Friday, January 24, 2014

Cold weather banners - from chilly St. Paul, MN

Not all banner materials are the same.  There is so much to chose from these days: vinyl, polyester, satin, canvas, nylon, the list goes on.  The graphic application processes are also numerous with vinyl films, screen printing, and direct digital printing taking the lead.

Big Idea is located in St. Paul, MN.  If you have been paying attention to the weather this winter, especially if you live in Minnesota, the temperatures sure have kept people from talking about global warming.  We have had numerous below zero days this year already.  This picture was taken on a windy -7°f day.  If you pay attention to wind chill it had a "feels like" -20°f.

Back to banners.  The banner pictured here is made of a tough polyester material.  It is lightweight and serves the purpose of a sail flag banner very well.  It can be folded for storage yet still displays nice, the lightweight material allows it to flutter and move freely while on display, and the graphics take on a rich vibrant tone.  The added value for us cold weather folks is that the material holds up in the coldest of temperatures. The ever popular vinyl banner materials on the other hand, if not mounted tight and flat to a stationary surface, will crack and break down in the extreme cold. Trust us on this, we have seen the destruction first hand. 

"I had a call years ago from someone in Grand Marais.  They had a 20' x 3', 18oz. vinyl banner with pressure-sensitive vinyl graphics displayed over a dog sledding trail.  The temperature was -20°f  and the wind was gusting at 25mph. That is a "feels like" -50°f! The extreme cold along with the wind is no match for vinyl banners.  Their banner was literally frozen while being snapped in the wind.  Needless to say, it made it for 2 hours before it fell apart.  It literally cracked and pealed into hundreds of pieces."

Our experience says stick with fabric based materials if you plan to display a banner in below freezing conditions. It works today as well as it worked for Will Steger and team years ago on a trek to the North Pole.  Yes, our owner was behind this project as well!

You also should pay close attention to the graphic application, making sure it has some sort of UV inhibiting characteristic.  Investing in a banner should not end short because a  "banner guy" took a short cut on printing.