15+ Awesome Banner Graphic & Thumbnail Examples

twine thumbnail 15+ awesome banner graphic and thumbnail examples

What is a Banner Graphic?

The banner graphic, otherwise known as banner graphic ads or banner vector, is a great way to grab the viewers’ attention and invite them to learn more about what’s being advertised. A successful banner ad is usually made up of 3 core elements:

  • Bright and exciting visuals – often colorful, and easily digestible
  • Welcoming copy – they should invite the viewer in from the get-go, and represent some form of positivity, satisfaction, or inspiration 
  • But also, very minimal copy – this one’s important. You don’t want the viewer to scroll past your ad because they don’t have the patience to read through tons of copy. Instead of text, the advertising message is usually conveyed using images or multimedia, thus making the message pop and become engaging.

Banner graphics are most successful when placed in high-traffic, high-visibility locations on domains. You have probably seen a banner graphic or two within these high-visibility locations: they include the top, bottom, or either side of a webpage; places where viewers’ eyes usually wander. 

They are used to create brand awareness, and also generate click-throughs, leads, and conversions, and are essential for maximum SEO success.

The Different Formats of Banner Graphic:

SEO

Within SEO, a banner graphic is an awesome way of adding some color, and energy to your site. As mentioned earlier, this can be formatted with an advertising objective, or, it can be utilized within your content. 

Take The Wall Street Journal, for example, which ensures each and every article features a thumbnail. The result is effective: content is broken up, the UI feels easily navigable, and each article has its’ own image, its’ own branding. Now, imagine this webpage without the use of images to break up the copy… it’d be pretty lifeless, right? 

Social Media

Here’s the more common form of banner graphic, which plenty of us – especially recent generations – will be accustomed to the social media banner graphic

This is where advertising truly takes shape. A banner thumbnail can be the difference in a user engaging with your content – which, for media titans, YouTube, is a huge driving force of their platform. The term “clickbait” also took a whole new meaning here, as creators could fabricate eye-catching, unbelievable thumbnails for their videos, causing dozens of users to click on the video just to see whether the thumbnail was truly real. 

Here are a few examples from a popular creator on the video-sharing platform, Collins Key:

If you’re interested in trying out this style of clickbait design, check out this article – although be warned! Using outrageous clickbait tactics to garner engagement and clicks can be good for general outreach, however, it often harbors negative reactions, as it’s seen as untrustworthy. If your brand has already built up a great, trusting reputation with your customers, maybe stay away from the brightly colored, highly emotive style of graphic banner design for the time being…

But where to get started? Well, we’ve built up this list of X clever and clickable ideas for your banner graphics – whether they’re for your SEO, something fun to jazz up your blog, or any digital advertising! 

NOTE: Want an original, custom banner graphic, at a fraction of the time? Twine has plenty of banner designers here!

Seasonal Banner Designs:

The key to seasonal banners? You have to play to their strengths. Think of each holiday season as an elite multi-million dollar company, with its’ own unique branding strategy. When you think of it like that, it’s suddenly very clear what your seasonal banner should include…

#1 Christmas Banner Graphic

This is an awesome design here from Freepik. We see three wise choices of evoking the spirit of Christmas here: using the color red, having graphic snowflakes, and having ‘Christmas’ displayed in a handwriting font. 

Font? That’s right – the font is a huge component of advertising – you’d be surprised how many marketers forget! Especially for national holidays such as Christmas, choosing the right font can be a true deal-breaker. This article has some great ideas for Christmas fonts, including Christmas (of course), Santa’s Sleigh, and Flakes Font.

#2 Easter Banner Graphic

Our friends at Freepik made another awesome seasonal graphic example here – Happy Easter!

What are the key elements of Easter’s branding? Well – Easter eggs, for sure. If your business focuses on food retail – especially chocolate – this truly is the season for you to take advantage of!

#3 Halloween Banner Graphic

This graphic from iStock encompasses everything we love so dearly about Halloween. It’s got the spook, it’s got the ghouls, it’s got the fun! 

Core colors that scream Halloween: Orange, Black, Purple. Oh, and luminous green is a pretty daring choice too…

#4 Thanksgiving Banner Graphic

It’s probably impossible to include every single food that sits on the Thanksgiving table, but this graphic from Shutterstock sure gives it a try!

Another connotation of thanksgiving is autumnal flair: adding a few leaves and acorns into your graphic design can really accentuate the idea of thanksgiving. 

Educational Banner Designs:

#5 How-to/Tutorial Banner Graphic

This YouTube thumbnail by Santrel Media ticks a few key elements off of every engaging banner graphic. 

The truth is, education isn’t always as exciting as we want it to be. In order to inject a little pizazz into your graphic, try using bright poppy colors, and clear, easy-to-read font. Santrel Media does both of these things, which is why this thumbnail stands out in the list and makes you want to click it…

#6 Listicle Banner Graphic

This clever design by Salma Jafri visualizes everything you need to know about the video, all in one still image. If it isn’t evident with the graphical 4 we see on screen, we can also see it in the image of herself. 

In a listicle banner graphic, make sure it’s obvious what you’re going to be talking about. Numbers are a great way of improving engagement, as it provides structure for the reader/viewer. Our brains are pretty much wired to be drawn to numbers!

# ‘Top 10’ Banner Graphic

Again, similar to the banner graphic on “How to” topics, this design by PhotoADKing.com helps summarise the core elements of the content in easy-to-read, bright and poppy, elements. 

It helps if you can be as detailed as possible within your thumbnail, without cluttering the space. For instance, if your content is on the ‘Top 10 Best Games’, maybe include a few graphics of characters from those games, in the thick of their action scenes? As a viewer, we want to be drawn into the story and made to click through.

#7 Ultimate Guide Banner Graphic

In an ultimate guide banner graphic, this is the last place to be vague. Instead, include your entire topic title, but make the subject of your guide the main focus. Also, images are encouraged here, but as this is more educational, it doesn’t need to be entirely media-heavy. This design by MoGraph Mentor is a pretty good example!

#8 Review Banner Graphic

Whatever your review is of, whether it’s a book, a film, or even a blender, a visual of the product is a must. As consumers, we have to satisfy our visual stimulus – it’s no good sticking an image of yourself here, we want to be able to visually see the thing we’re going to read your review about. 

This design by tamilglitz.in is effective – we’re seeing the movie poster in all its glory, paired with the classic movie black and yellow graphic. 

Entertainment Banner Designs:

#9 Travel Banner Graphic

A piece of content designed to educate and inspire viewers on travel, is very similar to review content, due to the fact you’re reviewing the location. With this in mind, we should follow similar steps with how we go about designing the banners: always include visuals of the place/product/service

Even if the copy was missing in this design by Fotor, we would still be able to figure out the content was on New York City, simply because of the symbolism used: yellow cabs, great big skyscrapers, trees littering the roads. The graphics for these types of content should always speak for themselves! 

#10 Comedy Banner Graphic

Believe it or not, studies have shown that yellow is commonly associated with humor. So, with that in mind, isn’t it about time you take advantage of it? 

This poppy, borderline comic-strip style of thumbnail was created by AHM Pattern. It features 3 smiling faces (which definitely helps emphasize the whole humor thing), and a cartoon-like typeface. Finish this off with the use of yellow in the topic title, and you have yourself a graphic for success!

#11 Gaming Banner Graphic

You’re probably seeing a pattern here: the key is to use connotations of your piece of content. So, when we think of gaming, we think of headphones, a controller, or a computer. Get it? 

Well, this one by PosterMyWall took it one step further, by also including the ‘is live’ subheading underneath the main title. This is an excellent example of having fun with your design and implementing new and fun features. Oh, they’ve also used luminescent colors, with a dark background – which is another great connotation of gaming.

#12 Sports Banner Graphic

A sports banner graphic would truly not be complete without some action in there. Unfortunately, there isn’t really any specific color in mind when it comes to sports – the industry is so large, that there are a variety of teams with a mixture of colors, designs, and uniforms. 

That’s why, instead of relying on color, you can do what Photoshop Tutes have done here, and incorporate a classic action shot. As sports is also getting more and more digital, it would be a good idea to include a few geometric patterns and designs into your thumbnail. 

Business Banner Designs:

#13 Product Release Banner Graphic

Now, just because they’re professional and business-y, business banner graphics don’t necessarily have to be boring. This classic product release comes from the likes of Apple – and there’s a reason this is one of the more popular designs. 

First of all, it’s pretty empty. Using blank space is a clever, if not courageous move, and here it’s used to its advantage. The graphic isn’t cluttered with information – it has the product number, the catchy tagline, and of course, the product. Now, the product is slightly off-shot (we can only see the new camera, which is for a reason), but Apple can do that, because… they’re Apple

Should you have your product/service appear off-shot when you feature it within your product release? Maybe not. But, should you play around with the norms, and be daring yet simplistic within your design? Maybe so, it clearly works!

#14 Q&A/Interview Banner Graphic 

This is one of the odd occasions where we would encourage you to have images of either yourself or whoever else the Q&A is with. 

Again, people want visual stimuli! Including an image of your speakers within your, Q&A not only keeps things interesting and engaging but also allows your design to be personalized. It’s obvious you aren’t sticking to any old thumbnail template when you’re using a picture of yourself! Check out this one by The Marketing People for a little inspiration.

#15 Case Study/Testimonials Banner Graphic

Jazzing up your ‘case study’ thumbnail with a 2D banner illustration really isn’t a bad idea. Again, business vector banners have the connotations of being pretty dismal, so why not add some color and fun? As long as you’re sticking to your product or service, and keeping that considered within the visuals, you’re in the clear. 

This one by our friends at PosterMyWall.com is a great example – a simple color scheme, poppy character, and bold branding. Perfect!

For only the most high-quality banner graphics…

…visit Twine. We pride ourselves on our marketplace of over 430,000+ creative freelancers, who are ready to create original, and high-quality designs for you. Whether it’s a banner ad, thumbnail, or any other graphic design – we have a talented banner designer around the corner.

Wrapping up

So there you have it! 15+ inspiring examples of banner graphic designs to help you on your advertising design journey. Whether you’re a pro with graphics yourself, or you need help from the experts in the design department, these ideas should help get you started!

We hope you enjoyed our article – if you need any more useful tips on content creation, check out our archives on design, marketing, and other freelancing tips.

Tannah Cantrell

Tannah Cantrell

Originally, a freelance painter and writer, Tannah Cantrell is a Digital Marketing Executive at Twine - an online marketplace that helps creative freelancers connect with clients and start building their dream careers.