The process of designing a banner ad or any other type of graphic design is not simple. There are several elements and principles that must be considered in order to create designs that are effective and appealing. When planning the design of a banner, designers must take into consideration several principles. Among the most important ones there are focus, balance, movement and unity. If the designer is familiar with them he may profit from its use and therefore produce results that are very successful.
Focus is very important because it determines the place where the eye is drawn first. If you place the focus incorrectly, the design may lose effectiveness and it will not meet its objective. Make sure to place the focus on the word, image or shape you consider the most determining and important. The focal point is usually placed in the middle of the composition, since it is usually the point where the eye is drawn first.
Balance is the feeling of stability in an image. Unstable compositions are unpleasant to the eye and are not visually appealing. If an image lacks balance the audience feels confused and does not understand its message. Balance can be symmetrical or asymmetrical. Symmetrically balanced compositions are those in which elements on each side of a central axis are identical or almost identical. And asymmetrical balance is when the two sides of a central axis are not identical but have the same visual weight.
Movement is the principle used to create motion in a composition. The elements of a design may be combined and arranged in order to create rhythm. A very usual way of creating motion is to include figures that look unstable. Next there are three images that illustrate the difference between images that look stable and unstable. Notice that while the first two pictures (A1 and A2) heighten the feeling of motion because they seem to be moving, the second one (B) minimizes movement because it is static.
When we talk about unity we refer to the fact that the images that make up a composition need to be tied so that they seem to belong together and to be part of a whole. Audiences identify messages more easily when there is unity in a design. Banner ads for instance, are advertisements that pop up on web pages and disappear quickly. Therefore, it is paramount that visitors can understand the image the moment they see it. If the elements that compose the design are not unified it is more difficult to understand the message that is being conveyed and as a result the design may lose effectiveness.
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