If you want to draw attention to yourself publicity is the key. To make an effective banner your design really needs to stand out from other competitors. Many different businesses and organisations have been using banners for years in a variety of different formats. To grab your consumer's attention an effective banner must be eye catching without overloading the reader's memory with too much information.
There are quite a few different factors to take into account when designing your banner. Depending on what the banner is used to promote these general guidelines should help you come up with an effective design.
As banners mainly rely on text to communicate with the viewer one of the most important choices to make is the font. Before you choose the font you should think about your customers. If you are aiming for an older customer base then it is best to avoid overly stylised or modern fonts and use of slang and abbreviations. The type of business obviously plays a large roll as obviously you wouldn't use the same design for a motorbike shop as a florist.
Legibility is also another crucial factor. If your banner is hard to read it is less likely that people will read it and digest the information. To keep your banner easy to read avoid using more than two different fonts as this will distract the viewers attention and make them less likely to read your banner. Also avoid putting large amounts of text in all capitals as this takes longer for our brains to read and interpret. Capitals can be used effectively to emphasise key phrases and sentences sparingly.
Choose bold, well defined fonts for the main body of text on the banner and for titling and if required a different font for subtitles and small print. Some highly stylised fonts such as calligraphy will only work in a stationary environment.
Effective use of colour in different combinations can really turn a banner's appeal around. Different colours can be used to evoke different emotions in the viewer. Depending on what kind of business you are trying to attract use of colour can be used to settle and calm or create a reaction in the viewer.
A bad choice of colours will make your banner stand out in all the wrong ways. Even if you are displaying the most attractive, appropriate information a poor colour combination will draw attention away from it. One of the key factors to take into account is the contrast. If you choose complimentary colours for the text and background then the text should literally leap off the page and be much more eye catching. Not only are good colour combinations easy on the eye they also improve the viewers chance of being able to read the banner over long distances.
Primary colours work particularly well especially when combined with black and white. Black on yellow is traditionally used as a signifier for danger and is well known for its attention grabbing properties. Other primary colours together such as red text on a yellow background and yellow text on a blue background work particularly well. Try experimenting with different colours for text and backgrounds to see which are effective.