10 key factors when selecting a banner substrate

Technological advancements are creating new innovative banner products with enhanced individual components and improved structural properties, creating an all-round better quality product with eye-catching aesthetic and a longer life-span. As a result, choosing the right product for your clients’ brief can be difficult.

To help, here are 10 key factors that should influence your material specification:

Purpose: Close dialogue with the client on their objective(s) will guide them to a more informed choice of material, helping you to deliver a better end-product and, hopefully, repeat business.

Printability: Print quality is not just about the capability of your printing technology – your choice of material can make a significant impact. The way ink interacts with the substrate is vital to the end result, affecting colour gamut, black intensity, colour contrast and the sharpness of text definition.

Durability: A banner is exposed to a number of elements including human contact and extremes of temperature, sun, wind, rain or humidity. Fundamentally, you have a choice between two categories of banner: Promotional products with a short lifespan, and cast-coated banners which have a lifespan of around five years (unprinted). If durability is critical, you’ll want to opt for cast coated.

Installation: To fulfil its purpose and stay the course, consider the banner location and fixture with regards to material weight – the banner may look stunning when it’s freshly installed, but will it stretch, curl or crease after a few weeks? And, if applicable, you may want to double its communication value for the client by recommending a double-sided banner to deliver the message from both angles to increase the impact from both directions.

Viewability: Light and opacity play a critical role. Opacity refers to the ability of the banner to let light through. A banner material with low opacity will mean that the printed image is visible on the reverse of the banner. Consider whether that is aesthetically acceptable in the context of the job and your client.

Whiteness: Whiteness also influences the aesthetic appeal of the finished banner, affecting the colours in the printed image. A brighter white gives colours extra ‘pop’, and gives added clarity to the non-printed areas of the banner.

Finish: Your choice of finish will undoubtedly affect how the banner looks, but also whether it is easily viewable by the audience it’s intended for. Gloss for indoor, matt for outdoor is the general rule of thumb, but it’s worth exploring all options – why not super glossy for a premium look?

Fire rating: Fire ratings are a legal requirement for many environments, particularly those expecting a high concentration of people in a confined area, such as events. Many banner substrates available have inherent fire retardant properties – check with your supplier to ensure your material is compliant.

Size: Is your client producing a banner for outdoor use? Or for a shopping centre? Depending on the application of the banner, the size will vary. Knowing the correct measurements will mean less waste during production.

Cost: You get what you pay for. When making your material choice, you have to strike a fine balance between performance and aesthetic qualities and price. It may be tempting to downgrade to a cheaper material on a job, but this could be a false economy. Reprinting and installation fails will cost you time, money, reputation and future business.

For further information on identifying the banner product that’s right for you and your clients’ brief, speak to us today about our diverse ImagePerfect range via www.spandex.com