4 minutes read

What is better than a picture but takes less time to create than a video? A gif banner, of course!

This is the third and last “lesson” regarding the differences between the flash, static and gif banners. Today we’ll talk about gif banners.

Today I want to talk to you about gif banners and how to make gif banner ads. If you’re patient enough, at the end of this article you’ll find a surprise.

But before we go into detail about gif banners let’s figure out what exactly it means:

What are gif banners?

GIF banners are animated or static images that contain images and text and carry the .gif extension. Animated GIFs comprise a number of images (frames) that are displayed one after another and thus creating the sense of motion. A GIF file that contains only a frame is static.

So, if a picture is worth a thousand words then how many words is a gif worth? Countless!

I see many cool gif banners on the internet and sometimes I wonder how is it possible to create something that looks so good, with little effort?

The name GIF stands for “Graphic Interchange Format”.

The history of gif banners

This format appeared in June 1987, more exactly when Steve Wilhite of Compuserve made it happen.

In the beginning the Gif was black and white and since then it got to 256 colors. Some of the early web designers used this type of content on their homepages before they launched the web page. Some examples are the banners in Gif format like “Under Construction” you definitely know.

Under construction GIF banner

Fast forward to nowadays – people love using GIF’s and social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter have already integrated them.

If you are interested to know more about the history of Gifs I recommend you to check out this article.


Advantages of using gif banner ads

From a marketing perspective, there are advantages and disadvantages of using gif banners in online campaigns. But to make sure that you understand how important they are for your marketing strategy I selected only 8 most important things you must know about this format:

  • GIF banners are accepted by most publishers and ad networks – Ad networks like Google are accepting .gif banners. But make sure that the maximum size is 150kb.
  • They may contain animations – but these animation must be 30 seconds or shorter. You can use an animation as a loop but the animation must stop after 30 seconds. And make sure that GIF ads are slower than 5FPS.
  • Can tell relatively complex stories through slides – We observe that many e-commerce brands are using slides in their gif banners to showcase more products. It’s a great way to promote your seasonal campaigns using online advertising.
  • They have a very low file size – As I already told you, these gif banners must be no bigger than 150kb.
  • They require no plug-ins for the users to view them
  • You can easily design a gif banner by yourself. In the bottom of this article I will show you how to design a gif banner so you can easily use it in your ad campaigns.
  • GIF banners work well on mobile devices
  • GIF banner ads are cool and interactive – you can create awesome gif banners and make your banner ad stand out from the crowd. Also, you can easily make them interactive so people will click on them.

How to design gif banners

You don’t have to be a professional designer or developer to create gif banners. You need only 1 thing: Creatopy.

Our app is very easy-to-use and it gives you the opportunity to create high quality gif banners so you can launch your ad campaign or just create content that you want to share on Facebook or Twitter. This is why the best way to design animated gif banners is to use Creatopy.

Before we dive into the step-by-step guide on how to make animated gif banners there are a few requirements you must know about them:

  1. Use quality images – make sure that when you upload your photos they meet the certain quality standards. Because the adwords campaign policy requests high quality images. Click here to learn more about the image quality policy.
  2. Design Principles in banner ads – as we saw, the top banner ads meet the 4 principles in design, also known as CRAP design principles: Contrast, Repetition, Alignment and Proximity.
  3. Accurate content – make sure that all the information you use in your gif banner is accurate and descriptive of what you’re promoting.
  4. Adult content – if you want to launch an Adwords campaign using animated gif banners, make sure that your ads are relevant and safe for users. Google is penalizing adult content in certain circumstance. Click here to read more about the adult content policy.

Now that we know all this information let’s see what do we need to design awesome gif banners for our marketing campaigns.

For example, I will tell you what steps you need to take to create animated gif banners for your digital strategy, but you can personalize these steps and use it in your own style.

  • Step 1 – Choose a banner size.
  • Step 2 – You can start from a template Creatopy’s professional designers made for you. Or you could start from a blank design.
  • Step 3 – Add elements on your banner ad. Here are a few articles we already wrote on how to design animated banners. You can also add slides and layers on your banner.
  • Step 4 – Add transition on your elements – Just click on any element you want to animate and an editor will appear where you can click on the transition icon and edit the animation.
  • Step 5 – After your design is ready, click on the Save button and name your banner.
  • Step 6 – Download your banner as a GIF format and choose 256 colors

Gif banners templates

You don’t need to look around the internet to find examples of animated gif banners because we already made this part for you. Also, to save you more time and energy we designed professional gif banners so you could only edit them on behalf of your company save them and use them for your own marketing campaign.

Here are a few templates from which you can start your gif banner design:

Click here to start from this template.

Click here to start from this template.

Click here to start from this template.

Click here to start from this template.

Click here to start from this template.

Click here to start from this template.

Click here to start from this template.

Click here to start from this template.

Click here to start from this template.

Click here to start from this template.

Robert Katai
Robert Katai is the Product Marketing Specialist at Creatopy. His work was featured on Adweek, Entrepreneur, Marketing Profs, Content Marketing Institute and other places.


  1. look gif vs flash. everyone is blah blah . Every one is saying audio and vector and pixel.

    Look if its just a simple gallery of images no sound no interaction no crap. Just a plain simple set of images. I personally think GIF is more adapted at that job. SWF and GIF are both good in what job they do.

    By the way in photoshop you can adjust fading and blending and speed and smoothness and everything so don’t think GIFs are just a joke.

    Last you dont need no annoying pop up saying you don’t have flash player. GIFs run better on older computers.

    Look at it this way a if its just a simple job use GIF. Your not gonna take a ferrari or lamborghini to a DMV License Test when a Honda Does just as good.

    “Pick the right tool for the Job”

  2. Thanks for this information on banners.

  3. For the sake of speed and site adoption GIFs are still my to-go-to file format. Flash splash! I have seen this too many times:”Please download the Flash plugin”…. I like how interactive the Flash/swf format can be but when deadlines are looming GIFs are 2-10x faster to create.

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