Let's talk about outdoor banners!

Let's talk about outdoor banners!

Banners! 

Big. Bold. Beautiful banners. 

The decoration outside just about every church, school, pub and public place as you drive along the road. Over the last few years we have printed a LOT of banners. You would think it would be a simple answer to the oft asked question "how much is a banner?" 

Truth is, no two banners are the same and like anything in life there are a number of things to consider before placing your order. 

The key question you need to think about are: 

  1. How big is your banner going to be? 
  2. Where is your banner going...and why? 
  3. What is your banner going to be fixed to? 

Size IS important

The size question is often the easiest answer to work out, but sometimes people don't think this through and encounter problems when their banner arrives. We print banners to any size in cm increments. You need to physically measure your banner space and the fixing points to get just the right size for your physical environment. We have had more than a few customers order a banner which was actually too big for the space they had and ended up having to fold the top or the ends somehow to make it fit. There is no need for this because we aren't limited to fixed sized banners. We will print to your exact requirements. 

Location, Location, Location

Often churches have an historic place for their banners. A few fixing points in a wall perhaps, or some poles. A usual piece of fence or wall. That's fine and that location might be for a really good reason and works brilliantly. But that's not always true. As with all things in church life we sometimes find ourselves repeating the same things year after year because "that's how we've always done it here". Times change, streets change, car parking changes, street furniture changes, pathways chance. So take a moment to walk past where your banner is intended to go and also, perhaps more importantly, to drive past in a car. What do you see? Is there good line of sight and for long enough that someone could read what's on the banner before they've gone past it? It is a pity to waste money on a banner which is going to be located somewhere inappropriate or ineffective. So take a little time to think of the most prominent spot for your banner. If your prominent spot is also a key spot for things like wedding photos you might need to have a chat locally about what to do and whether you want your banner there (you probably do) and if it is possible to take the banner down for weddings, and put it back again afterwards. 

Fixing It

There's a multitude of ways to fix a banner. The most common is the humble cable tie. Durable, cheap and long lasting. You can also crew through the eyelets of your banner to a suitable structure behind (wood most likely). You will need a large washer placed between the banner and screw head of course. Bungee cords are also popular and useful, but they do have a lot of stretch and give in them obviously which can cause problems. Lastly rope or cord can be used. 

In all cases you want to ensure that your banner is held firmly and with good tension in it. The worst thing is for a banner to be flapping about and have slack in it. This is when banners get broken. The whipping about in gusts of wind is what usually causes them to break somewhere. Banners act like sails, catching the wind and will encounter a remarkable amount of stress and strain when it is windy. For this reason you ought to ensure someone in your church is keeping an eye on the weather so that when it is very windy you pop out and remove the banner until the storm has passed. We've had very few breakages over the years, but every time it has been because of a storm and/or poor installation. 

There is something else really crucial though to consider. WHAT is your banner being fixed ONTO and can air pass through it? This isn't so much a question about how to fix your banner, but rather what kind of banner to get. If your banner is fixed to a brick wall then no air will pass from behind your banner. That's absolutely fine, but it is a very different kettle of fish to a banner which is fixed to open fencing. With open fencing (such as a chainlink fence or open slatted fencing, there will be a lot of force coming through from behind the banner and pushing it out like a sail. This is BAD news for your banner actually and may cause it to break over time. In this instance we always recommend going for a mesh banner instead of a PVC one. A mesh banner allows air to pass through which significantly reduces the stress and strain on the banner eyelets. 

We hope this simple guide helps you to think about your banners and lets you communicate effectively and fruitfully to your neighbours.