Formats and layouts are both properties of Creatives.
However, they’re not the same thing.
- Formats define the size and behaviour of an ad unit as a whole
- Layouts define the arrangement and settings of elements within an ad unit
Formats are specific types of ad units. Formats encompass the sizes plus the behaviours of an ad. For standard IAB (Internet Advertising Bureau) they might have one-size or layout for a format like a 970x250, 300x250 or 160x600, 728x90.
However, Responsive formats are referred to as multi-size as they contain multiple sizes and layouts. For example on default a Fully-Fluid™ contains 1920x1080, 1800x180, 1200x1200, 480x1920, 1200x1920 sizes all in one format.
For the full list of ResponsiveAds Formats available, see:
So, formats include standard sizes for ad displays (or other types of visual displays, like web pages) in different types of websites, or on different screens.
The IAB has standardized flexible format sizes, and there are standard formats for sidebar ads and banner ads on different types of screens. You can explore their unit sizing guidelines here.
The sizes associated with each format can be seen when you click the black triangle.
 For example, one of the Fixed-Height Fluid™ has these sizes:
As you can see this is the Fluid™ format that is a fluid max width and fixed height of 250px with multiple breakpoints.
 And one of the IAB Flexible-Height Fluid™ Formats has next sizes:
As you can see in this case there are proportional sizes that transition along the horizontal with breakpoints at 1200, and 600 where a new proportion takes over.
The dark blue size is the size currently open in the Fluid Designer. Choosing a format size allows you to create a layout associated with that size, in the chosen format.
At the same time, an ad’s format is also the way in which it behaves, either when manipulated or when displayed.
For example, a Flexible-Height Fluid creative keeps aspect ratios and shrink a unit proportionally, depending on the width of a given ad slot or device. It will always keep given proportions, in our example they are: 6x1, 4x1 or 2x1.
An ad unit in Fixed-Height Fluid™ format maintains its height while width is flexible; so its programmed behaviour is to shrink and re-compose (i.e. to choose from different layout options), but only width-wise. Its height remains fixed.
In contrast, an ad unit created with a Fully-Fluid™ format has different programmed behaviour.
When a displayed Fully-Fluid™ ad is manipulated by the user, both height and width can shrink or stretch. The format will choose to move and re-compose in response to manipulation according to its programming.
Layouts are the precise arrangement of images, logos, text boxes and other elements in a given ad unit (Creative), associated to a given size (width x height).
Layouts also encompass the arrangement of elements in relation to time. Layouts include the order of events.
Creating layouts is one way to cultivate an effective aesthetic across different formats.
In the Fluid Designer, the various layouts you’ve created for different sizes in formats are represented numerically (width x height) and automatically added and saved in the Layouts section on the Right-Hand sidebar.
These layouts are demarcated by size.
In the example creative below we have Logo and Button HTML elements inside of the group element, Image and Background elements.
Position, anchoring, size and other settings of all of those elements represent a single layout.
- 1920x1080 size layout
- 1800x180 size layout
- 1200x1920 size layout
- 1200x1200 size layout
- 480x1920 size layout
Pre-loaded layouts - Templates
In the Templates tab, there are already intriguing, pre-made layouts you can choose from.
You can also save your own custom layouts as templates.
Learn more: Templates Overview (coming soon).