The real beauty of custom vinyl printed banners is there is no set size, so it makes them an incredibly flexible advertising tool. A small in-store adverting banner for a promotion to a massive banner wrapping a whole building, the uses are numerous.
Digital printers are used for most custom vinyl banner printing jobs nowadays capable of printing banners from a fraction of a metre to over 5m wide. The length of the banner is only determined by the amount of material on a roll, with the upper limit usually around 50m. If that’s not big enough, even larger banners can be made by welding the pieces together. These massive banners are used for building wraps and large hoardings. Most banners are much more modest in size, with the most popular banner size being 10’ x 3’ followed by 8’x2’.
For some reason, banners in the UK are still referred to by many in feet and inches and just to add to the confusion there are widths, heights, depths and lengths. In this blog article we will use feet and inches and use depth to refer to the short side of a banner and the length as the long side.
Most companies offer banners that are either 2’, 3’ or 4’ deep by the length the customer wants. So typical sizes will be:
4’ x 2’, 6’ x 2’, 8’ x 2’, 10’ x 2’, 12’ x 2’
6’ x 3’, 8’x 3’,10’ x 3’, 12’ x 3’, 15’ x 3’ , 20’ x 3’
8’x 4’, 10’ x 4’, 12’ x 4’, 15’ x 4’ , 20’ x 4’, 25’ x 4’
The size of banner you decide on is really determined by the space you have available, your budget, what you need to say on the banner (less is often more when you only have seconds to attract passers by) and how far away people will view the banner from.
Amount of Space
Decide where you want to place the banner and measure up the space available, taking into account where you will be able to attach the banner. As standard, banners are supplied with eyelets so you can use bungees, cable ties or ropes to attach your banner. If you have two posts, the banner does not have to stretch all the way as you can use ropes to attach them. Consideration also needs to be given to how the banner is going to be hung and how much wind there might be. A street banner can act like a big sail, so size should be limited or consider using a mesh banner or flags to spill the wind. An exposed area might be better with a smaller banner.
The cost of banners is priced on squared metres, with discounts offered at certain area tiers. You can use our online banner calculator to instantly see how big a banner you can get for your budget.
When viewed from the same distance a very simple banner with just one word can be smaller than a banner that has lots more information. When it comes to banner design less is more quite often. Keep it simple and easy to read.
The overall legibility of a banner is determined by the height of the letters, the font used and the colour combination. As a rough guide you can view letters in an easy to read font such as Helvetica in upper and lower case on a contrasting banner at the following distances. You can see how the case, font and colours have an effect on legibility.
Using all caps means that you need letters that are 15% higher to be read at the same distance:
Helvetica black on white upper and lower case 4” letter – 116’
Helvetica black on white upper case only 4” letter – 100’
Helvetica white on black upper and lower case 4” letter – 104’
Helvetica white on black upper case only 4” letter – 88’
Helvetica Yellow on Green upper and lower case 4” – 104’
Helvetica Yellow on Green upper case only 4” – 88’
Clarendon black on white upper and lower case 4” letter – 112’
Clarendon black on white upper case only 4” letter – 96’
Clarendon Yellow on Green upper and lower case 4” – 124’
Clarendon Yellow on Green upper case only 4” – 104’
To make it easy as a rule of thumb, when you use simple fonts on a contracting background, divide the viewing distance by 30 to get the letter height in inches. So if your banner is going to be 50’ from the road the smallest letters you can get away with are 1.6”. Obviously in practice most banners will only use such small letters for detailed information. Most headlines are going to be much bigger.
A simple way to make sure is to print some letters on your desk top printer, stick them where you want to use the banner, then walk away to make sure you can see them at the distance you want.
Hopefully this guide has given you a good starting point on choosing the correct size for your banner, but you can call 0844 800 1020 to talk to our print team for further advice.