outdoor banners

Many places offer services for outdoor banner printing, but there are a few things to keep in mind when searching for shop that is best for you.  Not all banners are created equal, and this is especially true for banners made to last outdoors.  You need a material that can stand up to the wind and rain, maybe even something that will last more than one season.

KCBGraphics.com is a leading supplier of trade show products in Toronto, Ontario.  Please take a look at our heavy duty banner pricing and don’t hesitate to give us a call with any questions at 1-800-350-7152.

 

Outdoor Banner Printing

Double Sided Outdoor Banners

 

Outdoor Banner Printing – Stitch and Grommet

The key to a good outdoor banner is strength.  How thick, or how sturdy is the material?  How well will it resist tearing in the wind?

For any long term outdoor banner printing solution, you want a material that is at least 13 oz.  (This refers to the thickness of the vinyl.)  A 12 oz material is good for indoor use, and 13 oz is good for mild outdoor use.  For long lasting outdoor banner printing, you want a material around 18 oz thick.

 

Outdoor Banner Printing

By default, we finish all our outdoor banner printing with a stitched edge.  This edge includes grommets to attached your banner as you need.

To aid against wind, most shops will sew a strip of nylon webbing around the perimeter of the banner.  This provides a fair bit of extra strength against tearing grommets do to misuse or wind.  These strips of nylon are sewn right inside the back edge of the banner, which is then fixed with grommets, to two working together for a strong, long lasting edge.

 

Outdoor Banner Printing-nylon webbing

Nylon Webbing is sewn into the edge for added strength

 

Outdoor Banner Printing – Windflaps

When banners are made to hang over a street, highway, or between two buildings, the wind becomes a concern.  A strong wind can cause a banner to act as a sail, pulling against itself.  This can, in turn, cause the grommets to start to tear through the vinyl.  Now, this might not be a concern.  Maybe the banner is going up against a wall, or is in a sheltered area without much wind.  But if not, then we recommend adding windflaps to your outdoor banner.

 

Outdoor Banner Printing Windflaps

To reduce tension caused by wind

 

These are flaps, or wind smiles, cut directly through the vinyl.  Yes, they can impact or impede your graphics.  Banners that require these flaps, though. are generally large and intended for viewing from a distance.  When there is no wind, they hang flat, reducing impact to your text or artwork.  When setting up your file for print, we will show you where these wind flaps will be placed, staggering their placement to try to minimize impact on your design.

Outdoor Banner Printing-3

Pick a banner that is going to last

So, keep these things in mind when purchasing your next outdoor banner.:

  • Thickness and durability of the material
  • Finishing options, like stitching and grommets
  • Heavy duty extras, like nylon webbing and windflaps

As always, we’re here if you have questions or special requests.

vinyl-banner-edgesIf you are looking for a vinyl banner, you do have few different options to consider.  This depends on a few things.  Namely, where is your banner being displayed, and how long do you intend to use it?  Firstly, is your vinyl banner needed for an indoor event?  Or, do you need it to hang outside?  If you only need your banner for indoor use, an unfinished or straight cut edge might be enough for your needs.

If you want your banner to last outdoors, enduring wind, for multiple uses, you should probably choose a stronger, heartier option.

Our range of vinyl banners starts at economy (good for mild outdoor use) and indoor with either stitching around the perimeter, top and bottom pole pockets, or a straight cut edge.  We then have options for heavy duty banners (weather resistant and durable), with stitching and grommets, on a thicker material.  These can, if necessary, include nylon webbing and wind flaps.

To help understand what is best for you, take a look at what some of these options mean.

 

Vinyl Banner Stitching

We offer complimentary stitching around the perimeter of your vinyl banner, as well as grommets to ensure you can display the piece as you require.  This stitching helps with the longevity and strength of your banner.  The edge of your banner is folded over, and we use a double stitch with a thin white thread.

vinyl-banner-edges_stitch-2 vinyl-banner-edges_stitch

 

 

Grommets

Grommets are the small rings you see at the corners or perimeter of some vinyl banners.  Generally, we place these every foot or two around a banner, though if you need more, or less, let us know.  These rings are pierced directly through the vinyl material, after printing, and can be used to attach rope, hooks or nails without damage to your banner.

Vinyl Banner, grommets and stitching 2

Vinyl Banner, grommets and stitching

Grommets are inserted between the double stitch on the banner’s edge

 

Pole Pockets

If you want an indoor banner, but you do not want grommets, you do have the option for pole pockets at the top and bottom of your banner.  These are stitched pockets which are designed for a pole, like a dowel or strong curtain rod, to slide through.  This, like a curtain, provides you with a stable support.  Instead of grommets, this pocket let you hang your vinyl banner using your pole or rod.  (We’ve even done a few which required a rope inserted through the pocket!)

Vinyl Banner,outdoor pole pocket

Heavy duty banner with pole pocket and grommets

Vinyl Banner, indoor pole pocket

Pole pocket for an indoor trade show banner

 

Nylon Webbing

If you need your banner to hang outside, perhaps on a fence or over a street, and endure strong winds and weather, nylon webbing is for you.  This is a strip of heavy duty material sewn right in your banner edges, like a stuff crust pizza.  It provides strength against the vinyl banner tearing when the wind picks up.  When we use nylon webbing, we also bump up the grommets to a larger hole, allowing you to use a heavier rope to firmly attach the banner.

Vinyl Banner, nylon webbing and grommet

Grommets are inserted straight through the webbing!

Vinyl Banner, nylon webbing 2

Section of vinyl with nylon webbing sewn in

 

Wind Smiles/Flaps

Just like the nylon webbing, wind flaps are recommended for banners used in outdoor, hard weather situations.  Hanging over a street, suspended over a highway, or attached to a fence in an open surrounding, these are situations which may require heavy duty options.

Wind flaps, or wind smiles, are small incisions cut through the face of your banner.  Yes, you read that right.  They are flaps cut into your banner, staggered across the length of the vinyl, to allow wind to pass through and ease stress on the edges.

You may think that these will disrupt or ruin the printed graphics, but take in mind that banners which require the wind flaps are designed for viewing from a distance.  When the wind is still, the flaps hang down.  Just to be clear, we do take all of this into account when placing the wind flaps, as to diminish the intrusion on your design.

Vinyl Banner, Wind Flaps 1

Wind can pass through with minimum resistance

Vinyl Banner, Wind Flaps 2

Flaps hang down, ensuring legibility to your design

 

Whatever Your Need, We Can Help

Stitching, webbing, grommets, or a straight cut edge.  Whatever your need, let us know what you need your banner to do, and we will work with you to make sure your get the option best for you.

 

Correct Letter Heights

Whether you are considering a vinyl banner, car sign, or window graphics, the size of your letters should be a key consideration. Letters that are too large can feel obnoxious; those that are too small will not have enough impact on your audience.

Letter Visibility

This chart gives you a good starting point for the purposes of designing your sign. You can also go by the rule of thumb that each inch of letter gives 10 feet of visibility for maximum impact – so a 5” letter can be read 50’ away.

Location

Where your sign will be located also tells you how far away most people will be from the sign when they see it. The farther away your audience is, the larger your letter will need to be to attract attention.

Color and Contrast

Although the letter visibility chart gives you a good starting point, a few more factors need to be considered before committing to a final design. One of these is the amount of contrast in your sign between the letters and the background. A higher contrast sign (such as black and white) is going to have better visibility that one with lower contrast (such as grey and red). If you choose a lower contrast design you may need larger letters to ensure your sign is visible from the appropriate distance.

Here are the best color combinations for contrast and readability:

  • Black on yellow
  • Black on white
  • Yellow on black
  • White on black
  • Blue on white

However, also consider the environment where your sign will be located; you want the colors of your sign (specifically the background) to contrast with the surroundings. For example, if your sign was going up on a red brick wall a red background would result in your sign blending into the wall, a white or yellow background would make your sign more noticeable.

Correct Letter Heights 2

Font

The type of font chosen for your design has an effect on the visibility of your sign. Thin or script fonts are more difficult to read than solid fonts with wider strokes. You can test out different fonts at home by printing them and hanging them on a wall. Typically, unless the script or thin font is associated with your brand, it would be advisable to choose a thicker font for your primary message.

With that in mind, here are the top 20 most popular fonts for signs:

1. Helvetica
2. Futura
3. Grammond
4. Bodoni
5. Frutiger
6. Trajan Bold
7. Myriad (Apple’s corporate font)
8. Minion
9. Bembo
10. Baskerville
11. Rockwell
12. Verdana
13. Franklin Gothic
14. Times New Roman
15. Gills Sans
16. Univers
17. Clarendon
18. FF Din
19. Avenir
20. Warnock Pro

Final Tip: Keep it Simple

Simple, well designed signs have the most impact. Try to keep your message straightforward, don’t try to cram too much information into your sign, you want to attract attention and encourage people to take the next step, whether it’s to call, check out your website, or come in for a visit. When in doubt, seek the services of a professional graphic designer for tips and advice.