Visage Silhouettes Presents - Choosing the right banner ad

If you find it difficult to promote yourself or your products at exhibitions, wedding fairs , or events it is essential to choose a reputable print company and create a professional banner advertisement design.

In my line of work of silhouette cutting the general public saw my products on a display table as stationary or special commissioned peices and not as a form of entertainment. Instead of asking questions, they would simply move on to the next stand. Having a banner ad was the best solution. I wanted to design it my self using photoshop but couldn't without knowing the size, so I needed to find a supplier.

Like most products on the internet each one is offering something slightly different. Each site had different banner names, colours, sizes, coatings, offers & prices. As it was my first banner I wanted a simple indoor pull up version which has a base at the bottom and a pole to elivate it.

The banner supplier I chose was called 'Genie' from : Creative Solutions. I chose Creative Solutions as they were professional, happy to help, were competitive, and gave good advice on designing the banner.

They dispatched the banner the day after I approved the proof and in time for my wedding fair at Elcot Court on Sunday 8th February where I will be from 11am to 4pm. (I will let you what impact the banner had at the wedding fair)

Here is my design and some useful information you need to consider when designing your banner ad:

1) I would recommend that you ask what are the popular products. Genie was the second cheapest banner and popular with most.

2) A good company should include a bag for the banner. Mine is surprising light.

3) Choose a banner that is good for your needs i।e. there were options of having the t-bar support on a swivel if you are worried about people tripping over it. (I decided that this was unneccasry as the t- bar is reletatively small).

If you are designing the banner your self make sure you ask them:

1) What colour should I use?

I was told to use CMYK as this is the format printers use. It is best to let the printer know exactly what colours you are using by taking note of each colour's Pantone number. (Remember colours look different on screen)! In photoshop you can find out your pantone number by using your eye droper to select the colour you have chosen on screen. With the colour seected in the tool bar, click on it and this will bring up a seperate colour box. Chose the option Custom. This should bring up the pantone number or it can be selected from a drop down menu.

2) What size will the banner be?
Mine is 2150mm x 800mm but 50mm at bottom is lost in the base.

3) What shall I save it as?
I designed my banner ad at full size and saved it at 100dpi to make sure that the quality was good enough to print. Creative Soluations told me if I was to try and reduce the size by 1/4 I would need to save it as 400dpi.

4)What size fonts should I use?
You will have to put the number in manually as it will need to be much larger than the usual reading size. 220-215 is the font size that would usually go across the whole width of banner. You should leave 25mm high between text & image.
Choose a good logo. My logo font was free at: My body text font was gill sans which was easy to read.

5) How can I send my banner design via email?
As the size of a banner design is large, make sure that your printer gives you the correct email address to send large files to. I ended up zipping my j peg to make it small enough to send through my email account. Creative Solutions had a seperate email account for receiving large art work.

6) What about the design?
Make sure you don't have too much text and that you keep the same font throughout (not including your logo). Keep your message simple. Stick to three colours to make more of an impact. Remember it should be read and understood in a matter of seconds and be eye catching. Use photographs as instant testimonals of happy clients to keep wording down. This also makes you look professional without having to write that you are and therefore has more codoss! Think of your unique selling point and get that message across. If all else fails, get someone to design it for you!

Other useful links:

Banner ad forum:

Advertising ideas for small businesses:

Make your own banner ad or poster: