Here at Foam Core Print, we write a lot about banners because of how important they are in advertising. Banners can be a great way to advertise, get people’s attention, and get important information across to others. It is important to know what kind of banner to go with and what the differences are between them. The biggest differences with banners are whether or not they are for indoor or outdoor use. There are additional choices to be made when opting to go with a banner, but the biggest and most important choice is whether you will be hanging the banner inside or outdoors.
Indoor banners are not nearly as durable as outdoor banners because they are not designed to be exposed to the elements. The biggest difference is material. Outdoor banners are designed to be able to handle climate changes like strong winds, heavy rains, and debris hitting it. The outdoor banner will withstand all of this without tearing, melting in the rain, or otherwise showing any damage.
Polypropylene, or polypro, is a tear-resistant and smooth material. It is usually used outdoors because it is weather-resistant, but most banners use vinyl. Indoor banners typically use scrim vinyl, which won't really stand up to the sun or weather. It's still sturdy with a white background that can be printed on, but it's not designed to withstand the elements. Outdoor banners often use blackout vinyl, which is like the above but is much more resilient. Not only does the material withstand the rain, sun, and wind a lot better, it's also more visible in bright areas so that it can boost your message.
There are a few main materials used for banners: netting, fabric, and vinyl. Netting banners are designed with tiny holes in them to allow gusts of wind and air to pass through without moving the actual banner too much and preventing any rips or tears from occurring. This makes them ideal for larger outdoor ads.
Fabric is another option for banner material. The most common fabrics used in banners are polyester and acrylic. Because the fabric is not as reflective as other materials, they are ideal for situations where you will have a lot of different lights and potential ways to create glares and distort the information on the banner. This makes them perfect for functions with a lot of flash photography and artificial lighting. But they lack a lot of the durability that other materials do and can look waterlogged and dingy after rain showers. This is why fabric is ideal for indoor use or a few hours outside in good weather. If you do opt to put the fabric banner outside, you should utilize stand like light poles and street poles to reinforce the banner’s security and keep them where they should be. Vinyl can be used in both indoor and outdoor banners and is by far the most common material people chose. The material is more durable than their fabric counterparts, but there are other things you can add to make it more efficient as an outdoor banner. This includes opting for web reinforcing, going with a vinyl mesh blend, and getting banners with pole pockets. Vinyl that has web reinforced hemming has additional nylon stripping around the edges to prevent fraying and tearing around grommets. Combining vinyl and mesh in your banner created a hybrid that is similar to the netting banner as it allows air to pass through a banner to prevent wind moving it around too much and creating tearing. Pole pockets are ideal for larger banners to keep the banner in place with reinforced hemming. This eliminates the opportunity for grommets to fall off and the banner to lose its position.
Files are a great way to format and create the images and text you want to include on your banner. The best file options tend to be from programs like Adobe Illustrator (.ai), encapsulated postscripts (.eps), and portable document files (.pdf).
Graphics being added onto your banner can be a great way to gain the attention of passersby and add some artistic qualities to your banner. But if your banner is too cluttered with graphics, it can take away from the words and the overall message you are trying to convey. So, balance is the key and you should plan ahead to get the most out of your banner.
The typography that you choose for your banner is crucial to making sure your information is clear and easy to read. This should be true of your font type choices at a variety of distances, but near and far.
The right color choice is key to catching someone’s eye and holding their attention long enough for them to read your sign. Doing your research and determining which colors are easiest to read in different situations and educating yourself on which color combinations can be troublesome for those with colorblindness is a good way to guarantee your banner is easy for all to read and no one gets left out.
Overly wordy or cluttered banners can be a turn off for passers-by because it takes them longer to read and more energy deciphering what information you are trying to communicate. Keeping things short and sweet is always the best way to go when creating copy for a banner while still intriguing the reader and having them wanting more.
A CTA, or call to action, is important to include in the copy for the banner because it inspires the reader of that banner to want to do something. This can be a serious issue like political, environmental, or human rights or something on a smaller scale like local plays or programs that they should want to attend.
In this current climate, it can be incredibly important to include a link to a social media account. This includes your site’s URL, hashtags, and any other links to online sources that get the reader more involved and gives them more information about the topic the banner is covering.
If you are looking for an effective and affordable way to advertise or share information, a vinyl banner can be a great option. You can read the wiki on vinyl here if you're not yet convinced. But you need to consider where you will be hanging the banner and what conditions the banner will be subjected to while hanging. Consider materials, print type, and location so you can choose correctly between an indoor and outdoor banner.