The two most important factors to consider when designing banners is where will they be displayed and who will see them. Since we can’t make you a graphic designer on this website we’ll do our best with giving you some of the best tips to consider when designing your banners.
Fonts – You may have a hundred fonts to choose from. That is not a challenge to use as many as you can. Stick to one, at most two fonts for your banners. Certain fonts play well with others. Search the Internet for font families. Remember, you can achieve a clean look with judicious use of bold , italics and different sizes while using the same font.
Readability – Part of your font choice should be respect for the person who will receive your business card. An older audience may appreciate a simple font in a larger size rather than that great Gothic font you found on the Internet. Then again, if your business card is for your band, “The Modern Goths”, go for it.
Graphics – Your personal choice. Some people prefer only text, some prefer text with logos, other like full background graphics. Again, remember that your banner may represent you, your company or your organization, but someone else needs to read it. Unless your business has something to do with zebras, realize that black and white stripes on a banner may wreck havoc with the print.
Design hint #1: Where will your banners be used? Different locations will dictate different sizes. An outdoor banner on a low volume side road can be smaller than a banner that displays the same information along the side of a road with a significantly higher speed limit.
Another important consideration is whether your intended audience will be moving or stationary and the distance between them and your message. For example, X-Frames and retractable display banners assume an inside application where the audience is essentially stationary or moving very slowly past. The same might be said of a “Welcome Home” banner inside someone’s home or positioned on a front lawn. But “Welcome Home” banner outside a Naval base will require entirely different specifications.
“Bleed” – Now we need to get slightly technical. When a color continues to the very edge of paper that is called a “bleed” and it looks more professional than a white border. But a printing press cannot apply ink to the edge of a paper, so how do we do it? By printing oversize and trimming back. The most common bleed size is .125”. In order to print a banner that is 3.0’ x 5.0’ with color running to the edges (“full bleed”) the banner must be originally designed at 36.25” x 60.25”. After printing that 1/8 “ will be trimmed off to the correct size.
Design Hint #2: Keep all important text and graphics (such as logos) within 1/8” of the final trim lines.
This is important. If you include your photo – or for that matter a logo or any graphic – it must be in high resolution, 300 DPI (“dots per inch”). And you will probably not be able to take an image from the Internet. Images on the web appear the same regardless of whether they are 72 dpi or 300 dpi. The only difference will be in the time it takes to load the image. So a professional web designer will reduce all images to 72 dpi to save loading time, and simultaneously make those images unacceptable for printing. Please don’t blame us – we had nothing to do with it.