When it comes to designing a large banner there are a few things that you must consider before creating the design. Your ultimate goal with a large, printed banner is to catch people’s attention quickly.
Keep in mind, banners are not like other printed materials, and they are viewed very differently than other products, they are typically viewed from a distance and very quickly. It is crucial to your banners success that the design is simple and straight to the point. Complicated or complex designs will make the banner easily missed or unreadable. Follow these easy tips to create a successful banner design.
The first thing you must consider is the placement of the banner. Where will it be hung and how will it be viewed? Some banners are viewed at a distance from above or closer to the ground (eye level). Depending on where the banner will be hung can affect how the design is viewed and you may want to put more of an emphasize on certain design elements.
Setting up your file to scale
Most files can be set up to size except for banners that are over 200”, any banner over 200” should be set up at a proportional size smaller, such as ½ or ¼ size. Keep in mind if you are designing at ½ or ¼ size the dpi of your banner will drop every time we have to enlarge it to the full size. If you set up a file at ½ size and set the dpi at 300, we will have to enlarge it one time and the dpi will drop in half to 150 dpi. You want to make sure your dpi is not too low when designing at a small proportional size, since it will lose dpi for every enlargement.
Finishing & Grommets
Our banners are typically hemmed and grommeted every 2ft, unless requested otherwise. Keeping this in mind, make sure your important graphics, especially text is not too close to the edges of the design. The worst thing to happen, is you going through the process of creating this awesome design, just to find out a grommet went right through the text and now your banner is unreadable. Giving yourself about 2” or more spacing from the sides of the design will guarantee your important design elements will be safe from any grommets or finishing.
Contrary to belief, large banners do not have to have a lot of dpi. Since these banners are typically viewed from a distance the quality of the dpi does not matter as much, once you hang it up and view it from a distance the design looks clear despite it looking blurry when viewed up close. You can go as low as 75 dpi at full size and still get a good-looking print.
Colors are the first thing a viewer will notice when viewing your banner. You’ll want to make sure to use the right colors that complement each other. Don’t use similar colors, or all light or all dark colors, as it will make it all blend together and it will be hard to view. The importance elements such as text or graphics should stand out against the background and be in an easy to read, bold color.
For an example, you don’t want to do a white background with yellow text, that will be hard to read from a distance, you alternatively will want to choose a dark background with yellow text or a yellow background with dark text.
Choosing the right font can be tricky, since the screen you’re designing on is much smaller than the larger banner, a sophisticated serif font may appear to look great on your screen, however, when printed on a large banner and viewed from a distance the font may appear blurry and hard to read. It’s best to choose clean, minimal sans serif fonts such as Arial, Helvetica, Futura and Calibri. These types of fonts scale nicely and look clean, making it very easy to read quickly.
You can choose the best readable font, but if you make it small or put a lot of text on your banner then it will defeat the purpose. It’s hard for people to read small text or a lot of text quickly. The purpose of your banner is to grab attention quickly, keep the text large and simple and only provide the most important information. You don’t want the banner to appear too busy, it will often go ignored by passerby’s if it appears to be too much at first sight.