Adding a Banner to Your Event Materials

A banner is a great way to attract attention to your business or event. The banner’s intended size, placement and location help to determine its overall design.


An outdoor banner is designed to attract the attention of passersby. As many of these may be in automobiles, the message has to be easily understood in just a split second or two. That means it must be simple and to the point (i.e. ’50% Off Sale’). Anything else is likely to be missed.

Outdoor banners that are meant to be viewed very briefly or from a distance should follow the same rules as billboard design. Simply, these rules say keep it simple, use big font sizes and have compelling images.


Certain colour combinations can attract more attention and induce greater recall in onlookers than others. These include black on white, white on blue, black on yellow and yellow on black.

Avoid the temptation to use too many colours, as this will only confuse the eye and detract from the message. High contrasting colours are best for outdoor banners. More subdued, but still attention-grabbing colours should be used for in-store banners, where the audience has more time to read them.


A banner is usually displayed outside the front of a business to attract street traffic into the store. Because it may be subject to a variety of weather conditions, including sun, rain and wind, it needs to be made from durable, weather-resistant materials such as vinyl or plastic. It will need to be well secured and properly mounted. Banner stands are usually employed for this purpose.

Banner stands come in a variety of forms, ranging from those that are designed to be mounted on a shop front above the front door to stands that are placed on the footpath to target pedestrian traffic, much like the older style sandwich boards.


Research shows that a person’s focus is drawn to the centre of a banner or sign. Therefore, this is where your most important information needs to go. If you are using graphics, they need to be sharp, attractive and relevant to the message. And the message should be brief and positive, preferably including a call to action.

Brevity is the key. If your banner is meant to be seen from a distance, it should be one simple sentence or line. Even if it is an indoor banner, where people are closer and have more time, it should still be no more than two or three sentences.


Just like any other piece of advertising, your banner should be a branding tool for your business. If you have a logo, it should be on your banner. If you have colours that are associated with your brand, use them too, providing they are not colours that will detract from your banner’s attention-grabbing power.

Above all else, make sure your banner looks professional (i.e. have it printed by a reputable printing firm). If it looks tatty or amateurish, that is how your brand will be perceived as well.

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