Banners are Simple … But not as Simple as You Think
We all know what they are, how they work, and what they’re for. At the same time, banners are something that we don’t think much about until we need one ourselves. First-time banner buyers are often surprised by all of the details that there are to consider when purchasing a banner.
You might be surprised how many of our customers who are ordering banners have no idea what size banner they need. “I don’t know,” “what do you think?” “I’ll know when I see it,” and “Is there a standard size?” are things that we hear frequently. The truth is with banners, there is no standard size. They can literally be cut to any size desired. That’s the nature of the product. The design is printed on a blank sheet of vinyl that comes off of a roll, which is then cut down to a specific size.
This means that it’s up to the consumer to do a little work to decide how big THEIR banner needs to be. Where are you going to hang it? Measure the dimensions of that space. How much of that space do you envision the banner taking up? Measure this “imagined” banner.
In addition to the size of the banner itself, one must consider the size of the message. Determining this often comes down to determining your target audience. How far from the banner will they be? Across the highway, or standing right next to it? Also, how long will they have to read the banner? Are they driving by or standing in one spot? The answers to these questions help determine how your banner should be designed.
Given their larger dimensions, banners are often used to attract attention from a distance. “Grand Opening” … “Now Leasing” …. “SALE”. You’ve seen them before. One or two-word messages meant to real in passers-by from afar. Not all banners are like this, however. We print many banners for situations that involve a captive audience. Banners designed for indoors or for an area with heavy pedestrian traffic can usually get away with smaller, more detailed designs and more text.
Because the customer is going to be, in most cases, more familiar with the space where their banner will live, it is up to the customer to do a little bit of prep work to determine the size and design needs of his or her banner.
In addition to coming in multiple sizes, banners also can be printed on a variety of materials. The most common is 13-ounce vinyl. If you’ve touched or handled a banner before, odds are this is what it was made of. 13 oz. vinyl is durable enough to hold up in temporary outdoor applications, yet cost-effective enough for indoor use as well. Because of it’s wide usage, this is also the most affordable material for banner printing. For Denver Print Company, it is also the material that you may have to print on if you need a rush or same-day banner, as it is often the only banner material that we always have in stock.
There are, however, other options. If your banner is going to be placed outdoors for an extended period of time, we may recommend a mesh banner. Vinyl mesh banner material is similar to a window screen. Close up, it’s full of tiny holes, but from a distance, an image can be seen. Mesh banner material allows banners to better stand up to windy conditions. In the wind, a standard 13 oz vinyl banner can turn into a sail, either ripping in half or flying off to the land of Oz. The mesh allows the wind to pass through.
It should be noted that, due to the holes, the graphics on a mesh banner don’t appear quite as crip as they would on a non-mesh banner. Text is legible, however, and from a distance, most people would not be able to tell the difference.
Another material option for banners is fabric. Fabric banners look great and are extremely durable. They are less common, however, because they are significantly more expensive and because most banner applications do not require such a durable banner. But if you are in need of a more permanent banner installation, a fabric banner could be a great choice.
Yet another material we offer is 16 ounce vinyl. This thicker vinyl can be printed on both sides, so it is typically used for double-sided banner applications. If you would just like a thicker and more durable vinyl banner, it can be used for that at well.
The last choice you will have to make for your banner is the type of finishing. That is, how do you want to hang it up? Our standard finishing technique is hemming with grommets. This finishing comes with any Denver Print Company banner for no extra charge. (Grommets, in case you don’t know, are holes reinforced with metal.) For small additional fees, there are other options, Shown here:
Other Types of Banners
In addition to the standard hang-it-on-a-wall or hang-it-on-a-fence type of banners, there are a few specialty banner products. The most prominent of these are step and repeat banners and pull-up banners.
Sometimes you have to see something many times before you realize that you have seen it. This is often the case with step and repeat banners. You may not be familiar with this term, but if you have been anywhere near a TV, magazine, or the internet in the last 20 years, you have certainly laid eyes on these ubiquitous center-pieces of subliminal advertising.
It’s a simple concept, really: Turn the background of a celebrity photo into advertising space. In a way, it’s surprising that it took us until the late 20th century to come up with it. It’s not surprising at all, however, that the idea has exploded in the age of information and social media.
The product itself is also quite simple. A step and repeat banner is just a backdrop with a repeated pattern of company logos. It may be just one company logo, or it may be a few, but the repetition is key. Step and repeat banners are specifically designed as a backdrop for photographs and video. The repetition allows the logos to be visible behind the subject regardless of where they stand or from what angle the camera is pointing. A layout of larger single logos would not work as well for this because the subject would have to stand in the perfect spot, and the photo or video would have to be taken from the correct angle, in order for the logo or logos to be fully visible. With a correctly designed step and repeat banner, the subject can pose, and the camera person can aim, as they please and all of the logos will be captured in the background.
The layout of the logos is a key factor as well. On a step and repeat with multiple logos, the spacing and the alternating of the logos from the top to the bottom of the banner are critical. If the logos are placed too close together, they may become harder to read. If they are too far apart, it becomes more likely that certain logos will get cropped out of a photo. If logos are not alternated correctly, this can lead to the exclusion of certain logos from the final images as well. Companies are often paying to have their logo on a step and repeat banner, so a poorly designed step and repeat banner can lead to some angry sponsors.
Custom step and repeat banners can be a bit of a challenge to have printed by just any print shop. The size and accuracy required to print them makes them a specialty product.
Pull up banners, also known as retractable banners, are a staple of trade shows and conventions. They are easily portable banners that roll up into a convenient case. This case doubles as the base for a built-in display stand. There is no easier way to transport a professional-looking and effective display stand with you around the country or around the world.