5 Steps to Banner Design Success

With the advent of digital printing, what you can do with vinyl banners has greatly expanded. No longer are you locked into text only phrases like “For Sale” or “Grand Opening.” Now, anything you can imagine, you can put on a banner.

Just what makes a good banner? There are five key elements that go into the overall design of a banner. 2m banners

1. Material
2. Size
3. Fonts
4. Contrast
5. Graphics

Part 1 — Material

Banner material falls into one of three (3) general categories; lightweight, standard and heavyweight. Lightweight banners are generally 10 ounces and are great for indoors and short-term outdoor use. These are great for birthday parties, office celebrations and the like. This banner will not be outdoor durable over any length of time.

Standard weight banners are generally around 13 ounces and are perfect for outdoors. They also work really well indoors if you want to reuse them from season to season. For example, if you have an annual spring sale, this weight of banner can be used for many years and will look as good for your 5th annual sale as it did during the first one.

Heavyweight banner is 17 ounce and above. This is really only needed for extreme outdoor conditions and is generally not need for any other purpose. Be wary of a banner printer pushing this weight on you for a normal banner application.

Part 2 — Size

Bigger is not always better in the world of banners. The size of your banner must be appropriate for the viewing distance and the place it will be installed. We have all seen very tiny banners on the side of a large building that is totally unreadable unless you are standing right next to it. The reverse can be just as bad. Imagine having a 4’x8′ banner installed on a 8’x10′ wall. A banner should stand out from its surroundings and not be used as wallpaper.

A general rule of thumb is that you need 1″ of letter height for each 10′ of viewing distance. So if your banner will be viewed from 50′ away and you want 3 lines of text, you need 15″ just for the lettering not to mention “white space” separating the lines. I use a general rule that you should have the same amount of separation as you have print. In this example, that means a minimum of 30″ for a basic banner.

Part 3 — Fonts

The fonts that you use are critically important. Your font should be readable yet consistent with your brand image. The absolute worst thing you can do is to use a script font and use all capital letters. This is unreadable at any distance. If you want to employ all caps, be sure to use a sans serif font that is clean and readable. Other than that, feel free to be as creative as you want with fonts. There are some amazing ones out there that can greatly enhance your designs.

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