A banner revolution has been taking place over the past few years. If you take a good look around, you’ll notice banner advertising in many different forms. This flexible fabric is growing in popularity, and end users are finding innovative ways to incorporate this material into more than just traditional signage. No longer is a banner just a piece of vinyl with cut letters stuck on to it. There are now a million different possibilities from visual merchandising to architectural enhancements.
As a copy/print/sign shop, what does this mean to you? It means you can offer your customers a wide range of application possibilities. The magic is in the substrates! There are endless ways to offer more products to your customers with the use of different substrates, which you can put through your inkjet printer. Keep an open mind to creativity, and your customers will love you for it!
To help you expand your business, banner material manufacturers offer a wide variety of materials. Selecting the right material might seem a little confusing at first, but try speaking to a knowledgeable reseller and experimenting on your own. Here are some product guidelines:
Backlit Scrim Banner
This is a smooth, white PVC-laminated, very fine polyester scrim. In most cases, it is less expensive than backlit film. It’s great for large backlit stage graphics and signs and can be used indoors and outdoors.
This kind of banner is constructed with a blockout material in between two substrates to prevent light from passing through it. Different types of banner material can be made into blockout, such as scrim or fabric. This kind of banner is well suited to two-sided printing.
There are a range of acid-free matte, semi-gloss or glossy finish artist stretch canvases available that make a beautiful banner product. They come in a variety of thicknesses and can be hung or stretched. Canvas delivers superior color gamut and resolution with a striking finished product.
Fabric is one of the best materials to make banners with – and the most expensive. They hang naturally and are pleasing to the eye. The fabric banner is ideal for producing flags, displays, window decorations, stage banners, trade show graphics, roll-up displays, and window backlit. Types of fabric banners can include canvas, poly poplin, nylon, poly duck, Dacron, poly satin, poly lucent, and poly silk. In most cases, fabric banners are finished with pole pockets at the top so they can hang straight and flat.
This lightweight, but tightly woven, mesh vinyl-coated material has a polyester scrim and a highly receptive surface for crisp, clear images. This fabric is designed for interior and exterior single-sided banners. The mesh material allows wind to pass through it. It’s ideal for use against a solid surface, like a building, but can be used for some retail applications where the mesh can hang inside a store’s display window and act like a window perforation. Mesh banners are rated based on the hole size and the weight of the material.
Polyethylene Banner (two-sided banner)
This type of banner is ideal for short-term indoor and outdoor promotional use where a smooth, uniform base material is required. Its polyethylene base gives it a high level of water resistance; good drape characteristics and excellent light-blocking opacity. This product is intended for use in most water-based thermal and piezo printers using dye and pigment inks. This medium strength banner is ideal for free-hanging; it hangs straight and flat and will not curl or cup with changes in humidity or temperatures. Cost-effective alternative to stitching one-sided banners back to back.
A very smooth and strong banner designed for short-term retail signage needs. This low-cost, flat, tear-resistant banner should be stitched for additional support and may not be suitable with certain printers (those using heated platens). Heated platens (usually found on solvent-based printers) may stretch the material.
Scrim Vinyl Banner
Scrim vinyl has a very strong integral nylon mesh and is usually identified by a pattern of visible squares that run through it. Scrim banners are ideal for outdoor use (provided by 1 Day Banner service for event graphics mainly) but may curl with time. This product provides exceptional ink dry times, excellent draping, and can be sewn and grommeted.
Tear-Resistant Wet-Strength Paper
This option is a tear-resistant, one-side-coated paper. The latex-saturated, nylon-reinforced sheet offers an economical solution for short-term, indoor promotional banner applications, promotional posters, and decorative wall covering applications.
For durable wide-format banners, streamers, and signs, Tyvek banners offer a high tear-resistance and can be grommeted for flexible banners. Tyvek is a material that builders use to insulate the outside of the house, which means it’s very strong and lightweight – but takes a great image with eye-catching colors. The primary drawbacks are that it is costly and can yellow over time. It’s ideal for short-term (less than one year) outdoor applications.
Wet-Strength, Nylon-Reinforced 10 Mil Paper
Magic Inkjet makes an economical latex-saturated, nylon-reinforced cellulose, wet-strength indoor banner/outdoor poster and wall covering material. It also resists water and UV damage. This is an economical alternative for short-term, indoor promotional signage where high-tear strength is not required. Also accepts standard pastes for wall coverings or murals.