The Banner Plays

To be blunt there’s a lot of boring banners that I see out there on my way to work. Most recently we needed to have two banners created and I vowed not to fall into the trap of having a plain and boring banner for our clients. I wanted our banners to not just be noticeable, but also creative and eye-catching. Believe it or not there’s actually a science to not just making these things, but putting them up as well. Two things to consider when designing and putting up a banner:

  1. Audience :: Who are you targeting to view this thing? Your design will be affected by who you’re trying to target.
  2. Location :: The physical location that you place your banner will also impact it’s perception. Like they say in real estate, it’s all about location, location, location.

Now let’s take a look at a few examples from my drive in to work.

Example 1 – The usual


Here we have  your average common banner. Is it serving it’s purpose? Yes. It has big bold lettering that let’s us know when the event is. Is it enticing or eye catching? I’d have to say no. Now, I just want it to be known that this banner is not bad. You never know if people don’t have the resources such as a graphic designer or the proper amount of funds to create a high quality banner so let’s not dwell on that.

Examples 2 & 3 – A little bit better


Now we’re getting somewhere. Here we have better use of color, good variation with fonts, and a few small graphics. But, it’s still predominantly your average banner with bold lettering.

Examples 4 & 5 – Too much


Here we have examples that go over to the opposite end of the spectrum. These banners just have too much going on and can make it hard for people driving by to read what’s going on. Multiple font colors, an image not large enough, outlined type, and a ghosted background image all contribute to making these banners hard to read. Now you might be asking yourself, “are there any good banners out there?” The answer is yes, there are . . .

Examples 6 & 7 – Just right


In these examples the first thing that you notice is the big bold type, but they are crafted in such a way that differs from our previous examples. Both make use of color in creative ways. For Outback, what makes it a good efficient banner is that their message comes across first, and then you see that they have more going on in the background. Meanwhile for First Assembly they use minimal colors to their advantage.

Example 8 – Striking a Balance?


So this was our most recent job for one of our clients. Taking all things into account the first thing that should jump out at you is the event title, “Lunch on the Lawn” and the secondary information about the event comes next. While the background is very colorful, it’s not overpowering and adds to the entire banner. Not too shabby if I do say so myself.

If you want to check out this banner in person, come down to Lunch on the Lawn this Friday from 10a to 1p at the corner of Kawaiaha’o & Cooke Streets. Or for more info, click on the “Market” link at the top of the page.


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