How to Make a Banner

How to Make a Banner
  1. Start with a plain or patterned background and choose your banner size based on your project.
  2. Apply clip art (overlays) to your image to give it a beautiful graphic background.
  3. Add text over your banner, adding one to two fonts
  4. Personalize your banner through color, layout, content, imagery, style, and voice

Designing a banner is hard, right? You’re supposed to find a designer, spend a bunch of money, and work with whatcha got, right?

Forget all that.

We’ll show you how to make the perfect banner for anything you need. Between our tools, templates, expert designer tips, and that brain of yours, you’ll never have to wonder how to make a YouTube banner, how to make a banner ad, or how to make a banner for your online store.

Start with a plain background

For starters, you can kick off your banner with a basic background color. We’ve made it simple with a few projects links; which will take you to the Editor, with the right dimensions fired up and ready to roll: Facebook coverYouTube bannerTwitter headerGoogle Plus headerEtsy banner.

Or if you’re making a banner ad, here are some standard sizes: 728 x 90300 x 250160 x 600300 x 600 , 970 x 90.

After you’ve opened your canvas with the proper dimensions, pick your Canvas Color (in the Basic Edits tab). The color picker lets you choose from the spectrum or input a specific hex code for those of you with specific color schemes. This really comes in handy for making a banner for your Etsy store, and making a banner for YouTube, where coordinating colors is a great way to stand out.

Design tip: Color is one of the easiest ways to help you stand out. Be aware of color preferences and meanings, but also common color associations. Weddings are pastels. Eco-friendly topics are green, etc. Those associations are visual cue as to what you’re about, but it also can make you blend in with the crowd. Try using slightly different tones.

Or start with a patterned background

Variegated, colorful Swatches offer even more options for beautiful graphic backgrounds. We keep Swatches in the Collage tool. They’re perfect for everything from seasonal specials to simple zig-zags and stripes. Alls you gotta do is plug in your dimensions into a one-celled collage, pick a swatch (from the Swatches tab), and take it back to the Editor with the Edit button in the top toolbar. To learn more, check out the Swatches video tutorial.


Tip: less is usually more. This Etsy banner is just one swatch, one overlay, and one typeface. Boom.

Or start with a template

If you’re specifically looking to make a Facebook cover, we have a nice selection of designer-crafted templates to choose from. Find one that tickles your fancy and plop it into our editor to get personalizing. Feel free to stick to our main look, or use your newfound design savvy to change up text, overlays, colors and more. Our templates are fully editable, so the sky’s the limit.

Overlays for days

We couldn’t tell you how to make a banner without talking about Overlays. Overlays are our vector graphics, which means that they’ll look crisp and pretty, no matter how big or small you make ‘em.


Here’s a good example of both. The teddy-eared monster overlay becomes an iconic logo while the rest of the Critters overlays make up a cohesive background that reinforces the identity of the brand, business, or person. Between the Overlays and Themes tabs, PicMonkey has over 1,100 overlays. But g’head and take that number up to infinity, because you can upload any of your own.

Say yes to the text

Then there’s the ever-essential text. PicMonkey has dozens of hand-picked designer fonts, plus you can upload any of your own that you have installed on your computer. But if you want more, check out our article of 20 free font resources.

Design tip: Pairing different fonts makes your banner dynamic, but using too many can be distracting, cause confusion, and result in a lack of clarity. Choose two (never more than three) fonts and stick with them. For example, pick a bold sans serif font for your headings and a lite, easy to read serif font for secondary headings and body text. Using additional typefaces from within your chosen font set (such as thins, lites, bolds, italics, etc), as well as different font sizes and colors can give you a lot of variety.

Banner ad that uses a swatch from Collage as a background, and text and overlays from Comic Heroes theme.

Texty tricks

In this (fake) Gotham Comix ad, each line of text is part of a separate text block. That way, you have full control over each line’s alignment and sizing. There’s all kinds of cool stuff you can do with text. For instance, if legibility is a problem, try adding a drop shadow. Right-click on your text, and select duplicate text. After you make the duplicate layer black, send it behind to the first, close but not perfectly overlapping, and fade it back to about 70%. If you want your text itself to be the main attraction, maybe text masking is just what you need.

Tip: If you’ve added an overlay or text object and rotated it, you can straighten it by right-clicking on the object and choosing Straighten.

Stand out from the crowd

Create something remarkable that forces people to stop and say “look at that!” Remarkable can be achieved through color, layout, content, imagery, style, and voice. It can be beautiful. It can be ugly. Just make it you.

This article was written by PicMonkey Staff, a multicellular organism of hive-minded sub-parts who just wanna get you the ideas and information you crave, so you can make good pictures and take over the world.