Roll-up banners are the perfect tool for any business that needs marketing on the go.
They’re easy to transport, durable and completely re-usable, making them a great asset to have as a part of your marketing toolkit for trade shows or exhibitions.
They also make great permanent marketing displays for receptions or waiting rooms.
Designing a roll-up banner isn’t that much different from designing a poster or any other piece of marketing material. But there are some differences that need to be taken into account when you’re creating artwork on a larger scale.
Here are 10 key things you should do (and should definitely avoid!) when designing your roll-up banner:
1. DO create the design in high-quality software
The artwork for a standard-sized roll-up banner should be 800mm x 2000mm with a resolution of 300dpi (dots per inch).
With that in mind, you should choose a graphic design program that’s capable of producing high-quality PDF files, such as Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator.
2. DO Design in CMYK
As with all printed documents, the artwork needs to be created using a CMYK color profile.
Just remember to choose the right color profile in your graphic design program before you start creating your image.
If you try to convert your artwork file after completing the design, you could end up with some unwanted color changes – which wouldn’t look good if you’re using specific branded colors (see point 5 below).
3. DO consider where the banner is going to be used
Ideally, the view of a roll-up banner will be unobstructed. You should be able to see the whole banner from top to bottom, so you can use the entire space on the banner to display your messages and branding.
However, if you’re going to display your banner behind a desk, or at the back of a exhibition booth, there may be areas of the banner that are obstructed, so you will need to design accordingly.
4. DO use branded colors
The design of your banner should fit seamlessly with the look of the rest of your marketing material. When designing, make sure you use a colour palette that reflects or compliments your brand’s identity.
5. DO use fonts that can be read across the room
Your banner will need to be easily readable from across a room or exhibition hall, so be sure to select fonts that are easy to read and large enough to be seen from a distance – this is especially important for your main message and company name.
6. DO use high-quality images and logos
As mentioned earlier, your banner needs to be designed at a high-quality resolution, such as 300dpi. This also includes any images or logos you use in the banner’s design.
Before importing images into your design, check their size and resolution in a program such as Photoshop.
Image sizes should be the physical size they need to be on the banner (avoid stretching manually as this will cause the image to lose quality) and should ideally be 300dpi, but you can get away with using images at 200dpi as long as you don’t expect anyone to get too close to your banner.
Lower resolution images can appear blurry or pixelated when viewed up close.
7. DO place your logo or company name at the top
We’re all taught to read from top to bottom and left to right in the West, so it’s a good idea to place your company’s logo or name right at the top of your banner.
Generally placing the logo or name to the left or center is best practice. Placing logos to the right usually isn’t a good idea.
8. DO place your key message at eye level
It is important to have your key message at eye level, as this is where you are most likely to catch the attention of people passing by to draw them over to your space.
Split your banner into thirds and place your main message towards the bottom of the top third, or the top of the middle third.
9. DO include contact information in the bottom portion
It’s a good idea to include contact information somewhere on your roll-up banner, usually in the bottom portion.
At the very least, you should include your company’s website, but including a telephone number, email address and social media icons are also good ideas to ensure people know how to get back in touch with you once they have left the event or your premises.
10. DO proof-read
As with all printed documents, it’s incredibly important to proofread all of the text carefully before sending the document to print.
Imagine all of the lovely potential leads you could lose if your telephone number was a digit short on your roll-up banner?
Ask someone in your company to double-check the spelling and information on your banner as well as proofreading it yourself – it’s easy for your brain to make up what it thinks it should be seeing, so you may easily miss spelling mistakes.
1. DON’T design it using Microsoft Word or PowerPoint
As mentioned above, you need to create your design in software that will allow for high-quality output.
Popular programs such as Microsoft Word or PowerPoint aren’t able to produce the high-quality documents necessary for roll-up banner design, so avoid them at all costs!
2. DON’T forget to add bleed
All printed documents need to have ‘bleed’ … and roll-up banners are no different.
When designing, remember to add a 3mm border around all the edges of your design to allow for images and color that hit the edge of the page to overflow (or bleed) off the edge of the page. This will ensure there are no ugly white slithers once the banner has been cut down to the required size.
3. DON’T use images saved from the internet
All images included in roll-up banners should be around 200-300dpi.
Images saved from the internet are typically only 72dpi, which is far too low resolution to be used in print, never mind on a printed item that is so large!
Using images saved from the internet in your roll-up banner design will result in blurry or pixelated images which will look unprofessional and unsightly.
4. DON’T use other people’s images
Along with using high-quality images, it’s important to check that you have permission to use the images in your design.
Free stock photographs are a great option for when you can’t take your own or you can’t obtain permission to use photographs.
5. DON’T use a busy background
If you want to use an image or a pattern as the main background on your banner, try to choose one that’s not too busy or overpowering.
Adding a color overlay to an image or putting your text in boxes is a simple way to use an image as a background without the text getting lost or overcrowded.
6. DON’T cram in too many words
The layout of your design should be eye-catching, simple and easy to read.
Remember that your banner is there for drawing the attention of a casual passer-by, like a newspaper headline. Keep the information to a minimum and use accompanying literature like brochures or flyers for more information when needed.
7. DON’T use small fonts
Roll-up banners are supposed to be viewed from a distance. Anywhere between 5ft away or even across an entire room, so avoid using really small font sizes anywhere on your banner.
We’d recommend keeping all of your text in your design to a minimum of 100pt to ensure all text is legible from a distance.
8. DON’T use more than 3 fonts
It’s also important to keep the use of different font styles to a minimum.
Ideally, 2 fonts are enough to create visual impact and help create a hierarchy without looking too fussy or confusing. 3 different fonts would be the absolute maximum.
9. DON’T place text too close to the bottom
Remember that customers will most likely be standing up when viewing your roll-up banner, so avoid placing text too close to the bottom of the banner.
If you need to place text right at the bottom of your banner, make sure you use a font size large enough to be easily read when standing up. Alternatively, you could use less important images or graphic elements to fill the space instead.
10. DON’T worry about too much white space
Including white space in your design is a good idea – so don’t worry if you feel like there is too much empty space.
White space gives the reader’s eyes time to rest, making your banner easier to understand or stick in the reader’s mind.
Once you have designed your roll-up banner, proofread all of the information and saved the file as a high quality PDF – it’s ready to be printed!