Top tips for a successful pop-up banner

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A seclection of pop-up banners

What are pop-up banners?

Pop-up banners can also be known as roller banners, banner stands, penguin stands, pop-up displays or portable exhibition graphics. Usually they have an aluminium base with a casing containing a vinyl or polypropylene substrate roll which can be pulled out and fixed to create a large format graphic stand. More expensive banners may come with their own protective carry case, whereas standard banners may just be supplied in a box. They are a popular marketing tool, especially by exhibitors at trade shows or exhibitions but they can also often be seen in reception areas and waiting rooms.

The size of banners does vary. Our pop-up banners measure 850mm wide x 2000mm tall but you can source wider banners, 1200mm for example. You can also have a 30cm table-top roller banner or something closer to 3 metres! Single sided banners are the most common but there is also an option to choose double sided printing should this be beneficial. This option can give you a great visual impact from two directions and increase content options.

Pop-up banners are perfect for marketing on the go. They are easy to transport and use. They are re-usable and long lasting which makes them an easy and cost effective marketing solution for different situations.

 

How to use a pop-up banner?

Very often pop-up banners are used as a stand-alone marketing tool. In the right space they can work well without needing any other marketing material to support them. However in some situations having more than one banner can create a great impact. Several pop-up banners can be a good way of having a sizeable back drop at an exhibition, for example. With the right content and clever designing they can also be used to complement each other and work as part of a set.

Knowing the environment the banner will be displayed in is invaluable to its success. Where it will be used will help you determine what size banner will work best. The environment will also affect your choice of single or double sided printing. Because banners are very often used more than once and in more than one location, having a design which is flexible might be necessary.­

The type of setting will also determine the content and how that needs to be set out. For example a pop-up banner for a busy exhibition might need to be kept simple, clear and attract the eye. A banner for a museum might have the purpose of displaying useful information and therefore could be much busier, whilst still being clear and easy to follow.

 

What’s the purpose of your pop-up banner?

Knowing what you want your banner to achieve is important to determine from the start. The answer to this question will play a part in the size of banner you choose, how many you would want, the location it will be in, as well as the content and design. Are you looking to increase awareness of your brand or promote a new product or service? Who is your audience and what is going to work to achieve your goal in capturing their attention? Will the banner be competing for attention, alongside similar services? Researching your competitors is a key part in ensuring your pop-up banner is a success or if in fact a banner is the right solution for you.

 

The design of your pop-up banner

Which software should you use?

Employing a professional designer to create the artwork for your banner is the ideal option. Our pop-up banner design prices vary depending on the brief and content to be included. Get in touch if you would like a free no obligation quote.  If budget is a priority and you have some experience in designing and on a large scale, then completing the layout yourself could be a viable option.

Firstly make sure you have the correct software. You will need a package which is capable of producing high quality PDF files for print, such as Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop. If you haven’t used either of these packages before, then not only is the cost of purchasing them daunting but the complexity of the programs can also be overwhelming. If you are up for the challenge, make sure you have the time and patience before committing to this option. There are other free design packages available however- these programs can have their limitations and can also take some time before you will grasp just the basics of the package, let alone design a banner!

As tempting as it might be creating your artwork in Microsoft Word or Powerpoint, don’t! You will waste your time and end up with a file that is not suitable for sending to print. Always check with the company who will be printing the banner(s) as to how they need the artwork set out and in what file format and resolution they require. Printers usually ask for images to be at least 300dpi however for larger format graphics such as pop-up banners 200dpi is usually good enough. The reason being, banners are often viewing from over a metre away as opposed to just 30cm.

Banner design tips

The top of the pop up banner is the prime area. The top is usually the first place a person will look and depending on how tall the viewer is and how far back they are, the top of a standard sized roller banner is often at eye level. Therefore you need to consider what is going to draw people and grab their attention – your logo or a headline/title? Your marketing aim will help determine this. For example if you are running a campaign to promote brand awareness then your name and logo will need to be placed at the top. If you are pushing the sale of a particular product, then perhaps a photo or short piece of text promoting that product should be in the top section.

Think about how much of your banner will be visible. This will ensure that important content is not lost below a table or other exhibition stands. Also consider if the viewer is most likely to be walking past or stopping to look. If you are aiming to attract the attention of someone walking past, then keep the message clear, simple and eye-catching to increase your chances of getting them to stop and take note!

Whilst pop-up banners offer a large space to include a lot of content, resist the temptation to pack your banner with text, information and images. Obviously if your banner is for information purposes such as within a museum, then obviously the design will be very different to a banner promoting a service or product.

The very bottom of a roller banner will be rolled into the mechanism of the banner. Make sure to check with the printer how much space is lost here to ensure you don’t lose any important content.

What you include on the banner will depend on other marketing materials that you have. Pop-up banners are great tools to entice someone to an exhibition stand where they can then be given a brochure or leaflet with more details to take away.

Always ensure your banner works with any other promotional material and the design falls within any branding guidelines your business or organisation has. This will help promote your brand, as well as increase consumer confidence.

Researching is a great place to start when designing your banner. Visit exhibitions and see which banners catch your eye to find out what works. You can also look and see which stands are attracting the most attention and think about the reason why they are successful – location, design, product, scale of graphics etc.

Getting the text right!

Whilst not all pop-up banners will have text on them, it’s important that if your banner is going to have written content, you get it right.

The first basic rule is to make sure that the main message of your banner can be understood within 3 seconds. This means you need to make sure that the message is clear and concise. Having too much information on there can confuse people and cause them to switch off.

Bullet points are great ways to highlight important points and break down information for the reader. Within an exhibition setting you would usually want to entice the reader to come over to your stand to find out more, so don’t be tempted to include everything on your banner. They should act as a conversation starter making the viewer want to find out more

Write the text from the customer’s point of view and remember to tell them about the benefits and features of your product and service in relation to them.

Pop-up banners have great durability and therefore it’s important to not include text which could restrict their life-span. For example, dates and prices which might need to be updated over time should be avoided, unless they are a key part to your campaign’s message.

How the text is presented is just as important as the message. Careful consideration needs to go into which font to use. If you have brand guidelines then you may already have a set font or fonts that you need to use to work alongside other marketing materials and obviously your logo. Avoid using more than 2-3 fonts unless the design calls for a variety of fonts. Make sure you choose fonts which are easy to read, bearing in mind that your banner might be read from across a room or exhibition hall. The size of the font will also come into play here. As a general rule a short heading should be about 200pt and other main text around 60-100pt.

The use of image on pop-up banners

Images can have a great instant impact and so getting them right is key to a successful banner. Ideally they need to be 300dpi to ensure they won’t be blurry or pixelated. A lower resolution may be suitable, such as 200dpi but if you are not sure, the printer of your banner should be able to advise you. Don’t be tempted to use images from the internet because not only will there be copyright issues, the resolution is often just 72dpi. There is a wide selection of stock photo companies out there which provide professional photos. Alternatively hiring a photographer might also be an option you could consider. It’s worth spending a little on some quality images to ensure your banner creates the right image and impact.

Also make sure your images are converted to CMYK for print.

Colours

What colours you choose for your banner will depend largely on your branding and logo. You want something to work alongside other promotional material so there is a consistency but also colours which are going to work well on a large scale. Over 70% of banners use neutral colours such as white, black or grey. By using neutral colours this can often allow your logo and message to stand out. White or ‘empty space’ can often work well, so don’t worry about filling every inch with text and images.

As mentioned previously, always make sure your artwork is saved as CMYK and not RGB. If you’ve created your file in RGB you need to make sure that when you convert it over to CMYK that you are happy with the colour levels, as often this conversion will darken the artwork slightly. For this reason it is always best to start off designing in CMYK.

Should you include your contact details?

It would be unusual to not have your contact details included on a brochure or flyer but a banner is often different and acts in partnership with other promotional material. You need to think about the purpose of your banner. Will it be a signpost to someone handing out a flyer with contact details on? Perhaps just adding your social media details would be enough to link up with potential customers? QR codes can be useful in enabling viewers to quickly visit your website. If your banner is going to be a stand-alone promotion, then having your contact details would be essential. Remember to include the information high enough up to ensure readability.

A call to action!

Once you’ve got the attention of a potential customer/client you need to make sure they know what the next step is. It’s a common mistake of pop-up banners to not have a clear call to action. Here are a few examples: ‘Save money by ordering from us today’; ‘Quote this discount code for 20% off your next purchase’ or ‘Find out how much you could save by talking to us today’.

Don’t forget to proof read your content

Make sure you check and double check all of the content on your banner including contact details. Ask a few people to take a look over the artwork and check the text as well. You need to make sure there are no mistakes as this can have damaging effect on the success of a banner. If in doubt, ask a professional copywriter to check, as there shouldn’t be a lot of text on there, the cost shouldn’t be too high and it’s worth spending a little to get it right!

 

Measuring the success of your banner

It’s important that you have a plan in place to measure the effectiveness of your banner. It might be difficult to work out the exactly how many sales you achieved just because of the banner but depending on the purpose there should be some way to determine its effectiveness. If it’s a stand-alone marketing tool, then you could make sure that your sales team ask people where they heard about your business/company. Alternatively you could have a separate email address or phone number, just for use on your banner so enquiries are easy to trace. If you are using a banner within an exhibition, then you could keep track of how many people came over to your stand after looking at your banner. If you are exhibiting for more than one day then you could experiment with the placement of the banner to find out which location has the most success.

If you are able to draw conclusions as to whether your pop-up banner was a success or not then this will help when planning future promotional campaigns and exhibition graphics.

In Summary

Get it right and pop-up banners are great tools for promoting a business, service or product. They are simple, cost effective and offer small businesses, as well as large, the opportunity to promote at exhibitions or in other public places. As with all promotional design, planning is essential and hiring a professional designer to create the design is often worth every penny in the long run.

About us and this blog

am:pm graphics is a graphic design partnership based in Buxton, Derbyshire. We offer a range of quality, affordable graphic design solutions for print and web, helping our customers achieve a consistent professional identity across a variety of media.

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