Print Banners – 6 Tips to Change The Way You Design Them

In today’s competitive space, marketers and business owners have a lot to keep up with. Focus too much only on the digital space and you might lose out on the competition from the local market. Allocate budget only for print ads and you are missing out on the opportunity to scale. A bit of both is just what it takes. And when we talk about print advertising in the digital age, one type of design you see in many places is the print banner. Print banners are everywhere in marketing – event venues, storefronts – anywhere you want people to learn about your business. 

Print banner design by Kimp

The concept of print banners is not new. But what’s new is the concept of designing them for the generation that is so used to digital screens. What’s new is the part where you come up with print banner design ideas that help bridge the gap between your digital and print advertising channels. So, let’s talk print banners today. A bit about why you need them and then about how to design them so they actually convert! 

Print Banners – Why Are They Important Even in the Digital Era?

Print marketing has been there for decades now. But has the advent of technology shrouded the effectiveness of print ads? Well, not really! 

Some businesses might think that the digital space is enough to get in touch with their audience. However, there are still people who get introduced to a business for the first time when they see a billboard on the subway or while they wait to board their buses. And there are people who get to know about a local store from the print banner they spot during their daily commute. So yes, print ads are still very relevant and still very effective in introducing your brand and making that first contact with your prospective customers. 

So, here are some of the benefits that print ads, print banners, in particular, have to offer small businesses. 

  • 82% of consumers trust print ads better when it comes to making a purchase decision. And this means that print ads like print banners, when designed right, can see good conversions. They can also win the trust of potential customers. 
  • Visual marketing is crucial for small businesses. With a tight marketing budget to spare, print banners are some of the most affordable marketing tools. Despite being inexpensive print banners do bring good returns. 
  • When you own a physical store, a huge section of your customers lives within a 5 to 6-mile radius. When they are not shopping at your store they might be crossing it at least. With a well-designed banner in visibility, there is something to remind them of your business several times a week. 

Since print banners have so many benefits, it’s time to see how you can use them in your marketing. Let’s talk about the types of print banners you can use. 

Types of Print Banners to Use in Marketing 

The categories in print banners are mainly based on the material of the banner and the type of installation used. Knowing your options makes it easier to find the right one for the purpose. 

  • Based on the material there are fabric, vinyl, and mesh banners. Fabric banners are great for indoor displays. Vinyl banners are known for their durability and hence suitable for outdoor displays. Mesh banners, also good for outdoor settings, are printed on mesh polyester fabric that makes for robust installations even in windy areas. But mesh banners are not fully opaque. So, the colors and fonts should be chosen extra cautiously to make up for the transparency in the display. 
  • Based on the installation type, print banners are classified as pole banners, feather flags, suspended banners, retractable banners, and pop-up displays for booths. 

Depending on the chosen material and installation, the shape and dimensions of the design change. And since there would be different lighting conditions in different areas, the colors you choose might look very different finally in print too. Working with professional designers ensures that your design turns out just the way you pictured it. 

With that said, let’s talk about the design details that you should remember to ensure that your print banners fulfill their objectives. 

Print Banners – 6 Design Tips You Should Know About

1. Use the right images 

All-text banners might convey the message. But you want to create something that is visually stimulating. That’s when the onlookers will remember the message they see in the ad. And for this, you need photos and other graphics in your print banners. 

While choosing images, look for relevant ones. Random stock images and headshots will not always work. There should be a solid reason for the photo being part of your design. In the below print banner the photo instantly conveys the message that the service center takes care of the repair needs of all kinds of vehicles. 

Print banner design by Kimp

And here is another print banner that incorporates multiple images. Here it showcases the diverse range of cleaning services offered.

Print banner design by Kimp

Both the above examples make use of images to build awareness about the brand. They let people instantly understand what the business does and this is a fuss-free way to promote your business. 

The above idea works for general advertisements to be used outside your store. But when you have to promote your upcoming product or a big sale that’s coming up, your images should focus on them and not just on your brand. For example, when your customers see your brand’s banners in a mall and they see images of a Christmas tree or Santa Claus, they know that you are talking about an upcoming Christmas sale. This will make them stop and take notice. 

In such cases, the colors in the banner and your brand logo will be subtle reminders of your brand. But the focus will be more on the campaign objective. 

2. Use symbols and other visual cues 

Besides photos, you can also use symbols and illustrations to visually convey the idea. This is particularly handy when you have to come up with compact banner designs. Or when you think that actual photos will blend with the background or not create much of an impact. In such cases, you can incorporate relatable symbols to capture the idea. Or in other words, you can use symbols to tell what your banner ad is about. 

In the below print banner, even from a distance, you will know that it talks about the ticket sale for an event. And that’s because of the ticket illustration used in the banner. 

Print banner design by Kimp

Kimp Tip: If you do not find relevant photos to use in your print banner design, custom illustrations will take your design to the next level. If you already have a brand mascot or a custom character that appears on your marketing designs, these can be used for branding on a banner design. 

Want to create custom illustrations or mascots for your brand? Choose a Kimp Graphics subscription

3. Be careful with your choice of colors

Colors are perhaps the most prominent details about print banners that can make or break the design. With digital designs, you often cannot predict the exact background color against which your image might appear, though it is white in most cases. But with print banners, your banner might be installed in the middle of a shopping mall or suspended from the ceiling, or even hung on the wall. 

To know what kind of colors work in your design, understand where your banner would go. What would be the color of the surroundings? Will there be other banners or posters that can clash with your design? These are a few questions to consider. 

Once you have your answers, remember to choose a color palette where the colors contrast with one another (so that the text is clear) and also contrast with the surrounding (so that customers do not miss your banner).

Bright and bold colors, like those in the below banner design, work in most outdoor settings. 

Print banner design by Kimp

Knowing that bright colors work if you are wondering what hues to go with, choose something that’s relevant to your brand or one that is relevant to the product you advertise. The below color palette is perfect for promoting a cake shop. The message is loud and clear just from the colors. 

Print banner design by Kimp

With Kimp subscriptions, you can see a mockup of how your banner looks in the real setting. This way you will get a clear idea of how the chosen colors will work. 

4. Fonts that are clear, even from a distance 

The colors will set the right mood. But what about the fonts? Can your customers read the text in your banner from a distance? For this, you need to work with fonts that are known for their legibility. There are plenty of options in both serif and sans-serif font families. The banner in the below example uses a serif font that is very easy to read and in line with the visual theme too. 

Print banner design by Kimp

Remember that customers might not be willing to get closer to your banner to read the text in it. Sometimes, the cursory glance they give your banner from a distance is your only chance to communicate with them. So, stay away from decorative fonts or even fonts with very thin line weight. The other thing to avoid will be light font colors or font colors that do not contrast with the background. All of these can make your banner copy difficult to read. 

Kimp Tip: Though we recommend using bright and legible fonts and colors in your design, stick with as few options as possible. Too many font styles or too many colors in your fonts can both make your design confusing or cluttered. 

Choosing fonts for your print banners might seem overwhelming. Leave it to the Kimp team for the best print banner designs for your brand. 

5. Formatting your copy 

Choosing the right fonts will not be enough if your copy does not justify the design. Print banners are meant to give a sneak peek into your campaign. They are meant to act as anchors that lead customers to the next step. Banners will not be the place where your customer looks for every bit of information about your brand. On a banner, customers look for 2 things – what the ad is about, and what they should do next. So, the message and the CTA are just what you need. 

If it is a banner for promoting your business add a few pictures or a short copy to tell what your business does. And then leave your contact details. Format your text so that it flows easily and customers can read it quickly and conveniently. You can also use lists as you see in the below design. 

Print banner design by Kimp

If the banner is about an event, include a few details about the time and venue. And add your social media handle or the contact number where customers can gather more details about the event and tickets for it. 

Either way, keep the copy crisp. And double-check the spelling, grammar, and tone of the copy before you get the design printed. Unlike digital designs, you cannot go back and change anything once you have installed the banner. 

6. Link back to your digital channels 

One of the foremost aspects to look into while designing print banners in the digital age will be the connection between your print and digital ads. Good branding is about creating consistent designs across channels. So, every encounter your customer has with your brand feels familiar. And together they work in strengthening your brand recognition. 

In the past, contact details on a print banner consisted of an address or phone number. But now this can be a website address or social media handles. Of course, the places that you direct your customers to, from the banner ad, should have information that supplements the details they grasped on the banner. 

One easy way to encourage interaction with your print banner and quickly take customers in the right direction will be through QR codes. For retractable banners that will be placed at event venues or store locations, you can add a QR code for customers to quickly scan and navigate to the landing page or social media page you want to drive traffic to. 

If you have a convincing banner, your customers will be ready to scan the QR code after all. From there, you can lead them to the product page if the campaign focuses on a new product launch. Or you can lead them to a lead capture landing page where you can gather contact details for lead nurturing. Here’s a design that shows how you can seamlessly include a QR code in your banner design. 

Print banner design by Kimp

Create Catchy Print Banners for Your Brand With Kimp 

Want simple print banners to adorn your storefront? Or some fancy ones to deck up the venue for your event? No problem. With one Kimp subscription, you get unlimited designs. So, you can create all the different types of banners you like. What’s more? Your subscription also covers various other kinds of print and digital designs. So, to introduce your brand to your audience or to promote your campaigns one subscription is all it takes. 

Ready to try the perks of unlimited graphic design services? Register now for a free trial.