3 Banner Design Tips To Bring Your Message Into FOCUS

3 Banner Design Tips To Bring Your Message Into FOCUS

Are your banners and signs bringing the right message into focus? Or put another way:

Are your potential customers seeing what you want them to see?

Warning Sign

It’s easy to get a little too clever with a sign. See the example at left:

This sign is very fun and clever, but does it focus on the right things? Our eye is drawn to the funny cartoon, and the most important message – “Dangerous Marine Life” – is barely noticeable!


All New Branded Signs

On this sign, “Good-Cheap-Fast” stands out. But is that really what the business is trying to say? The signs FOCUS seems to tell us that customers can get all three!


FOCUS directs the reader to the most important information on your sign or banner. Here are three great ways to focus your audience!

Tip #1: Focus with Shapes

Take a look at the banner below:

Promotion Banner

Note how the round shape on the right side draws the eye directly to the 35% Off text. The yellow line – leading into the “35% Off” circle stands out as well and has the date information.

Ask yourself: Does the customer really care what kind of sale this is? Probably not. What do they want to know?

  • When is the sale?
  • How much will I save?

The designer uses shapes to get the most important information across.

Note also how the bright yellow color brings the information out. That leads us to . . .

Hint #2: Focus with Color

Check out this banner:

In this example, the shapes lead us to the information about the Anniversary Sale. The COLOR, however, leads us to “25 Years.” Why?

Chances are, this designer knew that the important information was the actual sale information, so she placed it in the larger shape. However, the “25 Years” is important as well! It lets the customer know that the store is established and stable. It also makes the customer part of a celebration!

By placing “25 Years” in a brighter, but smaller shape, the designer brings attention to it without distracting from the most important message.

Shape AND Color.

Now it’s time to bring in the next element of focus . . .

Hint #3: Focus with Leading Lines

Leading lines are lines within the design that the viewer naturally follows to the most important information. Here’s a great example:

Here the yellow arrow literally points to the “24 Hours” information. Your eye is led by the lines of the arrow.

The banner above uses color and leading lines quite cleverly. “Open” is the most important information, right? After all, the store is ALWAYS open!

When we look at the banner, the yellow “Open” is the first thing we see. The designer then uses leading lines to guide us to the “24 hrs” information. It’s simple, but perfect!

The great artists have used these very same techniques for centuries! Here are a few examples:

  • Leading Lines!

    Twilight at the Seine, Rouen, Robert Antoine Pinchon, 1905
    [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

  • Shapes!

    Paysage au Disque, Robert Delaunay, 1906
    [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

  • Color!

    The Uphill Path, Gustav Caillebotte, 1881
    [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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