Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Exterior Banners - 5 tips to the right choice

Most outdoor banners need to be constructed tough with a quality scrim core. The scrim is the skeleton of exterior vinyl banner material.  No scrim in your outdoor banner can equal a short life for your displays.  Almost equally important is the finishing of your outdoor banner.  A strong hem/grommet system is a must, and on larger displays you should consider reinforced corners, webbing, D-rings, etc. 

When you are looking for a free standing display of your banner, as pictured here, there are a few important issues to deal with, but first, remember your banner will be acting like a sail on ship.  The difference is your "ship" will not be moving.  Can you ever recall seeing a sailing ship with sails fluttering in the wind while docked or anchored?  You just never see it, and for good reason.  It would only be a matter of time before the sails were damaged or destroyed.  

Banners, much like sails, are not intended to bear strong wind loads.  Sailors often relieve wind loads by adjusting or retracting a sail, but it is not so easy with banners.  Imagine having to untie or unscrew your banner when the wind picks up.  For most this is just not practical.  So what to do? 

Here are some tips when selecting your next outdoor banner.

1. Hang your banner against a secured and rigid background surface.  Buildings, walls, and fences are great options.  These background not only give your banner great support, they also help protect your banner from mother nature

2. Tightly secure your banner to the background surface, wall, or fence.  The use of screw with washers is usually a terrific option, ropes and bungee cords are not. Rope, bungee cords, and straps rarely can secure a banner to a wall well enough to eliminate mother nature from sneaking behind your investment.  

I once had a client tell me that they were not allowed to screw there extra large banner to the retail brick wall.  After reiterated recommendations, concerns and warnings, the client went ahead and had installers use ropes to hang.  She was back in one week, disappointed and with a damaged beyond repair banner.  

When your banner is tied to a wall, wind can still easily cause it to sway, ripple, and flutter against the surface.  When that surface is coarse, such as with rough cut wood or brick, the contact acts like using sandpaper.  So imaging 24/7 sandpaper rubbing on the hems of your banner.  It is not if, it is when will your banner fail. Screwing the banner to the surface would have prevented the calamity.

3. Don't over do it.  Clients often think they need jumbo banners to effectively get their message across.  In some cases this may be true, but in most you can often reduce the size of the banner as long as you have an effective message, design, and a trusting banner producer.  Smaller size = reduced surface area = reduce chance of banner damage.

The average curb-side banner, for lets say a church pancake breakfast, usually does not need to be a whopping 25 feet in length.

Keep in mind your target audiences average reading distance and the speed they will likely be viewing your message.  Walking or stationary audiences have a much longer time to read a banner than a viewer traveling at 70mph with plenty of distractions.  Slower "traffic" and fewer distractions can allow for a smaller message to just as effective as a larger one, thus reducing your chance of wind damage to your banner.

4. Don't send a boy to do a man's job.  In other words, don't be convinced the super awesome internet deal on a lightweight 10oz banner will for sure be the right material for the job.  It often may not.  Know your material options, there are tons out there.  If a sales person is not asking you lots of questions about how you will be using your banner, you may be headed towards disappointment.

There are so many manufactures of banner material out there, plenty of them either poorly made or not designed for extreme heat or cold.  At face value they are like a bunch of apples in the grocery store.  They all look good, but after you make the investment, and you bit into each, you soon become aware of what the characteristics really are; to soft, to sour, to hard, or to sweat. Wait, can an apple be to sweet?

Like many things in life, you have options.  It will pay in the long run to take the time and find out what material is right your your specific needs.

5. But I do not have a background to hang my banner against!  Don't panic, there are options. First start with an open mind and get connected with people that are creative thinkers and problem solvers.  This will make the whole process easier and productive  The part-time sales clerk at the retail counter should not be your only choice.

As long as you remember that free standing exterior banners will always be at risk with mother nature, you will be off to a good start. The image illustrated at the top of this article is one such scenario that a backer was not an option.  The client was aware of the risks and prepared to remove the banner if the wind became a threat.  What we did was provide them a banner on a specialty mesh material.  The material is similar to a perforated jersey, with thousands of tiny holes to let some of the wind through, greatly reducing the wind load and stress on the banner and fasteners.

There are also other options such as sail banners, flags, pole mounts, and much more that can often achieve wonderful results without the need of a standard banner.

Next time you are looking into banners to promote your message, brand, or event, know that you have options.  With the right advice, a good design, and proper installation, you will be on the path to a successful advertising campaign.

Big Ideas.  Creative Results.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Innovative branding with office wall prints

Pictures here is a great example that illustrates the full creative value of Big Idea.  It also illustrates thinking out side the box when it comes to marketing and brand awareness.
Big Idea's role in this project started with some conceptual consulting, and the capture of the original photographic skyline image, to the final print production and installation.
We provide much more than just printing services for our clients.
Big Ideas. Creative Results

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Growler Tags - Craft Brew Marketing Tips

Promote your brand with customized growler tags.

Growler and Bottle Tags provide legal labeling information required for beverages bottled in pre-branded generic and reusable bottles. These tags fit easily over the neck or through the handle of growlers and bottles. 

Breweries use Growler and Bottle Tags to identify the beverage inside the reusable bottles. These tags promote the brand, flavor, special, or seasonal information along with the required information like brew name/style, date, ABV, and net weight.

Material: Growler and Bottle Tags are supplied on white tag stock approximately .010” thick.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Keg Collars - Craft Brew Marking Tips

Customize your Keg Collars

Keg Collars are a great way to comply with beverage labeling laws. The collars are designed to fit over and “grip” the keg opening. The printed design can easily accommodate date of manufacture, flavor of contents, and required government warnings.

Digital printing and cie cutting now make it easy, and affordable to have keg collars customized to further  promote your branded image.  They are also in inexpensive way to ID your kegs when it is time customers to return.

Take your markeing to the next level and show your customers a better branded image.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Earlier this year we completed a year long commissioned photo project for the Ramsey County Attorney's Office. The project had a simple theme, all the pictures must be taken within Ramsey County.  With nearly 50 completed images printed on paper, metal and canvas, we provided a beautiful display of Ramsey County culture, scenic landscapes, landmarks, events, law enforcement, and lifestyle.

Upon completion of the project we added a little display in the entryway, visible from Wabasha.  There are 4 original pieces displayed. 

The sign posted here is a copy of the exhibit biography posted on site, adjacent to the featured work.  You have to see the sign to really appreciate it.  We printed on a sheet of aluminum with a clear gloss over-laminate.  It really is a sharp product.  The photos aren't to shabby either.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Monday, December 22, 2014

Monday, December 15, 2014

Monday, December 8, 2014

Monday, December 1, 2014

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Are you cracking up?

Are you cracking up?  More accurately speaking, is your image cracking up?

From time to time we see window lettering, vehicle graphics, and business signs looking tattered and just plan worn-out past it's prime.  This cracking is the result if years of element and sun exposure to the material - vinyl films.

A bit on vinyl films.  There are several different manufactures of both cast and calendared pressure sensitive vinyl films, all of which bond to surfaces with a thin adhesive film right on the material.  The cast films will give you much longer life than the calendared films.  Don't be fooled, they look and feel identical, except in price.  If you want longevity always seek out cast, or high performance films.  They will crack overtime but hopefully a lot less than what you are witnessing here.