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Pull Up or Roll Up Banner Sizes – Plus, RGB vs CMYK Printing

Roll Up Banners

The different sizes of pull up or roll up banners. The file types for to save your designs for banner printing. And, CMYK versus RGB Color Spectrum.

Question:  In today’s mailbag, Jan asks, “I need to order some pull up or roll up banners. What sizes are available and what advice you could give me for the print file design and file type?”

Thanks for your question, Jan. There are several sizes available, from table top roll up banners to very large back wall retractable banners. Horizontal sizes range from 22 inches to 60 inches to heights of 36 inches to over 10 feet. Not all these combinations, of course, are available together. For instance, you probably won’t be able to find a 22 inch wide roll up banner that is over 10 feet tall for stability reasons.

Popular Banner Sizes

retractable banners, roll up banners One of the most popular sizes is the 85 centimeter by 200 centimeter, or approximately 33.5 inches by 79 inches. Another popular larger size is approximately 91.5 centimeters by 233.5 centimeters, or 36 inches wide by 92 inches tall. Custom sizes are also available, but costly and slower to get.

Various Banner Materials

There are also various materials that you can have the banner portion of the stand made from such as lightweight “stay flat” vinyl (normal vinyl will tend to have some edge curl), bonded and laminated paper products, or dye sublimated polyester fabric banner material, which is our favorite for its continuous tone print quality – like a photographic print.

Banner Print File

Regarding your print file, it should be prepared with a minimum half an inch bleed edge (for instance, if you have a photographic background or even a light colored background, it should “bleed” outside the actual banner size half an inch), and text, logos, or other design elements should be a minimum of one inch inside the banner edge.

The file can be saved at 150 dpi full sized or 300 dpi at half size, though we prefer that you send us a full sized banner file at the former size. We also prefer that, if you’re working in Illustrator or Photoshop, that you flatten your files so as not to have any elements drop on in the print file. We can print an good file such as .pdf files, .ai files, and .eps files – .jpg files can also print OK if you follow the above specifications.

If you have any other questions, please feel free to ask. Hope this helped. Anyway, you can find more about retractable and pull up banner stands in this page.

Question:  In a related question, client John F. asked, “Should I send you our artwork in RGB or CMYK?

John, a very good and fairly common question. First, let me define what those two acronyms stand for and what each is used for.

RGB Color System

RGB Colors

RGB stands for the Red-Green-Blue color spectrum, and is what your computer monitor and your television use to create the color that you see in both places. Recently, one major computer company came out with a CMYK monitor, so this may begin to change in the future, but for now, most digital images you see use the RGB color spectrum.

CMYK Color System

CMYK Print Colors
CMYK stands for Cyan-Magenta-Yellow-Black, and is the basis of colors used for printing and everything else, for the most part, that is not digital or electronic. When you have business cards printed, or decals, or signs, or banners, or menus or any other printed advertising piece, you will need to submit your file(s) to the printer in a CMYK format, because no printer that we’re aware of prints in the RGB color spectrum.

How RGB and CMYK are Viewed

The rub with having these two common color spectrums used in the printing industry is that you view most print files in RGB, and then they get printed in CMYK. So, you design something on your computer that looks good, color-wise, to you on your computer’s monitor, and convert it to CMYK, and send it out to a printer, and yuck! you get your cards back and the color is all wrong. What happened? It looked great on your monitor!

Here’s what happened. Your monitor, which most likely is not calibrated to the CMYK color spectrum, simply did what it’s factory preset colors told it to do. Your printer, though, should have asked you if you needed a specific color, and explained to you that “red” means one thing to your computer’s monitor, and could mean something entirely different to an actual printing machine whose print spectrum is calibrated to the CMYK color spectrum.

The way to get around this, without buying a spectrometer and calibrating your computer’s RGB to be roughly equal to the CMYK spectrum is to find Pantone Matching System® colors (known more commonly as PMS colors), is to view a PMS color fan and choose the specific color you’d like your printer to use. Most printers have one or several of these in their office or shop, and if you’re dealing with a company from a long distance, there are ways to view these fans without spending the high cost to purchase them.


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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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