How to Create an Effective Leaderboard Ad

In this Inkscape tutorial, we’ll be creating a simple, yet effective leaderboard advertisement. As long as you meet the few requirements for effective advertising, the rest of the design is up to you!

1. What is a Leaderboard?

A leaderboard advertisement is one of the most popular (and most effective) sizes of website banner ads. It’s commonly placed on the top of a webpage and usually has the size of 728px by 90px (even Google AdSense uses this). When you first open up Inkscape, head up to File > Document Properties to change the page size to 728px by 90px. Now we’re ready to create a banner!

inkscape leaderboard format

2. Call to Action

Step 1

Every ad needs to have some sort of “call to action”, such as a button. Let use Inkscape’s Rectangle tool to draw out a rounded rectangle to get started.

rounded rectangle

Step 2

To make it stand out, I’ve used the Gradient tool to create a bright blue linear gradient.

blue gradient rectangle

Step 3

I’ve also added a very subtle blue stroke.

blue stroke rectangle

Step 4

Now it’s time to grab the Text tool to type out something short, but attractive. If I’m making an ad for GoInkscape!, the point I make on the button should be about learning Inkscape.

text button inkscape

Step 5

To make the text stand out on the button even more, I’ll add a Filters > Shadows and Glows > Drop Shadow with the settings below. In the Blur color tab, I’ve set the color value to #00000043, which is just a slightly transparent black.

drop shadow outer inkscape

Step 6

Below is my finished “call to action” button. You might have noticed that I also added the same drop shadow to the bottom of the button - I think this creates a very attractive button.

call to action button inkscape

3. Ad Layout

Step 1

In most cases the reader looks to the left of a webpage first, so we’ll save that area for our actual advertisement. This means I’ll be putting my button to the right, along with the GoInkscape! logo. As nice as logos are for creating brand awareness, they won’t instantly catch somebody’s attention (unless you already have brand recognition).

call to action right or left

Step 2

I’m going to be bold and do a dark gray gradient for the other portion of my leaderboard. I’ve used the Pen tool so I could create a neat diagonal shape.

ad background colors

Step 3

Then I simply duplicated the shape, moved it to the right, and gave it a bright blue fill for a nice accent.

blue accent ad

Step 4

To keep the subtle gradient theme, I also added a very light gray linear gradient background for the right.

light gray ad background

Step 5

All that’s left to do is add your engaging text, which is the entire purpose of your ad! Just pick a matching or complementing font, highlight your key word (like “free” or “20% off”), and possibly a little info about what your business does.

There’s an old advertising trick that goes like this: You don’t want to put too much information on your advertisement, because the reader won’t have a reason to click on it then. You want to put just enough information to engage the reader to the point where they must click on your ad to find out more.

add text to leaderboard

Step 6

Below is my finished GoInkscape! advertisement. Since this is a wide leaderboard, it’ll probably be scaled down on your screen (you may click on it to view the full size if you’d like).

goinkscape free tutorial ad

Let’s Ad This Up!

We ended up going over the most popular ad size, the importance of a “call to action” button, and how to create engaging text. These steps gave me a pretty good end result! Hopefully this helps you out with your advertising someday. Thanks for reading!

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