Best Banner Ideas for 2020

Web and social media banners are important, but if you want clicks, you need a great design. Here are some banner ideas to guide you.

Marketing design
May 29, 2020

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With the visual overload that is our modern-day internet, it's critical to have outstanding banner design. That's why we're looking at some terrific banner design ideas to help you create an awesome graphic for your next campaign.

Web banners are a powerful marketing tool, but one that’s tricky to get right—64% of people find web ads annoying or intrusive). That’s why the emerging trend with banner ads is to make them native, or consistent in style and content with the platform they appear on. This helps create a relevant context for the ad, which in turn leads to more engagement: 70% of website visitors click on native ads, whereas for display ads, it's 50%.

But what about social media?

Nowadays we can tailor social media advertisements to audiences through extensive targeting tools, but that does not necessarily mean these ads will be relevant. That’s why it's important to understand how people use social media and how marketers are using social media to connect with customers.For a simplified answer to those questions, we will look at the top three 2020 social media trends that you should use as guidelines for your banner ad design.


3 Social media trends to be aware of

Whether it's a youtube banner or the cover on your Facebook page, these trends will affect your banner ad's performance. Make sure you consider them, whether you decide to come up with a DIY banner or hire a graphic designer for some professional help.

1. Target narrow but effective

Marketers are becoming increasingly aware of quality over quantity when it comes to social media engagement. With the total number of likes hidden (on Instagram and this change pending on Facebook), it's evident that social listening is a trend to follow. In fact, 2/3 of marketers say following the conversations around your brand and industry (i.e., social listening) will become crucial in 2020.

With the global access to information, target audiences ought to be seen as communities of people (marketing tribes), united by a shared passion, rather than simple demographic data. This is yet another reason to tailor your marketing strategy to the people that care about your values and your brand.

In that sense, previously overlooked places like Facebook groups can be an excellent opportunity to showcase your banner ad to the right people.

2. Video content is king

Video content produces 12 times more engagement than written content and images combined. Cisco predicts that by 2022 videos will make up for 82% of online content. That's why great banner ad design could mean kicking things up a notch with a video banner or taking things further with an augmented reality (AR) ad.

3. Extensive personalization through retargeting

Leading on from the first point, one of the most significant social media trends (and general marketing as well) is retargeting. This study shows that retargeting converts 3 times more customers.

That's why it's more important than ever to know your customers: where to find them and how to approach them. We will look at how this works in practice in some of the following banner template examples.

With these trends in mind, let's dive into the topic of banner ad design, including some design tips to help you.

Banners with bright colors

You may want to dig a little deeper into color psychology (the study of what emotions different colors produce) and try to create the desired emotional response based on that (as opposed to "I like this color").

However, a rule of thumb is to use bright colors. For example, studies show that people react more strongly to the color red (hence, conversion rates are often higher with red buttons). Yellow and orange are often associated with communication and positivity; usually, the kind of message you would want to stand out.

However, remember that it's not an exact science. Color combinations and our reactions are highly dependent on context and contrast (e.g., if the website your banner ad is displayed at is predominantly red, your bright red banner design may still go unnoticed).

colorful banner.png

By Nihal Singh

By William Wang

Or using humor to create that sense of "you know what this is about", which a loyal customer might respond well to. Like this Febreze ad that hits a little too close to home with every dog owner.

By Yulisa Tukal

By James Kupzack

This example makes excellent use of color and text to make those positive experiences stand out.

By Farhana Zakia

By ivan Zheng

By Dinksy



By Edward Alonzo

By Bilal Khan

By Farhan Rabib

By Nisha Droch

By Sarah Frederich

By Vladimir Schneider

By Anagha Shinde

And a nice brushstroke font like this works particularly well with an ad for foundation. Again, think about context and what kind of associations typography can produce (in this case gentleness, lightness, etc.)

By Gabriella GK

By Nisha Droch

By Anastasia Marinicheva

colorful banner 2.jpg

Making your banner stand out with typography

An exceptional copy is important, but if the font is too small or illegible, it won't do anything for your conversion rates.

This example makes a lovely combination of elegant serif and sans-serif fonts with a bit of cursive text for that romantic feel.

typography banner.png
typograhy banner 2 (1).jpg

Banner ideas for targeting life events

Remember that personalization is essential? Well, there are many ways to do that. You can always target people around big holidays like Christmas or Easter.

A step further are ads that target people around their birthday with a birthday party or gift banner; or for significant life events like weddings or graduation.

birthady banner ad
life event banner.jpg

Banners with photos

To use or not to use stock photos in your banner ad design? That is a trick question. If you're a small startup and can't afford professional, high-quality photos (although who doesn't have that one hipster friend?), stock photos can be a great, cheap option. Just make sure to use other elements such as background, contrast, or fonts to make the design interesting and unique.

This banner template is a good example of how you can liven up a plain stock photo with some good color coordination and interesting fonts.

stock photo banner.jpg

Making your product the focal point

Of course, it goes without saying that if you're advertising a physical product, be it a simple divide or real estate, you shouldn't false advertise with pictures of something far removed from reality.

This type of banner ad design works exceptionally well for tech products and food. With a mouth-watering image and a clear call to action, you don't need to be super smart with your copy: you've already got that emotional response that you were after.

product photo banner.jpg

This is another beautiful example. The picture of the actual product is there, but the elegant background makes it seem like something far more glamorous than a bar of soap.

product photo banner lux.jpg
product photo banner iphone.png

Attention-grabbing animated banners

Since video content is getting bigger every day, a dull old banner image won't always do. Step up your advertising game with a banner that "comes alive" like one of these colorful examples.

animated banner.gif

This one from (formerly Dapulse) is not only fun and colorful but also contextually relevant. The message here is that your snacks may vary from day to day, but this task management tool will allow you to remain consistently productive.

animated banner monday.gif

Using illustrations for banner design

As we said, people are very likely to ignore your ad, and about 1/3 of them use ad blockers that will prevent them from ever seeing it altogether. In such a hostile climate, you need to go the extra mile if you want your banner to get noticed.

Illustrations are a brilliant way to go, for two key reasons: they are beautiful, and they show that you care. If you put in the effort to find or create a custom-made illustration, your ad will immediately appear less spammy and more like a thoughtful piece of advertising. The great thing about illustrations is that they usually look good in different sizes (which isn't always true for signage or stock photos).

illustration banner.jpg
illustration banner 2.jpg

Simple banner design sporting a clear message

Wait, what? With all the visual overload of the interwebs, we're telling you to make it simple? Well, yes. This is another great marketing tactic, as a simple, to-the-point banner can help create a sense of trust.

Another upside is that if you decide on this kind of style, you can easily find many useful banner templates or use a design tool to create one yourself.

However, remember that not all (or best) simple designs are DIY projects. The graphic design of this awesome banner from Dollar Shave Club is ingenious: it would work equally well as a business card. The elegant background and the simple, yet funny tagline makes me think of Sean Connery reading it.

dollar shave club banner.jpg

This example combines a simple layout, crisp product photo, and bold stickers that draw attention to the call to action (CtA).

simple banner.jpg

Use customer testimonials to your advantage

Online reviews are important: they impact purchasing decisions for over 93% of customers. Even more strikingly perhaps, 84% of people trust online reviews as much as word-of-mouth recommendations.

With this line being blurred, it can be critical for you to show why potential customers can trust your business. Here's a good example from Clarisonic.

clarisonic customer testimonial banner (1).jpg
customer testimonial banner.jpg

Speak to your niche

If you're a blogger looking for a cool, new YouTube banner, you probably know how important it is to speak to your audience.

Make sure your banner is there to establish a sense of brand identity (again, as a blogger, you may want to include your face somewhere in there) and stick to a color scheme and typography that make sense to what you do.

youtube banner.jpg

When it comes to other kinds of web banners, connecting to a niche audience might mean using specific language or jargon like these Microsoft Azure ads.

microsoft azure banner.jpg
febreeze banner (2).jpg

Create banner ads that promote engagement

We all click at an incredible rate, but what are the clicks that count? In the world of social media, and beyond, quality is taking a definitive precedent over quantity (when it comes to engagement, leads, website visits, etc.)

If you're looking for a banner ad design idea to create a conversation with your audience, you can use banners to give free stuff in exchange for those all-important emails to add to your leads database.

cta banner.jpg

There are many creative ways to engage with your audience: from freebies to joining special communities or giving their feedback on your services/products. When it comes to the banner design, in these cases, it's important to feature both the call to action and the incentive prominently. This one is a good banner template to learn from.

cta banner 2.png

Write creative copy

Google algorithms are getting more sophisticated every day, but to my knowledge, they still cannot recognize the fine subtleties of humor. A funny copy can do wonders for your social media presence, but unless it's paired with effective banner ad design, it may fail to yield the desired results elsewhere.

Use humor if it makes sense to your brand and put it in a context that is recognizable to your customers (did we mention connecting to your audience is essential?)

These Harvey Nichols banners are truly an example to learn from. They subvert the traditional image of the expressionless model with a bit of "excitement" showing in the crotch area. It's funny and helps connect the average person to the world of high fashion.

The pastel shaded background is also very pleasing to the eye.

harvey nichols funny banner.jpg


Whether you're trying to build a following on social media or competing for those paid clicks elsewhere, bold banner design can help you create a strong asset in your marketing strategy.

We hope you can use these examples as design inspiration to create something outstanding. Don't settle for drab design that people will likely overlook. Create a connection between your brand and your customers and show that you care with beautiful, custom-made banner design.

Having lived and studied in London and Berlin, I'm back in native Serbia, working remotely and writing short stories and plays in my free time. With previous experience in the nonprofit sector, I'm currently writing about the universal language of good graphic design. I make mix CDs and my playlists are almost exclusively 1960s.

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