Banner Best Practices

Kamiccola

Member
I figured I’ll start a thread on this since there's a lot of uncertainty/questions around graphics.

Until HPFF releases the book cover feature, we can embed web banners into our story descriptions to add a little extra to our stories and hopefully attract more readers.

What size banner works best for you?
What site do you store the image on?
What are your thoughts on the content of the banner - how relevant to the story, mood, font choice? Should it include only the book title or also a tagline, short blurb?

And the question I'm trying to figure out, how do some of you manage to lock the aspect ratio so the image is not stretched out on a smaller screen?
 

Ashley Marie

Headmaster
Staff member
Hello,

I wanted to share some advice as far as banners go!

One issue community members may run into when hosting banners is sites going down that host free images, I always recommend Dropbox or Google Images, that way if a site no longer hosts ‘free images’ or ceases to function, you’re not left with an error message in your banner space. Imgur is another one I’ve used for image uploading.

As far as size, I found this image sort of helpful to define what you’re looking for. If you want mainly text, a ‘half banner’ or ‘large leaderboard’ may work, images, I’d go a little larger, and you can modify those too, but the large rectangle or inline rectangle may work best there.

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Here are some examples on mobile, and sizing stays close to the main banner/large leaderboard for most of these!

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I cropped them all a little differently so you could sort of get an idea of what they look like on the phone.

I know banner content varies by community member, but I love an image that relates to the story, sometimes a blurb too - something catchy; and the title!
Hope this helps some! Also we welcome feedback from everyone! @JMilz creates awesome banners so her feedback would be great too.
 

JMilz

Head of Ravenclaw House
Hello! My personal style is a simple background and text that will stand out (for free options, I like using Adobe Spark for its high resolution and then scaling down to scale using resizeimage.net). I've seen lots of good covers with little blurbs or that flash as well.

I usually stick to the medium rectangle method, maybe the long rectangle method too. I believe my aspect ratio ends up being something like 300x700 or 150x500. I would find a banner type you like and then use resizeimage.net and keep the aspect ratio so the image doesn't get wonky.
 

RonsGirlFriday

New member
Thanks for posting this thread! I was going to post a related question had I not found this. I'm a tech moron, and back in 2012 I was still using Photobucket and paying for the extra bandwidth. I was trying to figure out where best to host my images, hopefully for free. I pay for the 2 TB Dropbox already as storage for all my stuff, and it never occurred to me before that I could use it for image hosting for my story banners. Going to try that out now, as all my banners are blurred because I exceeded the free bandwidth allowance on Photobucket.

My banners are all about 411x64. That size banner is pleasing to me, shows enough information about the story without being overwhelming when browsing the archives.

The way I see it, a banner is like a movie poster. It should give you a little feeling about what you're in for: mood, characters, setting, etc. I like to include a tagline especially when my title and summary are on the vague side, or to dispel any pre-formed notions of what a story with "that character" or "this pairing" is going to be about. A tagline can tell you whether to expect fluff, irony, bittersweet, etc.
 
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