How To Create 125 x 125 Ad For Your Blog

Dee Langdon, a recent visitor (and hopefully a reader) asked

'Do you have a software recommendation to create a 125×125 ad?'

This post tells you how to find good resources to get you started.

What type of help do you need?
This is an important question. Often when you get into graphics, even a simple favicon, many people are 'clueless.' Others have a basic understanding of what they want and just need a more professional image. Some have image making software on their PC or know someone who knows someone... The adventurous ones will just give it a try using 'free' online image generators.

Ready for Adventure
If you want to learn and have some time on your hands to experiment, try these online generators recommended on the EntreCard website. If nothing else they can help you decide where you want to go next (to a professional perhaps, with a basic concept in mind).

img by free123card.com

bwsmoney_01I made this one at Free125Cards.com:
Select a prefabricated background, click 'personalize" to add your text. You can resize, drag and drop text for proper placement --- very easy to use! One thing -- I didn't see was a way to control the font color.

Here's one I saw in that site's public gallery --- not bad for free! If you sign up, your ad in the gallery will have a link to your blog, etc. And the file types are generated as '.png', a high quality picture format.

life1229104643

The free online services do not generate animated ads. So for animation you need to consult a 'professional' or someone with enough bucks to buy and learn the software.

[tip] If you do not mind some Hard Work, download the free Microsoft Gif Animator software. It just joins the images in animation. You yourself will have to create all frames[/tip]

Do it yourself
As for free 'parts' to build your own ad, you can get a 125 x 125 background and photo images at MarcRoger's site or composites at Diet Pulpit. Just use your hand saw (image manipulator software) to add your text on top. SplashUp is a site that lets you upload the background/image and then add your own text. I did not try it yet, if you do let us know. Also a reader, Sarah suggested you can get free backgrounds at HeavenGraphics.

Gimp.org is a free online service for the semi-professional or DIY --- do it yourselfer. GIMP is a 'feature rich' open source program that lets you compose and manipulate images. If you recognize the terms quoted from their features list, then you can help me!

  • Painting - 1)Full suite of painting tools including Brush, Pencil, Airbrush, Clone, etc. 2) Sub-pixel sampling for all paint tools for high quality anti-aliasing 3) Extremely powerful gradient editor and blend tool 4) Supports custom brushes and patterns...
  • System- Tile based memory management so image size is limited only by available disk space and Virtually unlimited number of images open at one time
  • Advanced Manipulation- 1) Full alpha channel support 2) Layers and channels 3) Multiple Undo/Redo (limited only by diskspace) .... and much more!

Other software in this category include Adobe's PhotoShop (not free by any means!). Some say "GIMP is a poor man's Photoshop." Want an opinion on which is better, Gimp or Photoshop?

Can't be bothered
If you want someone else to 'just do it', open your wallet and call a professional (or semi-professional, but 'good) graphic designer. Or find a do-it-yourselfer who can help you with a simple ad. Animation, as in the BWS animated ad, falls in the complex category, so expect to pay more.

My GIF animator software is part of MS Image Composer, which came with MS FrontPage (for web development). The animator and image composer are quite old but still work in Windows XP. To create animated ads, I first used Image Composer to manipulate multiple images into a composite, adding text (similar to the free123 feature). But I control or create which images are used. For example, the ad for a contest won by CreativeJunkie used snippets of her header background. To finish the animated ad I used Image Composer to set the animation rate and frame rotation.

If you're interesting in having us create a custom ad for your blog, use the contact form --- low rates for subscribers and members of our Blogger Cafe. We'll see if we can work with you --- Mr. I is good at coming up with slogans! Who knows, this could be another way of monetizing our blog... for that premium WP theme...

Have you dabbled in Ad design?
Ads are a good way to promote and brand your blog.  Consider where you want to use your ad. Once you have an ad, chances are you can use it in your own 'grab my button' box. So create your own button box and exchange with your friends.  Give it a try. Leave a comment if you have other resources to recommend! And by all means sign up for our next blog post! It's free...

Comments

  1. Ahh finally I found a good article….thanks for sharing it with us

  2. Hello,
    I’m confused and need more traffic for my blog.

    Any good suggestions please ?

    • A bit off-topic but in general I think you need to do more promotion of yourself (unique knowledge, perspective ) and blog content — i.e. why should people visit the blog? Try BlogCatalog and a regimen of commenting on related blogs and(re) tweeting others content.

      I’d suggest a theme with a menu for better navigation. Personally I don’t like the side of the page follow/share tabs — try putting large icons for subscribing on top of sidebar. Create an e-book to giveaway when readers sign-up… do something different (interview another blogger) and do some guest posting on higher rank blogs.
      Hope this helps…

  3. Very helpful for newbies like me!

    • Welcome Ellen,
      I’m glad you found something useful in the article. Very colorful blog design! Good luck.

  4. Hey I am very thankfull specially for that 125cards trick. It is very simple for a newbie.

  5. Very cool

    I’m actually working on a a banner as we speak so this was very timely. Still playing around with the design but should come out pretty awesome :D

  6. Thanks for the tips, you are lifesaver, I actually used the free125 website to get my images, thanks!

  7. thanks 4 the info..:)

  8. Good luck and let us know how it turns out! Thanks for visiting.

  9. This article has been really helpful. I spent a good part of today searching for a free means of designing banner for my website. You know, I just wanted something that looks nice while passing the right message. Well, I couldn't settle for any of the options I got. This article has given me some fresh ideas to try out. I'm going for GIMP, i already have it on the Ubuntu installation i have, but I never attempted to learn how to use it. Now, I have reason to give it a shot! Thanks for sharing your knowledge in this post. Shalom
    .-= Redeemed´s recent blog ..Joke: Husbands For Sale! =-.

    • Welcome. Glad you're inspired to try GIMP. I may ask you for help since my new PC with Window 7 doesn't support my favorite image editor — I've been stringing it along from pc to pc for years now…. the company no longer sells the product but it worked wonders… So I'll be trying out GIMP.

  10. Will check this out. Thanks

  11. Good. Let us know when you're showing one of your new creations….

  12. thank you for the clear guide. i am one of those clueless ones, but after reading this i think i know what i will do. thanks again.

  13. @SBA,

    Thanks for the welcome note.

    I designed the ads using a simple PHP script which I describe in the article. Most of the graphics are either self-created or come from the vendors themselves.

    Thanks for all the great work on Blogging With Success. I enjoy reading the articles.

    Cheers,

    Richard

  14. These are terrific ideas for adding an ad banners of your own to your site. I just gave free123 a quick try and liked the ideas that it gave me.

    On my site, I wanted to create ads for products that I use rather than using random google ads or other ad variations.

    I wrote a piece on how I created small, revolving ads using PHP if your visitors are interested. It can be found here: http://richardcummings.info/create-custom-ads-for

    Again, thanks for these other suggestions,

    Richard

    • Welcome Richard,

      I'm sure readers will appreciate the article. How did you design your ads? (which software tools)

  15. I tried to use Photoshop and it ended up in a mess. Then moved on to Picase, not too bad but not the way I want it to be. Free123cards is not working anymore. However, I found out http://www.heavengraphics.com/free-125×125-ad-bla… where you can get free background.

    • Sarah, I somehow missed your comment — sorry. The link was wrong (now fixed) so try it again. Thanks for the heaven graphics site. I added it to the post text.

  16. Thanks a lot for these tips. This is just what I was looking for. I always wondered how to make 125×125 ad spaces.

  17. Lol GIMP. Yeah, it's overlooked graphic software. Many people prefer to use Photoshop (or even pirated one) to do their graphic job, but I can say, GIMP is a tight competitor for Photoshop in terms of abilites.

    • When it comes to simplicity, nothing matches InkScape! Although its not as powerful, but good for most jobs. (We designed logo using InkScape!)

  18. I use GIMP to prepare for my blog post photo and some of the ads I put on craiglist. For a little bit of complex image I am learning to use Inkscape, another free opensource graphic software. In fact, I am using linux (Ubuntu) as an operating system instead of XP or Vista.

  19. Oh, thank you so much, I will definitely give it a try and come back and show off what I created.

  20. @Darren Tan – glad we could help! I see you have a favicon, good (memorable) domain name and some nice music reviews. Good luck.Stop by again.

    @Brian Elliott – Welcome back. I see you did make your favicon — told you it would be easy. About creating an ad, just let me know if you run into any problems.

  21. This blog post comes in handy as I was thinking of creating a 125×125 ad for my site to place on an advertising network. Thanks for sharing!

  22. Nice, this is very useful. Thanks sharing, Mr. I.

  23. @Tamal Anwar – I agree that flashing in the sidebar can be distracting. Some folks are very good though at ignoring them! That's why you may see more eye-catching ads. With graphic design you need to leave it to the professionals. This makes you think pretty hard about why you need that ad in the first place.

    @Sayz – yes, the ad needs to get across so much info in so little space! Uniqueness, or 'why you have to click' is important. You need to focus the ad on your target audience who may be visiting the blog where your ad appears. Not easy…

  24. If you can't create one, then ask someone who knows how to create a unique ads to create one for you.

    Try to make sure your ads is closely show your blog uniqueness yet don't use animated 125 x 125 ads, sometimes it irritates me.

    It is a good resource for many blogger who wants to have a quick way making the 125 x 125 ads.

  25. I'm completely against of animated ads. Big ads are ok, but small 125pix animated ads are a headache. I don't like it to flash when I'm reading and the same way, readers don't like it.

    I used to spend hours to create nice looking banners, but now hired a professional to do this for me.

  26. @surfer Jerry – It's like an old car that runs perfectly! I'm amazed that my copy still works and fearful of what I'll do when it stops in some super Windows upgrade. Glad you visited here and found this useful.

    @Creative Junkie – Actually the ppi need only match the web screen resolution of 144, anything higher is just a waste of image size. Of course for printing an image, the higher the ppi, the better! The 125px is perfectly legible in MS Image Composer. I suggest you create a Photo Shop background of 125 x 125 then add your text and images sized to fit that background. If you can't read it on the monitor then you have too much text or the font is too large. Any original images should be high resolution to then shrink down to no less than 144 and added on the background . Text should not be shrunken at all — use native size that fits the 125 space. So the 125 ad is a mixed bag.

    Hope that helps.

  27. Great post just downloaded the Microsoft gif animator, I had been looking for a program like that for a few weeks now, been using gimp for several months now. I would highly recommend it especially for being free and it beats the hell out of trying to do stuff with ms paint.

  28. I use Photoshop to create mine, but honestly, I don't know how you guys create for the web! I'm used to creating for print, at large resolution, like 300 ppi. But creating at 72 ppi is painful!

    How in the world do you "see" what you're doing without it being all pixelated? How do you zoom in?

    I wound up creating my ad on a print size scale … like 4 x 4 at 300 ppi and then resizing and optimizing for the web – but I'm finding I don't get a really sharp resized image this way.

Trackbacks

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  2. [...] How to Create a 125×125 Ad for Your Blog: SBA wrote this tutorial a while ago. After reading it, the idea came to my mind that you need to use the image for something too (Why would someone make a 125×125 ad for blog without any use in mind?) Result? Where to Use Your 125×125 Ad. [...]

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