The Marketer’s Guide To Printed Banners

Printed banner advertising – often referred to as “soft signage” – is still one of the most successful marketing activities available to advertising professionals and brand managers. Effective, versatile, long-lasting and cost-effective, today’s range of materials and print output technology provides a robust platform to reinforce your brand message every time your banners are seen, indoors or out!

hanging printed bannerUtilizing wide and grand format print output to create massive exposure, vibrantly printed graphic banners allows your brand to stand out from the crowd, keeping your message top of mind every time your banner is seen. Colorful print output allows graphic banners to accurately translate lifestyle imagery, connecting products and people to your brand message. Think of these large, printed banners as flexible billboards without the heavy spend associated with Out-of-Home advertising.

Banners aren’t just for an outdoor application or single-sided printing. Take a trip to the mall and you’ll notice oversized soft signage, hanging overhead that’s printed double-sided on display. In the shopping center parking lot there’s often vinyl banners ensconced on light poles that are printed on both sides too. Printing double-sided does present some design and finishing challenges, so make sure your print provider is well-versed with print registration in regards to achieving a perfect alignment.

Double-Sided Alert: Printing double-sided banners? You’ll want to use a block-out vinyl to ensure your message maintains its visual integrity from both sides. Block-out vinyl consists of two layers of vinyl that are laminated together with a black layer added in between to create a block-out material. If your double-sided banner is made from fabric, two pieces of printed fabric are sewn together with an opaque media placed in between to prevent light from passing through.

hanging vinyl graphic banner When designing large graphic banners, keep in mind the “Three Second” rule, which simply states that your target audience should be able to see, read and comprehend the message on your banner or sign in three seconds or less. To achieve success with this rule, follow a few simple guidelines. Keep your lettering to a maximum of two different font styles or weights; use contrasting colors such as white on blue or black on yellow and choose a single image and a simple message. To test for success with the Three Second rule, stand back from your design, close your eyes and then open them for a count of three and close them again. If you can read and comprehend the message on your banner in those three seconds, then so can your target audience. Choosing one picture and a simple phrase not only captures attention; it may even encourage consumers to step inside your store to look for more information.

Soft signage is a great way to leverage banners and their high ROI within a retail environment however banners can also be a cost-effective way to drive traffic when you’re trying to get noticed at a Trade Show or Expo. Floor space at these shows is expensive, so implementing well-designed banner graphics raises your visibility at a low entry cost. Printed banner signage is easy to hang from piping as a custom backdrop or overhead on a hanging structure as the perfect way to get found above all the other exhibitors. Want to create visual impact within your booth display? Consider adding retractable (also called roll-ups) banner stands to the mix. With this fixture, the printed banner is rolled up or down and attached to a support rail, making assembly quick and easy. Retractable banner stands come in different heights and widths, plus they can be one or two-sided in design.

retractable banner standFor maximum impact and variety, there are also L-shaped banner stands, X shape banner stands and motorized, scrolling banner stands just to name a few of the cost-effective ways to drive traffic to your booth, reinforce your sales message and help people more easily find and remember your company.

Marketing Idea:Today, when graphic designers think of banners often its digital, online banners. Brands need to leave an everlasting impression on the customer so consider a strategy of pairing your online banners with your print banners in order to more consistently promote your products and leave a more indelible mark on the minds of the consumer.

A compelling printed banner is all about communication. You have a great story to tell and a solid impression to make whether it’s for a grand opening, a sale event, holiday or in-store promotion. Targeted, repetitive, reusable and effective with a high ROI, banners are a proven avenue for marketers and brand managers to achieve maximum visibility.

Look for Part-Two in our graphic banner series: Materials and finishing for your next banner project.

Peter FradinAbout the author: Peter Fradin is a 25 year industry veteran and a display solutions print specialist with BPGraphics. BPGraphics is a nationally recognized screen and digital graphics printer offering large, wide and grand format print solutions for 55 years. From fabric to vinyl – to rigid substrates of all kinds – big or small, BPGraphics’ knowledge and experience in the industry is unparalleled. You can reach Peter at 602-272-7907 or peter.f@bpgraphics.com