Vinyl banners may have different forms and purposes. They are used as outdoor advertising that may either be representation of the offerings of a particular company or organization or the announcement of an event that draws attention of the public. Essentially, banners are useful only when they have an exceptional design. There are many design tools and strategies which marketing specialists should consider when making an eye-catching banner. They may include colors matching, typefaces, images or graphics, shapes and size, focal point, and hierarchy.
Colors are the most powerful design elements that can skillfully manipulate people's perception of the advertisement . Thus, it is very important to use them effectively. In fact, colors affect people in numerous ways: emotionally, psychologically, and physically. Additionally, they may set a mood or convey some subtle meaning. Choosing the right color spectrum helps create a profound banner design. Moreover, the color facilitates brand recognition and attracts more consumers than non-colored monotonous leaflet (Crowther, 2017). Depending on the types of emotions the banner should evoke, marketers should combine colors attentively to match with a logo or any other branding inscription to make the target audience have an appropriate association. Generally speaking, using the correct colors will make the banner look unique and increase its promoting purpose.
All colors are special in their own way, but to grab the attention of the audience, it is advisable to use bright, contrasting colors and their tints for banners. For instance, orange is the most noticeable color after red that associates with positive emotions, whereas blue emanates safety, trust, and confidence. The other options include white, the color of purity, cleanliness, honesty, and youth, blue, black, which symbolizes power, luxury, and mystery, yellow ( an eye-catching color that is connected to sunshine and friendliness), red that usually suggests passion, love, and sometimes anger, or green (the easiest color on the eyes that means freshness, health, and harmony).
Alternatively, one incorporate black and white to create minimalist design and add some intrigue. All these colors combinations have the highest visibility both for vinyl banners and outdoor advertising. However, it is very important to apply matching color patterns that would complement the slogan. Mixing white and yellow is not a good idea as it will be very difficult to read the text and comprehend the information. Moreover, it would be a mistake to combine too many colors at once or to use incompatible colors that clash and look disharmonious).
Obviously, fonts affect the readability of the banner and its overall impression. First, the font size should be appropriate and not too small for a picture that will be visible from long distances. Secondly, it is better to use simple classic typefaces, such as Arial, Helvetica, Trajan, or Bodoni, which are easy to read and comprehend. However, if one is willing to highlight a short piece of information (a word or phrase), it is possible to utilize a unique font. Thirdly, it is a good idea to avoid including detailed information on the banner; instead, one should present the main point in a simple and short manner, as people’s attention span lasts only a few seconds.
Most importantly, the typeface on the banner must be legible for the audience, including passing traffic; thus, the marketer should select only one or two fonts that complement each other and do not distract from banner’s content or message. To create an outstanding banner, it is better to avoid cursive and all caps, as they are difficult to read. Preferably, one should make a bold title, which is eye-catching, especially for short titles, and to pair distinctive font with more conservative for a balanced design. Additionally, it is appropriate to use fonts from the same design group, varying the font size, weight (regular or bold), and case (upper or lower).
If there are the main text and secondary information (headlines, sub-headlines, slogan, or phone number), and it is necessary to separate these different elements from each other, one should consider a combination of two sizes, bolding, and spacing as an alternative method. Moreover, an effective banner is usually based on a contrast: super bold titles and a subtle cursive serif font for subtitles; the pairing of serif and sans serif fonts; a combination of size, spacing, and color. If the headline of the banner is longer, it is possible to apply a big yet thin font. In addition, the font should match with the design of the banner and support its purpose (serious, playful, or elegant).
A clear focal point helps a banner to be more effective and alluring; moreover, it makes passersby focus on a necessary part of the advertisement. Whether it is a headline or an image, it should be carefully planned to quickly attract the attention of the audience. To create an exceptional banner, one should put an emphasis on the most important part of the advertisement with the help of visual manipulation. To illustrate, one may change the position of the information on the banner, direction of the text, or color palattes, adding large size, bold font, and interesting shape. Moreover, isolating focal points with white space is a good idea to make them highly visible against colorful backgrounds. When creating a banner, it is always essential to stay balanced and separate different elements of the advertisement with moderate spacing.
The Hierarchy or a Visual Flow
Clear organization of the information is very important for every advertisement. The hierarchy is an instrument which helps to prioritize information and makes the banner well-structured. Every element of the banner should be located within the particular space that is determined through hierarchy . (Valenty, n.d.). To create an enticing banner, one should think how to arrange and space all its elements in order to help the audience understand the main idea of the advertisement. Therefore, the simple hierarchy of the elements is the most suitable option. Branding or logomark should be always visually dominant. Furthermore, the main message or object of the banner, including a product, service, or special offer should occupy the central position.
To improve the design of the banner, the marketer may use some of the following options: repetition, such as bullet points or a list with numbers; division of the banner’s space into sections through boxes, frames, or graphics; addition of white space between the primary information and secondary details. All these techniques refine the structure of the banner, thereby making it highly informative. Consequently, the main approach to the typographic hierarchy consists of the three-level organization. According to it, the first level contains the most important information and the most visible content. The elements of the second level represent sections or groups of related information. The third level should form a complete message (a purpose or description), which should be easy to read.
To draw people’s attention to the banner, one may include high-quality creative images. They help express a range of feelings, evoke emotions, and tell a story. Such graphics add the element of fun or entertainment to the banner as well. Whether one uses a simple drawing, elaborate illustration, geometric pattern, or a photo of cute animals or attractive people, it is crucial to incorporate them only when it is appropriate. However, it is a well-known fact that an advertisement featuring graphics will always have a more profound effect than banners without images (“Keep it Simple: 3 Tips for Banner Ad Design,” n.d.).
A felicitous image helps the audience feel a connection to the banner’s message or product, as it effectively demonstrates its benefits and main idea. The combination of pictures and slogan always draws attention of the audience. Nevertheless, it is better to avoid ambiguous small images and not to include too many visual elements, as it may look overwhelming. Moreover, it is preferable not to pair the long text with an image, but to replace the first element with the second one. Most importantly, graphics should also reveal the purpose of the advertisement.
Size of the Banner
Obviously, advertisement's efficiency is impossible without the right size of the banner. When choosing the size of the outdoor vinyl banner, one should consider its visibility; usually, the bigger banner, the higher chance to attract consumers. The marketing professional should also take into account the mounting location of the banner (to make it fit the surface), its distance from the readers (to provide good readability), usage of the materials (to minimize the waste of resources), competitive signage (to make it look unique and creative), and the type of the audience (road audience requires bigger banners). Finally, the banner should be big enough to display the message and grab people’s attention; thus, its size should be balanced with the size of the font, image, and background colors.
To conclude, every vinyl banner should be attention grabbing. Banner’s success depends on many factors, but the most significant part is its design. Attractive design with effective color combinations, simple legible signs, vivid photographs or graphics of products, proper size (shape) of the banner as well as focal point, and the well-organized visual presentation will help to create an outstanding banner that would strongly influence buyers. Moreover, the location of the outdoor banner is another important element in the advertising process too.
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