Billboard and Mesh Banners-DPI Resolution for Banner Printing

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Vinyl Mesh and Billboard Banners, plus the Recommended Fabric Banner Printing Image Resolution

Question: What are Mesh Vinyl Banners?

Answer: Mesh vinyl banners are PVC (polyvinylchloride) or “vinyl” banners whose reinforced nylon fibers are separated and coated in a mesh pattern in order to reduce wind load on the banners.

Mesh PVC Banners

Mesh vinyl banners allow about 10 to 15% air slippage, about two to three times what wind pockets will afford. And wind pockets are just plain unattractive, as I’ve mentioned in the past.

My opinion is that the best option is to use a solid vinyl banner material, reinforce the hems, and use a pocket top and bottom to put a strong nylon rope or cable through it if you have the option.

If you don’t, which you won’t at certain events like 3 on 3 basketball tournaments, then vinyl mesh banner material may be your best option.

Find more about this banner type in this page

Question: What are billboard banners and where are they used?

Answer: Billboard banners are precisely what the name says – banners that are used on billboards.

Large Format Billboard Display

Back in the 1990’s as digital printing became a popular mode of printing, large format printers that could print rolls over 16 feet in width were built specifically to revolutionize the way billboards were used.

In the “olden days,” billboard fabricators would put up a billboard, cover the face with plywood, then glue printed strips of paper onto the plywood or onto the last advertisement. It was relatively time consuming, and generally nowhere near as attractive as the billboards are now.

When vinyl billboard banners began to be printed, they could be printed, pole pockets added, and taken out to install as a single piece unit. This made installation quick and easy compared to gluing strips of paper onto the face of the billboard, plus, as the wide format vinyl banner printers became more refined and faster, they also printed better-looking prints as well.

An added benefit of the PVC vinyl billboard banner is that it protects the face of the billboard structure, like a tarp over a pile of boards will protect them from the weather. This means the structures are less expensive to maintain and last longer.

Question: Why did you recommend 100 dpi as the resolution for my fabric banner print file?

Answer: The rest of the story here is that your banners is 5 feet by 12 feet, and as noted is on fabric. It is unnecessary and time consuming to transfer 300 dpi files when a higher resolution isn’t required, which it isn’t on fabric banners.

Dye sublimation printing on fabric banner material will come out just fine when printed at 100 dpi, because the heat and pressure of dye sub printing, which causes the cells of the poly-based materials to expand and open, will create a diffuse print on its own, not to mention that the threads will also absorb the lower resolution print, creating a continuous tone print that simply isn’t possible with vinyl banner material or decal material.

Also, the size of a banner or print will make a difference in the dpi required as well. If you’re making a fine art print that is 24 inches by 36 inches, you may very well be required to provide a 600 dpi file, although this is uncommon.


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