Standard ad sizes for the web - Photoshop template

Download our free Adobe Photoshop standard web ad sizes .PSD template - Licensed under Creative Commons 3.0

Standard ad sizesThis Adobe Photoshop .PSD template has all standard ad sizes organized in layers that are grouped both by common usage and by compliance with the new 2009 IAB standards. You can use this template for creating your own ads or for ad placeholders in web design comps and wireframes.

To use this Photoshop PSD template file for creating your own ads:

  • Import your media and size your graphic design to fit each ad size you'd like to use.
  • Press Command T to Free Transform your media to the right size
  • Option/Alt drag to transform from the center
  • Merge your ad with the appropriate banner ad size layer
  • Duplicate the merged layer to a new file
  • Use Photoshop's Save for Web and Devices command to export your ads in nanogram.

Useful Photoshop shortcuts to know when using this template include:

  • Option/Alt click on the layer in the layers palette -> View just that layer
  • Command/Ctrl Click on layer thumbnail in the layers palette -> Select just that layer
  • Command/Ctrl 0 -> Fit in view
  • Command/Ctrl drag a bounding box handle -> Scale text within a bounding box when resizing the bounding box

Layer comps are used to show which ad sizes are available by major vendors. To use layer comps, click on the icon next to the layer comp or the arrows at the bottom of the layer comps palette.

This standard web ad sizes Photoshop .PSD template is free for use in your projects. If you wish to redistribute it on your blog or elsewhere, however, please provide a link back to www.ledet.com.

Standard ad sizes for web banners - guidelines

Standard web banner ad sizes were defined by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) in 1996. The IAB Ad Unit Guidelines are intended for marketers, agencies and media companies for use in the creating, planning, buying and selling of interactive marketing and advertising. The IAB's Ad Sizes Working Group meets on a biannual basis to review proposed new ad units and issue updated voluntary guidelines as appropriate.

The 4 most common units listed at the top of this Photoshop template make up the Universal Ad Package (UAP). This group of ad sizes was launched in 2002 in order to reduce the costs and inefficiencies associated with planning, buying and creating online media. These 4 UAP ad sizes are used for text ads in Google AdSense, DoubleClick, Yahoo and just about every other advertising networks. At Ledet Adobe Training, we feel that every business should, at a minimum, have ad files developed at these standard ad sizes.

In 2009 the IAB defined new standard Ad Unit Guidelines (PDF). In order to be considered a standard under the new guidelines, an ad unit must be commonly bought and offered throughout the marketplace. Only seven of the eighteen ad units on the original IAB list meet this criteria. Many of the original units from the IAB represented less than 1% of the total marketplace impression traffic. Note that IAB defines these standards based on ad sales, not ad click through rate (CTR) effectiveness.

Where should you place banner ads on the page?

Certain locations tend to be more successful than others when it comes to ad placement. Google has "heat maps" illustrating the ideal placement of ads on a sample general web page, a sample forum web page, and two for a sample blog web page. On pages where users are focused on reading an article, ads placed directly below the end of the editorial content tend to perform better.

General web page Forum page Blog page
Best ad placement for general web pages Best ad placement for forums Best ad placement for blogs

What size ads should you use?

In a 2005 Google AdSense Optimization Webinar, the best performing standard ad size was said to be the 336x280 large rectangle. The next two most effective sizes were the 300x250 medium rectangle and then the 160x600 wide skyscraper. Google also has a number of more recent free webinars on ad optimization available.

What color ads should you use?

In general it's been found that blending the background color of your ad units with the background color of your web site is more effective. It's recommended that you do not use borders around your ads. Google has articles on What color palettes are most successful, Color your ads beautiful, and Unobtrusive ads can boost revenue.

Additional information on the effectiveness of web ads can be found on the Google AdSense blog. In particular, the optimization articles provide specific information on getting the most from your ads.

Creative Commons License
Standard web ad sizes by Sterling Ledet is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at www.ledet.com.