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The Lowly Vinyl Banner is happy to take your abuse

By Rick Hendershot, M.A.
Posted Sunday, October 24, 2004

In the hierarchy of advertising and promotional media, the lowly Vinyl Banner has to be one of the most under-rated of them all. Often viewed as a temporary substitute for a real sign, or a cheap backdrop when you can't afford something better, vinyl banners rarely gets their due.

As with most things, changes in technology have had a big impact on the vinyl banner. Just four or five years ago if you wanted a durable and weather-resistant banner, the production guy had two choices. He could either print them one color at a time using a silk screen process, or he could generate self-adhesive letters and manually stick them down on the vinyl backing. The limitations of both these processes are pretty obvious. They are both time-consuming, amateurish, and usually too expensive. Including company logos, photographs, or special typefaces could only be done with much work and considerable expense.

Until recently graphic designers and advertising people — the creative types who like pretty pictures and exciting graphics — these people have been effectively shut out from producing economical vinyl banners for their clients.

Digital Revolution has brought changes

The "digital revolution" has changed all that. Printing machines are now available that can print directly on outdoor (and indoor) grade vinyl in stunningly beautiful full color. That means a graphic designer can take the same files she uses for her client's magazine ad or company brochure, blow them up, and print them directly on a piece of vinyl.

As a result, the catalog of available vinyl materials that can be printed on has exploded in the last three or four years, and the printing process has been perfected to the point where you can now print an beautiful full color image on a piece of virtually untearable vinyl with durable inks that will not weather or fade for many years.

This opens up many possibilities for marketers, designers, trade show exhibitors, retailers, special speakers, and event planners. Vinyl banners have several distinct advantages over almost any other advertising medium.

First, they are FLEXIBLE, and very durable. That means you can carry your backdrop to an open house, trade show, or outdoor event. Just hang it over a table, or from readily available hanging hardware. Or if it is an outdoor event like a golf or slo-pitch tournament, attach it to the side of a building or an outfield fence. When the event is over, just take it down, roll it up, and you're ready for the next event.

Second, they are CHEAP. If you find the right supplier (www.tradeshow-display-experts.com) you can produce a banner for much less than any other suitable alternative.

Third, they are BIG. An image can be stretched across several segments, and these can be stitched together. A banner does not have to be long an skinny. It can just as easily be big and square. There is virtually no limit to the size you can produce a vinyl banner.

Finally, they are EASY. Anybody with a little bit of graphic design experience can design a banner. And even if you have NO experience, the best online sources of vinyl banners (www.tradeshow-display-experts.com) provide you with instructions and design templates to make the process extremely simple.

The next time you want to make a big, bold statement for very little money, consider doing it with a vinyl banner.

When copying or reproducing this article, or parts of this article, please give appropriate credits to Richard Hendershot, (www.tradeshow-display-experts.com)


About the Author
Rick Hendershot is marketing manager for (www.tradeshow-display-experts.com). The parent company, Canada Display Graphics, has facilities in Mississauga and Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, and ships trade show displays and custom vinyl banners across North America.