How to Make a Banner That Pops

bigstock-Web-design-concept-40488610You’ve seen thousands, maybe even hundreds of thousands, of banners on the Internet. Banners are the website headers you see when you land on a new page, whether it’s a blog, news or commerce site. Banners are also used as advertisements. You can see them on the side, top or bottom of a page, displaying a company’s name or showcasing an enticing product.

Colorful and eye-catching, banners are a necessary part of having an online presence for any business or individual. The banners, if clicked, will transport the viewer to a page where an article, product or form awaits. They not only offer a professional appearance, they also attract fresh viewers to a site.

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Creating a banner that really pops is surprisingly easy. Here are a few suggestions on how to make a banner and give it a professional yet unique appearance that drives interest to your site.

1. Choosing a Program

To make a banner from scratch, without utilizing an online program like My Banner Maker, you’ll need some picture editing software. Photoshop is the most popular, and you can learn how to use it with a free Photoshop training tutorial, but there’s no need to buy it if you don’t already have it. Consider using PhotoScape or Paint.Net, which are both free to use.

2. Pick a Size 

Banners come in every imaginable size from a micro box about 88 by 31 pixels to gargantuan, photo-sized banners that are 728 by 546 pixels. The size is completely customizable, but you must consider how you want to use it. The standard banner size is 468 by 60 pixels. It’s a long rectangle, and it serves as a header for a website. This is most likely the style you’ll choose, but feel free to play around a bit. Remember: An unusual banner can be more eye-catching.

3. Choose a Background Color

Once you determine a size for your banner it’s time to give it some color. Fill the background with a color that suits your business concept or your logo. If you haven’t yet created a logo, consider taking a beginner’s logo designing class. A logo is an essential element for creating a professional brand and having a recognizable look to your business.

You can also add layers to the background for a more visually appealing look. Play around with the program’s features to add gradients, multiple colors, layering or patterns.

4. Add Photos, Text and Logos

Right now your banner is plain, with just a color or two, and it doesn’t give any information. Import pictures and photos to add dimension. Explore some examples of exciting website headers, like these ones to help spur your imagination. Be sure to include any important information about the company, but keep it concise. Details such as “Free Shipping,” or “Since 1958” are appropriate examples. Some banners don’t use any words at all, and less is more in this case.

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5. Resize Photos

Usually, the photo or logo you want to add won’t be the right size for the banner. No problem, you’ll just have to resize the image before placing it on your new header. Photoshop lets you do this easily, by either cropping, using the image resize tool (make sure you resize proportionately) or by using the transform tool and scaling the photo up or down.

6. Save Your Work

Now that you have a finished banner, it’s time to save your work! If you discover you’re particularly adept at making banners, you should consider starting a web banner business (learn how in this free course).

Congratulations! You have a brand new, beautiful, eye-popping banner.