. The quality and creativity that comes with a professional photo are far superior to any other type of image.
However, it‘s more than just getting a professional image for your brand; you must be sure you’re choosing the right image or that your banner even needs an image.
Pro tip: Avoid stock images as much as possible. And when you use images, don’t allow them to distract from your banner’s central message.
6. Add call-to-actions.
A call-to-action (CTA) is a critical element of any marketing property. Without it, your audience wouldn’t know what you want them to do after seeing the banner.
Your CTA should be dominant, text-based, and clickable. Since your CTA is directly related to your purpose and is the most crucial part of your web banner, it must be visible to your viewers.
Examples of CTAs that you will find on most sites read “Get it here,” “Click here…”, “Learn more,” etc.
Standard practice is to use subtle CTAs that will invoke the emotions of your viewers and compel them to carry out your intended action.
Pro Tip: Make your CTA as short as possible so you don't use up all the space on your web banner.
20 Web Banner Design Ideas
Here are some web banner design ideas that can inspire you to create banners that work for your business.
1. Keep things simple.
You can try to think up fanciful banner designs and be extra creative, but sometimes, the best thing is to keep it simple.
A simple banner design will do more than capture your viewer's attention. It will also retain it.
Since there's not so much going on with your banner, they can quickly get your message and decide quickly.
Pro tip: It's best to use a simple banner design when you want your viewer to perform a simple action like creating an account or signing up for a newsletter.
2. Use images best suited to your niche.
A banner ad aims to advertise your services and increase brand awareness.
An image or graphic related to your niche may be the perfect solution for your design problem. It will blend well with your website and create an environment that allows your viewers to understand your content better.
Here, Amazon uses images directly related to its niche. By using cardboard boxes in its banner, Amazon already gives viewers an idea of what to expect when they click the banner ad.
3. Animate your banner.
Animations add extra movement to your banner — making it easier to grab people’s attention.
While animations can increase your audience’s engagement with your banner, it’s vital to keep the animations simple.
Pro tip: Be creative with your animation. This animated web banner by HubSpot uses creative copy to grab user attention and show the solution to a problem they’re looking to solve.
4. Try a sticky web banner on the side.
If you don’t fancy having a banner at the top of your web page, you can opt for a more subtle option — a sticky web banner on the side.
Placing a banner on the side is helpful if you don’t want to distract from your blog’s content.
This MarTech side banner, for instance, doesn’t take up too much space and uses clear and simple wording.
5. Experiment with an artistic reference.
Graphic-style banners are the norm for web banner designs, but you can switch things up by using easy-to-grasp references.
You don't need to go over the top; take some art your viewer can relate to, fuse it with your copy, and create an eye-catching artistic design.
This banner by Quick Fox is eye-grabbing while passing a message simultaneously. Quick Fox smoothly implements Batman art into its design, making it hard to ignore the message.
6. Make the colors pop.
When used on your website, banners with bright colors stand out and are hard to ignore.
Pro tip: Use contrasting colors that work well together. Boomplay is known for its white and light blue colors, so it incorporated that into designing its web banner and created contrast using light and dark colors.
7. Use emotion-evoking imagery.
Using emotion-appealing imagery in your banner design lets you captivate your viewer and pass information across quickly.
What we love: This web banner by Mars uses imagery to steal the viewer's attention and evoke emotions. The site also uses a visible CTA to guide the reader to important information.
8. Use creative colors to generate contrast.
Contrast can be a potent attention-grabbing tool when used correctly. You can use it to draw your audience’s eyes to the focal point of your banner.
Pro tip: Use only colors that are contrasting to each other. For example, use a bright color for the background and an even brighter color for the text fonts. Note how Spotify uses contrasting colors to highlight the main points and the CTA button.
9. Try a collage layout.
You may want to get extra creative when designing your banner, and that’s okay. However, something as simple as structuring your images can make a difference.
Here, McDonald‘s uses carefully organized images to gain attention while subtly inserting an image with its brand logo into the order. This banner design does more than advertise the McDonald’s brand as it also lets the viewers know they can enjoy a movie while feasting on their favorite meal from McDonald's.
10. Drive curiosity with alternating imagery.
Curiosity is another tool for gaining viewer attention. Using alternating but similar images in designing your web banner can pique your viewer's curiosity and gain their attention.
Pro tip: Use similar images of your product to stimulate your viewer‘s curiosity. Looking at these images by McDonald’s, you can tell that although they are similar, each image has slight variations. A curious viewer will spend time figuring out the variations, and the banner has done its job.
11. Grab attention with repetitive images.
Another powerful tool used in design is repetition. Repetition involves creating a pattern that focuses your viewer’s attention on the message you’re trying to pass.
This banner design by Lay’s uses a repetitive graphic style that shows a pattern of its products arranged in the same order. Lay's visually tells the viewer, “These are all our products. Now, stop and stare!”
12. Sell, but don’t sell…
We know that the purpose of your web banner is to sell your products, and it sounds counterintuitive to tell you not to use it for that purpose. However, you can be subtle about your sales.
In this web banner ad, Target highlights its new arrivals with beautiful imagery and even paints a picture of the feeling these new products will give but doesn’t so obviously sell the product to the viewer.
By telling the viewer to browse through “Fall Home Decor,” Target subtly tells the user to go shopping on its website.
13. Use the good old CTA.
Your banner design isn’t complete without telling your audience what you want them to do. And this is where your CTA comes into play.
In this web banner design, Semrush places the CTA button directly in the center with a contrasting button color and simple text telling the user to click the button.
14. Tell a story with your design.
If you’ve paid attention to any designer, you’ll have heard them say countless times, “Art tells a story.”
It’s the same with designing a web banner. Make your design captivating by painting a story that will catch your viewer’s attention and prompt them to act.
With this simple design, you’ll notice how Virgin Atlantic tells a story of traveling over the seas. All the elements in this design tell a story of traveling to the UK and beyond, paying fantastic fares.
15. Get your audience with humor
Humor is a powerful tool in the right hands. You'll be unstoppable if you know how to use humor appropriately and infuse it into your design.
You don’t need to be very funny or have your viewers rolling on the floor; they probably won’t click on your banner if they’re rolling on the floor.
This banner ad by Red Bull uses simple humor to appeal to its viewers’ emotions by showing a plugged-in can of Red Bull with the text, “Charge your way.” Keeping it simple and funny.
16. Use responsive sliding animations to hide and reveal details.
Suppose you want to design a web banner showcasing your products and information on each product but want to avoid taking your viewer to another page. In that case, a sliding animation banner design is your best option.
You can hide all the information about each product in a slide and use responsive images that open this slide when clicked.
This banner ad by Power Horse is our favorite. It sits just at the top of the Power Horse homepage.
Clicking on any image results in a sliding animation revealing more information about Power Horse products. It’s simple and makes the home page look clean and smooth.
17. Use simple graphics to show your services.
It sounds uncreative, but simple graphics showing your services and a simple text block can be much better than over-the-top designs.
In this banner ad, Shopify lets users know its services and even inputs the brand logo into the design. The regular font block of text enables the user to see the problem that Shopify solves with its services and calls the user to action with a standard CTA button. Simple but effective.
18. Employ a minimalist approach to design.
Minimalism shows class and commands respect, and you can do the same with your web banner design.
Apple is renowned for its minimalist ad designs and stayed on brand with this web banner design. This minimalist-style banner design is clean — making it feel like it’s in a class of its own while still advertising its products.
19. Use as few banner elements as you can.
You can use just two web banner elements and even fewer to create a popping web banner. In the banner ad below, Nike uses simple text and a textbox to grab readers' attention.
Pro tip: Sometimes, too many elements can ruin your message. Using fewer elements will help your message. You can use just texts and a CTA button, like this banner ad by Nike, to pass your message to your reader.
20. Center your product.
Position your product in the center of your web banner and make every other element of your web banner complimentary to the color, texture, and style of your product.
This web banner by Tiffany & Co. made it totally about its product. The product is in bold, covering the central part of the web banner, while the background color and text complement the product's color.
Time to Design Your Perfect Banner
Feeling inspired already? We hope so.
You don’t have to copy the designs on this list exactly as they are. Instead, use them as a guide as you mix different design elements to create a web banner unique to your brand.