Banner Design Essentials

resources imageEffective banner design can be tricky to pull off, especially given the advertising medium. Banners are often deployed at events and locations where a large number of people are gathered to do something other than look at banners. Conferences, seminars, concerts, athletic events, trade shows and campus audiences are highly diversified, which is why it is so important that your banner design is striking enough to garner the attention you need to make an impact.   The following banner design essentials will help you do just that - craft a striking banner design that leaves an instant yet lasting impression on your target audience:

Simplicity sells

Your banner design and images should be focused on reaching a highly targeted audience. If your banner is too busy, your message will be lost in the noise. A single image, tagline, offer and call to action is all your banner design needs to be effective; and sometimes you can get away with even less. Remember that your audience will be viewing your banner from a distance and do not have time to examine the details, so your design needs to get the message across in a bold way as quickly as possible.

Attract attention with bright colors

Bright colors attract attention. If you know where your banner will be hung, make sure you design it for high contrast against its background for maximum exposure.

Design for distance

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Design your banners in a resolution relative to viewing distance. The farther away your audience is, the lower your design resolution needs to be. Reference the following chart to determine your resolution:

5 feet or less 1,200 dpi
5 feet or more 900 dpi
10 feet or more 600 dpi
50 feet or more 300 dpi

Consider placement


Your banner imagery, colors and typefaces should be consistent with your audience. Even though a stock broker would conceivably attend rock concerts, a banner designed for a rock concert crowd would be markedly different from a banner designed for an investment trade show. It's imperative to capture your audience with a design that's relevant to the current environment. Also, keep in mind that your audience will notice your banner from the center out, so focus on impact in the middle of your design.

Go with a border indoors

Outdoor banners need bright colors because they have to compete with a lot of background noise, but sometimes indoor banners are more effective when subtle - if they're too loud, they can become an unwanted distraction. To help your indoor banners stand out better, try incorporating a bright border that frames a light background; and accentuate your text with a drop shadow. With careful planning, your banner design can help deliver a powerful message that gets results. Make sure you follow your printer's guidelines for banner design file preparation to guarantee the best results, follow these banner design essentials and you'll be primed for banner design success from the start.