Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
Catch. The. Eye. It’s your first aim when promoting your business. And when it comes to attracting people’s attention from a distance, banners are one of the most direct and effective options.
But I can hear you say, “Banners are beyond me… they’re tricky to make and I’ll mess it up.” Well, let’s just say they’re not, and you won’t.
Banners are easier to create than you think.
With a little planning and a few key pointers, you can make the right banner for your business, just the way you want it. Here’s our guide to creating something you can be proud of.
Decide where your banner will go
The location will influence your sign’s size, colour, messaging and material. Will your banner be above your shop door, at a sporting event, at a farmers’ market, in a window display?
Depending on the placement, consider what your audience will be doing when they read your banner – standing, walking, driving, sitting on train – and how far away they’ll be. This impacts things like the size the of the banner, whether you go vertical or horizontal, the font you use and how many words you’ll have to play with.
Another tip is to consider the background behind the banner (leafy trees, red brick, white walls?). You want your banner to stand out against its backdrop. It all goes back to catching your customer’s eye.
Write the copy
Decide on the one thing you want people to do once they see your banner (we know it’s tough, but creating your sign will be so much easier if you can pick just one thing). If you’re clear about the banner’s purpose, it will come across to your audience.
For example, you might want people to step into your shop, taste your homemade apple crumble, phone up for a quote or visit your website – whatever your banner’s aim, make sure your call to action (the one thing you want people to do) is clear and concise.
When it comes to the words, less is more. Most people will see your banner from a distance (and for a split second, if they’re on the move), so make sure they get your message by choosing short, direct, easy-to-read statements. Avoid words that don’t mean anything; simply put, if you can cut out a word and your message stays the same, then leave it out.
Choose an indoor or outdoor banner
Where you place your banner will determine the material you use. Although, it’s worth remembering you can use outdoor banners inside, but indoor banners don’t do so well when exposed to the elements.
Saying that, all our vinyl banners are durable, waterproof and fade resistant, so they’ll stay looking good.
The indoor option is made from white 440-gsm vinyl, which is lightweight, tear resistant and comes in a matte finish.
Outdoor vinyl is 500-gsm in weight, also comes in a matte finish, and provides that extra bit of durability, designed to withstand the sun, wind and rain.
When it comes to hanging up your banners, you’ve got some options:
- Clear adhesive hangers: simple and hassle-free, you can apply these yourself wherever you like.
- Metal eyelets: our recommended option, the metal rings are pre-installed for easy hanging. They’re available for both indoor and outdoor banners.
- Banner stands: great for vertical banners. Better suited to indoor trade shows and conferences, rather than outdoor use.
If you decide on banner stands, then we have a selection for you to choose from. Here’s a quick intro to the different types:
- H-banner stands: the sturdiest option, this stands offers several inches of floor clearance, so people will see your message more easily.
- L-banner stands: the easiest option to transport, this stand has an adjustable tension-rod frame that makes it simple to move between events.
- X-banner stands: the quickest option to set up, this stand takes seconds to assemble and is easy to move around.
Ok, so you’ve got an idea of where you’re going to place your banner, what you want your banner to do and what you want to say (more or less). So now it’s time to start creating. We’ve made the steps for designing your banner nice and straightforward, but if you need a hand at any point, just give us a call on 0800 496 0350 – we’ll be happy to help.
Add colours for contrast
Think about the colours you use on your sign and how well they highlight the words. As general rule, you want a high contrast between the letters and background, so dark font on a light background, and vice versa.
Choose your font
Going for classic, bold fonts like Helvetica, Century Gothic and Verdana will help give your banner a professional look and feel, while keeping readability high. As tempting as it might be, avoid playful and unusual fonts – your customers will have a harder time reading what you have to say.
The order of your messaging and information – the hierarchy – will have a big impact on your banner’s effectiveness. It sounds obvious, but give prominence to your key points/info – you could be promoting chocolate brownies that give you X-ray vision, but if this detail is hidden, then nobody will notice.
You can adjust the hierarchy through font size and bolding, colour and giving more space to the important bits. Try to avoid a mishmash of font sizes – three font sizes should be your max (any more and the design can look chaotic).
Select a design template
When it comes to designing your banner, you’ve got a couple of options. A simple way is to pick one of our customisable templates, where professional designers have done all the hard work for you. It’s then just a case of adding your messaging, choosing your font and tweaking the layout by dragging and dropping, until you’re totally happy with the end result.
Alternatively, if you’ve already got your own complete banner design, you can simply upload it onto the banner of your choice. In our experience, Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator are the best file formats to use when uploading your design.
So there you have it, creating an effective banner is doable with just a little planning and a few key pointers. And remember, you don’t need to use all these recommendations – do whatever makes sense to have your banner fit with your business’ look and feel.
Finally, feel free to send us a pic of your creation on Instagram (#vistaprint) – we’d love to see your new banner taking pride of place and catching the eye.