Whether they’re welcoming people to a fundraiser, waving around outside of a store, or hanging on a wall at a trade show, custom banners are a cheap, but effective way to advertise your business or event.

Unless you’re a graphic designer, you probably don’t know the first thing about creating a banner. Just follow these tips to make sure your printed banners are eye-catching and incredible!

1. Choose the Right Banner Size & Style

Banners come in all shapes and sizes. There are also some that stand, some that stick in the ground, and some that hang on the wall. The first step is to figure out which style works best for your needs.

small banners
Small Banner
27″ x 36″
medium banners
Medium Banner
48″ x 27″
large banners
Large Banner
60″ x 27″
standing banners
Standing Banner
33″ x 79″
roll up banners
Roll Up Banner
80″ x 24″
tents with banner attached
Tent & Banner
96.25″ x 38″
double-sided banners
Double-Sided Banner
27.5″ x 9.5″
banner flags
Banner Flags
23.75″ x 180″
  • Small Banners: You should use small banners if you’re hosting an event with very few people. They’re also a g good choice if you need banners as part of a bigger advertising campaign.

  • Medium Banners: A medium-sized banner is a good budget-friendly option. It’s large enough to be noticed, but you’re not paying for the extra square inches.

  • Large Banners: This style is wider than it is tall, so your design will be read from left to right. It will be extremely visible and easy to notice, especially if it’s hung up high on a wall.

  • Standing Banners: Set up a standing banner by the entrance for the most visibility. Thee banners are taller than they are wide, which means your design will be read from top to bottom.

  • Roll Up Banners: If you need a banner that you can use over and over again, you can’t go wrong with a roll up banner. It can be easily put away and used again in the future.

  • Tent & Banner Combos: A banner attached to a tent is a great idea for outdoor events like farmer’s markets, community fairs, and art shows.

  • Double-Sided Banners: Do you have people coming in through different doors? Go with a large double-sided banner so your design can be seen from every angle.

  • Banner Flags: Banner flags work great outside of your building. There’s more movement in this type of banner, so be sure your design is legible even if it’s waving around in the breeze.

Take some time to brainstorm the design that you want to print on your custom banners before you settle on a banner size and style. Keep in mind, you can also invest in digital signage if you have it in the budget. Overall, a little bit of proactive thinking will help you pick the best banners for your needs.

2. Vectorize the Banner’s Images

vectorize images

Vector graphics are created through software like Adobe Illustrator or Quark. When you use vectored images, you can easily scale, modify, or resize everything in the banner’s design without having to worry about any blurriness or distortion. This makes it so the design or text is easy to see.

If you don’t have access to software for vectoring, don’t worry! Most printing companies (the good ones anyway) will vectorize your design for you, free of charge!

3. Include Key Information

It’s perfectly okay to be creative, but you don’t want to go crazy. Make sure that the most important information is somewhere on your printed banners. This includes:  

text on a banner

Your Intended Message

Your banner shouldn’t be only visual. It’s important to include some line of text, whether it’s your company name or an important announcement like “50% Off Sale” or “Free Oil Changes.” Try to use less than 50 characters since people won’t want to sit there and read a novel.

banner with visuals and call to action

Relevant Visuals

Our brains process images 60,000 times faster than we process words. This is why it’s important to use some kind of relevant visuals in your banner. It also doesn’t hurt to squeeze in a small call-to-action if there’s room.

For example, let’s say you’re announcing the launch of a new line of wine. Print the bottle or a wine glass somewhere on the banner with “Pour Yourself a Glass.” Is your non-profit hosting a 5K? Print a finish line or silhouettes of runners with their hands in the air alongside “Sign Up Today!” Think about what visuals best represent the message you’re trying to send.

logo on a banner

Your Logo

A good logo is a quick, easy reference to your company. Consumers need around 5 to 7 impressions before they start recognizing a business logo, so you should print yours on everything that has to do with your company, including your custom banners.

directions on a banner

Address or Directions

Most advertising is done online these days where people can simply click on your website URL or social media icons. In 2020 alone, businesses spent over $129 billion on digital ad spend!

Banners are a little different. You want people to be able to easily find you, so make sure to print an address or some kind of directions like “Take the Next Right at Main Street.” If people are seeing your banner while driving or walking around, this makes it easier for them to make a split second decision about whether or not to visit you.

4. Print Your Logo Near the Top

print logo near the top

As mentioned, your logo is an important symbol of your company. It should be easy to notice, so make sure it’s printed near the top of your banner. That why people can easily identify your business, which is especially useful if you’re at a crowded event like a trade show or convention.

The logo at the top also stops it from interfering with any relevant text or visuals in the rest of the design. You don’t want to impede on the message you’re trying to send.

5. Use a Legible Font

use a legible font

Nobody wants to squint at your banner trying to figure out what it says. You also don’t want any embarrassing mishaps or misunderstandings. That’s why you should use only the best fonts for your banners.

The following fonts are easy to read in print:

  • Century Gothic
  • Helvetica
  • Verdana
  • Georgia
  • PT Sans & PT Serif
  • Quicksand
  • Rooney
  • Karla
  • Roboto
  • Futura
  • Arial
  • Lato

While these fonts are great, remember you’re not limited to only these choices! A creepy font is a good way to announce a new haunted house, bubble letters could be fun for a kid-friendly fair, and cursive might look classy for a formal banquet or anniversary party. Just make sure it’s legible, and you’re good to go!

6. Make it Symmetrical

Your goal should be to achieve balance and harmony in your design. Think of it like the wings on a butterfly. Anything that’s on the left or the top should be mirrored on the right or bottom.

Take a look at these symmetrical movie posters!

Mr. and Mrs. Smith movie poster
Mr. & Mrs. Smith movie poster
127 Hours movie poster
127 Hours movie poster
1917 movie poster
1917 movie poster

The Mr. and Mrs. Smith poster is symmetry at its finest. There is a person on the left and a person on the right, both in the same pose. Meanwhile, there is text at the top of the movie’s name, and text at the bottom of the release date. 127 Hours and 1917 are also great examples. They use space a bit differently, but with the same visual symmetry and harmony.

Use these movie posters as inspiration for your custom banners. You want them to be balanced without being overly busy.

7. Be Mindful of the Color Scheme

Color is important in advertising. Custom banners should be loud, noticeable, and vibrant, so now’s not the time to be shy and to use neutrals. Blues, yellows, purples, reds, pinks, or any other bright hue are going to stand out and demand attention.

If you don’t remember high school art class, just use opposites in the color wheel to help guide your design:

color wheel
Source: decoart.com

Ads in color are read up to 40% more often than that same ad in black and white. The same holds true for banners. Plus, bright colors are going to be easier to notice, especially if your event is outside. Your printed banners will be hard to miss!

8. Pay Attention to Layout & Spacing

You need some blank space to achieve symmetry, so don’t feel like you have to cram a lot in your design. Keep your printed banners simple.

Choose between either of these layouts:

Portrait

Landscape

Cat in space portrait layout
A portrait layout is viewed from top to bottom.
Cat in space landscape layout
A landscape layout is viewed from left to right.

Scope out the venue ahead of time to figure out where your banners are going to be set up. This will help you decide between a portrait or landscape view. After all, wouldn’t it be horrible if you go with a landscape print for your concert announcement, only for your banner to end up getting hidden by a giant bush outside?

9. Don’t Be Boring

don't be boring

You’ve gotten a lot of advice so far about designing a banner, but if there’s one thing you want to take away when it comes to the process, it’s to never be boring!

A business banner is there to entice people into wanting to learn more, while at the same time, encouraging them to visit you. Without an interesting print or message, people are going to pass it by without a second glance.

10. Be True to Your Brand Personality

Your custom banners shouldn’t stray too far away from your brand personality. Law firms, for instance, shouldn’t print giant clowns on their banners, and it would be weird for a zoo or water park to use a professional font and color scheme.

Which one sounds the most like you?

what's your brand personality?
Source: endeavorcreative.com

Presenting a brand consistently can increase revenue by up to 23% according to Forbes. Do you identify as sincere? Use down-to-earth colors and imagery in your banner. Are you more rugged? Go ahead and use jagged angles and bold fonts. No matter what, stick to who you are as a company.

11. Look for Coupons

use a coupon

Times are tough for small businesses, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Fortune Magazine, nearly 100,000 businesses that were temporarily closed during COVID-19 ended up going out of business. Every marketing dollar matters, so search online for coupons before you buy custom banners.

New customers at Quality Logo Products can get 5% off on their order. Enter code NEWCUSTOMER5 at checkout!

Advertising with banners is way more affordable than billboards, but just as good! By following these design tips, you’ll get the most bang for your buck and put something on display that is impossible not to notice. Happy printing!

References

Kimbarovsky, A. (2017, January 20). 20 Statistics About Branding Every Entrepreneur and Marketer Should Know. Retrieved from, https://www.crowdspring.com/blog/branding-statistics/

Anthony, J.  61 Logo Statistics You Can’t Ignore: 2020 Data Analysis & Market Share. Retrieved from, https://financesonline.com/logo-statistics/

Ha, A. (2019, February 20). eMarketer Predicts Digital Ads Will Overtake Traditional Spending in 2019. Retrieved from, https://techcrunch.com/2019/02/20/emarketer-digital-ad-forecast/?guccounter=1

Francis, M. Why Has Myopia Become More Common. Retrieved from, https://www.pacificu.edu/about/media/why-has-myopia-become-more-common

Apium Tech. (2016, May 17). Key Statistics on How Colors Affect Sales. Retrieved from, https://apiumtech.com/blog/key-statistics-colors-affect-sales-consciously-unconsciously/

Sraders, A. Lambert, L. (2020, September 28). Nearly 100,000 Establishments that Temporarily Shut Down Due to the Pandemic Are Now Out of Business. Retrieved from, https://fortune.com/2020/09/28/covid-buisnesses-shut-down-closed/

Vojinovic, I. (2021, January 6). 50+ Eye-Opening Branding Statistics – 2021 Edition. Retrieved from, https://www.smallbizgenius.net/by-the-numbers/branding-statistics/

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