Tari Akpodiete has what might be called a mildly unnatural preoccupation with banner ads. For the last couple of years, she’s been copying just about every one she’s come across onto a website, and in the process has built what she believes is the largest collection of such ads in the world.

This month, the Toronto web designer decided to make that collection publicly available.

And her site, Banner Report, has become at once a veritable banner ad museum and a tool where designers of new ads can investigate the countless styles that have been tried in the past.

“I thought it would be a good resource for creative types and people who might have an interest in that kind of thing,” Akpodiete said. “It has become a little bit obsessive, though.”

Perhaps, but the 15,000 banner ad samples she’s gathered do display a remarkable range of styles, features, dimensions and animation, all searchable by keyword, size and type. For designers involved in making the next generation of banners — an advertising medium often criticized as annoying and ineffective — more attractive and profitable, Akpodiete’s site may well be a gold mine.

“It gives designers a feel for what banners work and what doesn’t,” said Marque Guilbeault, the creative director of online marketing firm Contestix. “A lot of banner designs are based on the original site that (they are) representing. This can give designers creative ideas beyond just banner ads.”

Banner Report isn’t the first site to collect and display large numbers of banner ads. Past efforts include the Banner Ad Museum and CoolHomepages.com. But the sheer number of ads on display at Banner Report leaves others in the dust.

More here.