Being Different in Banner Design

02/11/2010  | by: Shaun Cleary

Is being different good? This is the question many people fail to ask, they just assume being different is good, when really being different can mean being less effective.

I once worked in newspapers, and there were some ‘clever’ advertisers there who wanted their adverts upside down, as they thought it would be different and ‘different is good’ right?

WRONG!  We ran tests, and the weeks we had their advert upside down, they got less response, why? Simple, people didn’t like it, they didn’t like the fact that the advert didn’t comply, they didn’t like the fact they had to turn the paper upside down purely to read an advert that was trying to sell to them.

Reverse block is another common ‘being different’ thing, but again, it doesn’t always work. We are brought up in the Western world reading dark print on light background, and also reading top right to bottom left. Deviating from that needs solid thought, and if possible, testing.

A good banner designer will know whether or not something will  work, and will advise you as such, he/she will have seen it all before many times, and the last thing they will want is to produce a banner for someone that is not going to work for them. What they want is to produce something that works, that way they get your repeat business.

So while sometimes being different is ok, other times not so.  The real magic, is knowing when to be different and when to conform. Ask your designer, they are there to help you with successful design, ask them and listen to the why!


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