Roll-up banner design requires a little bit of extra thought than some other forms of print display. When done well, roll-ups will be eye-catching and informative, providing the viewer with the information they want clearly. When done poorly, the banner can fail to convey the intended ideas or engage the intended audience at all!
We've seen hundreds of designs pass through our printers, from the simplest layout to promote a single event or product, through to large sets of banners designed to work together as part of a larger display. Whilst there is no definitive right and wrong on how to design a roll-up, we thought we would try and guide you with some of our top tips:
- Consider the purpose of the banner. Is it promoting a specific product? If so, this should probably feature prominently towards the top of the banner. Similarly, if it is to display some beautiful photographs, consider placing them centre top on the banner with associated company branding as a secondary element once the viewer has been drawn in.
- Think about where the banner is to be displayed. Many people use banners to promote themselves at exhibitions and trade fairs. Banners are great for this, but not if you make great use of the full height of a roll-up and then stick it behind a desk so that people can't see your offering properly! If they are to be used as a backdrop like this, ensure that your design has all important info in a visible area, perhaps with background images toward the bottom which don't matter so much if they become obscured.
- What will the overall display look like? Try to imagine the completed display as a whole. For a single banner you can concentrate on the single design in it's own right, but for multiple or connected banner displays, consider how all the banners will look as a set. Will they always be used together? Will they always be placed in the same order? If the answer to these questions is yes, then you can think about running shapes and colours across the banners to tie the display together. If you know the banners will be used in different ways, the trick is ensuring that they make sense in their own right, but don't have too much repetition if used together.
- Viewing distances matter. Don't forget that small text will become illegible beyond a certain distance. If you are selling prescription glasses to the elderly, don't put a bunch of fine print on the banner! On the other hand, don't feel that you need to have all the text at 100mm caps height if the banner is supposed to be viewed up close. The same goes for images in many ways. Don't montage twenty images together if you really want people to see what the subject matter is, but by all means do it as an eye-catching part of the overall design.
- Content is King. Make sure that what your banner says is relevant to the viewer. A lot of the time, the banner's job is to attract attention and encourage someone to either a) take away some literature, or b) speak to someone about what they have seen. There is no need to put loads of text on a banner in this situation, this can reduce the banner's ability to do it's job well. A combination of well laid out text, images and on-brand colours tends to work well.
- Beware of colour shifts. It might sound confusing and we won't go into it in too much detail here, but a printed colour can sometimes look different to the version seen on a website or pdf. This is to do with RGB (screen colours) vs CMYK (print) colours. If you need to replicate your website colours in print form, you need to work out what the equivalent CMYK colour values of your company colours are. There are a number of websites like ColorHexa that can help you do this. Always ensure your design for print is set up using CMYK colours and be sure to let your printer (hopefully us!) know of any specific Pantone colours used in your branding. This way we know what to look for, and should be able to turn out the banner you are expecting to see at the end.
- Templates are your friends. All good banner printers will have artwork templates available for the products they offer. On our site you can find them under the 'Download Product Resources' tab on the product page. Templates usually have instructions about image resolutions, colours and dimensions and can save you a lot of emailing back and forth with amendments if you use them from the start! They will also help you more accurately visualise the layout of the banner in proportion, hopefully leading to a better design overall.
There are plenty of other tips and tricks for good roll-up banner design, and at Redblu we're happy to share our knowledge! Drop us a line and we can talk you through some of the pros and cons. Alternatively we can do the whole thing for you, saving you the time and effort! We are designing these things daily, and can of course help advise on the right product for the job while we are at it!