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Top-to-bottom perfect: 7 tips to print vertical banners

Commercial printing POS Materials


by Dimitri Van Gaever

For some mysterious reason, the human eye simply can’t resist a vertical format. It is no wonder, then, that vertical banners are widely considered an indispensable part of the print marketing mix. Promoting sales, advertising grand openings, sprucing up store fronts, pointing visitors to places to be, … Vertical banners surely are as versatile as they are striking. Evidently, though, attracting people’s attention doesn’t always suffice. Particularly vertical banners that serve retail marketing purposes require a cunning design to get the consumer on board. These tips will help your vertical banners rise to the occasion every time!

7 tips to print vertical banner

1. If possible, use sans serif fonts

Meant to convey messages from a distance and at a glance, vertical banners work their magic best when they have clear, simple fonts. More specifically, sans serif fonts like Arial, Verdana, Helvetica, … are the go-to options for banner printing. Contrary to serif fonts, sans serif fonts are (literally) easy on the eye because they don’t have little horizontal lines finishing off the strokes of each letter. Mind the gaps, though! If the spacing between sans serif letters is too wide, passers-by may find it difficult to tell the words apart from each other.

2. Vector images for the win

Large format printing of course requires high-resolution images. So, if you’re designing a vertical banner, opt for vector images whenever possible. Unlike bitmap, jpeg and other ‘traditional’ file formats, vector images are comprised of mathematical equations instead of pixels. No matter how large you scale a vector image, it’ll always end up looking razor sharp. Additionally, it never hurts to have your vertical banners printed with a high-resolution printing process. Xeikon’s presses, for instance, effortlessly print 1200dpi.

3. Keep your vertical banners balanced

Successful vertical banners have a well-balanced design that is centered around a clear and simple focal point, allowing people to read and absorb all the information in the blink of an eye. A few rules of thumb:

 - Logos go on top
 - The core message (image or text) should be placed at the center (or at eye level)
 - Go easy on the graphics and steer away from intricate designs
 - Limit text to a headline and byline if possible

4. Beware of the spotlight

Chances are your vertical banners are going to be hanging in such a way that passers-by will get to see both sides. If that is indeed the case, make sure you have your banners printed on a thick enough substrate so that the graphics on one side don’t shine through on the other side when the light hits them.

5. Call ‘em to action

Consumers tend to need that little extra push to take action, so make sure your vertical banners do exactly that. “Call now!”, “Drop by today!”, “Get your free sample!”, … . The simpler the call to action you include, the more effective your vertical banner will be.

6. Rise to the location

When it comes to choosing substrates and toner for your vertical banners, everything depends on where you’re going to use them. Indoor banners offer endless possibilities in terms of substrates, but mind the toner. Vertical banners used for retail marketing not only tend to require specific brand colours, but should also emit no VOCs.

Good to know:

 - Renowned for their exceptional light-fastness, all Xeikon’s dry toners meet or exceed rating 6 on the Blue Wool Scale.
 - Xeikon’s dry toners emit no VOCs.
 - Xeikon’s in-house toner facility creates both standard and custom spot colours with a low minimum order quantity.

7. Dare to print to infinity and beyond

In the world of vertical banners, the sky is the limit. Literally! Well, almost literally. Did you know that Xeikon’s presses are full rotary, and therefore able to print an entire jumbo roll without repeats? That’s a vertical banner that spans 10,000 metres, or 26 Empire State Buildings from top to bottom! Care to break a record, anyone?