10 Sites for Designing a Better App Banner

Sometimes, my boss asks the impossible, like today, for example. She asked me to tell you how to design banner ads. Sure, it doesn’t seem like an impossible thing to ask. I regularly tell you how to do all kinds of exciting things. Design, however, is not my forte. You might even say it’s my kryptonite. My total knowledge of design can be summed up in the following three sentences:

  1. Don’t use too many fonts.
  2. Don’t use too many colors.
  3. Make sure your copy is easy to see and read.

While I’m sure you’ll agree that those are solid advice, they fall into the realm of common sense, and probably aren’t big news to you.

So, instead of giving my advice, I’ve decided to search the web for some people who can give you good advice on banner design.

  1. If you’re not patient, What Does Blog Stand For gives you Three Golden Rules for Effective Banner Ads.
  2. Volusion’s Ecommerce Blog has a fairly general blog post on creating banner ads. It’s a worthwhile read, particularly if you’re new to banner design.
  3. Web Design Ledger gives some great tips.
  4. Bannersnack has an ebook called 25 Best Practices in Banner Advertising that you can download for free.
  5. There are some great tips on SimplyGraphix
  6. There are some nice tips on Grantastic Designs.
  7. You can download a number of different backgrounds from Brainy Betty. Some of them are nice – remember, though, readability is key, and not all of these banner background are good for that.
  8. 92 Pixels has an excellent tutorial for building a fairly standard banner in PhotoShop.
  9. For $60, you can have a banner designed for you at I need hits.
  10. Design Outpost isn’t the cheapest way to get a banner design, but it’s an easy way to get a few possibilities quickly without spending a fortune. Expect to pay $75 for a nice design.