Banners are a great way to catch a viewer’s attention and communicate a powerful message. You might find banners as printed signs at a birthday party, hung as signage at a farmer’s market, or printed vertically next to a booth at a trade show.
Banners are also omnipresent online, appearing everywhere from your social media cover photos to branded advertising on websites or even as headers and footers on emailers. With your rectangular piece of graphic real estate, all you need is your creativity with some purpose and intent to guide you to making an eye-catching banner to showcase anywhere and everywhere.
Don’t just tell people, show them! Rather than using words to entice your audience, show them an example of what your brand or business has to offer – give them a taste of the experience, if you will! We’re certainly enticed by this banner, and eager to find this street food vendor. When you choose your image, be sure to include any other details that will be important for your reader to follow through with achieving your business goals. You can add a “click here” button as a call-to-action to drive conversions, or feature your contact info or social handles for readers to learn more.
As the old saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. Save space on your design and communicate a powerful message with a strong photo. This example is a case in point how a good photo choice can make all the difference. Upload your own photo, or explore Spark’s library of stock photos for you to use. If your image portrays important details, avoid filling up the space with too much text and let the image do the talking instead. Make it an immersive visual experience by making your photo fullscreen.
There are countless ways to manipulate, remix, and enhance photos these days. You can use free, online or app-based programs, professional tools and software, or anything in between! You can enhance an image by making it brighter, sharper, or more focused. Or, you can play with making more artistic changes such as adding filters, distortions, or glitch effects, like the one seen in this example. Photo effects transform ordinary photos into something extraordinary. How can you take your image content to the next level to achieve the best banner design yet?
Sometimes it’s easy to lay text on top of an image. But other times, if you have a busy photo or light colored text, it becomes hard to read. One way to solve this and add emphasis to your text is to place it in a text block. You can achieve this with Spark by using the text effects option, or placing your text on top of a color block or icon. In this example, another way the design is emphasizing the text is by using a faded overlay filter on the image, which makes the details in the image soft and contrasts against the bright, sharp text, resulting in the text as our focal point.
As you craft your banner, allow yourself to think outside the box and try something unconventional. Your creativity will shine thru to your audience! Find a captivating, relevant photo, then overlay shapes on top of it, in this case a semi-transparent one, and layer on some text. Note how the warm brown hues from the image echo through the layers of graphics and type, making a cohesive design.
Another way to showcase imagery on a banner design is with a photo collage. Provide your audience with extra insight by using additional photo content in your collage. This approach works great for this design as the blogger likely wants to promote all the different, bespoke moments from this destination wedding. We especially love how the graphic logo in the middle ties it all together!
A design like this one uses simplicity to emphasize a message. In this case, we feel present by not feeling anything else from any other distractions on the page, so it works great! Achieve simplicity by using minimal text in your banner, or even using only your logo. Drop in a colored background, simple photo, or in this example, a photo of a gradient such as the sky cropped to give this clean visual effect.
Bold imagery doesn’t only come from photos – you can also use graphics, illustrations, renderings, or other forms of art to feature as your imagery. If you’re an artist, showcase a work of your own! Or, find artwork that resonates with your brand or messaging. Spark’s stock photo library offers lots of alternative mediums in addition to photography that you can feature in your design. As always, achieve a cohesive design by corresponding your imagery to match other elements such as the text or icons.
Making a banner for an organization or business? Show off your branding with a bold design! Showcase your logo, branded colors, wordmarks or branded imagery, and your slogan or motto. Use this banner design to post as your social cover photos, or get it made into a printed banner to take with you to company events and appearances.
Are you the face of your brand or business? Why not feature yourself on your banner, then! Showcase a self-portrait on your banner so your audience can get to know you and recognize you in the future. You can frame your photo fullscreen, like it is here, or feature it in a photo collage or smaller frame in your layout. Be sure to choose a recent and relevant photo, and make sure the photo communicates the same message as any other copy or content in your banner for clear messaging.
Color is a great tool for catching your reader’s eye. But before you get to designing, think about what specific colors communicate. Red is certainly one of the loudest colors, and often used for outspoken messaging such as urgent matters, power, or warnings. For this example, red works great for announcing new arrivals as well as matching the color scheme of the woman’s blouse. Think about the intent behind your colors, what they can communicate in your banner, and how they might be received by your viewers.
While bright colors may catch your attention, using contrasts adds to the potency. Contrast is a tool to make two things stand out in a design and against each other. Generally, things that are light contrast with things that are dark, but you can also achieve a similar effect by exploring color blocking or complementary colors on a color wheel. Note how the blue in this banner almost feels electric up against the grayscale background. You have our attention!
Icons are an excellent design tool. Icons can save time in the design process instead of making your own imagery and illustrations. Icons also allow for consistency, as often styles of icons match with each other, and you can customize the colors of icons to your specific needs. You can enlarge icons to make them background images, or use them as social icons or wayfinding symbols seen here. This particular banner does a great job of identifying a show hall and also providing clear, artistic directions for guests.
Make a statement with a unique font choice that matches your banner’s personality. If you’re making a professional banner, you might want a more traditional or modern font. But if you’re making a banner for something fun and creative, explore all the possibilities! We love this font choice seen here as it feels like it was fashioned out of neon lighting itself – a fitting choice for the overall aesthetic. Choose a bold font and use it for your header, exploring with color and placement until you find the perfect fit.
Announcing a sale is one of the most common marketing campaigns performed by companies, and in order to get someone’s attention these days you really have to think outside the box. You could use size, color, or engaging fonts to emphasize the sale announcement, to name a few options. Add “text effects” to your tool belt and explore all the new ways you can showcase your banner’s copy. You can find text effects in your Spark workspace and remix your font to perfection. Here, we see rather than just placing “sale” on top of the product image, we’ve placed the product image in the sale, and how that creates a much more dynamic and unexpected design.
Text doesn’t always need to be crystal clear to get a message across. Creative, artistic design choices like this example are encouraged! Consider ways you can turn your type into a part of the design. Create dimension by layering small type on top of larger type, as seen here, or play with unconventional placement options. Place your text design on top of a background image for added action. Designs like this are a great approach for sports and entertainment, as they communicate high energy and excitement.
In design, repetition creates a pattern for the reader to understand, and variation in the pattern creates emphasis. These can be powerful tools to help you as you build your banner. Here, we have repetition with the adjectives, and variation with the style when you see “brave” is bold and opaque to match the “I am.” Play with repetition in your text or imagery, or even using icons to create a pattern. Based on where your banner will be presented, explore opportunities with these design tools to serve the banner’s purpose.
Banners are a great piece of artistic real estate for sharing impactful or relevant quotes. If you’re intending to drive home a powerful message, display your quote in a striking font and pair it with a powerful image. If you’re going for something more poetic, pick a more subtle font, scale down the size, place it off center and showcase an image that matches the sentiment to really set the mood. If you’re using your banner as a social media header photo, be sure to play your quote on your canvas where it will be legible when cropped according to your social platform. If you’re printing your banner, make sure the quote is large enough to be read from a distance!
We hook you up with thousands of professionally designed templates so you’re never starting from a blank canvas. Search by platform, task, aesthetic, mood, or color to have fresh inspiration at your fingertips. Once you find a graphic to start from, just tap or click to open the document in the editor.
There are lots of ways to personalize the templates. Change up the copy and font. Sub out the imagery with your own snapshots or short video clips. Or browse from thousands of free images right in Spark. Spend as little or as much time as you want making the graphic your own. With a premium plan, you can even auto-apply your brand logo, colors, and fonts so you’re always #onbrand.
It’s easy to add extra flair and personality to your projects with Spark’s exclusive design assets. Add animated stickers from GIPHY or apply a text animation for short-form graphic videos in one tap. We’ve taken care of all the boring technical stuff, so you can focus on your message and style.
Gone are the days of having to memorize image dimensions for every single platform. Once you’ve landed on a design you like, you can easily modify it for any social network by using Spark’s handy, auto-magical resize feature. Simply duplicate the project, hit resize, and select the platform you want to adapt it for and our AI will take care of the rest. Boom! Content for all your channels in a fraction of the time!