Banners are alive and thriving more than ever before. Local businesses and organizations still use them frequently to drive in more business to their locations. Large corporations and major brands are buying them everyday. As much as the public is addicted to their digital devices, traditional display banners are still needed when people are walking and driving in their cars around town. Many have speculated that banners are near their end, but honestly the industry keeps growing. It keeps growing because traditional outdoor banner advertising works and is still effective enough to produce a return on investment.
With the banner industry remaining stable, and showing signs of growth, more people are buying banners for the first time. Not everybody has the budget to hire a professional designer. This is one reason on why we offer a free design tool. Our design tool is available not only for our banners but for our yard signs and flags as well. The design tool is easy to use and will help make the design look very professional, no matter what design experience the person using the tool has to offer.
Choosing the Right Banner Size
Banner size is not an easy decision, there are many factors that go into the banner size decision. Here’s the breakdown of the questions you need to ask yourself:
- How many words do you absolutely need on the banner?
- Where will be the spot that most of the traffic will first come in contact with the banner?
- What will the distance be from that spot to the banner?
- (Distance in ft from audience/10 * Amount of Words = Area Square Footage of Banner)
Understanding the Distance Banner Size Equation
If you have a banner that will be 100 feet from the traffic on average, and you have six words that you want that traffic to see, that would mean you would best want a banner that’s around 60 square feet in area. Sixty square feet in area would mean the best banner would be a 6×10 or 10×6 banner. You can go a little smaller if you have a tighter budget, but if you go too small, it will not be worth getting the banner. You have to understand that size, location, design and message are the 4 things that will make your banner effective. If size if off, the banner will become worthless. If the location is low on traffic the banner will lose its effectiveness as well. If the design is not that great it will lose effectiveness there. When all four factors are strong, the banner is at it’s most ideal state and will produce the best results.
Word Count and Usage
With the understanding of the size equation, word count is vital for the success of the banner. Billboards use 6 words at the max. You can always add more words but the truth is most people will not read them. With word count it’s important to understand what your traffic will be doing as they pass. Will they be walking by on a sidewalk? Will they be at a traffic light in their car? Will they be passing by on a highway? If it’s walking traffic, truth is people will have more time to read, so extra words will not hurt and will actually help. If it’s traffic that’s flying by on the highway, truth is you have one to two seconds to dazzle them, and 3 to 5 words is ideal. If they’re going to be stopped at a stop sign or traffic signal you will be able to get away with some extra words but the sign will have to be big enough. Be good and quick with your words.
Choosing the Right Font
The font should always compliment the logo design and personality of the event or message on the banner. If the banner is going to represent a fun activity, that’s more relaxed with dress then a font that is fun should represent the banner. If the event or business has a more serious feel, the font represented should be serious and a bit more professional. If the event is a prestigious type event, with a more luxurious focus, then that font should be represented. It’s important to really narrow down the personality of the sign, which should always be complimented with the font. The font should remain consistent, the colors should not be overbearing, the letters should only be capitalized if there’s only a couple words on the banner.
If the logo is on the banner, then the text should almost always compliment the logo design, unless its marketing an event or promotion that’s moving away from the theme of the event. Logos help brand, the logo doesn’t need to be as big if the focus of the message is not designed around branding.
Choosing the Right Colors
Colors make the design pop. The colors take the role of making the sign attractive. With banner design it’s best practices to not use more than three colors. The colors, like the font, should represent the personality of the message. The famous personality test should be considered and evaluated when designing a banner. Yellows are fun, Blues are into connections and trust, greens are a balance of both yellow and blues, whites are peacemakers, and reds love control and power. If you’re having a message that’s fun, the yellow should be the most dominant color on the banner. Once you figure out the colors you have the foundation of the design.
Designs and Icons on the Banner
Designs, patterns, icons, glyphs, all can be added, but don’t abuse it. It’s easy to get bored when designing and to just go crazy. There’s a difference between creative and crazy. Be sure to always make sure the icon, or symbol matches the sign, and works well with the sign. If it’s a golf event, the symbols would all be based around golf. Logos will come with their own symbol or glyph, that’s a great thing to add on if you’re mingling the logo into the design. Realistically you only want to use one symbol per banner. Be wise and have fun with these portion of the banner design.
The distance, size, word count, typography, colors, message, design, symbols all go into making an amazing and effective design. If you have fun and play within the rules of design, you will produce a great banner that will produce great results for your desired goals. Best of luck and let us know if you need help getting started!