Printing on vinyl has come along way in recent years. Here are a few tips and tricks to help streamline your next project.
Some times I sit and wonder why anyone would purchase a Vinyl Banner given its harmful nature and then it dawns on me, “Vinyl” is inexpensive and lasts a lifetime. That’s right, vinyl will out last you and me.
One of the major drawbacks of using vinyl is its ecological incompatibility with our environment. Vinyl is built to last and is a non-biodegradable product that won’t decompose like most organic paper products do when disposed of.
Vinyl is a bi-product of petroleum and is man made. There are many different types of vinyl banner materials to work with we like to work with a 12 ounce scrim reinforced vinyl for indoor and outdoor use on free hanging hardware.
To make outdoor vinyl banners stronger “Scrim”, a fiber mesh is added to the chemistry and woven throughout the material. The chemical composition allows for printing 4C process images or applying cut vinyl lettering to create text in a variety of colors. Vinyl banners can be hemmed with a sewing machine to create pole pockets or grommets can be inserted for hanging it just about anywhere.
One of the things I like about vinyl banners is the durability vs. price. A small investment into a vinyl banner advertising campaign could yield great results and outlast most other forms of graphic vinyl production.
When it comes to printing a vinyl banner you have a few choices depending on your budget, the quantity, the usage (outdoor or indoor), length of promotion and color configuration (1c-6c).
An experienced large format printing firm should have a good understanding of what you’re trying to accomplish by asking some of these questions or by looking at your artwork prior to accepting the print job.
Most companies estimate projects by calculating the square footage or square inches of each banner. If you are looking for a two sided banner you could figure out the square feet of a one side banner and double that price because the same process is followed for the second side.
It’s always recommended that you ask your banner manufacturer what type of materials they have available in stock. Special orders will change the estimate usually increasing the square footage price. Custom ordered PMS colored vinyls also increase the cost of a vinyl banner.
Setting up a vinyl banner print job is the number one cost factor in determining price.
A custom ordered banner usually costs more money than a generic banner due to the Set Up charges.
Here’s an example: Let’s say you’re the customer and you need to order just one banner for your company’s upcoming tradeshow or event. The pricing that you will receive for that one banner will cost more money per banner than if you ordered (2) two or more banners with the same custom image. The reason is that it costs the same amount of “Setup” charges for both types of orders.
What is a Setup Charge? A Setup Charge is an added expense for getting your artwork or files converted and color proofed prior to actually printing and finishing your banner. This process is standard with all printing firms large and small.
A pre-press technician accepts your camera ready art or digital files and converts the files to a “ripping program” (special software designed to interface with the output devices). This process can take minutes or hours depending on how the technician receives your files. Once the files are ripped, they are ready to print.
Another good practice is to find out your shipping cost prior to making a purchase. Vinyl is very heavy and weighs more than you think it does. You have to be careful when ordering quantities because UPS, FEDEX and some of the larger shipping companies charge according to the weight and size of a shipment. Vinyl happens to be one of those heavier and larger types of products that get shipped all over the world.
Don’t forget, that you don’t want to fold a vinyl banner due to the creases that will show up once folded. Traditionally, vinyl banners are rolled image out and inserted into cardboard tubes for safely shipping.
Another caution for you to consider is the size of your banner just from a shipping standpoint. The reason being;
Example: If you ordered a 10’h x 15’w banner the shipping tube would have to be at least 10′ tall.
You should have your printing customer service rep check with UPS for pricing prior to completion of your banner especially if you have a rush order.
We take all of these factors into consideration here at Media In Motion Group prior to estimating your project so you’re in good hands when ordering a banner from us.
Receive a free estimate by clicking here and submitting your specifications.
Here’s a Customer Check List prior to ordering a vinyl banner.
Vinyl Banner Check List
1. Check Your Budget: (How much can you spend?)
2. Purchase Orders: (It’s always a good practice to send a P.O. with your order)
3. Check Your Designs: (What type of files are you working with?)
(Did you have a Graphic Designer work on your files?)
4. Quantity of Vinyl Banners: (How many banners do you need to order?)
5. One sided or Two sided banners: (Where is your banner going to be hung?)
(Make sure people can read both sides of your banner)
6. Size of your banner: (How large is your banner?)
(10/40 rule of thumb; viewing distance, for every 10′ wide banner the optimal viewing distance is 40′ from your banner)
7. Turn-around / Time lines: (When do you need your finished banner?)
(It usually takes much longer to produce a vinyl banner and have it shipped to your door than you think it does, give yourself more time, plan ahead).
8. Shipping costs: (where are you located in relation to your printer, how many banners did you order? what size and weight are the banners?).
9. How do you plan on paying for your banners? (Usually by credit card, find out prior to placing your order).
10. Communication with your printer: (Make sure you put everything in writing so there’s no confusion).