In my 20 years in the sign, decal, and banner advertising business, I’ve seen vinyl advertising banners used for a myriad of different uses. They can be used for a few days (cheap advertising) and up to 10 years or more (really cheap advertising!).
One piece we made for a store across the street when we first began in business looked great 10 years later when we moved, and would probably still look good now except he purchased a new sign from us around the same time. Because the owner was on a shoestring budget, he didn’t want to use the sign cabinet to house a polycarbonate signage which was much more expensive, so we created an inexpensive one color polyvinyl banner and attached it to the sign cabinet, and it remained there for over 10 years!
Various Materials Used for Exterior or Interior PVC Banners
PVC, or polyvinyl, banners are available in different weights, the most common being 10 oz., 13 oz., and 18 oz. The weight refers to the strength of the nylon reinforcement and the thickness of the PVC. The heavier the material, the stronger it will be. Weights begin at 8 oz. and go all the way up to 22 oz., and the heavier weights often contain a block-out layer so they can be printed on both sides.
They also come in perforated material known as mesh banner material. These allow some wind load slippage when the wind blows, typically about 15 to 20%, making them a favorite for outdoor events such as fairs or sporting events or in areas where the wind is perpetually blowing.
We’ve used mesh displays on parking garages as well, spanning two or three levels. Some companies have used “wind pockets” to reduce wind load, but we don’t recommend wind pockets for your vinyl advertising banners as it puts “V” or “U” shaped holes all over (unsightly in our opinion) and only reduces the wind load around 3 to 5%.
Popular Uses – Where our Clients are Using Them
PVC displays are also used extensively in retail environments, announcing a big sale or a new product. We helped Stanley Tool roll out a new product in Lowe’s Home Improvement Stores using hundreds of these, printed full-color on our digital printing presses.
They also come in gloss or in matte finish. Some of our clients aren’t crazy about the gloss finish because they think it looks “too much like plastic.” Most don’t really care if the banner is outdoors, but if it is indoors, such as in a retail store (especially if the retail store is upscale) or a trade show, the matte finish material has more of a fabric appearance and isn’t so “plasticky.”
Trade shows are another place where these are used prodigiously, from hanging to banners on displays and in booths. Many companies are opting for fabric banners which use a dye sublimation method of printing that I’ll cover more extensively in another article soon. As mentioned previously, when using them indoors, many of our clients prefer to use the matte finish so it doesn’t pick up the glare of convention center lighting, which is (and should be) very bright.
Construction companies often use them to announce a new project or one in progress. We’ve used large format banner to wrap temporary billboards, most often sized 8′ x 20′, 8′ x 16′, and 8′ x 12′ as an inexpensive way to advertise the project or development.
Realtors©, particularly commercial real estate agents, use vinyl advertising signs to advertise commercial properties for sale or lease on buildings that need additional exposure beyond the for sale signage on the building or by the street. Friends of mine who are in commercial real estate have stated that most buildings are sold or leased because of potential clients seeing the Ad when they drove by.
I’ve covered a few uses for vinyl advertising banners, though there are most assuredly many more – so many it’d take a lot longer than this post to write them all down. Use your imagination, though – you’ll come up with some great uses! Read here to learn about the other usages of these banner types.
How about you? Where did you place your vinyl banners for maximum exposure? Share in the comment form below.