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Are Heavier Banners More Durable? Plus, How to Make A Banner

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Is heavier weight vinyl more durable? And, what is the best way to create a banner?

Question: What is the difference between 13 oz. and 15 oz. vinyl banner material?

Vinyl banner material weight is calculated by the weight of the material per square foot. Sometimes the threads will be heavier in the heavier material or be distributed more densely as well to create a smoother material.

The Blockout Layer

Either weight may have a blockout layer of fabric now that will make the banner opaque, either to block light coming through the back side of the banner or to make it printable on both sides so that there will be no shadowing of the graphic on the back side due to light coming through it.

In Terms of Durability

custom colored pvc banner displaysAs far as durability, the 15 oz. material is thought to generally be able to withstand wind marginally better than a 13 oz. banner material, but in my experience, the finishing and installation will have more to do with the durability out of doors than the weight will.

Reinforced hems with grommets will be more durable in the wind than non-reinforced hems, and reinforced pole pockets may be better yet. If wind slippage is needed, vinyl mesh banners may be a better option, although there is only about 15% to 20% less wind pressure on a mesh banner vs. a non-mesh vinyl banner.

Wind Pocket is Not a Good Idea

Lastly, I am personally antithetically opposed to wind pockets in banners as the force of the wind is reduced 3% to 5% at the most, and it makes the banner look like it’s been shot full of holes, not a classic look in my view. Again, the finishing with reinforced hems in pole pockets is a better option, or vinyl mesh, as it retains the integrity of your design.

You can read more about graphics and printing of polyvinyl banners at https://www.visigraph.com/fabric-vinyl-cloth-banners/custom-vinyl-banners/

Question: We’re having a big family reunion next month, and I’d like a banner for the event. What is the best way to make a banner?

That depends a lot on your budget. If you have no budget or a $10 budget, get a sheet of butcher paper from the butcher or a local craft store and some poster paint or heavy felt markers and paint away.

Cost-effective Printed Banners

Cloth banners designed with superheroesHowever, if you have couple hundred bucks to work with, then you have some better options. Personally, I don’t have to worry about banners because we can do them really cheap, but for you, unless you want to spend tens of thousands of dollars on a digital printer or a dye sublimation printer, it’s not as inexpensive to purchase a banner. However, like I say, for a couple hundred clams you can purchase a nice digitally printed vinyl banner or even a dye sublimation printed cloth fabric banner.

The great thing about purchasing a single banner now is that they can be printed relatively inexpensively using dye sublimation printing or digital direct-to-substrate printing of vinyl fabric. And you can print photos or whatever you want on them for less money now than you could in the ‘90’s for monochromatic vinyl on vinyl banners.

How to Get Your Printed Banner Display

So, let’s say you’re having your family reunion in honor of your grandparents, and you want to get the perfect banner for the occasion. You could find pictures of them at various stages of their lives, their wedding, with their children, on vacation in Fiji, and at work, and amalgamate them all (at high resolution, that’s important for a good banner not to look pixelated – that’s when the resolution of a picture or graphic is too low and you see lots of little squares of color that just don’t quite look right) onto a design, say, four feet by eight feet, and then upload it to your printer’s site or via a free FTP website like Free.MailBigFile.com and have it printed or dyed. Good luck!


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Barry K. Brown

Barry Brown has been in the Sign, Banner, Decal and Display Business for over 20 years. It isn't what he thought he'd do with his life, but he says he knows too much now to do anything else!

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