Build an Eye-catching Banner Ad in Illustrator
You’re not just competing for revenue online; you’re competing for attention. Advertising professionals are constantly searching for new ways to stretch their advertising budget, garner as much exposure as possible, and ultimately get the right eyeballs on the right products and services. These kinds of techniques have varying degrees of success, but there’s no trick that has a greater influence than the design of the advertisement itself.
Today, I’ll show you how you can make such an ad in Adobe Illustrator. I’ll design a banner for a fictional app icons promotion as an example. We’ll use shape tools, pen tool, and various options within the objects and effects menu. You’ll learn few handy tips along the way that can help streamline and amplify your sales. So, let’s get started!
This banner will be completely vectorized, so size doesn’t really matter; it can be scalable to any size you want. Let’s begin with the banner base. Pick #058293 as your fill color and select the rectangle tool (M). Click on the canvas and enter 445px for width, enter 215px for height in the rectangle window, and hit “Ok” to get a rectangle identical to mine. Label it as “Base”.
Next, we’ll apply a pattern over the base. Go to “Swatch Libraries” > “Patterns” > “Decorative” > “Decorative_Classic” and choose “Waves Smooth Color” from the available options. This new pattern should appear in your swatches. Now, select the base layer by pressing the ring-shaped target present at the right side of the respective layer and double-click the contents within the appearance panel (Shift + F6). Select the “Fill” attribute and click on the “Duplicate Selected Item” icon present at the bottom of the appearance panel. Apply the “Waves Smooth Color” pattern to this new fill attribute and decrease its opacity to 45%.
We’ll highlight the area behind the icon a bit. Pick white fill color and draw a rounded rectangle on a new layer below the icon with the following settings using the rounded rectangle tool. Simply pick the tool, hit the canvas, and enter the following values. Label the rectangle as “Glow”.
Select the text layer and go to “Object” > “Expand Appearance”. Once again go to “Object” > “Expand”. Expand both the fill and stroke. While the text is still selected, go to “Object” > “Path” > “Offset Path” and offset it by 1px.
Select the text and go to “Object” > “Expand”. Expand both the fill and the stroke. After that, duplicate the text and place it below the original layer. We’ll use the copy in the next step. Select the original layer and go to “Object” > “Path” > “Offset Path” and offset it by -2px and change its fill color to #39423E.
Select the duplicated layer now and change its fill color to #39423E. Offset its path by 1px, change its color to #39423E, and drag it 1 step downwards and towards right exactly like we did in step 8.
To make stitches over the ribbon, draw a line using the line segment tool near left border of the ribbon. Pick a white stroke (1pt stroke weight) and apply the settings below in the stroke panel. Then, decrease its opacity to 35%. Once you are done, duplicate the stitched line and position it along the right border.
Draw a circle with a white fill using the ellipse tool. Select it and go to “Object” > “Path” > “Offset Path” and offset it by -2px. Set its fill color “none” and give it a 1pt light gray (#BCBEC0) stroke. After that, apply the stitch effect to the stroke by using the same settings in the stroke panel that we described in step 15.
To make the button’s shadow, draw a rectangle with a black fill color. Select it and go to “Effect” > “Distort”> “Transform” > “Free Distort” and bring the top corners of the rectangle closer as shown below. After that, apply a 1.5px Gaussian blur filter to it and change its blending mode to “Multiply” and its opacity to 60%.
Lastly, we’ll apply a texture to the banner. Place the ribbon and button layers just above the base layer. Now, go to “File” > “Place” and choose the “Leather Texture” from the resources. Place the texture above the base, ribbon, and button layers. To confine the texture to the banner, draw a rectangle completely covering the banner over the texture layer and set its fill and stroke color “none”.
After that, select both the texture and rectangle layers and go to “Object” > “Clipping Mask” > “Make”. Change the blending mode of texture to “Soft Light” and set the opacity to 25%.
That’s it! I hope you enjoyed the tutorial and have the tools to build a banner ad worthy of your purposes.