Can you offer any design tips?
What follows are some things to keep in mind when designing your banner, whether you're just sketching it out, or using a desktop design program.
Keep It Simple
In our experience, some of the most striking, effective banners have a bold, simple message that a viewer can comprehend instantly. Unless your banner is meant to be part of a POP (point-of-purchase) display, or a tradeshow exhibit, most viewers won't spend the time to actually read your banner. They'll glance at it, and in that time you'll need to communicate your idea.
For example, if you are designing an outdoor advertising banner or flag to point out your the physical location, then make your logo or company name the most prominent feature of the banner. Prominence can be achieved through size and/or color. If the viewer sees nothing else, it should be your logo. The next most vital piece of information is usually a slogan, or possibly floor or phone number. Some clients are tempted to fill up their banner with a grocery list of all the products and services they can provide. Wherever possible, try to keep the excess verbiage to a minimum, in order to make more space for your company name or logo.
Sizing a banner is important if you expect people to see it from a distance. If your banner is going to used outdoors, be sure that the size you select is going to be viewable from a reasonable distance.
Conversely, a gigantic banner viewed from a short distance could be difficult to read. Also, consider the height from which your banner will be viewed. An 8' by 12' banner on the ground seems huge, but when it's three stories up in the air, that size seems more reasonable.
It is often very difficult for some of our clients to determine what size banners they need, especially if height is involved. Don't worry, just call us and we'll help.
The choice of colors for your banner or flag is often subjective, but we suggest that if the purpose of your banner is to be seen from a distance to use colors that contrast well. Also, look at the area where your banner will be placed.
If your banner will be surrounded by other signage of a particular color, be sure to pick a color that helps your banner stand out from the crowd. Most people opt to start with white as a base color, and then add various colored elements. Sometimes this is unavoidable, depending on your logo. But when possible, we suggest a colored base fabric because color attracts the eye.
The material you should use to make your banner depends on what factors are most important to you. Vinyl is often selected if time and/or cost is an issue, as vinyl banners can be produced quickly and cost-effectively. Vinyl banners are also suitable for single-use banners that will most likely be used for an event, and then discarded.
Fabrics can be used when the banner or flag is expected to last for multiple events. Some fabrics have different properties. For example, we use a special matte fabric for trade shows and step-and-repeat banners because the lack of a sheen to the fabric cuts down on photographic glare. Also, this matte fabric resists wrinkling, so it travels from show to show requiring less maintenance.
Also, keep in mind that vinyl cannot be ironed (as it is a plastic, and will melt) but fabric can be washed, ironed, and more easily repaired. Vinyl banners do not make good outdoor banners if they are expected to wave in the wind. The weaved nature of a textile fabric makes them a better choice for banners or flags that are expected to move. If the vinyl banner is stationary (flat against a wall, or mounted using top-and-bottom poles) then they can work as outdoor banners.
If you really want to get the most from your banner or display, then take the time to get a designer to help you put together a proper design. While Ace Banner does not market itself as a designer, we can point you to some designers we have worked with in the past, or give you some general advice.