Death by a Thousand Web Banners

As churches and ministries adapt to the trends and innovations of the design industry, there is still one major problem, the Internet is experiencing Death by a Thousand Web Banners. Now, the web banners are not the only issue here, this current trend and potentially devastating concept is mostly caused from lack of brand guidelines, qualified designers, and individuals not paying simple attention to detail. However, with education and a little perspective, we can develop the understanding necessary to protect the Internet, our designs, and the mission/vision of the ministries we’re supporting.

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Amidst an inspired generation of hipsters, creatives, and yes, geeks, the originality, imagination, and innovation of the – seemingly archaic termed – World Wide Web has all but taken a break throughout the past decade. With endless amounts of agencies, freelancers, and do it yourself opportunities, digital design is steamrolling its way through multiple fields, in multiple ways, and on multiple platforms. Whether you are a designer, creative director, head pastor, or volunteer in charge of graphic design, you’ve likely experienced much of this innovation, and – most likely – some web banner design error as well.

Increases in possibility and opportunity have also given way to the probability and likelihood of increased design error. In an ever-advancing digital society, our own innovations and ideas can – sometimes – hinder our endeavors. These errors or hindrances occur for many different reasons; most of which can be credited to us the creators and maintainers. Although it may be difficult to admit that we are the problem, this is a concept that we must identify, accept, and challenge.

Examples of deadly web banners


The Color Blinder: Banners that are colorblind fall into two categories:

1) The colors do not match the schematic theme of the incorporated website.

2) The banner was created in CMWK when it should have been created in RGB (CMWK is for print; RGB is for digital).

Fixing a Color Blinder is simple, choose colors to incorporate within the banner that are relevant to your brand and websites representation and approach; and make sure they are formatted in RGB.


 Pixely Problems: We’ve all seen an image that is just – simply – hard to see; it’s too pixely. When it comes to creating web banners we must be careful to use images that apply the correct pixel coordination to the size of the image.

A good rule of thumb is that Print images should be at 300 DPI (dots per inch) and Digital images should be at 72 DPI. It is important that you adjust your designs accordingly. 

Grandpa Glasses: If your banner is not legible, readable, or understandable, your audience will – most definitely – be confused; asking what is it? What’s it about? What’s the purpose?

Make sure that your web banner is created with a relevancy and readability. If your audience does not understand its concept, content, or focus, it’s – simply – worthless.


The Blushing Brand: Your banner may be a beautiful creation and representation of an event, series, or whatever, but if it’s not consistent with your brands image and guidelines, it will lose its effectiveness.

Make sure that your banner is not blushing too much and taking away or deviating from the original guidelines of your brand.


For Matt: Is your web banner “formatted” and optimized for the web? Without the proper formatting, you may as well be placing the banner in the trash instead of on the web.

Some things to consider include color, size, location, focus, etc…